Kgalagadi has led the pack in achieving functionality in terms of ecosystem integrity. The park conserves one of the world’s most abundant semi-arid biomes. Arid regions are very sensitive and increasing desertification has led to a global recognition of the importance of plants and animals which are adapted to withstand desert conditions. This area is a very valuable storehouse of plants and animals adapted to withstand harsh environmental extremes.
The vastness of the Park allows the nomadic ungulate populations and their predators to stay in balance with their environment, which means there is little need for extensive management intervention.
We assisted the Park in succesfully realising the free movement of tourists – with the Twee Rivieren (Two Rivers) joint access facility having removed the last vestiges of two separate national parks, and tourists now enter at a single facility to visit the entire park spanning the border between Botswana and South Africa, while the MataMata tourist access facility allows access via Namibia.
Kgalagadi has shaped and is implementing an efficient revenue sharing model. However a considerable amount of work is still required to unlock the economic value on the Botswana side. In this regard we continue to support the Transfrontier Park with strategic planning for joint nature-based tourism development.
!Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park
The historic !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park land settlement agreement with the government of South Africa saw six farms (totalling around 35 000ha) to the south of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and nearly 60 000ha of land within the park, restored to the ‡Khomani San and Mier communities in 2002. The Heritage Park aims to preserve the cultural and traditional knowledge of the indigenous ‡Khomani San and Mier communities, while improving their opportunities to earn a sustainable livelihood.