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Conscious Conservation

9 January 2017

© Brian Neubert
© Brian Neubert
Without fanfare, a conservation success story is unfolding just over the border in southern Mozambique. If you are a lover of wild places, this may just be the best kept secret in southern Africa.
Park warden of Maputo Special Reserve, Armando Guenha, has been at the helm of the 1 040 km² Reserve since 2012, and says there was 'very little game and species diversity in the beginning. Now things are completely different. Wildlife is being reintroduced and various community projects have uplifted the local community, while at the same time supporting conservation goals. The local community also receives 20% of annual park revenue, so they are seeing and feeling the worth of conservation.'
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© Brian Neubert
© Brian Neubert
As we drive the thick sand tracks through Maputo Special Reserve, we spot plenty of wildlife en route. Various antelope species, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, hyena and more live peacefully in the park. We see elephant walking in the distance and bird life is prolific. There’s an atmosphere of old Africa and life following the rhythms of the earth.
© Kim Steinberg
© Kim Steinberg
The reserve was proclaimed as far back as 1932, specifically to protect the coastal elephants. Then in 1969, the area was found to have numerous endemic plant species so in 2010 the reserve’s borders were further extended. Only in 2015 did the first luxury lodge– Anvil Bay at Chemucane – open in the reserve, making it a coveted and accessible destination for wilderness lovers who fly or drive in. So while Maputo Special Reserve was proclaimed for the fauna and flora, it’s also accessible for conservation-minded humans to enjoy.

Story by Keri Harvey

26 December 2016Communities and conservation

'There’s a big link between the health of communities and conservation,' explains Blue Ventures’ population, health and environment support officer, Urszula Stankiewicz.

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15 November 2016Restocking national parks as part of transfrontier conservation development

A further 573 animals have been translocated to Maputo Special Reserve and 310 to Zinave National Park.

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8 November 2016Wildlife thriving in Maputo Special Reserve, Mozambique

At the end of September, the Maputo Special Reserve/Tembe Elephant Park management committee conducted an aerial census to determine the status of the large herbivore species in Maputo Special Reserve

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23 May 2016A truly responsible tourist destination

Anvil Bay is a private and exclusive barefoot beach camp on a rare untouched stretch of coastal wilderness in Mozambique’s Maputo Special Reserve. The resort is owned by the local community and oper

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28 August 2015Community Development Facility making progress

Significant progress has been made in the Community Development Facility in the Mozambican component of the Lubombo TFCA.

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21 February 2014Opening of Maputo Special Reserve headquarters in the Lubombo TFCA

Marking a milestone in the development of Maputo Special Reserve, its headquarters were opened by the Mozambican Minister of Tourism, Mr Carvalho Muaria on Friday, 14 February 2014.The headquarters, f

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30 May 2013Maputo Special Reserve 2013 Translocation

The Mozambican government's translocation programme, a multi-year endeavour now in its third year of operation, recently saw the introduction of 78 wildebeest to Maputo Special Reserve. The plan is to

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15 August 2011Second translocation to Maputo Special Reserve

On Friday, 5 August 2011, 24 zebras from Ithala Game Reserve in South Africa, were successfully introduced to Maputo Special Reserve in Mozambique. The operation ended at about 7.00 pm.

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21 September 2010Development of Mozambique's Maputo Special Reserve

For the first time ever, wildlife was translocated from various game reserves in South Africa to Mozambique's Maputo Special Reserve between 14 and 16 September 2010. This, combined with a number of w

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