Statement by Dr Anton Rupert, Chairman and Founder of Peace Parks Foundation

8 December 2005

Dr Anton Rupert, Chairman and Founder of Peace Parks Foundation, welcomed the announcement that the Giriyondo Access Facility between Mozambique's Limpopo National Park and South Africa's Kruger National Park became operational on 7 December 2005. Giriyondo will facilitate the tourism flow within this peace park. The announcement was made by the Joint Ministerial Committee of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Reacting to enquiries, Dr Rupert said that it was fifteen years ago that he first met with President Chissano of Mozambique to discuss the cross-border concept, "He grasped the opportunities immediately and agreed that we could take the concept further,"Rupert said. "Unfortunately, the civil war between Renamo and Frelimo continued for a further 5 years and we could only discuss the details of the concept further in 1996. When Dr Nelson Mandela, then South African State President, also put his weight behind this idea, the process really started."

Many joint ministerial meetings between the countries followed since then 3 268 animals of different species were translocated from Kruger National Park to populate the Mozambique side of the park.

Asked whether 15 years is not too long a time to wait for such an event, Rupert said: "We never expected that cross-border parks would be operative overnight. Although there were many frustrations one must remember the many aspects that need attention in this process. To mention only a few: veterinary policies, management training, roads and accommodation construction, and as far as Mozambique is concerned, their communities living in and around the park had to be consulted. In the end the wait will be worthwhile for all the stakeholders."

He went on to say: "Let me remind you of the Pilanesberg Game Reserve near Sun City. When we started this reserve in the late 70's, people criticised the park authorities after two years saying it would be a disaster and that nothing would happen there. Now, 25 years later this park holds the third largest rhino population in the world and it receives 500 000 visitors per annum, half of what Kruger National Park gets annually, and that on an area that is one-twentieth the size of the Kruger National Park."

Rupert went on to say that the local communities in the Pilanesberg area benefit from the tourism opportunities that come their way. "I have no doubt that Mozambique will eventually experience the same," Rupert said and continued "Part of the elephant culling problem faced by the Kruger National Park authorities now may be softened by this cross border park thanks to the re-establishment of the natural migratory routes originally followed by the elephant"

Peace Parks Foundation

29 November 2017New ranger base for Limpopo National Park's 16th Anniversary

This week, Limpopo National Park (LNP) celebrated its 16th anniversary. Mozambique proclaimed the Park on 27 November 2001 and requested Peace Parks Foundation’s assistance in overseeing the park’

 read more

8 November 2017Unlocking the potential of Zinave National Park

Having been declared a protected area in 1972, only to then be ravaged by sixteen years of civil war from 1977-1992, the sun now rises over a different Zinave National Park in Mozambique. The implemen

 read more

25 August 2017Charles and Lumpy lead the way to Zinave

This week saw the first two of 54 elephants safely released in Zinave National Park, Mozambique. The two elephant bulls, Charles and Lumpy, were translocated from Dinokeng Game Reserve in Gauteng –

 read more

6 July 2017Lions poisoned for bone trade

[Maputo, 5 July 2017] On 3 July 2017 the tracks of three poachers were detected in the Intensive Protection Zone of Limpopo National Park, Mozambique. These were followed and it became clear that the

 read more

28 June 2017Dynamic alliance established to bolster rhino anti-poaching efforts

On the western boundary of Kruger National Park (KNP), private and community-owned game reserves - represented as the Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation (GKEPF) - have joined forces wi

 read more

21 June 2017Rewilding Zinave National Park

This week saw the start of one of the largest wildlife translocation projects that Africa has ever seen, whereby 7 500 animals will find a new home in the 4 000 km² Zinave National Park in Mozambique

 read more

2 May 2017250 Bicycles Donated to Learners from Makuleke Community

On 26 April, Children in the Wilderness (CITW) and Qhubeka donated 250 bicycles to underprivileged learners at N’wanati High School in Limpopo’s Makuleke Community as part of Qhubeka’s innovativ

 read more

22 February 2017Expanding Great Limpopo!

On Wednesday, 22 February, Mozambique's National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) and Licoturismo signed a memorandum of understanding to formally establish the Greater Libombos Conservanc

 read more

17 February 2017Supporting food security

To further food security and sustainable development, Peace Parks Foundation this month supported the distribution of corn and bean seed kits to resettled communities, thereby improving their agricult

 read more

15 November 2016Restocking national parks as part of transfrontier conservation development

A further 573 animals have been translocated to Maputo Special Reserve and 310 to Zinave National Park.

 read more