Opening borders to ease cross-border tourism

12 October 2007


12 OCTOBER 2007


Presidents Festus Mogae of Botswana, Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa today officially opened the Mata-Mata Tourist Access Facility between South Africa and Namibia within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (TFP). On this day seven years and five months ago the Presidents of Botswana and South Africa opened the Kgalagadi TFP, Africa's first Transfrontier Park.

Mata-Mata will enable tourists to travel between the three countries via shorter routes and through efficient and convenient access/ border control facilities. It will also see the region benefiting from the 2010 FIFA World Cup and foster regional socio-economic development, because South Africa made a commitment that the world cup will be an African event. Southern Africa's Transfrontier Conservation areas are well positioned as the premiere international destination to ensure their profitability and sustainability during 2010 and beyond.

Kgalagadi TFP incorporates the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana and the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa. It is a popular tourist destination because of its 4 x 4 wilderness trails.

Mata-Mata is the second tourist access facility to be opened to ease access/tourist movement in a transfrontier park in southern Africa, after Giriyondo which links Mozambique and South Africa, within the Great Limpopo TFP. The next Tourist Access facility, Sendelingsdrift, will be opened on 16 October between Namibia and South Africa in the /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld TFP.

The opening of Mata-Mata and Sendelingsdrift Tourist Access Facilities are key to the strategy for desert tourism which explores the natural linkage between Kgalagadi and /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier parks, South Africa's Augrabies Falls National Park and the soon to be declared Sperregebiet National Park in Namibia.

The development of Mata-Mata and Sendelingsdrift Tourist Access Facilities has also been exemplary of successful partnerships between governments and the private sector.

For more information please contact:

Tiro Kganela
Principal Public Relations Officer - Botswana
+267 391 4955 / 267 72641228

Linda Baker
Communications Officer - Namibia
+264 61 28 42 504

Mava Scott
Acting Chief Director Communications - South Africa
+27 012 310 3379 / + 27 082 411 9821


(Kindly note that usage of Mata-Mata requires a stay of two nights in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. This regulation will be strictly enforced and no commercial traffic will be allowed.

Tourists from Namibia may make use of Mata-Mata as day visitors to or to stay in Kgalagadi without checking in with the border officials at Twee Rivieren as long as they return to Namibia. Should they, however wish to leave the park to go to Botswana or South Africa, they would need to go through passport control at Twee Rivieren.

As Kgalagadi has a high occupancy rate, visitors are advised to make their bookings well in advance.


Summer and winter 8:00 — 16:30

For more information, kindly contact +27 (0)54 561-2000

- Peace Parks Foundation)

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