Mozambique, 17 April – Gorongosa National Park reopens to tourists

17 April 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 17 April – Gorongosa National Park, whose nearly 4,000 square kilometers make it one of the biggest in Africa, reopened to national and foreign tourists Wednesday, the park’s director of communications and image, Vasco Galant, told Macauhub.

The park located in Sofala province had been closed since last October, when floods destroyed roads and campgrounds.

The full recovery of Gorongosa National Park involves an investment of nearly 31 million euros, of which a non-returnable 8 million euros have been spent to date.

“It is a donation from the Carr Foundation and there’s no going back,” said Galant, contacted by telephone from Maputo.

The Mozambican government and the Carr Foundation of the United States have signed a memorandum on common management of the park for a 20-year period.

Vasco Galant said he was satisfied by the growing number of visitors since 2005, when the park only received a thousand tourists.

“In 2006 we had 5,000 visitors and in 2007 the figure rose to 8,000,” said Galant, who believes that the growth trend will continue.

The park’s existing tourist infrastructures include 18 cabins with 36 rooms.

About 600 people are working on the project to rehabilitate Gorongosa National Park, a space in which nearly 10,000 people live.

The park was one of the infrastructures severely damaged during the 16-year armed conflict in Mozambique, when a large portion of its animal population was lost.

In the last few years hundreds of animals have been brought over from parks in South Africa and Zimbabwe – a process that will continue. (macauhub)