Gorongosa History

0900-02-01 14:58:02

Bantu Settlers

Bantu-speaking people migrated from West Africa eastward to Lake Victoria and then south to the area now known as Mozambique.

1505-02-01 00:00:00

Portuguese Colonization

The Portuguese colonized the area and named the country after the Island of Mozambique, which was named after the Arab trader, Mussa Ben Mbiki, who lived on the island.

1858-02-01 01:02:24

Livingstone’s Zambezi Expedition

David Livingstone, a British explorer, traveled the lower Zambezi and Shire rivers in Mozambique to find a passable trade route and to document natural resources along the river.

1900-01-01 01:02:24

Chief Chitengo

Chief Chitengo is the ruling chief in one of the local communities of Gorongosa. Gorongosa’s headquarters still bears his name.

1907-02-01 00:00:00

Lourenço Marques

Lourenço Marques (now called Maputo) became the capital of Mozambique.

1920-02-01 00:00:00

Gorongosa Hunting Reserve

Gorongosa was first established as a 1,000 km sq hunting reserve by 'The Mozambique Company', a private business that managed the center of Mozambique for the Portuguese government.

1935-02-01 00:00:00

Reserve Expansion

The Gorongosa Reserve was enlarged to 3,200 sq km to protect habitat for Nyala and rhino.

1940-02-01 02:44:40

The Lion House

A new tourist camp was built on the floodplain near the Mussicadzi River but it was abandoned two years later because of heavy flooding in the rainy season. Lions took over the abandoned building and it became known as the Lion House. The building still stands and tourists can visit on their safari, overlooking the floodplains as Gorongosa's lions once did.

1951-02-01 12:20:26


In 1951 Chitengo camp was built as the new reserve headquarters and it featured a restaurant and bar.

1960-07-23 12:20:26

A National Park is Born

The government declared Gorongosa a national park while also adding another 2,100 sq km to the park, increasing its size to 5,300 sq km.

Gorongosa History

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