History was made when Botswana and a newly liberated, democratic South Africa signed in 1999 a treaty to form the first transfrontier peace park in Africa.
Plans to formalise the joint management and development of South Africa’s Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park were proposed as early as 1989, but no such partnership was possible during South Africa’s dark years of apartheid. Following South africa’s independence in 1994, and with the support and encouragement of the Peace Parks Foundation, negotiations concretised; and in May 2002, the park was officially opened.
This immense wilderness (37 000 sq kms) is now shared by both countries as a protected area, and is jointly managed. The entire park is completely unfenced, allowing for wildlife to move freely along the ancient migration routes so necessary for their survival in the desert. There are three main areas to explore: the Nossop River valley, the wilderness trails (where Self-drive campers must comprise at least two vehicles; well-equipped 4x4s are required for the rough, sandy roads), and what was once the Mabuasehube Game Reserve, now incorporated into KTP at its most northeastern reaches.