The Great Limpopo Tranfrontier Park

The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is one of the largest national parks in the world and one of the few national parks that actually covers multiple countries. This was in hopes to create a protected migration path for a variety of the species found in this park. So lets learn a little bit more about this amazing park.

Rhino at the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park by Andre Van Rooyen
Rhino at the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park by Andre Van Rooyen

Primate Species:

The primate species found within the park are the chacma baboon, blue monkey, brown greater galago, vervet monkey, and the sykes monkey.

 

Park Description:

The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is a newly formed park that is part of the Peace Parks Foundation and is the combination of Kruger National Park in South Africa, Gonarezhou National Park, Manjinji Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area in Zimbabwe and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. It is the goal of conservationists to open ip the borders between these parks to allow the natural migration patterns of animals to become reestablished. The parks new borders will encompass over 100,000 squared kilometers making it one of the largest conservation areas in the world. Within the park there is flat savanna, the Lebombo mountain range and four river systems. There are also woodlands, shrubland, small sandy desserts, and riverine woodlands.

Photo by Andrew Ashton
Photo by Andrew Ashton

 

Economy:

These economies are coming together by opening up their large parks and tourists destinations to one another. Spenceley 2006 stated: “Despite being formally agreed on in 2001, the GLTP is still in the early stages of development. South Africa has a well-developed tourism industry and infrastructure within the park; Mozambique has minimal infrastructure and is at the planning stages for tourism; and Zimbabwe’s investment has been heavily constrained by a lack of funding ensuing from political unrest and land instability.”

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe’s economy has grown 9% in 2012 despite political uncertainty, according to the CIA factbook. The GDP is stated as being $7.4 billion but this is inaccurate since the Zimbabwean dollar was taken out of circulation in 2009. This country’s main export is mining. They mostly export coal, gold, platinum, and copper. They also export steel and wood products. Despite having a growing economy 68% of the country’s population still lives below the poverty line.

Mozambique: Despite that it’s economy was one of the worst in the world when Mozambique declared it’s independence, it has since make a large number of macroeconomic changes that have boosted it’s economy and created a much more stable socioeconomic situation. Although there have been recent riots over price increases as the economy is mostly controlled by the government. The GDP is $26.69 billion and Mozambique’s unemployment is about 17%. Their main exports are cotton, cashews, tea, soaps, paints, and aluminum.

South Africa: South Africa has a large supply of natural resources, and despite large political changes in the recent years it still has a fairly stable economy with an emerging market and the 15th largest stock exchange in the world. Since the GDP’s 2% fall in 2009 the economy has recovered. Despite unemployment, poverty and social inequality the economy is still growing with a GDP of $592 billion, although the country has an almost 25% unemployment rate.

Baboons in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park by Charles Peterson
Baboons in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park by Charles Peterson

 

Conservation Actions:

There are several ongoing conservation projects happening within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. One that greatly impacts the community is the Great Limpopo’s Safety and Security Management Committee’s project to train all field rangers from the various parks who have come together in similar methods. This will help to create a uniform response to poachers or other illegal activities that may happen within the borders of the park.

IUCN calls the park an ‘ecosystem’ approach where instead of targeting a small area or a specific species, these countries are coming together to protect an entire ecosystems and landscapes.

 

Ecotourism:

The park is geared towards attracting tourism, with its many trails for hiking, fishing, canoeing, and wilderness. There are guided safaris available and even places for tourists to stay. The park is attempting to gain international recognition by linking the borders of three different countries to create a gateway for animals to migrate and survive naturally.

According to Spenceley 2006 there is an estimated 6,000 tourists per country to visit Limpopo annually, which is estimated to bring in $3.5639 billion. Tourism in these countries generates $US2.45 billion each year, and about 80% of these tourists are nature, or ecotourists. There is a large draw of photographic tourists, cultural tourists, and safari hunters, as controlled trophy hunting is allowed.

 

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