Gorongosa National Park

Described by ecologists as one of the most bio-diverse places in Africa, Gorongosa in central Mozambique has always gripped my imagination. I’ve heard remarkable stories of restoration emanating from this national park, which lost most of its wildlife to the civil war in the 1980s, and again after independence in the 1990s. Today, this 12 000 square kilometre protected area at the southern end of the Great Rift Valley is being returned to its former glory with the help of American philanthropist Greg Carr. I’ll be visiting at the end of the rainy season in April, when the rivers and floodplains are at their highest, so access may be tricky. But I don’t mind – I just want to get there, to see for myself the near-legendary Lake Urema, Mount Gorongosa and the extensive grasslands, and the attendant lions, elephants, huge crocodiles, and more than 350 bird species, as well as unique creatures like Crawshay’s zebra, green-headed oriole and pygmy chameleon.