Kingsley Holgate takes to the road to promote transfrontier conservation

Known as the Boundless Southern Africa Expedition, the four-month long expedition aims to create 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, Kgalagadi, Kavango-Zambezi, Limpopo-Shashe, Great Limpopo, Lubombo and Maloti-Drakensberg.

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 is 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 will start at the National Tourism Indaba in Durban on May 11, 2009 and end at the mouth of the Orange River in the Ai/Ais/Richtersveld in August 2009. The team will vist nine countries, seven Transfrontier Conservation Areas and 30 National Parks and Nature Reserves.

The expedition will not only focus on tourism and investment opportunities alone but also on hu- manitarian activities. They include the following: * “One Net One Life” distribution of mosquito nets in malaria-prevalent TFCAs to pregnant mothers and children under five * “Teaching on the Edge” project which will focus on the donation of mobile libraries to rural schools around the Transfrontier Parks * “Right to Sight” Campaign where reading glasses will be distrib- uted to the poor sighted. * Upgrading of soccer fields and distribution of soccer balls * Community days in each TFCA will be observed through soccer matches amongst other things to raise awareness about the 2010 Soccer World Cup * A pipeline of 51 bankable invest- ment opportunities has been devel- oped under Boundless Southern Africa. They range from small- and medium-type lodges to multi-million rand developments such as the Kavango-Zambezi Waterfront Development. Investment promotion efforts are underway.

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