Zimbabwe and SA link national parks

18 October 2005

Border to open between Gonarezhou and Kruger National Park

THE world's biggest wildlife sanctuary, the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, got a boost when Zimbabwe decided to build a border post to facilitate passage between Gonarezhou National Park and the Kruger National Park.

Chief immigration officer Elasto Mugwadi said Zimbabwe had finally chosen a site in Chitulipasi, east of Beitbridge, to construct a border post.

"A team from the local government, public works and Urban Development Ministry are surveying and clearing the place before construction begins."

He said government had injected money into the project to help with the operation of southern Africa`s first mega park.

The opening of the Giriyondo border post linking South Africa and Mozambique's components of the park is expected soon.

Environment and Tourism Minister C de Francis Nhema welcomed the move, saying it was good to note that a consensus had finally been reached on the positioning of the border post.

"The opening of the border post will boost Zimbabwe`s tourism by facilitating linkages and entry into the mega park.

"We hope other consultations will be conducted on possibilities for another border post to directly link our tourists with Mozambique's Limpopo National Park," C de Nhema said.

He said the development of the mega park was being done in phases, and soon the three countries would converge to open the Giriyondo border post.

But Zimbabwe needs more money to develop the whole of its side of the mega park, Gonarezhou in Chiredzi.

C de Nhema said logistics to have a bridge linking Zimbabwe and SA were also at an advanced stage.

The development of the mega park is of great interest to Zimbabwe, which has embarked on awareness campaigns meant to lure stakeholders to invest in Gonarezhou National Park and urgently upgrade it.

The Citizen - 18 October 2005

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