Boundless Southern Africa has enjoyed much success in promoting investments in Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs). Two particular success stories include the redevelopment of a lodge in the Maloti Drakensberg TFCA and the opening of a lodge in the Lubombo TFCA.
The Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge redevelopment project is being managed and delivered through the South African Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP)
The project has been divided into phases with the first phase being focused on upgrading the guest accommodation, and providing suitable management and staff accommodation. Once completed there will be an upgrade of the Sentinel Peak chalets enhancing the visitor experience with uninterrupted views of the Amphitheatre from the beds, as well as modern bathrooms with showers, and a complete re-fit of the interiors. These chalets, which will be of a four-star standard, will provide excellent accommodation for the increasing number of tourists coming to the area.
The project plan includes the re-development of the lodge's older units (rondavels) that will be redeveloped to offer single as well as family units for guest accommodation. Infrastructural work has also been done on sewerage and water-reticulation systems.
In line with standard EPWP project requirements, significant resources have been invested in creating temporary jobs for members of the local community who have benefited from the on-the-job training opportunities.
Guest activities based at Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge include guided or self-guided day walks in the Maloti Drakensberg Mountains, including the Chain Ladder walk to the top of the Amphitheatre, mountain biking and photography expeditions and visiting local crafters.
Management operators Transfrontier Parks Destinations, are currently seeking funders who will help the Batlokoa community-owners of Witsieshoek fund the second phase of developments. This includes re-development of the 40-year old central buildings which house the kitchen, dining room, pub and lounge. In addition, the business plan has identified the need to develop and conference facility. The importance of the second phase is that it will bring the Lodge's facilities into line with equivalent properties in the area so that Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge can deliver a first-class experience for guests, and in so doing build a sustainable business for the Batlokoa community.
His majesty King Mswati III of Swaziland launches the Magadzavane Tourism Complex in the Lubombo Conservancy - Goba TFCA between Swaziland and Mozambique
In March 2012, their majesties officially opened the Magadzavane Lodge in the Lubombo Conservancy. Nestled within the Mlawula Nature Reserve, the forty-bed lodge is furnished with en-suite units, restaurant, bar, self-catering units, conference centre and a swimming pool with a breath-taking view of the Lubombo mountains. Situated 16km from Siteki, near the Goba/Mhlumeni border between Swaziland and Mozambique, the lodge offers spectacular views and tranquil, relaxing environment. It is also an ideal stop-over point for visitors travelling to and from Mozambique. Activities within Mlawula Nature Reserve can be enjoyed by visitors staying at the lodge. These include game viewing, hiking trails, picnics, mountain biking, bird watching and fishing. There is also a spacious campsite for tents and caravans.
Since the lodge opened its doors, it has attracted local and international visitors.
The lodge has become a realisation of the improvement of infrastructure in the Lubombo TFCA and it aims to develop into a notable tourism destination. Having signed the Lubombo TFCA Protocol in 2000, the King was the right person to fulfil the dream of this development coming to fruition.
The lodge is in a nature reserve which is part of the Lubombo Conservancy, a complex of nature reserves which have traversing rights between them, such that a visitor in the Magadzavane complex will have access to the Hlane Game Reserve and view three of the Big Five - the lion, the elephant and the rhino.
The operator of the facility has identified the needs to develop a 60-seater fully furnished conference room with four 15-20-seater break away rooms, as well as additional accommodation units.
For further information about Boundless Southern Africa and the investment opportunities in TFCAs, contact:
Deborah Kahatano, programme manager
Tel: +27 12 310 3734