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Media Statement: Opening of the Mata Mata Tourist Access Facility

11 October 2007

Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Festus Mogae of Botswana and Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia will officially open the Mata Mata Tourist Access Facility (Port of entry) between South Africa and Namibia on 12 October 2007, within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (TFP). This access facility will enable tourists to travel between the 3 countries via shorter routes and with easier access. It will also see the region benefiting further from its unique eco-tourism products and thus foster regional socio-economic development.

Kgalagadi TFP, southern Africa’s first transfrontier park, incorporates the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana and the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa. It is a popular tourist destination because of its 4 x 4 wilderness trails.

On 16 October 2007, the Ministers of Environment and Tourism and Home Affairs will open the Sendelingsdrift Tourist Access Facility and launch the pontoon that tourists will use to cross the Orange river, which forms the international border between South Africa and Namibia within the Ai/Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

The opening of Mata Mata and Sendelingsdrift Tourist Access Facilities are key to the strategy for desert tourism which explores the natural linkage between Kgalagadi and Ai/Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier parks, South Africa’s Augrabies Falls National Park and the soon to be declared Sperregebiet National Park in Namibia.

Issued by: the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism