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Safari Awards 2011 Press Release
Explore Gorongosa Scoops Two Awards at the 2011 Safari Awards Ceremony

Moyo’s restaurant on the beach front at Durban, was a fitting location to host representatives across the Safari industry to recognise the 2011 Safari Awards finalists and winners, across 21 categories. This event acted as a perfect precursor to what would be an energised 4 days of engagement and interactions at the 2011 annual Indaba Travel and Tourism Trade show.

In just the 3rd year of operation, Explore Gorongosa was named as the 2011 Safari Award winner in two categories: the Best New Safari Camp in Africa (Explorers Camp) and the Best Ecological Safari Property in Africa.

Explore Gorongosa's 2011 Safari Awards

Situated in the world-renowned Gorongosa National Park, an undiscovered gem of the African safari circuit, Explore Gorongosa, is the first private ecotourism initiative in the history of the Park. The Explore Gorongosa luxury safari experiences are led by expert guides through some of the most scenic and wildlife rich areas of Mozambique, while at the same time founded in the principle of ‘touching lightly on the Earth’.

The greater Gorongosa region is ecologically unique, situated at the southern most end of the Great African Rift Valley; as a result it is a region with high species diversity and environmental features found nowhere else in the sub-continent. The key to continued biodiversity and habitat preservation on the planet is to protect areas of ecological importance, such as the Gorongosa National Park and the surrounding water catchments, such as is found on nearby Mount Gorongosa.

This is truly an emotional story of hope, with The Gorongosa Restoration Project, a not-for-profit organization, teaming up with the Government of Mozambique to protect and restore the ecosystem of Gorongosa National Park and to develop an ecotourism industry to benefit local communities. With a signed 20-year contract in place with the Government to co-manage the Park and the great progress being made in establishing tourism operators, such as Explore Gorongosa as essential partners, the journey to restore “Africa’s Lost Eden” has begun in earnest.

Rob Janisch (EG), Greg Reis (EG), Fernando Sumbana Junior (Minister of Tourism for Mozambique), Fernando Fazenda (Mozambique High Commissioner to South Africa), Jocelyn Janisch (EG)

“We are so proud and delighted to have won these two awards. To be recognised as the Best New Safari camp in Africa, is testimony to our philosophy, that we have been successful in re-invigorating the original meaning of the word “safari”, by replacing commerciality with passion and oneness with the land, wildlife and people, for our guests. On top of this, winning the Best Ecological Property in Africa is actually the highlight for us, because at the beating heart of Explore Gorongosa and immersed in all the details of our product, is an obsession for sustainability and sound eco principles.  Of course, like everything in life success is created by those around you, so thanks go to everyone who made this possible: the government of Mozambique, the judges, the sponsors, our guests, our travel partners, our staff on the ground, Greg Carr, Mateus, Todd, Vasco, Carlos, Franziska and the rest of the GNP team, and to Gorongosa itself, we will continue to do you proud!”, says Greg Reis, co-founder of the Explore Gorongosa safari experience in Mozambique.

“With over three thousand safari lodges, camps and mobile safari operators in Africa there is a need to differentiate between those that provide an average or bad safari experience and the few who exceed expectations. The key measure is the end to end 'safari experience'. The purpose of The Safari Awards is to recognise excellence amongst the very best safari lodges and operators in Africa. Since their inception in 2008 the Safari Awards have gone from strength to strength, and are now regarded as an industry gold standard. In 2011 the number of award categories has grown to 21.  With nominations from over a thousand luxury travel professionals, hundreds of readers of Conde Nast Traveller, Tatler, Brides and Travel Africa Magazine you can rest assured that any safari business nominated for a Safari Award is amongst the best in its genre. Finalists are amongst the top 3% in Africa and the Safari Award Winners are unquestionably the best, their reputation earned through excellence. With Mozambiquan based Safari properties scooping 4 awards, a runner up and a host of finalists in 2011, there is no doubt Mozambique is fast becoming a destination of 1st choice”, says Rosanne Cobb, Founder and Executive Editor of the Good Safari Guide.

So it seems fitting that in the context of the holistic Gorongosa restoration project to reinvigorate the wildlife and incorporate the surrounding communities in a sustainable model for the Park, that Explore Gorongosa’s recent accolades, is proof that this story of hope has many more chapters to fill. 

Todd Hasselbeck (GNP), Greg Reis (EG), Vasco Galante (GNP)


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