Conservation

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of the largest conservation areas in the world and one of the last truly unspoilt ecosystems. It is managed jointly by Botswana and South Africa as one ecological unit.

The park has been in de facto existence since half a century and plans to formalise the joint management and development of Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park and South Africa’s Kalahari Gemsbok National Park were proposed as early as 1989. Since 1992 a joint management committee comprising representatives from the conservation authorities of Botswana and South Africa were working to formalise the agreement and establish the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. However, the bilateral agreement was only signed in 1999 and with the support and encouragement of the Peace Parks Foundation the park was officially opened in May 2000.

This was the first formally declared transfrontier park in Africa and it was anticipated that it would be a model for conservation in the 21st century.

The overall objectives of the management plan of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are as follows:

  • To preserve the diversity of organisms indigenous to the southern Kalahari as functional elements of the ecosystem, with predators receiving priority.
  • To maintain those ecological processes that characterise the Kalahari ecosystem.
  • To provide facilities and opportunities for research and monitoring to advance understanding of the physical and biological processes of the Kalahari ecosystem.
  • To provide educational and interpretative programmes for visitors to foster a better understanding and appreciation of the Kalahari ecosystem.
  • To realise economic returns from tourism while safeguarding the ecological integrity and prestine wilderness of Kgalagadi.