Name: GREAT LIMPOPO TRANSFRONTIER PARK
Countries: Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Surface: 35 000km²
IUCN category: II
Year of formal TB agreement: 2002
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) links the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, Kruger National Park in South Africa, Gonarezhou National Park (NP), Manjinji Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area in Zimbabwe, as well as two areas between Kruger and
Gonarezhou, namely the Sengwe communal land in Zimbabwe and the Makuleke region in South Africa into one huge conservation area of 35,000 km². The GLTP brings together some of the best and most established wildlife areas in southern Africa. The park is managed as an integrated unit across three national borders by the trilateral Ministerial Committee consisting of the relevant Ministers, Joint Management Board consisting of the senior officials, and management Sub-Committees consisting of the relevant specialists.
The establishment of the GLTP is the first phase in the establishment of a bigger transfrontier conservation area measuring almost 100,000 km² which aims to include Banhine and Zinave NPs, the Massingir and Corumana areas and interlinking regions in Mozambique, and various privately and state-owned conservation areas in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The GLTP comprises a vast area of the lowland savannah ecosystem which is bisected by the Lebombo Mountains running along the border between South Africa and Mozambique. Five major river systems cross this ecoregion in a generally west-east flow. The four
main landscapes include lowland plains savannah in the majority of the area, a somewhat hilly granite plateau in the western portions, the Lebombo Mountains that rise to an average of only 500 m above sea level, and floodplains. Transfrontier conservation areas have the potential to foster regional socio-economic development through the development of transboundary tourism products. Based on the broad open plains and abundant wildlife associated with its bushveld area, four clusters of products are proposed for the GLTP: a trails concession between Mozambique and Zimbabwe at the Save River confluence, a 4×4 trails concession between the Kruger
and Limpopo NPs, an adventure trails concession consisting of foot safaris and a canoe trail, and a selfguided eco-trail. Plans are ahead to implement a pilot trails concession between South Africa and Mozambique, the Shingwedzi Cliff trail. In addition, there has been the development of the Giriyondo tourist access facility linking Kruger and Limpopo NPs in South Africa and Mozambique, the translocation of wildlife from Kruger to Limpopo NP in Mozambique (4,885 in total), development of the GLTP integrated development plan, and others.
Management challenges that GLTP faces comprise: recent and current political dynamics limiting full participation of all three countries, local communities living within and adjacent to components of the GLTP, differences in capacity to participate equally in joint processes, and the current onslaught on rhino compromising the security of the area.
Kevan Zunckel, TBC SG South and East Africa Coordinator, Zunckel Ecological and Environmental Services, email@example.com.