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For the first time 4×4 enthusiasts have the opportunity to explore a national park and at the same time participate in a census that will have a meaningful impact on the knowledge base of the Park.
Dubbed Census on Safari, the inaugural event takes place in Mozambique’s Parque Nacional do Limpopo from Thursday 19 September until Tuesday 23 September 2008. An initiative of Transfrontier Trails do Limpopo who offer wilderness, hiking and 4×4 eco-trails in the Mozambiquan sector of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, and 4×4 MegaWorld, the event is planned as a high tech data collection exercise for Parque Nacional do Limpopo. Each night will be spent camping wild in the bush and participants will have to be totally self-sufficient.
What is needed to join this event is a sense of adventure, a fair knowledge of nature and to be well kitted with cameras, laptop, GPS, and if possible a satellite phone, as well as a 4×4 vehicle that allows for total self sufficiency. Participants will also be able to put their computer skills to the test by producing a twenty minute power point presentation of the data that they have collected.
Data collection will encompass plants, reptiles and amphibians, birds, mammals (animals, tracks, dung and skeletons), insects and spiders, fish (fresh water fish in river and pan systems). Fly fishing rods with flies and spinners may be used for fishing on a catch and release basis.
Participants will be required to capture all data on camera as well as recording GPS waypoints for each photograph, sample or object. GIS technology may be used to the extent that it can be downloaded for use in the power point presentation.
Census on Safari will also take the form of a competition and 4×4 MegaWorld is providing great prizes to the winners in various categories which will be awarded at a gala evening in November. Prizes will be awarded for: best individual power point presentation; best team’s power point presentations; best individual bush campsite and best equipped vehicle.
The event is limited to forty vehicles with two people per vehicle. Registration will take place in Parque Nacional do Limpopo at the first night’s campsite (S23 39 03.1 : E31 42 02.8) on 19 September 2008. Participants will be divided into eight teams of five vehicles and on the following morning teams will depart for their allocated zone within Parque Nacional do Limpopo. Park rangers will accompany the teams for the duration of the census and officials will roam between the teams to assist participants and evaluate progress.
“Response to the introduction of what will be an annual event has been extremely positive” says Johan Kriek of Transfrontier Trails do Limpopo.
Entry forms for the limited number of spaces still available on the event are available from MegaWorld stores countrywide. The cost of participating is R4000 per vehicle.
“Census on Safari provides a unique opportunity for 4×4 enthusiasts to make a meaningful impact by putting the equipment you always knew you would need one day’ to constructive use, gathering data that Parque Nacional do Limpopo requires for its database” says Deon Venter of MegaWorld.
Dr Llew Taylor, a Professional Natural Scientist, who has a registered project in Kruger National Park on the life-history and entomophagy (human insect utilization) of the speckled and anomalous emperor moths, the former very poorly known and the latter existing as the commonly known mopane worm in its juvenile stage, says “A trip like this into Parque Nacional do Limpopo will give me an excellent opportunity to observe aspects associated with the life-history of these insects in an area I do not normally have access to.”
Glynn O’Leary, Transfrontier Parks Destinations for Transfrontier Trails do Limpopo http://www.tfpd.co.za/
For more information contact:
Johan Kriek cell: +27 83 305 8083
Richard Giller cell: +27 83 320 0026
Glynn O’Leary cell: +27 82 565 6569 ; tel: +27 21 701 7860