Thuli Parks and Wildlife Land

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Thuli Parks and Wildlife Land
Thuli sa northx.JPG
Looking across the Shashe River into Thuli Safari Area, Zimbabwe
Location Beitbridge (District) and Gwanda (District), Zimbabwe.
Nearest city Beitbridge
Coordinates 21°58′13″S29°7′22″E / 21.97028°S 29.12278°E / -21.97028; 29.12278 Coordinates: 21°58′13″S29°7′22″E / 21.97028°S 29.12278°E / -21.97028; 29.12278
Area416 km2 (161 sq mi)
Established1958, Safari Area 1975
Governing bodyZimbabwe Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management

Thuli Parks and Wildlife Land is a protected area in south-western Zimbabwe. It comprises four areas within the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Estate and covers the entire west bank of the Shashe River within the Thuli Circle.


The protected area comprises the Thuli Safari Area, plus three small botanical reserves:

The four reserves are administered as a single unit, from the National Parks and Wildlife authority office on the east bank of the Shashe River - just outside the protected area and immediately south of the village of Tuli.

History of the Park

Thuli (Tuli) Safari Area was proclaimed in 1975. Prior to that date (from 1958), it was a controlled hunting area.

In terms of a memorandum signed on 22 June 2006, Thuli Parks and Wildlife Land forms the core of the conservation area that Zimbabwe shall contribute to the Limpopo-Shashe Transfrontier Conservation Area. [1]


The main access point into Thuli Parks and Wildlife Land, crossing the Shashe River near the park office. Four wheel drive is required. Thuli SA N.jpg
The main access point into Thuli Parks and Wildlife Land, crossing the Shashe River near the park office. Four wheel drive is required.

Flora and fauna

Most of the Thuli area is scrubland, with Mopane and combretum bush. The Shashe valley, the park's eastern border, supports riverine vegetation such as Ficus and Faidherbia . [2]

Animal life includes African bush elephants, south-western black rhinoceros, lion, Cape wild dog, Namibian cheetah and African leopard, many of which move freely between the protected area and neighbouring Botswana and South Africa. [3]

Geography and geology

The protected area comprises a flat landscape, giving way to rugged hilly terrain near the Shashe River. The underlying bedrock is Jurassic basalt, [4] dated at 186.3 ± 1.2 Ma. [5] The basalts fill a NNE-trending trough with inwardly-dipping lava flows, [6] and a well-preserved volcanic caldera. [7]

Archaeological, historical and cultural sites

A large Fort (Fort Tuli) existed in the center of the protected area, where in the 1890s oxen and horses were rested prior to crossing the Shashe River. The fort was established by the Pioneer Column in 1890, [8] and maintained as a supply base. [9] In the 1970s this building was re-located to the current site, Tuli.

Accommodation and camping

Camping sites exist at the head office and within the safari area. There are no hotels or self-catering accommodation.

Shashe Wilderness Camp, operated by the Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe (formerly Zimbabwe Wildlife Society), is located just north of the park headquarters.


Road access is via the village of Tuli, which can be reached from Beitbridge via Nottingham Estate, or from Gwanda via Guyu and Hwali. On each access route, much of the distance is over poor roads, and four wheel drive may be required. Four wheel drive is essentially for crossing the Shashe River to access the park. There is an earth airstrip at Tuli.

Thuli Safari Area is currently operated through hunting concessions.

Related Research Articles

Transboundary protected area

A transboundary protected area (TBPA) is an ecological protected area that spans boundaries of more than one country or sub-national entity. Such areas are also known as transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) or peace parks.

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Hwange National Park

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Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) is an agency of the Zimbabwe government managing national parks. Zimbabwe's game reserves are managed by the government. They were initially founded as a means of using unproductive land.

Matobo National Park

The Matobo National Park forms the core of the Matobo or Matopos Hills, an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys commencing some 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Bulawayo, southern Zimbabwe. The hills were formed over 2 billion years ago with granite being forced to the surface, this has eroded to produce smooth "whaleback dwalas" and broken kopjes, strewn with boulders and interspersed with thickets of vegetation. Matopo/Matobo is a corruption of a Venda word, "matombo" which means stones in Tshivenda. It was named by the ancestors of Kalanga and Venda people who are the original natives of the land.

Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park Transfrontier park in South Africa, Mozambique qnd Zimbabwe

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Limpopo National Park

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Kingdom of Mapungubwe

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Tuli, Zimbabwe human settlement

Tuli is a village in the province of Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe. It is located about 90 km west of Beitbridge on the eastern bank of the Shashe River. The village grew around Fort Tuli, which was the first settlement built by the Pioneer Column in July 1890 at the place known as Selous Camp and used by Frederick Selous as a base for his hunting expeditions. The village is mainly a police post and associated housing.

Shashe River

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Thuli River river in Zimbabwe

The Thuli River, former name Tuli River, is a major tributary of the Shashe River in Zimbabwe. It rises near Matopo Mission, Matobo District, and flows into the Shashe River near Tuli village.

Tuli Block

The Tuli Block is a narrow fringe of land at Botswana's eastern border wedged between Zimbabwe in the north and east and South Africa in the south. It consists mainly of privately owned game farms offering safari tourism. The eastern section up to and including Redshield has been declared a game reserve, known as the Northern Tuli Game Reserve.

Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area is a cultural TFCA, formerly known as the Limpopo–Shashe Transfrontier Conservation Area.

Pebbly Arkose Formation

The Pebbly Arkose Formation is a Late Triassic geologic formation found in southern Africa.

Balule Nature Reserve

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The Peace Park Foundation, founded in 1997 by Dr Anton Rupert, President Nelson Mandela and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, is an organization that aims to re-establish, renew and conserve large ecosystems in Africa, transcending man-made boundaries by creating regionally integrated and sustainably managed networks of Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs). Peace Parks Foundation has been involved in the establishment and development of ten of the 18 TFCAs found throughout southern Africa, all of which are in various stages of development. The establishment of each TFCA, or peace park, is complex and far-reaching, and involves several phases of activity, which can take many years to achieve.

The following index is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the protected areas of South Africa:


  1. Limpopo-Shashe Conservation Area Formally Agreed On. Kruger Park Times
  2. Hyde, M.A. and Wursten, B. 2008. Flora of Zimbabwe: Location details: Shashe Wilderness Camp and the Tuli area
  3. Update on the Limpopo-Shashe Transfrontier Conservation Area, Limpopo Valley Carnivores.
  4. Thompson, R.L. (1979). "The geology of the area around Tuli, Mazunga and Gongwe". Rhodesia Geological Survey Short Report. 40.
  5. Rogers, Raymond R.; Rogers, Kristina Curry; Munyikwa, Darlington; Terry, Rebecca C.; Bradley s.Singer (2004). "Sedimentology and taphonomy of the upper Karoo-equivalent Mpandi Formation in the Tuli Basin of Zimbabwe, with a new 40Ar/39Ar age for the Tuli basalts" (PDF). Journal of African Earth Sciences. 40 (3–4): 147. Bibcode:2004JAfES..40..147R. doi:10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2004.11.004.
  6. Vail, J. R.; Hornung, G.; Cox, K. G. (1969). "Karroo basalts of the Tuli Syncline, Rhodesia". Bulletin Volcanologique. 33 (2): 398. Bibcode:1969BVol...33..398V. doi:10.1007/BF02596517. S2CID   129758561.
  7. Reimold, W. U.; Master, S.; Koeberl, C.; Robertson, D. (1994). "The 1993 Zimbabwe impact crater and meteorite expedition". Meteoritics. 29 (4): 521–522. Bibcode:1994Metic..29R.521R.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  8. Hemans, T. Those Were the Days
  9. Hole, H.M. Old Rhodesian Days, Routledge