Latest News30 September 2014
Pioneering Cross-Border Wilderness Trails in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park
Another successful cross-border wilderness trail, the Trans-Limpopo Walking Trail, was held in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park from 5 - 8 September this year. → read more…
Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park straddles the borders of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe and joins some of the most established wildlife areas in southern Africa into a huge conservation area of 37 572km² (± the size of the Netherlands). This forms the core of the second-phase transfrontier conservation area (TFCA), measuring almost 100 000km² - the world's greatest animal kingdom.
The larger transfrontier conservation area will include Banhine and Zinave national parks, the Massingir and Corumana areas and interlinking regions in Mozambique, as well as various privately and state-owned conservation areas in South Africa and Zimbabwe bordering on the transfrontier park.
The heads of state of the three partner countries signed a treaty establishing Great Limpopo on 9 December 2002. In 2006 the Giriyondo tourist access facility between the Limpopo and Kruger national parks was opened. Almost 5 000 animals were translocated from Kruger to Limpopo National Park. This, combined with 50 km of fencing being dropped, has encouraged more animals, including over 1 000 elephants and over 1 000 buffalo, to cross the border of their own accord. The harmonisation and integration of various policies to improve the cooperative management of the transfrontier park are under way. Processes such as standardising a fee and rate structure, introducing a joint operations protocol and the development of cross-border tourism products that will optimise Great Limpopo’s tourism development opportunities are also far advanced.
In 2013 the routing for the proposed Shingwedzi Cliffs Wilderness Trail was tested and a pilot cultural wilderness trail was undertaken in the Pafuri–Sengwe portion of the park. The latter cross-border adventure trail is a public-private community partnership, benefiting communities in both South Africa and Zimbabwe. A Shangaan festival was also held in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe in July. This is now an annual event aimed at increasing the collaboration between communities from the three partner countries.
A bilateral event to launch the tourism season was held by the tourism ministries of Mozambique and South Africa in October 2013. This included a ministerial function at the Giriyondo tourist access facility between the Limpopo and Kruger national parks and a live television broadcast from Mopani Camp in Kruger. The emphasis was on celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Great Limpopo treaty signing event and on introducing future joint tourism products and activities, such as the TFCA adventure trails, mountain-bike tours and 4x4 trails involving all the core areas in the park.
Peace Parks Foundation supported a joint buffalo-collaring exercise, combined with collaring cattle in the area, aimed at improving the knowledge and understanding of the human/livestock/ wildlife interaction as it relates to disease transfer in the Pafuri area of the transfrontier park.
To more effectively deal with the rhino poaching in Kruger National Park, a bilateral draft cooperation agreement between Mozambique and South Africa on rhino and elephant protection, the joint operations plan and the joint operations cross-border protocol were implemented towards the end of the year. Read more about the efforts to combat wildlife crime in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
Mozambique proclaimed Limpopo National Park on 27 November 2001 and requested Peace Parks Foundation's assistance in overseeing its development as a SADC-approved project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through KfW, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the World Bank. In 2001 a project implementation unit was set up to develop this million-hectare park.