Nature and Characteristics of Wildlife Tourism in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Keywords:South Africa; Botswana; Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park; culture; host communities
Southern Africa is a prominent wildlife destination in the continent. The sub-continent houses a wide range of protected areas, including national parks, game reserves and Transfrontier parks. The overall purpose of the present study was to explore the nature and characteristics of wildlife tourism in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and adjacent communities. The study adopted a qualitative approach and included two case study areas in South Africa and Botswana. In total, 26 interviews were purposively collected from tourism stakeholders within the two communities. Key findings show the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park to be a low impact Park with visitor restrictions. Additionally, the nature of wildlife tourism differed in the two communities, in which one largely focused on the integration of culture and tradition in the tourism experiences while the other was limited to being a transit site. The study recognised culture and conservation values as the two prominent wildlife tourism characteristics in the host communities of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which thereby places restrictions to the scale of tourism development in the region but offering tourism diversification opportunities for the adjacent communities
Baghai, M., Miller, J.R.B., Blanken, L.J., Dublin, H.T., Fitzgerald, K.H., Gandiwa, P., Laurenson, K., Milanzi, J., Nelson, A. & Lindsey, P. (2018). Models for the collaborative management of Africa's protected areas. Biological Conservation, 218:73-82.
Belicia, T.X. & Islam, M.S. (2018). Towards a decommodified wildlife tourism: Why market environmentalism is not enough for conservation. Societies, 8(59):1-15.
Bello, F.G., Lovelock, B. & Carr, N. (2017). Constraints of community participation in protected area-based tourism planning: The case of Malawi. Journal of Ecotourism, 16(2):131-151.
Bhatasara, S., Nyamwanza, A. M., & Kujinga, K. (2013). Transfrontier Parks and Development in Southern Africa: The Case of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. Development Southern Africa, 30(4-5), 629-639.
Black, R. & Cobbinah, P. B. (2018). Local Attitudes Towards Tourism and Conservation in Rural Botswana and Rwanda. Journal of Ecotourism, 17(1), 79-105.
Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO). (2015). Travel companion: Kgalagadi/Central. Gaborone: BTO.
Butler, G. & Richardson, S. (2015). Barriers to visiting South Africa's national parks in the post-apartheid era: Black South African perspectives from Soweto. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23(1):146-166.
Carvanche-Franco, M., Segerra-Ona, M. & Carrascosa-Lopez, C. (2019). Motivations Analysis in Ecotourism through an Empirical Application: Segmentation, Characteristics and Motivations of the Consumer. GeoJournal of Tourism and Geosites, 24(1), 60-73.
Chiutsi, S. & Saarinen, J. (2017) Local Participation in Transfrontier Tourism: Case of Sengwe Community in Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, Zimbabwe. Development Southern Africa, 34(3), 260-275.
Chiutsi, S. & Saarinen, J. (2019). The limits of inclusivity and sustainability in Transfrontier peace parks: case of Sengwe community in Great Limpopo Transfrontier conservation area, Zimbabwe. Critical African Studies, 11(3): 348-360.
Christie, I., Fernandes, E., Messerli, H. & Twining-Ward, L. (2013). Tourism in Africa: Harnessing tourism for growth and improved livelihoods. Washington DC: World Bank.
Cobbinah, P.B., Black, R. & Thwaites, R. (2015). Ecotourism implementation in the Kakum Conservation Area, Ghana: Administration framework and local community experiences. Journal of Ecotourism, 14(2-3):223-242.
Cobbinah, P.B., Amenuvor, D., Black, R. & Peprah, C. (2017). Ecotourism in the Kakum Conservation Area, Ghana: Local politics, practice and outcome. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 20:34-44.
Convention on Biological Diversity. (2010). The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2012 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Nagoya: Japan.
Curtin, S. & Kragh, G. (2014). Wildlife tourism: Reconnecting people with nature. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 19(6):545-554.
Eshun, G., & Tichaawa, T.M., (2019). Reconsidering Participation for Local Community Well-Being in Ecotourism in Ghana. GeoJournal of Tourism and Geosites, 27(4), 1184–1200.
Eshun, G., & Tichaawa, T.M., (2020). Community Participation, risk management and ecotourism sustainability issues in Ghana. Geojournal of Tourism and Geosites, 28(1): 313-331.
Harilal, V. & Tichaawa, T. M. (2018). Ecotourism and Alternative Livelihood Strategies in Cameroon’s Protected Areas. EuroEconomica, 1(37), 133-148.
Harilal, V., Tichaawa, T.M. & Saarinen, J. (2019). “Development Without Policy”: Tourism Planning and Research Needs in Cameroon, Central Africa. Tourism Planning & Development, 16(6), 696-705.
Lekgau, R.J. & Tichaawa, T.M., (2019). Effects of Institutional Arrangements and Policies on Community Participation in Wildlife Tourism in Africa. GeoJournal of Tourism and Geosites, 27(4): 1280–1295.
Makindi, S.M. (2016). Local communities, biodiversity conservation and ecotourism: A case study of the Kimana Community Wildlife Sanctuary, Kenya. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 5(3):1-15.
Markwell, K. (2018). An assessment of wildlife tourism prospects in Papua New Guinea. Tourism Recreation Research, 43(2):250-263.
Mbaiwa, J.E., Stronza, A.L. & Kreuter, U. (2011). From collaboration to conservation: Insights from the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Society and Natural Resources, 24(4):400-411.
Mbaiwa, J. E. (2017). Poverty or Riches: Who Benefits From Booming Tourism Industry in Botswana? Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 35(1), 93-122.
Mbaiwa, J.E. (2018). Effects of safari hunting ban on rural livelihoods and wildlife conservation in Northern Botswana. South African Geographical Journal, 100(1):41-61.
Moswete, N. & Thapa, B. (2018). Local Communities, CBOs/Trusts, and People–Park Relationships: A Case Study of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana. The George Wright Forum, 35 (1), 96 – 108.
Moswete, N., Thapa, B., and Child, B. (2012). Attitudes and Opinions of Locals and National Public Sector Stakeholders Towards Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 19(1), 67-80.
Moswete, N., Thapa, B. & Darley, W.K. (2020). Local communities attitudes and support of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in southwest Botswana. Sustainability, 12(4): 15-24.
Mukobo, N. (2017). The Role of Transfrontier Conservation Areas and Their Institutional Framework in Natural Resource-based Conflict Management: A Review. Journal of Sustainable Forestry, 36(6):583-603.
Pour, M.D., Barati, A.A., Azadi, H. & Scheffran, J. (2018). Revealing the role of livelihood assets in livelihood strategies: Towards enhancing conservation and livelihood development in Hara Biosphere Reserve in Iran. Ecological Indicators, 94:336-347.
Qingming, C., Honggang, X. & Wall, G. (2012). A cultural perspective on wildlife tourism in China. Tourism Recreation Research, 37(1):27-36.
Ramukumba, T. (2016). Profiling visitor characteristics at Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 5(3):1-9.
Roy, A.K.D. (2016). Local community attitudes towards mangrove forest conservation: Lessons from Bangladesh. Marine Policy, 74:186-194.
Saarinen, J., Hambira, W.L., Atlhopheng, J. & Manwa, H. (2012). Tourism industry reaction to climate change in Kgalagadi South District, Botswana. Development Southern Africa, 29(2): 273-285.
Saayman, M. & Dieske, T. (2015). Segmentation by motivation of tourists to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. South African Journal of Business Management, 46(1):77-87.
Saufi, A., O’Brien, D. & Wilkins, H. (2013). Inhibitors to host community participation in sustainable tourism development in developing countries. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 22(5): 801-820.
Sene-Harper, A., Matarrita-Cascante, D. & Larson, L.R. (2018). Leveraging local livelihood strategy to support conservation and development in West Africa. Environmental Development, 29:16-28.
Soe, K.T. & Yeo-Chang, Y. (2019). Perceptions of forest-dependent communities towards participation in forest conservation: A case study in Bago Yoma, South Central Myanmar. Forest Policy and Economics, 100:129-141.
Snyman, S.L. (2012). The role of tourism employment in poverty reduction and community perceptions of conservation and tourism in southern Africa. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 20(3):395-416.
Snyman, D. (2017). African tourism industry employees: Expenditure patterns and comparison with other community members. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 27(6):788-804.
South Africa. Department of Tourism. (2020). Tourism Act. Available at: https://www.tourism.gov.za/AboutNDT/Pages/Tourism-Act.aspx. [Accessed 19 May 2019].
South African National Parks (SANParks). (2015). Arid parks: Boundless across countries. Pretoria: SANParks.
South African National Parks (SANParks). (2019). Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Guest Demographic. Pretoria: SANParks.
Stone, M. T. & Nyaupane, G. P. (2018). Protected Areas, Wildlife Based Community Tourism and Community Livelihood Dynamics: Spiralling Up and Down of Community Capitals. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 26(2), 307-324.
Tichaawa, TM. & Mhlanga, O. (2015). Community perceptions of a community-based tourism project: a case study of the CAMPFIRE programme in Zimbabwe. African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance, 1(12):55-67.
Tessema, M.E., Lilieholm, R.J., Ashenafi, Z.T. & Leader-Willams, N. (2010). Community attitudes toward wildlife and protected areas in Ethiopia. Society and Natural Resources, 23(6):489-506.
Thondhlana, G., Shackleton, S., & Blignaut, J. (2015). Local Institutions, Actors and Natural Resources Governance in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Surrounds, South Africa. Land Use Policy, 47, 121-129.
United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). (2015). Towards measuring the economic value of wildlife watching tourism in Africa – Briefing paper. Madrid: UNWTO.
United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). (2019). The Economic Impact of Global Wildlife Tourism. Madrid: UNWTO.
Winterbach, C.W., Whitesell, C. & Somes, M.J. (2015). Wildlife abundance and diversity as indicators of tourism potential in Northern Botswana. PLoS ONE, 10(8):1-15.
Whitelaw, P.A., Kind, B.E.M. & Tolkach, D. (2014). Protected areas, conservation and tourism - financing the sustainable dream. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 22(4):584-603
World Bank Group. (2018). Supporting sustainable livelihoods through wildlife tourism. Washington DC: World Bank Group.
Zafra-Calvo, N. & Moreno-Peñaranda, R. (2018). Exploring local people’s views on the livelihood impacts of privately versus community managed conservation strategies in the Ruvuma landscape of North Mozambique-South Tanzania. Journal of Environmental Management, 206:853-862.
The author fully assumes the content originality and the holograph signature makes him responsible in case of trial.