The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park – home to more than 850 animal and 2 000 plant species – was one of the first formally established peace parks in southern Africa. This 35 000 km² park links the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, the Kruger National Park in South Africa, and the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe.
The Transfrontier Park also links the Sengwe communal land in Zimbabwe and the Makuleke region in South Africa, which lies between the Kruger and Gonarezhou parks.
The larger Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation area (TFCA), measuring almost 100 000 km², includes the 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 Great Limpopo TFCA is managed as an integrated unit across the three international borders. The conservation area is led by a joint management board and various joint management committees with representatives from all three countries that focus on matters such as harmonisation and integration of policies and joint operations protocols, protection, conservation management, tourism development, community benefits, communication and fundraising. An International Coordinator, whose appointment is funded by Peace Parks Foundation, drives the TFCA development process.
THE JOURNEY THUS FAR
Kruger National Park is proclaimed in South Africa
In Mozambique, the status of Banhine and Zinave are changed from hunting areas to National Parks.
Gonarezhou National Park is proclaimed in Zimbabwe
Dr Anton Rupert, then President of WWF South Africa, and Mozambique’s President Joaquim Chissano discuss joining protected areas across the two countries’ borders.
Following a feasibility study, the World Bank report recommends a shift towards a transfrontier conservation area (TFCA) approach.
Dr Anton Rupert and Mozambique’s President Joaquim Chissano meet again
At a first Transfrontier Park Initiative meeting in the Kruger National Park it is agreed that South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, should cooperate to realise the economic benefits of TFCAs.
1 FEBRUARY 1997
Peace Parks Foundation is established.
10 November 2000
The signing of the Skukuza agreement signalled the three nations' intent to establish and develop a transfrontier park and surrounding conservation area that, at that time, was called Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou.
Limpopo National Park is converted from a hunting concession to a protected area.
9 December 2002
The heads of state of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe sign an international treaty at Xai-Xai, Mozambique to establish the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
16 August 2006
The Giriyondo Access Facility is opened, allowing visitors to the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park cross-border access within the perimeters of the park for the first time.
Mozambique and South Africa sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on biodiversity conservation and management, with a view to addressing the scourge of rhino poaching in Great Limpopo.
22 September 2015
Peace Parks Foundation signs an agreement with Mozambique's National Administration for Conservation Areas to co-manage Zinave National Park.
22 February 2017
Mozambique's National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) and Licoturismo signed a memorandum of understanding to formally establish the Greater Libombos Conservancy (GLC) - the first privately owned area to be included as part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA).
Peace Parks Foundation signs an agreement with Mozambique's National Administration for Conservation Areas to collaborate on the joint management and development of Banhine National Park.
Peace Parks Foundation has supported the development of this TFCA since 1998.
Our support at TFCA level involves, amongst other things:
We source reliable funding and take care of the financial administration thereof so as to assist the TFCA in achieving its objectives.
We support the expansion of the TFCA through the successful facilitation of collaboration and formalisation of agreements. In 2017 the Greater Lubombos Conservancy in Mozambique on the eastern boundary of Kruger National Park, became the first privately owned area to be included as part of Great Limpopo, adding 2 400 km² to the TFCA.
The Foundation facilitates and funds the translocation of animals from Kruger National Park and other protected areas where effective conservation management has seen wildlife numbers bloom to surplus status, to other Parks in Great Limpopo that have been left devoid of wildlife following years of war and hunting. To date more than 7000 animals have been moved from South Africa, Mozambique and eSwathini, to Limpopo and Zinave National Parks. The reintroduction of wildlife also assists with the revitalisation of historic wildlife corridors and migrations routes across man-made borders.
We assist in the planning, development and implementation of ecological corridors or wildlife dispersal areas, specifically also between Gonarezhou, Zinave, Banhine and Limpopo National Parks.
The three Mozambican national parks, Limpopo, Banhine and Zinave, are part of the larger landscape and link various river systems that ensure ecological connectivity between these core conservation areas. Following the signing of the treaty by the Heads of State in 2002, the German Government committed support to help develop the Limpopo National Park on the Mozambique side, with PPF appointed as implementing agent. Since then, Peace Parks has entered into partnership agreements with the Mozambican government to support the management and development of all three national parks, collectively measuring over 2.2 million ha. This is critical in the attainment of conservation goals and targets in Mozambique.
Limpopo National Park
This 1 million ha park borders on Kruger National Park in South Africa and is bounded by both the Limpopo and Olifants rivers.
For the past five years the implementation of our Combatting Wildlife Crime programme has intensified efforts across Great Limpopo TFCA to bring poaching of specifically rhino (Rhino Protection Programme) and elephant under control. The programme also includes a focus on finding solutions to halt the escalation in wildlife poisoning, as well as to address the social dimension of poaching.
In April 2014 Mozambique and South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on biodiversity conservation and management, with a view to addressing the scourge of rhino poaching in Great Limpopo TFCA. A joint park management committee for Limpopo and Kruger national parks that was established in 2015 drives a joint wildlife-crime strategy to guide collaboration, and bilateral wildlife-crime meetings between the two park managers and field rangers are held regularly. Joint operations such as Capricorn have been very successful, often leading to arrests and the recovery of firearms and related poaching equipment.
Peace Parks Foundation is the largest donor in support of rhino protection to Kruger National Park, with more than R80 million provided towards equipment, training, technology development, capacity building, infrastructure, forensics, investigations, rhino management, as well as rhino orphan care and rehabilitation, since 2015. Similar support has been provided to Limpopo National Park, with various anti-poaching improvements made in Zinave and Banhine National Parks over the past two years.
We aim to promote and suppor the development of tourism as a regional socio-economic driver in the GLTFCA through increased land and air access, and the development of cross-border tourism products. In Great Limpopo a few successful cross-border products have been established, including the Pafuri walking trail and the Shangane Festival. A range of other cross-border adventure experiences such as wilderness routes and self-drive 4×4 trails are still to be developed. A key focus for us at the moment is the development of a cross-border tourism node in the Pafuri—Sengwe area, which forms the heart of the TFCA.
Sharing the benefits of Great Limpopo with those living in the surrounding area has been an important objective from the outset and a strategy for attaining this is taking shape. In 2015, the Great Limpopo joint management board commissioned the development of an integrated livelihoods diversification strategy. Various activities have been identified as outcomes of the strategy, which now need to be implemented.
We also put much effort in to youth education as they are after all the next generation of what we hope will be environmentally responsible adults. The Hlawula Vutomi cross-border youth development programme aims to create awareness, develop life skills and assist the youth in realising constructive choices for their future.
KfW supports Limpopo National Park, the establishment of wildlife corridors in the Kavango Zambezi TFCA, the Nyika-North Luangwa component of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA, and the Southern African Wildlife College through Peace Parks Foundation.
ANAC is the conservation authority in Mozambique. We partner closely with them to protect and develop Limpopo, Banhine and Zinave National Parks, and surrounding protected space as part of the Great Limpopo TFCA; as well as Maputo Special Reserve and Ponta do Ouro Partial…
The Van Zyl Family supports hospitality and tracker training at the SA College for Tourism, and provides funding for anti-poaching support in Limpopo National Park. They also supported the Southern African Wildlife College through Peace Parks Foundation.