In December 2017 we embarked on our first partnership with the Mozambique Government. This was a true milestone for our portfolio, which absorbed one of the great jewels along Africa’s coastline on the Indian Ocean – Bazaruto Archipelago – the first marine reserve to come under our management. Our shared vision is to see this exquisite coastal ecosystem revitalised as one of Africa’s leading and most productive marine protected areas and a thriving tourism destination.

Bazaruto is a remarkably productive 1,430 km2 seascape that is connected by a chain of five picturesque islands. These extremely fertile terrestrial and marine ecosystems harbour many rare and endemic bird, reptile and marine species, including over 2,000 fish species and iconic marine megafaunas such as whales, sharks, rays, dolphins and turtles. The flagship species, however, is the dugong as the park is a stronghold for the last viable population within the Western Indian Ocean.

Unfortunately, unregulated tourism activities and overuse of natural resources over the years not only impacted this incredible biodiversity but also threatened the livelihoods of local human populations, including the 5,000 people who live within the park on three of the islands. Over the last two years, however, the value of our management has begun to crystallise, and relationships that are forming with communities, tourism operators and government partners are helping to secure a more sustainable future for people and wildlife.

Bazaruto Highlights

  • Bazaruto is the first marine park to fall under our management, it spans 1,430 km2 of productive seascape that is connected by a chain of five islands.
  • The National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), which directs the management of Mozambique's national parks and reserves, and African Parks signed a 25-year agreement in 2017 to restore, develop, and manage Bazaruto Archipelago National Park.
  • The park contains a range of terrestrial and marine habitats which provide refuge for over 170 bird species, 48 reptile species, 21 species of terrestrial mammals, nine marine mammal species, 500 species of marine and coastal mollusks, and 2,000 fish species.
  • The Archipelago protects the last viable population of 250 dugongs in the Western Indian Ocean. The dugong is the only living representative of the once diverse family Dugongidae, as its closest modern relative, the Stellar’s sea cow was hunted to extinction in the 18th century.
  • Bazaruto recruited 34 new rangers, 17 of whom were women, who attended an eight-week basic field ranger training course and elementary first aid instruction in the last year. All rangers successfully graduated and were fully operational in the park by January 2019.  
  • When the catastrophic Cyclone Idai befell Mozambique in March 2019, Bazaruto delivered benefits far beyond its borders. We launched an emergency response in the immediate aftermath, bringing over 140 tonnes of food, 37 doctors, 1,500 kg of medical supplies and 2,200 kg of other essential items to more than 2,900 families left devastated by flooding.

Partners

In December 2017, African Parks signed a 25-year management agreement with Mozambique’s National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) to restore, develop and manage Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, and revitalize it to become one of the leading and most productive marine protected areas in eastern Africa.

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