When neighbours take hands, good things can happen, as has been proved over and again when staff and management of the Kruger and Limpopo national parks work together. This collaborative...
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA), a joint transboundary conservation initiative between Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, presents itself with a unique opportunity to use tourism development as a vehicle to facilitate regional conservation based socio-economic development. As such, the GLTFCA has identified a range of cross-border tourism products that can be developed within the context of the transboundary initiative and in partnership with a range of key stakeholders. These products include transboundary wilderness trails, self-drive 4×4 trails, and the development of a cross-border tourism node within the Pafuri/Sengwe area that forms the heart of the GLTFCA.
Based on the success of last year’s pilot Wilderness Trail and Shangane Festival, the implementation of this exciting cross-border tourism product continued in 2014. As per the pilot trail in 2013, this year’s event (referred to as the Trans-Limpopo Walking Trail) was operated by Wilderness Safaris (who is a registered operator in both South Africa and Zimbabwe) and occurred from 5 – 8 September 2014. The trail will consisted of two groups of 6 people each (plus 2 guides per trail), and was operated from the Makuleke Area (in KNP, South Africa) into the Sengwe Area (in Zimbabwe). The trail was also linked to a one-day Shangane cultural event in the Sengwe Area on 6 September 2014, and result in the flow of tangible benefits between two community areas in the GLTP.
Based on the success of this trail, planning has already started to offer a wider range of cross-border tourism products in the Pafuri Area. These could include a similar walking trail linked a cultural festival, nature-based wilderness trails, and a mountain biking event. All of these will involve at least 2 or possibly 3 of the partner countries of the GLTFCA initiative. This in turn will ensure that local communities in all three countries receive tangible benefits from tourism development in the area.
Piet Theron| International Coordinator| Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area
Cellphone: + 27 82 468 6488
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org