The program is pursuing the establishment of linkages and opportunities with other Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) and particularly with the Mapungupwe Transfrontier Conservation Area, lying 180 km west of the Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area.
Both areas have a lot in common and share the same agro-ecological dimensions, with the Limpopo River shaping their environments. Tourism has been identified as a major common interest and basis on which to start building linkages, exchange experiences, and enact joint cooperation.
The natural resources and remarkable social and environmental landscape of the area is a great opportunity for developing and promoting tourism activities as a means of distributing economic opportunities for the countries involved and for their respective communities.
At this stage tourism is unequally developed between the three countries (Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe) and so far tourism has not been developed with a regional approach, being mainly confined to national initiatives. Also tourism planning and its promotion and management have not generally been approached systemically, but have been left to the initiative of a wide range of heterogeneous institutions and agencies with a mix of private and public sector institutions acting in independently.
To promote the idea of transfrontier tourism activities the countries in the SADC region launched in 2009 an expedition linking seven transfrontier conservation areas. The Boundless Expedition (www.boundlesssa.com) was a success, showcasing the existing potentials for transfrontier tourism in southern Africa and also providing a platform for institutions, private operators and communities to interact and to jointly plan the development of this sector.
The Limpopo Transboundary Programme (LTP) is building on this positive experience by promoting specific products and activities linking Limpopo with Mapungupwe through joint planning processes and collaboration in the tourism sector between the two parks.
In the past similar initiatives aiming to build linkages and sustain regional integration have been supported by the Italian Development Cooperation, e.g. institution of the Sengwe-Tshipise Wilderness Corridor corridor linking Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe with Kruger National Park in South Africa. This initiative enabled integration of resource management in the area, which is today pivotal in building new initiatives and helping countries and their communities to achieve renewed opportunities from the integrated management of the area.
The promotion of transfrontier tourism is supported by LTP with a focus on how communities can be involved and receive tangible and direct benefits. To promote the development of this sector LTP launched the idea of an expedition linking Limpopo Transfrontier Park with Mapungupwe Transfrontier Park in order to show case the existing opportunities for the countries in terms of tourism potential and nature conservation.
Tourism link between Limpopo Transfrontier Park and Mapungupwe - Limpopo side
Tourism link between Limpopo Transfrontier Park and Mapungupwe - Mapungupwe side