General, Great Limpopo TFCA, Zinave National Park

Development Of Zinave Under Way

© Bernard van Lente

The development of Zinave National Park as an integral component of Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA), the larger area surrounding the core transfrontier park, got under way in January 2016.

Bernard van Lente was apponted project manager to oversee the development of Zinave and Banhine national parks and is working closely with Pedro Pereira, administrator for Zinave National Park.

This follows on the signing, on 22 September 2015, of a co-management agreement whereby the Mozambican National Agency for Conservation Areas and Peace Parks Foundation will develop Zinave National Park over the next five years.

Zinave National Park is situated in the Inhambane Province of Mozambique and covers some 408 000 ha. Banhine National Park, measuring 725 000 ha lies about 150km south of Zinave.

Zinave boasts an excellent wildlife habitat and used to harbour a wide diversity of animals. It was initially declared a hunting concession in 1962. In 1972 it was upgraded to a national park, specifically to conserve important species such as giraffe, which historically only occurred in Mozambique south of the majestic Save River. The park has incredible tree (over 200 species) and grass (over 40 species) diversity, and has countless very large and impressive tree specimens. The ‘sense of place’ of Zinave is truly something to experience.

Unfortunately, the protracted civil war from 1980 to 1992 led to the loss of several of the large mammal species, including the giraffe that was emblematic of this national park. As part of a restocking exercise, a few animals of various species, including giraffe, were brought in from Kruger National Park in South Africa, but many more animals are needed to restore the park to its former glory.

Ideally situated close to one of Mozambique’s tourism development nodes, the Vilanculos-Bazaruto Archipelo, Zinave, once restocked and developed, could become a sought-after tourist destination. It could also become a 4×4 destination, and improved facilities are planned for Limpopo, Banhine and Zinave national parks, to link them with Kruger and Gonarezhou national parks as part of a Great Limpopo TFCA trail.

© Bernard van Lente

From a broader landscape dynamics perspective, community conservancies could be established to link the TFCA’s core conservation areas. Through the establishment of community public private partnerships and community conservancies, communities can actively participate in the wildlife economy as partners, contributing to the development of the TFCA.

The key objectives of the development of the park are to unlock the tourism and socio-economic potential of the area and to ensure sustainable benefit flow and community development by:

  • Establishing the Zinave National Park as an important protected area of Mozambique;
  • Strengthening the conservation management capacity of both Zinave and Banhine national parks; and
  • Expanding and consolidating the core area of Great Limpopo TFCA in line with the objectives of the treaty that established it, through:
    • Reintroducing wildlife to Zinave;
    • Developing infrastructure;
    • Developing ecotourism products; and
    • Establishing community private partnerships and community conservancies in the wildlife dispersal areas to encourage ecotourism and wildlife migration.

Watch this space…

Story by Bernard van Lente
Project Manager, Zinave National Park
Great Limpopo TFCA
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