|Thuli Parks and Wildlife Land|
Looking across the Shashe River into Thuli Safari Area, Zimbabwe
|Location||Beitbridge (District) and Gwanda (District), Zimbabwe.|
|Area||416 km2 (161 sq mi)|
|Established||1958, Safari Area 1975|
|Governing body||Zimbabwe 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.
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.
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 .
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.
The protected area comprises a flat landscape, giving way to rugged hilly terrain near the Shashe River. The underlying bedrock is Jurassic basalt,dated at 186.3 ± 1.2 Ma. The basalts fill a NNE-trending trough with inwardly-dipping lava flows, and a well-preserved volcanic caldera.
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,and maintained as a supply base. In the 1970s this building was re-located to the current site, Tuli.
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.
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.
Gonarezhou National Park is a national park located in south-eastern Zimbabwe. It is situated in a relatively remote corner of Masvingo Province, south of Chimanimani along the Mozambique border. Owing to its vast size, rugged terrain and its location away from main tourist routes, large tracts of Gonarezhou remain as pristine wilderness.
Hwange National Park is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe. The park lies in the west, on the main road between Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls and near to Dete.
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.
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 is a 35,000 km² peace park that is in the process of being formed. It will link the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, Kruger National Park in South Africa, Gonarezhou National Park, Manjinji Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area in Zimbabwe, as well as the area between Kruger and Gonarezhou, the Sengwe communal land in Zimbabwe and the Makuleke region in South Africa.
The Limpopo National Park was born when the status of Coutada 16 Wildlife Utilisation Area in Gaza Province, Mozambique, was changed from a hunting concession to a protected area. It forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park with the Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe.
The Kingdom of Mapungubwe (c.1075–1220) was a medieval state in South Africa located at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, south of Great Zimbabwe. The name is derived from either TjiKalanga and Tshivenda. The name might mean "Hill of Jackals". The kingdom was the first stage in a development that would culminate in the creation of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe in the 13th century, and with gold trading links to Rhapta and Kilwa Kisiwani on the African east coast. The Kingdom of Mapungubwe lasted about 80 years, and at its height the capital's population was about 5000 people.
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.
The Shashe River is a major left-bank tributary of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe. It rises northwest of Francistown, Botswana and flows into the Limpopo River where Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa meet. The confluence is at the site of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area.
Mapungubwe National Park is a national park in Limpopo Province, South Africa. It is located by the Kolope River, south of the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers and about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) to the NE of the Venetia Diamond Mine. The National Park borders Mapesu Private Game Reserve to the south. It abuts on the border with Botswana and Zimbabwe, and forms part of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It was established in 1995 and covers an area of over 28,000 hectares. The park protects the historical site of Mapungubwe Hill, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Mapungubwe, as well as the wildlife and riverine forests along the Limpopo River. The Mapungubwe Hill was the site of a community dating back to the Iron Age. Evidences have shown that it was a prosperous community. Archaeologists also uncovered the famous golden rhino figurine from the site. It is one of the few places in Africa that has both meerkats and Nile crocodiles.
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.
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.
The Pebbly Arkose Formation is a Late Triassic geologic formation found in southern Africa.
Balule Nature Reserve is a protected area in Limpopo Province, South Africa which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park as a member of the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR). As part of a wildlife conservation initiative, all fences separating APNR reserves – Balule, Timbavati, Klaserie, Umbabat, Grietjie Private Nature Reserve – and the Kruger National Park have been removed. The ecological benefits of this initiative has made the region a popular ecotourism destination and conservation efforts have ensured that the wildlife population includes all of the Big Five game: lion, African bush elephant, African buffalo, African leopard and black rhinoceros.
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: