Prof Willem van Riet's visit to Limpopo National Park

28 March 2006

19 - 21 March 2006

Prof Willem van Riet, CEO of Peace Parks Foundation, Mr Louis van Rensburg, Project Management Consultant, and Dr Frank Raimondo, Director of Peace Parks Foundation visited Limpopo National Park in Mozambique from 19 - 21 March 2006 to see the progress made in the infrastructural development of the park. Funded by the German Ministry of Cooperation through KfW, the Mozambican government mandated Peace Parks Foundation to assist in overseeing the development of the park and to this end a project implementation unit was appointed.

On 7 December 2005 the Giriyondo Access Facility was opened, which allows for the movement of vehicles from Kruger to Limpopo National Park (LNP) either as visitors to the park or to travel through the park to the coast. The total number of vehicles that used Giriyondo between 7 December and 2 January was 1 057, generating an income of R153 000 for the park.

Although this is not a large amount, it illustrates a turn-around point in the development of the LNP where for the first time tourism is beginning to contribute to the ultimate sustainability of the park.

Giriyondo consists of two buildings of similar design which are manned by officials from the relevant departments of both countries. The officials take their jobs seriously and all procedures are diligently adhered to. Following customs clearance, we embarked on a journey down the main arterial road of the LNP on the way to the Massingir Dam.

The first 30km of the 70km is a good gravel road suitable for all vehicles. The Machampagne Wilderness Camp to the right of this access road and on the banks of the Machampane River is a beautifully constructed rustic tented wilderness camp, from where wilderness trails are conducted.

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