First established as a hunting reserve in 1920, Gorongosa became a national park in July 1960 under Portuguese colonial rule. It quickly became a premiere destination not only for international tourists, mainly from Portugal, but also for celebrities including John Wayne, Joan Crawford and Gregory Peck. But, two years after Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975, the country was engulfed by a civil war. By the time the war ended in 1992, a million people were dead and several million more were maimed, traumatized and displaced. The web of life within Gorongosa’s park was likewise left in tatters.