Challenges and opportunities in developing tourism to support the restoration of the Gorongosa National Park Mozambique By Mateus Mutemba

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1 Challenges and opportunities in developing tourism to support the restoration of the Gorongosa National Park Mozambique By Mateus Mutemba

2 Gorongosa National Park 4000 km 2 at the terminus of the Great Rift

3 1920 Cotton farm Hunting reserve 1960 proclamation as a National Park 1974 Liberation from colonial rule Destabilization war European Union funded recover y intervention Milestones in Gorongosa s history African Bank funded recovery initiative 2004 Involvement of the Gregory C. Carr foundation and signing of the Long term Agreement (LTA) between the Gorongosa Restoration Project and the Mocambican Government 2010 Proclamation of Gorongosa Mountain as part of the National Park

4 Species 1972 estimate 2000 estimate Loss estimate 2012 estimate as % of historical level Buffalo <100 >99% >400 <3% Elephant <200 >92% >400 <20% Hippo <100 >97% >200 <10% Waterbuck <300 >91% >6000 >100% Zebra <20 >99% <20 <1% Blue wildebeest <20 >99% >400 <7% Sable antelope 700 <100 >86% >500 >70% Lichtenstein s hartebeest 800 <100 >88% >300 >40% From one of the greatest densities of wildlife anywhere in Africa to utter devastation to sustained recovery

5 The Park still faces many threats: High levels of poverty in the surrounding communities Strong reliance on natural resources Slash-and-burn for opening agricultural fields Illegal logging Poaching Illegal commercial fishing Pollution from illegal alluvial gold mining Strategic decision to make tourism one of the supporting pillars for the Park s future, based on the following considerations: The historical attraction of the Park for wildlife viewing Intact habitats that have the potential to once again support large wildlife numbers Already significant wildlife numbers and experience especially in the heart of the Park Other natural attractions (waterfalls, limestone gorges, birding,.) Strongly growing Mocambican economy Popular Bush-and-Beach connection Potential to create jobs and alternative sources of income for local communities Tourism development to support the sustainable recovery of the Park and achieve human development

6 Long Term Agreement between the Gorongosa Restoration Project and the Mocambican Government (until 2028) Relatively assured budget for this period Political support Technical competencies Conceptual belief that the dual aims of Human Development and Biodiversity Conservation are not mutually exclusive A unique framework

7 Relatively Greenfields environment despite past tourism history Reluctance by Investors to commit to a new area Past tourism history and practices can limit creative thinking about new modern approaches Need to balance public access to Mocambicans own heritage and need to ensure privacy/exclusivity for higher financial returns Limited good wildlife product at the moment which means that all visitors / operators want to use the same part of the Park Seasonal product (Park closure and flooding over December-March) Challenges in getting tourism of the ground

8 Restoration of old restcamp and outsourcing to private tourism company (mid-market, including camping) Peripheral development of another mid-market facility (including camping and self-catering) More exclusive private operations deeper in the Park (negotiations underway) Mix of exclusive areas for new Operators (outside core) and use of common road network within the core. Flexibility from Park Management (defining a framework within which tourism development can take place, rather than trying to be prescriptive on specifics) Taking the long view (looking for the right Operators rather than settling for any proposal (this is possible because of the Long Term Agreement)) Building on success (secure the core and the first new operations, before expanding across the Park) Using conservative projections the tourism revenue can support much of the Park s core conservation expenditure Tourism development planning in practice

9 Use of media To build a strong national constituency with Mocambicans taking pride and interest in their natural heritage Raising awareness in surrounding communities To interest young people from surrounding communities to pursue a career in conservation Building a strong international constituency for funding purposes and making people interested to come to Gorongosa as tourists Popularising the results of research and biodiversity inventories to create more support and interest Use of media to support tourism development

10 Gorongosa Media Project

11

12 Making strong use of social media 65% of adults use social media 43% of people under 25 get their news from social media 1 in every 7 minutes spent online is spent on Facebook 91% of social media marketers see improved web traffic due to social media campaigns

13 Number of park visitors Restoration of the Chitengo Rest Camp What has been achieved so far?

14 Community Education Centre Explore Gorongosa Tented camp What has been achieved so far?

15 Thank You!

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