Tourism development in Mozambique is waking up: From October 2017, White Pearl Resorts will be offering game drives into the adjacent Maputo Special Reserve, one of the most scenic conservation areas in Africa. For the first time, travellers looking for a one-of-a-kind luxury African eco-experience can combine a Mozambican tropical beach and diving holiday with an exciting bush safari all in the same place and make the most out of their precious holiday time.
Located just 100km south of Maputo, Maputo Special Reserve is one of 36 biodiversity hotspots identified worldwide. Covering a total area of 1 040 km², it has numerous freshwater inland lakes, coastal dunes, closed canopy forests and large open plains. As part of ongoing efforts to develop the area for tourism, more than 8,000 animals have been translocated to the reserve since 2010 in a multi-year endeavor supported by the governments of Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa and various organisations.
Cordelia Masher, Managing Director at White Pearl Resorts comments:
“By adding more animals to the Maputo Special Reserve this year, it will completely transform this conservation area into a sought after wildlife destination. On the exhilarating game drives, guests can expect to see incredible bird life, and a variety of large herbivore animals such as waterbuck, zebra, kudu, nyala, wildebeest, impala, giraffe and warthog as well as hippo, elephant and crocodile.”
To commemorate the strides made in the development of the Special Reserve, as well as celebrate World Tourism Day, White Pearl Resorts recently held an event in collaboration with other key stakeholders, including ANAC (National Administration of Conservation Areas), the Directorate of Education, The Ministry of Tourism & Culture, the Instituto Nacional do Turismo (INATUR), and the Interim Director for REM (Maputo Special Reserve).
On 29 September 2017, a group of 30 learners from various Maputo schools were led on an excursion to the Maputo Special Reserve (REM). The students were accompanied by two INATUR technicians, a teacher from each school, as well as several members of the press. The morning began with a short briefing and a game drive through the reserve. This was led by White Pearl's Activities Manager, Lorenco, who imparted his extensive knowledge of the local environment to his young charges, some of whom had never seen any of the animals before in their lives. The ultimate goal of the event was to teach the younger generation to value the natural, but threatened, environment as a precious and irreplaceable resource, and to encourage them to fight to preserve this and life-giving asset that benefits Mozambican people emotionally, physically and financially. The game drive was followed by talks given by various members of the aforementioned organizations, as well as a Q&A after lunch.
Following the developments at the Reserve, White Pearl has added two welcome new members to their team - in-house Rangers Nicole Panos and Jason Coetzee - as well as having procured a new game-viewer to lead the excursions.
“This event was great opportunity for our new rangers to experience the passion and commitment that the vested local and international bodies are showing towards the conservation of the area, and a wonderful introduction to their taking up the mantle as representatives in the field for White Pearl Resorts," comments White Pearl Resorts’ General Manager, Rachel Buchner.
With the recent availability of 30-day tourist visas on entry and improved infrastructure, the Maputo Special Reserve and its contiguous coastline, Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve, are set to become major tourist destinations in Southeast Africa. The imminent opening of a major new tarred road will cut travel time from the capital, Maputo, to the coast to just 45 minutes - making White Pearl Resort the most accessible luxury beach resort in Mozambique and an ideal choice for time-pressed travellers.