Giraffes reintroduced into Angola’s Iona National Park

Posted on 10 July 2023 By David Henning

In a remarkable initiative to reintroduce giraffes to Iona National Park, African Parks, the Government of Angola, and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation have collaborated to reintroduce them to their historical habitat.

Fourteen giraffes, carefully selected and transported from a private game farm in central Namibia, have successfully made the arduous journey, marking the first step in securing a thriving giraffe population within the park.

The momentous translocation will play a pivotal role in revitalizing Iona National Park’s ecosystem functions and reestablishing essential ecological processes. Giraffes, through their selective feeding habits and browsing activities, significantly contribute to shaping the vegetation and dispersing seeds, ensuring the region’s ecological balance is restored.

‘The reintroduction of giraffes to Iona National Park represents a significant milestone in Angola’s conservation journey,’ Abias Huongo, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Environment, said. ‘It showcases our dedication to safeguarding our country’s natural treasures and fostering a future where both wildlife and people can thrive harmoniously.’


The translocation operation, meticulously planned by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation following a comprehensive feasibility study, evaluated various factors such as population dynamics, habitat suitability, community perceptions, and financial feasibility.

The positive outcomes and the collective commitment of all stakeholders paved the way for this momentous undertaking. To ensure the successful integration of giraffes into Iona National Park, African Parks conducted surveys among the local communities, revealing a high level of support and anticipation for the presence of giraffes and the potential tourism opportunities they bring.

Iona National Park in Angola

Stephanie Fennessy, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation hailed this collaborative effort as an extraordinary achievement for giraffe conservation in Angola.

‘By reintroducing giraffes to their historical range, we not only secure their long-term survival but also restore the ecological balance and preserve the region’s unique biodiversity,’ Stephanie Fennessy, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation said.

While giraffe populations have faced decline in recent decades due to habitat loss, poaching, and other human-induced factors, focused conservation efforts have shown promising results, leading to population rebounds. Preserving and protecting giraffes is not only crucial for their survival but also paramount for maintaining the equilibrium and functionality of Africa’s ecosystems.

The successful translocation of Angolan giraffes to Iona National Park serves as a testament to the significance of cross-border conservation initiatives in safeguarding Africa’s exceptional biodiversity.

Pictures: African Parks

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