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Where the Wild Things Really Are in Mozambique

By Lucia Van Der Post - 10th April 2010

Mozambique - Gorongosa - buffalo.jpg

Mozambiques Gorongosa was once one of Africa's most magnificent wildlife parks. Its 4,000 square kilometres lie at the end of the Great Rift Valley and in its heyday it was dubbed "the place where Noah parked his ark". Once it had more predators than South Africa's Kruger. National Park, more plains animals than Serengeti, more elephant and buffalo than Botswana. I still remember the late Dr Enos Mabuza, a distinguished South African conservationist, talking of Gorongosa in the old hunting days when it was so stuffed with game that hunters were able to shut their eyes, shoot three times and be sure of hitting at least two plains game. It was an image so vivid, that conjured up such a Garden of Eden plenitude, that it has remained in my mind ever since. Today, much of the game has been decimated - shot for the pot or traded during the desperate years of civil war. So Gorongosa isn't a pristine wilderness. It was badly battered during the war, poaching is still a problem but - and here is why it's now worth visiting - it's being brought back to life. Greg Carr and his Mozambican partners have drafted in experts of every sort, and animals of every kind are being translocated to up the numbers and refresh the gene pool (hippo, buffalo, elephant, blue wildebeest).

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