14 November 2006
The Limpopo Tourism and Parks Board is to commercialise facilities in 15 of its nature reserves in order to create jobs and boost conservation and tourism in the province.
Limpopo Tourism and Parks marketing director Khorommbi Matibe said the provincial government owned 54 protected areas whose tourism potential had not been optimally developed.
Four of these are to be commercialised by the end of the 2006/07 financial year:
Masebe Nature Reserve A 4 500 hectare reserve situated in the eastern Waterberg some 75km north of Mokopane. Encompasses the picturesque Waterberg mountain formation and a number of bushveld landscape rock art sites. Forms part of the Waterberg Biosphere, an initiative that allows communities, authorities and commercial concerns to become joint stakeholders in the conservation and development of the area. Existing facilities include luxurious accommodation, conference facilities, hiking trails and picnic sites.
Makuya Park Nature Reserve
A massive reserve in the north-western region of the Kruger National Park. Incorporated with the Kruger National Park, the reserve is home to big game such as buffalo and elephant. Existing facilities include a tented camp set on the Pafuri River.
Musina Nature Reserve
A 4 910-hectare reserve situated 10km south of the town of Musina. Boasts a high concentration of baobab trees and numerous species of game. An outstanding feature of the reserve is the presence of the oldest rock formations in the world: the Sand River gneiss, estimated by geologists to be 3 800 million years old. Existing facilities include a bush camp, guest house, hiking trails and picnic sites.
Rust de Winter Nature Reserve
A 1 650 hectare reserve situated within an hour’s drive north from Gauteng province’s major metropolitan centres. Boasts a wide variety of landscapes and habitats – including the 500 hectare Rust de Winter Dam – that support 400 bird species and a range of antelope.
For more information on these and other reserves to be commercialised, see:
Matibe said that private investors would enter into concession agreements with Limpopo Tourism and Parks, and could choose whether to develop and operate accommodation facilities, put together adventure packages or set up other recreational activities.
“Accommodation and conference facilities need to be built, and those reserves that do have these facilities need private companies to take over management and marketing to make them profitable,” he said.
SouthAfrica.info reporter and BuaNews