Tracks of Giants

Less than three weeks to go

Less than three weeks to go

16 August 2012

With less than three weeks to go, it is difficult to ignore the growing sense of homecoming, impending reunions, the promise of uninterrupted sleep and with it the relief of not having to be constantly aware of the objectives of our expedition. And yet, if ever there was a need to keep focused, it is now. Ahead of us are sand and gravel roads, two lake crossings, a dhow transfer to the Maputo Special Reserve, a long coastal walk, two days of sea kayaking and a final beach walk to our South African world heritage site destination at Cape Vidal on September 2. It is in this light that I am reminded of the words of the poet Robert Frost:

 

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep

but I have promises to keep

and miles to go before I sleep …”

 

Thanks to Billy Swanepoel and Antony Alexander (both of Peace Parks) we have now safely exited the Parque Nacional do Limpopo (PNL), a beautiful and varied landscape of forests, cliffs, river systems as well as several hamlets and villages situated in a ‘buffer zone’ within the park itself. Established by individuals seeking to escape the war of independence (1964 – 1974) and then the civil war (1976 – 1994), the presence of these hamlets, the visible economic hardships and the obvious paucity of wild animals in the buffer zone was a stark reminder of the challenges of promoting one of our other objectives – human co-existence with the wild animals. This will only work when human poverty is alleviated. Meanwhile, in collaboration with the government and the Peace Parks Foundation (a project partner of the TOG – www.peaceparks.org ) these settlements are in the process of being re-established in productive areas outside of the park boundary.

 

3 Comments

  1. Thank you, for such a beautiful description of this last, but not by the least, difficult stretch of your journey.
    I keep on tracking you and spread, proudly, your magnificent word.
    Many Blessings and much Light
    With all my love
    Irene Grilo

  2. The Maputo Special Reserve is a special place in so many ways – it also has people living witin its protected area and there seems to be a modicum of animals and people having been integrated successfully? The threat years ago of a massive forestry project and more recently of a deep water minerals handling harbour at Techobane that would change the face of this undeveloped park. The very undevelopment is both an attraction but also a threat as the area needs eco-tourism to counter unplanned developments and create employment. What an achievement if one day the elephants of the Maputo Reserve were to be able to wander down south along the Futi Corridor and meet their cousins in Tembe again with the fences taken down! Hopefully the final walk along the pristine beaches to Cape Vidal will highlight the prospects for the transfrontier conservation development along the KZN/Mozambique border that at present is a threat to places like Ndumo Reserve and poaching of rhino further south.

  3. Terrific adventurers …. I applaud you. Good luck with the final miles and days !! Warmest regards, Karen

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