SGDRN recognised that photographic and hunting tourism were the major potential sources of revenue for the Reserve. During the 10 years under SGDRN management, sustainable sport hunting was developed quite significantly, whilst photographic tourism took longer but is now gradually increasing in pace. Enhancing the opportunities for these activities was seen critical to improving and increasing the financial capacity for the Reserve’s management as well as maximising the economic benefits for local communities.
In this regard, SGDRN launched three competitive tenders for tourism concessions, all of which were audited by an independent international audit firm. This resulted in 11 of the 14 commercial management units being awarded on long term contracts. The annual fees from these contracts generate approximately 30% of the minimum estimated operational budget for the Niassa Reserve and has attracted approximately US$12 million in tourism infrastructure investment