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Namibia, SA revive transfrontier park plans

November 07, 2022 420

Namibia and South Africa have revived plans to operate a cross-border wildlife park aimed at increasing tourism activities between the two countries.

Formed in 2003 by combining the Namibian /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Game Park and the South African Richtersveld National Park, the transfrontier park is a culmination of a treaty between the government of the Republic of Namibia and the government of the Republic of South to foster transnational collaboration and cooperation between the countries.

The agreement aimed to facilitate effective ecosystem management in the area comprising the Transfrontier Park and in addition, the treaty undertakes to develop trans-border eco-tourism to foster regional socio-economic development.

Namibia Wildlife Resorts Managing Director Dr Matthias Ngwangwama could not hide his joy on the plans to revive the transfrontier park, which will overlap the physical borders of the two countries.

Dr Ngwangwama, who was part of a Namibian delegation that travelled to South Africa to explore the plans further, highlighted how activities such as the Desert night cycling activity that last took place in 2017, as well as Desert Kayak Trails, brought about innovative and sustainable ways to raise funds for conservation activities in the /Ai-/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park while creating short-term jobs and training opportunities.

“With the cycling race that involved competitors having to pedal day and night across the beauty of the /Ai-/Ais National Park, we saw throngs of adrenalin hunters enjoying themselves and creating a strong marketing for Namibia and the park. We hope to see the same soon again. This means more revenue for Namibia in terms of tourism,” he said.

NWR, as a member of the Joint Management Board as per the Treaty, is the national implementing agency in Namibia as per its mandate of managing tourism facilities in national parks.

Travel and Tourism sector is a key contributor to Namibia’s economy, with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism estimating the sector’s contribution at 15.8% in 2019 (US$1.7 billion) and 9.8% in 2020 (US$1 billion) of the total economy.

The sector according to the ministry is forecasting the final total international arrivals for this year to increase to above the 500,000 mark – up from 354,508 arrivals recorded in 2021, although this remains well down on the over 1.5 million arrivals in 2019.

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Last modified on Friday, 11 November 2022 00:40