Many researchers in the Kruger National Park (KNP) are familiar with the Hlanganani Research Station and Laboratory near Shingwedzi. The Camp is used as a base for field-work in the northern section of the Park and came about as a result of the River Savanna Boundaries Programme (RSBP). The RSBP, funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, is a joint effort from institutions in South Africa and the United States of America concerned with the rivers and adjacent uplands of the Park.
These institutions include the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and the University of Washington (Seattle), University of California (Berkeley), as well as the Institute of Ecosystem Studies (Millbrook) and the Kruger National Park. The aim of the RSBP is to increase understanding of the riparian corridors by studying the interaction between the areas in rivers and upland processes and riverbank structure and function. It is also to build capacity and relationships between South African and American ecologists and within the Park.
With more than 30 research projects completed the RSBP has gone a long way in reaching its third aim of generating useful information and ensuring effective information transfer to the KNP knowledge base and decision support system. At the end of the first phase in 2003, the camp was transferred to Sanparks and has a small staff complement of five. Part of their task is to facilitate field research. The RSBP also played a major part in establishing the KNP’s GIS (Geographical Information Systems) facility in Skukuza. It has a satellite office in Skukuza.