/Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, Rewilding

Wildlife Species Return To The Richtersveld

Not seen for many years - red hartebeest in the Richtersveld ©Pieter van Wyk

September saw the re-introduction of more wildlife to the South African component of the /Ai-/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. This year was an especially exciting one, as red hartebeest were returned to the Richtersveld for the first time in 179 years. The 21 red hartebeest were accompanied by six gemsbok and, in a first ever for the park, six zebra.

The programme by South African National Parks (SANParks) to re-introduce wildlife to the park was started in 2007, when 40 gemsbok and 80 springbok were brought in. Peace Parks Foundation this year contributed to the translocation costs. Said Peace Parks Foundation CEO, Werner Myburgh: “The /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is exemplary in the way it operates as a cross-border park. It has become a model for joint planning, operations, training and cross-border events and we are very pleased to be able to contribute to it functioning also as a tourist destination, thereby furthering its sustainability.”

©Pieter van Wyk

More wildlife in this unique arid and desert environment will enhance the experience of tourists visiting the area. It will also enrich the cultural heritage of the Nama community, who own the park, and lead to a diversified tourism economy. The area is attracting a new, high-quality, high-value, low-volume client base, broadened from the current self-drive 4×4 market.



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