Bordering the iconic Kruger National Park in South Africa, Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park is fast gaining a reputation as a park of the future. After suffering from decades of poaching and habitat desecration, the reserve is quickly returning to its former splendor.
In the days of Apartheid in neighboring South Africa the boundary between Limpopo National Park and the Kruger was fenced by a monstrosity known as the Fence of Death, a terrifying barrier of high voltage electrical current and barbed wire. This barrier was to keep insurgents from entering South Africa from Mozambique.
Civil unrest and poaching
During this time a civil war raged in Mozambique and the Limpopo Park was literally in the firing line, with wildlife providing food and finance for the armies. Poaching was rampant and the landscape suffered degradation. With the ceasing of hostilities in the 1990’s the park was better managed and when a deal was struck with South African authorities the fence separating the park from Kruger was pulled down.
Animals were trans-located from Kruger into Mozambique and other wildlife slowly started moving in to the neighbouring land. Further negotiations between Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe to form a collective conservation area, has ensured the future protection and survival of the Limpopo National Park.
The Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park
An agreement between the governments of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe to form a cross-border wilderness area including Kruger National Park, Limpopo National Park and three conservation areas in Zimbabwe has resulted in the 35 000 km2 Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
Wildlife relocation between Kruger and Mozambique has been taken place over the past few years, in particular Elephants which are important to the ecology of the park. Tourism facilities have been constantly upgraded on the Mozambique side and there are moves afoot to add more land to the park – which could potentially increase the size to almost 100 000 km2