Gorongosa Park in Mozambique open to the public

17 April 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 17 April – The Gorongosa National Park, in the Mozambican province of Sofala and an are of 4,000 square kilometres, opened Monday for the 2007 season, counting on the reintroduction of more wild species to restore its ecosystem and boost ecotourism to the area.

The reintroduction at the park of more wild animals, which were practically made extinct over almost 20 years of civil war in Mozambique, will be one of the main novelties for 2007.

Between May and August, as part of the Program for Reintroduction of Wild Fauna, some 750 animals will arrive at the park, including 200 zebras and 150 buffalo.

Officials from the Gorongosa Park also plan to reintroduce other species such as Roan Deer and Rhinoceros.

The opening of the park to the public coincides with the end of the rainy season (approximately November to April), during which time access to the park’s interior, where the wild animals can be seen, is restricted.

The park already has impalas, buffalo, elephants, lions, hippopotamus and crocodiles, amongst other species.

The Gorongosa National Park is located in the far south of the Great Rift Valley and incorporates the rivers that spring from Mount Gorongosa, which is 1,862 meters high, and which irrigate a vast plain.

Portugal has pledged its support for a project to protect and restore the park’s ecosystem, as well as top develop an ecotourism industry to benefit local communities.

The project is part of the Indicative Cooperation Program (PIC) between Portugal and Mozambique for the 2007-2009 period. (macauhub)