The Gorongosa National Park is located in the southern end of the African Rift Valley which covers a widespread area of 3770 square kilometers. This park lies in the heart of Mozambique and contains a wide variety of soil. This varied soil type makes the park host several ecosystems because of seasonal flooding in the region that makes the soil compatible for all types of vegetation. It contains grasslands, savannah, miombo, montane forests, rainforests, and dry forest on sands. This park has an interesting history and dynamic stories. In the early years of it was just an attraction where people used to survey by aerial vehicles. It has seen a massive destruction in the beginning but today the park is in the state of a planned recovery because the government has realized its significance from the point of view of tourism. Due to this determination, the region that once lost optimism and growth is right on the track of regaining its beauty and possessions.
Destruction And Restoration
This national park has been protected since 1920 when 1000 square kilometers of the area was designated as the reserve are but by 1935 the reserve area expanded up to 3200 square kilometers in order to protect rhinos and nyala living in the region. Development continued and the region became popular day by day. However, due to flooding, working areas were abandoned and hence captured by lions that earned the name Casa de Leos which means the house of “lions” and very soon it had become one of the most popular tourist spots of the country.
By 1960 the reserve had banned hunting and earned the status of a national park. It was not much affected by the civil wars of 1950-60 and remained developing like other national parks of the world. During the same time, the population of both lions and elephants grew considerably and it reached to the figure almost double of the pre-civil war times. In1983 the violence escalated and the park was abandoned for almost 9 years. The violent conflicts destroyed the park’s infrastructure and animals were killed for ivory and traded for guns. The war ultimate came to the end but by that time the wildlife had declined by 90% due to loss of animals and destruction of the ecosystem which completely disturbed the food chain. The government re-planned for its restoration in 1994 and many steps were taken up to resume it as earlier which was really a difficult task. In 2009 the first eco-tourism company reached there to review its condition and prepare the plan for its restoration. Many international charity organizations volunteered the programme and today it has gained its lost popularity and has become one of the major tourist destinations again. Thousands of tourists visit this spot every year. Some of them stay with the Carr Foundation’s Chitengo Safari Camps while others with private companies. The animal population now includes lions, buffalos, wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, impala, hippos, sable and elands. The bird’s population never got affected much.
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