Niassa National Park in Mozambique is one of the most remote places on earth and is often referred to as one of the world’s “last wild places.” This makes it an important location for the conservation work that is done by Keith and Colleen Begg and the rest of their team at Niassa Lion Project (NLP).
The remoteness of Niassa is part of the reason that remains an important habitat for wildlife, but that remoteness also makes it very difficult to live and work in the area. The reserve is about the size of Switzerland and is not easy to get to. From Pemba, a city on the east coast of Mozambique, either a plane of a nine-hour drive in a Land Rover is required to reach the Reserve.
Recently, two generous donors provided the support needed for NLP to purchase a Husky A-1 (ZS-MYK) plane. This is an extraordinary resource for the team, as it will help further lion monitoring and anti-poaching efforts in the Reserve. The recently acquired plane will hopefully boost current efforts to monitor lions from the ground by adding an aerial component. Having such a powerful tool will increase the reach of the team’s work, as it will provide a bird’s eye view of the massive territory that NLP works to protect.
The plane’s runway and hangar are ready to use, and team member Keith is working on gaining his private pilot’s license. The plane was recently X-rayed and not a single fault was found. “This plane is going to make a huge difference to anti-poaching and lion tracking efforts in the field,” says Colleen.
NLP’s monitoring and anti-poaching work will contribute to maintaining and increasing lion and other large carnivore populations, and ultimately improve the overall health of wild Niassa.