PPF ZA logoPEACE PARKS FOUNDATION

Third time is luckiest yet for cross-border trail

17 November 2015

© Piet Theron
© Piet Theron
Few enter Zimbabwe by wading barefoot across the cool, shallow waters of the Limpopo River. Even fewer people can say they have done so escorted by Chief Maluleke from the Makuleke Clan.
Some of the younger participants in the Shangane Festival © Lisa Thompson-Smeddle
Some of the younger participants in the Shangane Festival © Lisa Thompson-Smeddle
Yet this is exactly what the participants of the third ever Pafuri Wilderness Trail did. As usual, it included the honour of attending the Shangane Festival in Zimbabwe, from the trail base camp in neighbouring Kruger National Park.

Opportunities such as these present themselves because the countries are part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA), a joint transboundary conservation initiative between Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The initiative presents unique opportunities to use tourism development as a vehicle to facilitate regional conservation based socio-economic development.
“The GLTFCA has identified a range of cross-border tourism products that can be developed within the context of the transboundary initiative and in partnership with a range of key stakeholders,” says coordinator Piet Theron. These products include transboundary wilderness trails, self-drive 4×4 trails, and the development of a cross-border tourism node within the Pafuri/Sengwe area that forms the heart of the GLTFCA.
© Lisa Thompson-Smeddle
© Lisa Thompson-Smeddle
Based on the success of the 2013 pilot Pafuri Wilderness Trail and Shangane Festival, and the 2014 event, the implementation of this exciting cross-border tourism product continued this year. The event was operated by ReturnAfrica for the first time, which took over the reins of the Wilderness Safaris concession in the Makuleke area (in Kruger National Park, South Africa). The trail, which was run from 9 to 12 October, was completed by two groups of six people each and operated across the Makuleke area and into the Sengwe area (in Zimbabwe). The trail included a trip to the Shangane Festival in the village Samu, which is located in the Sengwe area.
© Lisa Thompson-Smeddle
© Lisa Thompson-Smeddle
This year, Chief Maluleke from the Makuleke Clan participated in the Shangane Festival, which was hosted by Chief Sengwe from the Sengwe community. The Makuleke and the Sengwe communities have strong cultural ties, which made the walk across the Limpopo River into Zimbabwe by Chief Maluleke symbolically a significant event. The occasion also served to cement the cross border cultural linkages between these two clans.
© Lisa Thompson-Smeddle
© Lisa Thompson-Smeddle
Based on the success of this trail, planning for a wider range of cross-border tourism products in the Pafuri area has already started. According to Theron, these could include a similar hiking trail linked to a cultural festival, nature-based wilderness trails and a mountain biking event. All of these will involve at least two or possibly three of the partner countries of the GLTFCA initiative. “This in turn will ensure that local communities in all three countries receive tangible benefits from tourism development in the area.”

Story by Piet Theron
International Coordinator
Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area


Click here for more news on Great Limpopo


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