TFCAs are Transfrontier Conservation Areas.  Each TFCA includes land which can be park, conservancy, forest, and village; and they cross international borders.  The idea behind these conservation areas is to bring governments together to combine their efforts in protecting the environment.

For a long time now it has been noted that, as human settlement has increased, wildlife is becoming confined to a limited range.  This puts pressure on the environment and also confines the gene pool of the animals.

In order to redress this situation, Peace Parks Foundation is promoting cooperation between countries to take down fences both literally and mentally to allow free movement of wildlife and people.

Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area
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Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area is known as KAZA

KAZA is the size of France and takes in parts of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Angola.  The map shows the parks and game reserves which are included in KAZA; the yellow areas are other environmentally-protected areas like safari areas, game management areas and forests.

KAZA is a very ambitious project which aims to bring together the governments of five countries to protect the environment and the wildlife which relies on it.  The project started in 2006 by the Peace Parks Foundation and long strides have been made, mostly political with all five countries totally committed to it.

Since its inception we have seen several conservancies set up in traditional areas between the parks, led by the chiefs who own the land.  These conservancies are vital to the free movement of wildlife.

A lot of work has been done in Sioma Ngwezi National Park to reduce the poaching; the poaching being a result of the war in Angola.  It will soon become a park to visit but, at the moment, there are no facilities.

Land mines have been removed from Liuana and surrounding areas in Angola.

One of the main focuses for wildlife has been on elephant corridors.  Botswana and Zimbabwe have over populations of elephant and the environment is being damaged by them.  Since KAZA we have seen an increase of elephant movements from Chobe into Namibia and then over to Angola and Zambia.  Recently a large herd was spotted in Sioma Ngwezi, an area which had not seen elephants for decades.

The KAZA Visa for visitors to the region is a direct result of negotiations instigated by Peace Parks.   The visa allows visitors to move between the countries without paying visas at each country border – Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Traditional leaders met for the first time from four of the countries.  Photograph from Peace Parks.

Zambia-Malawi Transfrontier Conservation Area
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The Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area started in 2004.  The TFCA is over 30,000 sq km, about the size of Belgium.  Nyika National Park is the highest park in Zambia with montane grassland, some evergreen forests and can be covered in mist.  Lukusuzi, to the east of South Luangwa is mostly miombo (two-storey) forests and grassland.   The wildlife includes over 100 mammal species.  On the Malawi side the parks have similar wildlife but also include some cultural heritage including rock paintings and traditional iron smelting kilns.

Development up to date has been mostly in infrastructure development with rangers being trained and housed.  Recently Peace Parks organized the relocation of elephants into the TFCA on the Malawi side.

Zambia-Zimbabwe Transfrontier Conservation Area
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The Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools Transfrontier Conservation Area is over 17,000 sq km – about the same size as Swaziland.  It joins Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia and Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe.  Dividing the two countries is the Zambezi River.  The Zambezi River runs through a valley with the Zambezi Escarpment rising both sides.  It is an extremely beautiful area with plenty of wildlife and popular with visitors.  Mana Pools was recognised as a World Heritage Site in 1984.

The two governments have yet to sign the agreement to formalise the TFCA.

Zambia-Angola Transfrontier Conservation Area
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The Liuwa Plains-Mussuma TFCA is still in its early stages.  The Angola government declared Mussuma a National Park in preparation of formalizing the TFCA but that seems to be as far as we have got so far.  This TFCA is an important development between Zambia and Angola.  The wildebeest migration takes place between the two countries and it is important that the herds are monitored and safe.

The area is over 14,000 sq km – about the size of Connecticut in the US.