Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park
Did you know?
Once complete, the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park will be one of the greatest animal kingdoms on earth.
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park brings together some of the richest and most established wildlife areas in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, including South Africa's world-famous Kruger National Park, Gonarezhou in Zimbabwe and Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.
Eventually this transfrontier park, which currently spans roughly 35 000km², will measure almost 100 000 km² in size. Not bad for something that began with the formation of a humble nature reserve in Limpopo province in South Africa more than a hundred years ago.
From within the park, visitors are already able to cross to the Mozambican side through Giriyondo border post in Kruger National Park. The Sengwe corridor joining Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou to Kruger has yet to be finalised, but tourists will then be able to cross three international boundaries and enjoy a superb range of wildlife, including the African elephant, white rhino, giraffe, blue wildebeest, leopard, lion, cheetah, and spotted hyena.
The development of this enormous protected area was formalised with the signing of an international treaty at Xai-Xai, Mozambique by the heads of state of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe in December 2002. Since then, the super-park has seen the relocation of thousands of mammals. With the fences partially down between Kruger National Park and Mozambique's Limpopo National Park, many thousands more have crossed on their own.
The Kruger National Park, where sightings of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) are a regular occurrence, has a well-established tourism infrastructure which you could use as a base before heading off to the less-structured Mozambican side.
Limpopo National Park boasts a number of attractions and camps, including the beautiful Machampane Wilderness Camp, from which trails are being run. You could also go on a trail where you spend every night in the bush with guides, or if you prefer exploring in a vehicle, there are 4x4 self-guided trails
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park has yet to be fully opened and will only be established once there is free movement of animals and people along the length of the international borders within the boundaries of the park
But already it conserves wilderness and peace in areas where there was once conflict - and offers some of southern Africa's most exciting eco-tourism destinations.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Transfrontier Park Destinations
(For bookings at Machampane Wildeness Camp)
Tel: +27 (0)21 701 7860
How to get here
The opening of the Giriyondo Access Facility between Limpopo and Kruger National Parks in 2006 means that cross-border travel in the park is a relatively easy experience. Visitors wanting to cross the border should allow enough time to reach their destinations whilst adhering to speed limits.
Best time to visit
You can visit the park all year around, although many people prefer to travel in the cooler months of the year, from April to September, when wildlife is also more visible.
Tours to do
You can stay at the Machampane wilderness camp who also organise 4x4 and canoe trails. (Contact Transfrontier Park Destinations for more information.)
Self-drive visitors will need a 4x4 vehicle to explore the Mozambique side of the park, as it is still being developed. If you plan to stay on the South African side, a normal sedan car will suffice for most routes. There are also a number of guided tours through the park available through various private tour operators.
What will it cost
There are a range of accommodation types in the park to suit every budget.
Length of stay
You will need several days to explore the Mozambique and South African sides of the transfrontier park.
What to pack
You will need to take precautions against malaria. Good reference material and accurate maps are needed. If you will be crossing the border, don't forget your passport and make sure that your visa requirements are up-to-date.
Where to stay
The Kruger National Park has an extensive accommodation infrastructure spread over a large number of rest camps. This accommodation ranges from basic campsites to serviced units, with many luxury lodges also operating in the park.
What to eat
Most camps in the Kruger National Park have shops and restaurants. You will need to carry your own food into Mozambique and cater for yourself, unless you are on an organised tour.