Kingsley Holgate takes to the road to promote transfrontier conservation

In 2009, Kingsley Holgate of National Geographic Travel embarked on a four-month long journey, known as the Boundless Southern Africa Expedition. The 10 000km expedition had the aim of creating maximum awareness about the tourism and investment opportunities in the seven Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs), ahead of the 2010 World Cup tournament.

The seven TFCAs are:

  • /Ai/Ais/Richtersveld - South Africa/Namibia
  • Kgalagadi - Botswana/South Africa
  • Kavango Zambezi - Angola/Botswana/Nmaibia/Zambia/Zimbabwe
  • Limpopo Shashe - Botswana/South Africa/Zimbabwe
  • Great Limpopo - Mozambique/South Africa/Zimbabwe
  • Lubombo - Swaziland/Mozambique/South Africa
  • Maloti Drakensberg - Lesotho/South Africa

In 2005, the ministers of tourism of the nine SADC countries of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, endorsed a TFCA development strategy for 2010 and beyond. The strategy's main objective was to increase the tourism potential of southern Africa by consolidating marketing, infrastructure development and investment promotion efforts of the Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) initiatives.

The expedition started at the National Tourism Indaba in Durban on May 11, 2009 and ended at the mouth of the Orange River in the Namibian side of the /Ai/Ais/Richtersveld in August 2009. The team visited nine countries, seven Transfrontier Conservation Areas and 30 National Parks and Nature Reserves.

The expedition not only focused on tourism and investment opportunities alone but also on humanitarian activities. They include the following:

  • One Net One Life - the distribution of mosquito nets to pregnant mothers and children under five in malaria-prevalent TFCAs
  • Teaching on the Edge- a project which focused on the donation of mobile libraries to rural schools around the Transfrontier Parks
  • Right to Sight Campaign - where reading glasses were distributed to the poor sighted
  • The soccer fields in certain areas were upgraded and soccer balls were distributed. Soccer matches were organized in each community to raise awareness about the 2010 Soccer World Cup
  • A pipeline of 51 bankable investment opportunities has been developed under Boundless Southern Africa. They range from small- and medium-type lodges to multi-million rand developments such as the Kavango-Zambezi Waterfront Development

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