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Beautiful Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park…

One amazing place to visit if you ever come to the Northern Cape …If you think the desert is bland, you’ve obviously never been to the Kalahari. It’s a magical place where dry landscapes and red dunes provide the backdrop to a singularly unique experience, one that can only be found in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

This is an excellent area to view birds of prey, especially tawny and snake eagles.

The Kgalagadi Transfontier Park is a fusion of the former Kalahari Gemsbok National Park of South Africa, which was set up to protect migratory game such as Gemsbok, and the neighbouring Gemsbok National Park in Botswana.

These two wild wonderlands were separated by nothing but an unmarked international border. They form an ecological unit of some 37 000 km² – a semi-desert wilderness of blonde grass, red dunes and enormous open spaces. All that was needed was to formalise the arrangement and co-ordinate ecology management. So in 2000, this became the first of South Africa’s transfrontier ventures.

Authorities on both sides learnt much from the union, but tourists were the real winners, being able to move between the two parks, and thus two countries, without a passport (unless exiting on the other side, of course).

Managing the ecology of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park as a single unit has been a great step forward for desert conservation. Plus, the opening of the border crossing at Mata Mata has opened more than just access between South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

This gateway has started talks about creating a corridor linking this giant park to nearby Augrabies National Park, due south, and from there the Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Conservation Area in the west. Just north of that is Namibia’s 26 000km² Sperrgebiet National Park. That, in turn, abuts the Namib Naukluft National Park, one of the largest conservation areas in the world. If all goes to plan, they will all be linked in the near future.

Sustaining the spirit started by Kgalagadi may soon give rise to a mega-transfrontier park, protecting a desert storehouse of some of the most exquisitely adapted plants and animals on Earth. Proving that the African ethos of “Ubuntu” – sharing with your neighbours – really is the way forward.

The Kalahari and therefore the Northern Cape is full of treasures and unlocked beauty, all you have to do, is get out there and explore this majestic place!!!

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