Destinations

Gorongosa is opening to the MI sector

In the heart of Mozambique lies one of Africa's natural wonders, a place where visitors can gaze upon some dramatic landscapes and wildlife scenes while contributing to support the survival of endangered species.

Gorongosa National Park, a symbol of this Portuguese speaking African nation, and often referred to as the “Serengeti of the South”, is a hotspot for wildlife that one normally only sees in TV shows. Majestic lions walk around undisturbed by countless safaris that happen throughout the year. Big groups of elephants pack around watering holes, and the famous floodplains are teeming with waterbucks. Scary crocodiles swim around natural pools, waiting for some unsuspecting animal to venture too close to the water. The park is also home to around 440 hippos, countless birds and a rare zebra species.

All these beings coexist in peace, in a spectacular setting. The Great Rift has its south end in Gorongosa and, before breaking the African Continent in two, it created a fertile and green land. Just at the tip of this 30 million year old geological formation stands Lake Urema, where several rivers run up to, like the slow but constant Vunduzi, descending from Mount Gorongosa. 20% of the park is made up of wide grasslands, where the wildlife gets on with its everyday business, which might include, of course, becoming lunch for big predators.

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With all these attractions, no wonder visitors are flocking to the park. Vasco Galante, press officer at Gorongosa, told Event Point International that there is an “increasing interest from tourists all over the world, either for individual trips or corporate ones”.

The park is in its early stages of investing in the Meetings Industry sector, namely for incentives. “The park has already received conferences, workshops, seminars and meetings”, said the same source. These events are coming from the “scientific, business and learning sectors”, according to Vasco Galante Lodging and conference rooms

The park has its own villas and bungalows, that boast of conference rooms. So, for a different meeting, Gorongosa can host some small gatherings, with a luxury safari vibe. Montebelo Gorongosa Lodge and Safari are the place to stay in the park and get some work done between adventures.

Bookings for the end of the year were already confirmed, even though logistics is not easy at the park, especially due to bad road conditions. But for those willing to brace these difficulties, Gorongosa will be an unforgettable setting, in one of Montebelo’s villas and rooms. Activities include jeep safaris and the park is also upgrading its ecotourism offer. Just take into account that the park is closed between December and March and that in the first weeks not all roads may be available for visitors.

Gorongosa was first created in 1920, as a hunting reserve, by a private company that explored the area. In 1935 the original area was expanded, to protect some species, including rhinos. In the 40s lions started roaming around an abandoned building in the park, still known as house of the lions. In 1951 the Chitengo camp was built as headquarters of Gorongosa and to receive tourists. In 1960, it was finally turned into a national park and by that time its size was already 5,300 square km. Gorongosa suffered greatly during the civil wars that followed the independence of Mozambique, with heavy fighting taking place in the park until 1992. After that, poachers helped in reducing wildlife by 90%. The park was rebuilt in the late nineties, with the help of international institutions. Gradually, species were reintroduced in the park and today they roam again freely.

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Mozambique, an undiscovered gem

The MI sector has been growing steadily in Mozambique, along with traditional tourism, due to the country's unique features. It is still undiscovered by most of the world, except in the Portuguese speaking universe. It´s an African gem, with lush forests, open grasslands and white sand beaches, bathed by the Indian Ocean. Its capital, Maputo, is already making rounds in the congress sector, benefiting from new hotels and infrastructure, as well as a relative sense of security.

Alexandra Noronha


© Jeff Trollip
© Bob Poole
© Clive Dreyer

Tags: Mozambique, Gorongosa, Events, Incentives

18-02-2019