Cross-border tourism project on track

• By Confidente Reporter

THE Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) late last year sent a delegation to South Africa to assess progress in the development of cross-border tourism park in the Ai /Ais Richtersveld Trans-Frontier Park based on commitments in a bilateral agreement which was agreed upon pre-Covid-19.

The Ai /Ais Richtersveld Trans-Frontier Park is a cross-border park straddling the border between South Africa and Namibia. It was established in 2003 by combining the Namibian Ai /Ais Hot Springs Game Park and the South African Richtersveld National Park.

NWR Managing Director, Matthias Ngwangwama in a statement highlighted how activities such as the desert night cycling event that last took place in 2017, as well as desert kayak trails, brought about innovative and sustainable ways to raise funds for conservation activities in the park while creating short-term jobs and training opportunities.

“With the cycling race that involved competitors having to pedal day and night across the beauty of the Ai /Ais National Park, we saw throngs of adrenalin hunters enjoying themselves and creating a strong marketing for Namibia and the park. We hope to see the same even taking being hosted in the near future. This means more revenue for Namibia in terms of tourism,” he said.

According to Ngwangwama, NWR as a member of the Joint Management Board as per the treaty is the national implementing agency in Namibia as government’s manager of all rest camps in the national parks.

The treaty is a commitment between the government of Namibia and the South African government to foster transnational collaboration and cooperation. This will facilitate effective ecosystem management in the area comprising the trans-frontier park.

The Ai-Ais Richtersveld Park is one of the Southern African Peace Parks which straddle international borders in the interest of conservation. The park occupies 6 045km² of Namibia and South Africa on either side of the boarder.

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