The perilous 1,000-mile journey to save Africa’s endangered black rhinos
28 Oct 2022
To counter rhino poaching, there has been increased collaboration at a park management level between Limpopo National Park (LNP) in Mozambique and the Kruger National Park in South Africa, as part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park initiative.
Numerous bilateral meetings between senior officials from the two parks, focusing on a number of strategic anti-poaching interventions, were held this year. The interventions include the implementation of a joint training programme, improved cross-border collaboration and joint operations, and a joint communications strategy.
At an operational level, Operation Capricorn commenced during the past year and focuses on strategic operations along the Limpopo and Kruger national parks’ border region. In addition to day-to-day communications, regular border site meetings are held between the respective park operational units, with a focus on intelligence sharing, joint strategic deployment of patrols and waylay operations. The Kruger unit has been offering significant operational support through water supply and transportation support.
The cooperation will be further enhanced in the new year once the LNP’s new digital radio network upgrade is completed, thereby enabling joint cross-border radio communications.
Approval has also been received from South African border authorities for LNP patrols to be deployed, with the appropriate monitoring and control measures, along the Kruger National Park boundary road. This enables easier and faster patrol deployment along the border without the need to transit through villages, which often compromises operations.
As a result of the transfrontier collaboration and joint operations, incursions along the border have dropped significantly.
Story by Piet Theron, Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park international coordinator, Antony Alexander, Limpopo National Park project manager and Billy Swanepoel, wildlife and protection technical adviser for LNP.