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Plans for transfrontier park on schedule

9 June 2004

SKUKUZA - The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) and the plans for this year are still on schedule. This long-term project, that will unite the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, the Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Gonarezhou National Park, Manjinji Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area in Zimbabwe, is already more than just talk.

Although the day-to-day running of each park will remain the responsibility of each country, the GLTP will make conservation and perhaps even issues like law enforcement, much easier. On the South African side, the new Giriyondo Border Post is almost complete. The road to the post is still under construction and houses for the officials who will man it, are being constructed at Letaba. The road to the border is about 24km long and tourists can access it by turning eastwards 20km from Letaba at the Maloponyna Windmill off the HI-6 main road between Letaba and Mopani camps.

The Makhadzi day visitor`s site has been completed and is open to the public. It is on the road to the border post and can accommodate about 100 people at a time. It has been developed on a previous military base in order to leave as small a footprint as possible.

Although the Giriyondo will be completed in the near future, tourists will only be able to use the post to access Mozambique, once the border post on its side has been completed. The funds for this project were only recently received and the Limpopo National Park is busy with the tender process. It is expected that the post will be ready at the end of 2004. Many people would like to know how visa requirements and currency within the park will work. Giriyondo will be a normal border post, thus, visitors will need the same passport and visa as required when using the Lebombo Border Post to enter Mozambique. Currency will remain the same - in South Africa rand will be used, in Zimbabwe the Zim dollar and in Mozambique metichais.

Security is another issue that concerns visitors. On the South African border there are at least 10 patrols at any given time making sure that there are no poachers and illegal immigrants trying to cross the border through KNP. This will continue, with additional security at the Giriyondo. Other activities within the GLTP include the relocation of about 6 000 animals of various species, de-mining of certain areas in Mozambique and building of infrastructure such as roads, camps and day visitor facilities.

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