Gorongosa National Park was once the crown jewel of Mozambique's national parks and one of the most fabled in Africa. But after 28 years of war, the park is now almost empty.
What can you do with 40 million dollars? Greg Carr believes he can rescue a corner of southern Africa. Carr is investing his own money in a project to restore a national park in Mozambique. The project is also meant to create an eco-tourism system to help sustain the park in the future. Anchor Lisa Mullins speaks to Carr about his plan.
Greg Carr — Gorongosa National Park (8:00)
In a watershed experiment, the Boston entrepreneur is putting $40 million of his own money into a splendid but ravaged park in Mozambique.
In the center of Mozambique, a country of blinding white beaches and sweeping savannas, velvety green wetlands and spirit-filled forests, an American philanthropist is working to restore a long-forgotten national park; the first step, he hopes, in lifting this beleaguered region out of poverty.
Gorongosa National Park was once among the top destinations in Africa, with a greater animal concentration than on the Serengeti Plain. But during Mozambique's long civil war, soldiers and other poachers killed the animals, planted landmines and destroyed the infrastructure. For years, this beautiful landscape was all but abandoned.
A main challenge of the Gorongosa project is convincing the people living around the park that cooperating will serve their interests. Poaching, deforestation and slash-and-burn agriculture still threaten the restoration efforts.
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Video produced by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Reporter: Stephanie Hanes
Videographer: Jeffrey Barbee
Editing: Alexandra Verville and Nathalie Applewhite
Map and war footage courtesy of the Congressional Research Services.
Produced by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Azimuth Media
An estimated 150,000 people live in and around Gorongosa National Park.
The U.S.-based Carr Foundation is working with the Mozambican government to restore the park. The number of tourists visiting the park is increasing.
Stephen Sapienza, for the Pulitzer Center
What were some of the technical and logistical limitations concerned with filming in Gorongosa?
Gorongosa is still considered one of the top birding locations in southeast Africa.