The Government of Mozambique has contractually transferred official Coutada 5, a formally protected area, to Africa Futura Wildlife Restoration Lda for an extended period of time, for the conservation and sustainable use of the biodiversity resources found within the Coutada.

The Coutada system of official protected areas in the Republic of Mozambique has been established 50 years ago, with the sustainable utilization of the renewable natural resources of the Coutadas as the primary objective. There are currently 11 operational Coutadas in the country, of which Coutada 5 is the largest. In addition to the Coutadas, there are also a number of Transfrontier Protected Areas, National Parks and Reserves in Mozambique.

Coutada 5 stretches from the Indian Ocean for about 130 km along the northern bank of the Save River and is almost 687 000 ha or 6 870 km˛ in extent, thus making it one of the largest officially protected areas in the country, and indeed one of the biggest in southern Africa. The Coutada harbours an impressive number and variety of habitat types, ranging from extensive mangrove forests along the Indian Ocean coast to salt marshes, open ‘dambo’ or wetland systems, patches of miombo woodland, riverine forests and thickets, large expanses of open deciduous woodland, open mopane and other savannah areas, as well as numerous fresh water marshes and pans. The habitat of Coutada 5 is generally speaking in a very good, and even prime, condition, with anthropogenic disturbances very limited in extent.

During the collapse of civil order in the country as a result of the protracted civil war of the 1980’s to the early 1990’s, the wildlife resources of almost the whole of Mozambique were unsustainably utilized to the point of local extinction of most of the major herbivore and predator species. Coutada 5 unfortunately did not escape this wholesale destruction: only remnants of the erstwhile abundant wildlife remain, and virtually all the major predators and herbivores became locally extinct.

Since the different habitats remained largely unscathed, Africa Futura Wildlife Restoration accepted the challenge of rehabilitating this prime protected area, and plans to reintroduce as many as possible of the species, both herbivores and carnivores, that locally disappeared within the last twenty years or less.’