Seeking investors to develop airstrip in Mozambique
The Maputo Special Reserve is approximately 104 000-hectare prime protected area that borders the Indian Ocean. It offers tourists a varied experience of beaches, bays, coral reefs, sand forests, savannahs, lakes, rivers, and a host of wildlife including an estimated 450 elephants. Maputo Special Reserve also constitutes the Mozambique component of the Lubombo TFCA.
A new 18-bed eco-lodge is being developed at Ponta Chemucane within the Maputo Special Reserve in Mozambique. The USD 2.5-million eco-lodge is a joint venture between a local community association, A Hi Zameni Chemucane, and a private investor, the Bell Foundation Trust. The two entities have signed a 25-year partnership agreement to build and operate the lodge. This landmark agreement is the first of its kind in Mozambique in terms of granting a community long-term concession rights for a tourist area within one of the country’s leading national parks. All buildings are constructed of canvas, poles, timber decking and thatch with minimal disturbance to the sensitive coastal dune environment. Privacy and exclusivity are paramount; each guest unit has a private beach access and includes a private beach shelter. Units are widely spaced, approximately 50 metres apart, and are set into the dune forest vegetation close to the beach. The Chemucane eco-lodge is due to open in January 2015. The lodge is expected to create 60 full-time jobs and help spur local growth in an area that has few opportunities for formal employment. In addition, annual concession fees to be paid to the government will be used for park and longer-term conservation management.

Investment opportunity

The Chemucane eco-lodge is nearing completion and is scheduled to open in January 2015. The lodge is located in a remote site. The site can either be accessed by road, a 5-hour road trip from Maputo or by air, 20-minute flight. However, the airstrip is non-existent so the potential of using air transport as an alternative and convenient means of transportation remains untapped. The airstrip needs to be developed in order to improve accessibility to Chemucane eco-lodge and unlock the full potential of the new community owned-lodge

An investor is required to develop the Chemucane airstrip. The cost estimate of developing the field and hangar will be in the region of USD 120 000. The site has been identified outside the Chemucane concession but within the Maputo Special Reserve and provisional approval has been obtained from the Maputo Special Reserve management and the IACM. The airstrip will form part of the Maputo Special Reserve infrastructure and will not be for the sole use of the concession holders only.