Khalagadi Transfrontier Park
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park straddles the border between South Africa and Botswana. On 7 April 1999, Botswana and South Africa signed a historic bilateral agreement whereby both countries undertook to manage their adjacent national parks, the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana and the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa as a single ecological unit.
The boundary between the two parks has no physical barriers, although it is also the international border between the two countries. This allows for the free movement of animals.
The total area of the park is 38,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi). Approximately three-quarters of the park lies in Botswana and one-quarter in South Africa. Kgalagadi means “place of thirst.”
The park is located largely within the southern Kalahari Desert. The terrain consists of red sand dunes, sparse vegetation, occasional trees, and the dry riverbeds of the Nossob and Auob Rivers. The rivers are said to flow only about once per century. However, water flows underground and provides life for grass and camelthorn trees growing in the river beds. The rivers may flow briefly after large thunderstorms.
The park has abundant, varied wildlife. It is home to large mammalian predators such as lions, cheetahs, African leopards, and hyenas.
Migratory herds of large herbivores such as blue wildebeest, springbok, eland, and red hartebeest also live and move seasonally within the park, providing sustenance for the predators.
More than 200 species of bird can be found in the park, including vultures and raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and secretary birds.
Since 2005, the protected area is considered a Lion Conservation Unit and a lion stronghold in Southern Africa.
In October 2002, the governments set aside 580 km² for the use of the native peoples, the Khomani San and Mier communities. This was divided between 277.69 km² of San Heritage Land and 301.34 km² of Mier Heritage Land.
The South African National Parks (SANParks) manages the land under contract. The settlement agreement also provided for the communities to receive funds for the specific purpose of constructing a tourism facility. The lodge was named !Xaus Lodge (meaning ‘heart’ in the local language).
|Country name||South Africa|