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Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park

Unread postby Meg » Fri Jan 21, 2005 4:10 pm

May I ask a couple more questions on things you mentioned in your post?
How large is the Mozambique area, and when do you expect tourists to be able to go through?
Also, is it correct that there are local people living within this area?
I guess they must have mixed feelings about having their homes moved into the middle of a national park with elephant, lion, etc?
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Unread postby wanda » Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:19 pm

Dear Meg,

My apologies for only responding now.
A few quick answers to your questions.
The Mozambican area (i.e. Limpopo National Park) is approximately 1,2 million hectares.

Yes there are communities living in the area, about 15 000 along the Limpopo river and 6 000 along the Shingwedzi river.
At the moment plans are afoot to create a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Negotiations are being conducted with the communities along the Shingwedzi to try and voluntarily move them to other areas.
Those who opt not to move will have a choice of either being fenced in or not.
At the moment there have been some unhappiness about the human/animal conflicts caused by the close proximity to wild animals but these are problems that we are working through.

To answer your question about tourism, let me just say that construction of the border post on the South African side has been finished and on the Mozambican side it has just started.
We are estimating that before the end of the year (probably by August of this year) this facility will be opened for public use.
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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:33 pm

A question from my side ,Wanda. Will you need a passport to move between the two sides?
Thanks for your contributions. You have clarified a lot of issues about this for me. :)

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Unread postby wanda » Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:12 pm

Hi Santie,
If you will only be moving within the parks, e.g. taking a bush drive or something similar, you will not need a passport.
The understanding being that if you came in through the South African side you will exit through South Africa again. However, if your intention is to come through South Africa and exit through Mozambique or the opposite you will definitely need to go through the customs system.
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Interesting reading.

Unread postby Tokoloshe » Mon Mar 28, 2005 7:35 pm

Adding more info to the above posts, I have managed to get hold of this posted in The Argus on Sunday, 27th March.

The great elephant herds of the Kruger National Park, under threat of culling, are migrating in growing numbers across the border into Mozambique's adjacent Limpopo Park.

Flying by helicopter over Limpopo Park last Friday, we could see several herds and single bulls moving through the bush that had formerly been denuded of game by Mozambique's protracted war and by serving as a coutada, or hunting ground, under earlier Portuguese colonial rule.

Also on the helicopter flight, sponsored by South Africa's Peace Parks Foundation, was an excited Dr Markus Hofmeyr, head of Kruger's veterinary wildlife services.

He believes that the elephants are signalling each other that it is safe to return to their old stomping grounds in the Mozambican area now that the war is over and it no longer serves as a hunting place or as a "bush meat" abattoir for guerrilla fighters.

This is a remarkable change from four years ago, when most of the first group of 25 elephants, which were symbolically handed over to Mozambique by former president Nelson Mandela to start repopulating their park, made a dash back to the safety of Kruger.

Most found openings in the high-security fence at river crossings, but Hofmeyr says one bull trundled for many kilometres along the fence until he was able to round it where it meets the Limpopo River border in the far north.

Other game, notably giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, impala and kudu, have joined the elephants in crossing from Kruger through gaps in the fence, mostly at river crossings.

From the helicopter, fair numbers were spotted moving about in the unspoilt and beautiful Mozambican terrain of high-cliffed river gorges, valleys and rolling hills.

Hofmeyr says they, too, have probably been taking their cue from game translocated over the past two years by truck from Kruger into a 30 000 hectare enclosure in the Mozambican part to get them used to living on that side of the security fence.

The translocation of 3 000 head of game should be completed this year, and the enclosure will then be opened at the furthest point away from Kruger for the animals to start making their own way into their new country.

Professor Willem van Riet, chief executive of the Peace Parks Foundation, says the voluntary migration to Limpopo Park shows that translocations can work in the short term if done effectively. It is the small translocated groups that are enticing the others across the border.

Only a relatively small portion of the high-security border fence separating the two parks has been removed since they were ceremonially joined together two years ago, with, in name only, Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou Park.

Together they are called the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park but the actual link-up across the Limpopo River with Gonarezhou in troubled Zimbabwe will take a while longer.

Security concerns, especially about illegal immigrants and the smuggling of weapons and four-wheel-drive vehicles, have been hindering the removal of more sections of the border fence between the Kruger and Limpopo parks.

But control systems are now in place that will make it easier to proceed with the removal of more sections of the fence, which was put up in the mid-70s at the height of the regional conflict that also involved apartheid South Africa.

The migration of elephants into Mozambique will relieve some of the pressure on Kruger where their burgeoning numbers have been causing serious harm to the habitat. But it is unlikely to stave off culling.

The elephant population has simply gone too far out of control since a moratorium was placed on it in 1995. Kruger has about 13 000 elephants, and its maximum carrying capacity is set at about 7 000. Limpopo Park can at most take 3 000.

At a million hectares it is half the size of Kruger and an even bigger percentage of it is not suitable elephant habitat. So soon it, too, will be under pressure if Kruger's elephants keep migrating.

A final decision on culling, already building into a major bone of contention among animal-rights groups internationally, should be taken some time this year by Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the environmental affairs and tourism minister.

Meanwhile, the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park's elephant migration should serve as encouragement for southern Africa's transfrontier-park programme, in which the Peace Parks Foundation is playing a major facilitating role.

According to the 2002 African Elephant Status report of the World Conservation Union, the estimated population for southern Africa - South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Swaziland - now stands at 300 000.

Botswana has by far the worst problem, with an estimated 120 000 elephants in its Chobe Reserve and Okavango Delta

It's a fascinating subject indeed. It's just a pity that most of the old migratory routes were east-west and not north-south. Imagine adding even more to the east and west than what is currently proposed!
Last edited by Tokoloshe on Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby bert » Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:29 pm

The migrating sounds great
new space for ellies to roam :!:
That is one reasons for this new joint sa/moz park


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Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park

Unread postby ruud » Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:33 pm


Does anyone know if it is possible to enter Mocambique through the Giriyondoborderpost and travel by 4x2 camper to Massingirdam or is it only possible by 4x4?

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Unread postby Foxy » Wed Dec 07, 2005 9:37 am

THE Giriyondo border post linking Limpopo National Park in Mozambique and the Kruger National Park in South Africa in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) will be operational from today, December 7.
When going through this access facility, tourists will be expected to produce valid passports.
Operational hours will be 08h00 to 15h00 from April 1 to September 30, while during the period between October 1 and March 31, the post will be open from 08h00 to 16h00.
The roads in the Limpopo National Park, part of the GLTP, are accessible only by 4x4 vehicles. No vehicles with an excess of maximum of four tonnes axle load are allowed to use the route that leads to the Giriyondo post.

Info from a daily travel newsletter

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Unread postby gwendolen » Wed Dec 07, 2005 9:45 am

Thanks Foxy. :)

SANParks front page has an article too.

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Unread postby Wild@Heart » Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:07 am

News24 wrote:Giriyondo border post opens
08/12/2005 12:40 - (SA)

Fred Katerere

Nelspruit - Tourists can now travel through the Kruger National Park into Mozambique after the Giriyondo border post was opened on Wednesday.

The border post is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), which straddles the borders of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

"This (border post) will facilitate tourism flow by providing easier access within the GLTP," said spokesman of the GLTP ministerial committee, John Louw.

The Giriyondo border post links the Kruger to the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.

The Mozambican part of the GLTP is only accessible in 4x4s, however.

Louw said tourists would also have to produce valid passports when using the border, and that the border is closed to commercial traffic.

The border will be open from 08:00 to 15:00 from April to September and 08:00 to 16:00 from October to March.

The GLTP was proclaimed in December 2002, when the presidents of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe signed an international treaty in Xai-Xai, Mozambique.

The three presidents will officially open the Giriyondo border post early next year.

The GLTP covers a vast area of the lowland savannah ecosystem, which is divided by the Lebombo mountains running along the border between South Africa and Mozambique.

It is expected to boost eco-tourism and regional socio-economic development.

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Unread postby Freda » Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:38 pm

Or is this a short cut for some people?
New border post 'for 4x4s only'
13/12/2005 18:10 - (SA)

Nelspruit - A Mozambican who hoped to take an enormous bakkie-load of goods from Johannesburg to Mozambique, was turned away when he tried to use the new Giriyondo border post on Tuesday.
The border post is in the Kruger National Park and was opened last week to link the park to the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique as part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
When Quessane Mapsanganhe heard about the new gate, he was excited at the prospect of a shorter route from Johannesburg to Chokwe in Mozambique's southern Gaza province.
But on Tuesday, Mapsanganhe was told he needed a four-wheel drive vehicle to use the roads on the Mozambican side of the border.
"I pleaded with the border officials to transport my load in batches, but they said the route was open only to 4x4 bakkies," he said.
He then had to drive another 300km to Nelspruit and about 140km further to Lebombo border post at Komatipoort.
Officially open next year
It would then take a further 80km from the border to Maputo, before he could head north to Chokwe.
Mapsanganhe makes a living by collecting goods in South Africa and delivering them to people living in Chokwe.
Raymond Travers of Kruger National Park said any member of the public could use the public roads in the park, even they carried big loads like Mapsanganhe.
"The road is a free access road and any member of the public can drive through that road," he said.
The Giriyondo border post will be officially opened next year by the presidents of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe

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Unread postby arks » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:16 pm

Elsa wrote:Well from what I have seen the rules seem fairly clear, ie. no commercial traffic or non 4x4 vehicles. There should be no confusion but maybe the fault lies with the external entrances from either side, are they making people aware of these restrictions.

Well, whatever that guy was carrying, it sure sounds "commercial" to me, so what does the quote from KNP mean?
Raymond Travers of Kruger National Park said any member of the public could use the public roads in the park, even they carried big loads like Mapsanganhe.
"The road is a free access road and any member of the public can drive through that road," he said.

I shudder to think was that park of the park will become if such loads are allowed. I thought there was a rule that anyone using Giryondo had to have (at least) one night booked in KNP. Has this changed? What does KNP Spokesman have to say on this? I'm very concerned as I travel a considerable distance at considerable expense to visit KNP and would find such traffic over (over)loaded bakkies VERY off-putting. :twisted: :twisted: :sniper:
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Unread postby DuQues » Wed Dec 14, 2005 5:50 pm

The Giriyondo Tourist Access Facility is open from 08:00 until 16:00 (October - March) and from 08:00 until 15:00 (April - September) and is only open for 4x4 vehicles as the roads within the Limpopo National Park are still being developed. It is also not open to commercial traffic as its role is to facilitate tourist movement within the GLTP. Therefore, no vehicles with an excess of a maximum of four tons axle load are allowed.

Boats and trailers will be allowed “at the owners' risk" and the transport of firearms is not allowed except if the owner can provide the necessary export permits.

Found this on another website, written by Raymond as well.
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Unread postby Jumbo » Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:35 am

If I read it correctly, commercial is only defined by the following:

vehicles with an excess of a maximum of four tons axle load

As I've said in a previous post, you cannot really differentiate between a tourist vehicle loaded with camping equipment and a bakkie loaded to double it's size with plastic bottles, beds etc.
IMHO, this going to be a very busy border post the moment the roads on Moz. side has been upgraded.

It will be a good idea to have cell reception inside Kruger on the routes that lead to this border post

But, before "attacking" SANParks: I don't think they had much to do with the final decisions. I'm sure that they also do not what a string of loaded bakkies travelling through the Park. I believe the decision was made “higher up" and SANParks will again have to do the “dirty work". I certainly hope that who ever made the decisions, will also pay for more manpower that can make sure all goes well on these routes

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Greater Limpopo transfrontier Park

Unread postby BigSven » Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:12 pm

Hi Forum,
I've got some questions to the expansion of the Kruger National Park. Does anybody knows what about the conditions in the mosambic part of the park? Especiall the camps, roads animal sightings!
thx for your help!
Reguards Sven

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