Limpopo Tourism and Parks held its second wildlife expo in Vaalwater from May 24 to May 28, 2005. At the wildlife management conference parks manager Fixon Hlungwani said that the commercialisation of 15 of the province’s parks is on track. “We see the commercialisation of our parks as a strategy which seeks to balance the needs of tourism and conservation with those of local communities living alongside the province’s protected areas.”
Parks in line for development through private-public agreements include Nylsvley, Lekgalameetse, Nwanedi, Dooringdraai, Masebe, D’Nyala, Mangwazi and Makuya. Other topics discussed over the four days included black economic empowerment, tourism development and job creation in the hunting industry. Presentations were also given by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), on birds of prey, wildlife poisoning, ground hornbills, cranes and carnivores.
The expo ended in a wildlife auction, and total proceeds are estimated at the R10 million mark. Roan antelope reached a top price of R112,500 each, sable R47,000 and tsessebe a maximum of R15,500 each. The 16 sable on offer were all sold to Pieter Erasmus from Lephalale. Also on offer were waterbuck, eland, kudu, and zebra. Hunting packages in the provincial reserves were also sold to eager buyers.