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Swaziland Villagers Turn Over land for Game Reserve

  • Friday, October 1, 1999

Swaziland pastoralists known as Shewula are breaking with tradition by giving over 3,000 hectares of land used for grazing cattle to a large new game reserve. In return, donors are providing funds to build tourism facilities on the land and to train the community in conservation, management and marketing skills.

Swaziland's King Mswati III announced the creation of the new Lubombo conservancy in May as a first step toward establishing a transnational reserve with neighboring South Africa and Mozambique. The transnational reserve is a project of the Peace Parks Foundation and the Rand Lubombo spatial development initiative.

The Lubombo reserve, according to Africa Eye News Service, is a beautiful area encompassing five private game reserves and royal hunting grounds. The goal is to develop the reserve's tourism potential to benefit the rural villagers who have chosen wildlife over cattle.

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