The formation and inclusion of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, and other natural areas, within the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area.
The Governments of Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the on the 22nd of June 2006, thereby enhancing, encouraging and enabling different formats to be created, and with cooperation of Governments involvement formats, are utilized to initiate and assist all stakeholders to become involved in consultative processes so as to jointly establish the GMTFCA in this most scenic and spectacular part of Southern Africa.
This inclusive initiative in which the participating countries and stakeholders, have decided to join hands and cooperate, in managing shared natural resources for the benefit of all, is a great step forward in the area’s conservation development as this approach, from all interested parties, to conserve the area has many individual, mutual and socio-economic advantages; not least being the actual physical linking and developing of these areas through inter-government agreements (with local community project support for the initiative). Assistance with the creation of a common conservation plan and ethic for the area as a whole, through this initiative of a closer working relationship, it assists in securing larger areas covering larger and more diverse natural systems, encompassed in one management unit.
The Greater Mapungubwe TFCA, which is presently being developed will cover an area of 4 872 km2 in extent, 28% (1 350 km2) will be situated in Botswana with a further 53% (2 561 km2) situated in South Africa and the balance 19% (960 km2) situated in Zimbabwe. With already viable populations of the larger drawcard species such as Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Wild Dog; as well as some 19 mammals, 26 plant species and a fair number of bird species listed in the red data book. The area is of substantial importance for conservation reasons alone. The added range, protection and combined efforts offered through the establishment of the GMTFCA will contribute immensely to the protection of species found within the area. The dramatic landscapes and contrasts within the GMTFCA ensure what must be one of the most visually and naturally beautiful areas in Southern Africa, add to this the cultural heritage sites so rich and varied, that it entrenches the GMTFCA’s potential for drawing large numbers of local and international tourist alike to experience this magnificent area.
The Northern Tuli Game Reserve undoubtedly has the potential; with regards to its natural beauty, wildlife diversity, cultural and African heritage attractions, inclusion in the GMTFCA and world class facilities within the reserve, to become a top Botswana, and indeed Southern African, wildlife conservation and tourism.