Once the Eden of Africa, and regarded as being one in the best game parks in Africa, the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique is okay its former glories after a period of civil war and mass poaching. Once the most diverse reserves in Africa, with lots of endemic species, Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique became a virtual wasteland inside the 1980's when rival armies competed for meat and ivory over the long civil war.
Gorongosa National Park is located in Central Mozambique in the southern end of Africa's Great Rift Valley and possesses a collection of varied ecosystems from grassland and savannah to arid forests and seasonal pans prior to the plateau of woodland types.
Set up in 1920 to be a 1000 sq km hunting reserve with the use of administrators in the Portuguese Authority the park was later proclaimed a National Park because of the Portuguese authorities in 1960 and hunting was banned. The Gorongosa National Park quickly became probably the most sought after safari reserves in Africa for photographic tourism. The 1960's saw a substantial amount of development of roads and tourist facilities within the park.
Restoring an African Eden
With the ending in the civil war in 1992 the Mozambique the poaching slowed however it was only in 1996 that proper protection was afforded the park by making use of donor funds. In 2004 a US-based organization, the Carr Foundation, create funding for that future continuing development of Gorongosa and tourism facilities were re-developed. The project is place to assist all communities about the boundaries in the park and it has been phenomenally successful and tourism on the park is buying. Wildlife has become trans-located in to the park to swell the numbers and Gorongosa National Park, the Eden of Africa, is reclaiming its place as the top safari destinations in Africa.
The revolution and civil war
A war of independence [1964 - 1974] threatened the stability on the Gorongosa National Park but strict protection with the area from the authorities generated limited damage and poaching though with the revolution in Portugal in 1974 the modern government rid yourself of power in most foreign territories and Mozambique gained independence.
A rebel army, armed by South Africa, began arms against the modern government and based itself inside the vicinity of Gorongosa. Ivory poaching and hunting to secure the army decimated the wildlife populations plus the park was closed to tourism. In 1976, immediately after independence an aerial survey revealed the Elephant numbers at 6000 and Lions at 500. In 1992, in the cessation of conflict an aerial count of Gorongosa revealed the Elephant numbers at 300 and just 6 Lions.