The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is reiterating its commitment to the concept of transfrontier conservation by appointing a technical advisor for the Banhine National Park in Mozambique.
From the beginning of September, Errol Pietersen, formerly the warden of the Umbabat Private Nature Reserve adjoining the Kruger National Park, will be stationed in Banhine to assist the Mozambican government with the development of the park on behalf of the AWF.
According to Dr Simon Munthali of the AWF, Pietersen's job will be to establish management systems and infrastructure. Munthali says, By developing Banhine as a functional park, there will be better linkage between the transfrontier parks, especially to connect them with the coastal area and with Gonarezhou.
Banhine is approximately half the size of the Kruger National Park (KNP). The road network leading to the park is poor, and the park itself currently has little infrastructure, although tourists do camp in the park. The AWF is co-financing the development of Banhine with the World Bank.
They have added US$4 million to the World Bank's US$5.1 million to transform the park into a functional part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA). Banhine National Park lies to the northeast of the Limpopo National Park (Kruger's Mozambican neighbour) and to the southeast of Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe. Further north and east of Banhine is another Mozambican park, Zinave National Park, which is also intended to play a future role in the GLTFCA.