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Land-use in Dry Tropical Savannas

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The Limpopo valley has major trunk roads that access it. These on the whole connect major industrial activities and tourism centres. On the Zimbabwean side of the border 2 major trunk roads connect this region to major centres. Harare is 390 km to the north and Louis Trichard in South Africa is about 300 km due south west. A railway network connects this area directly to the port of Maputo in Mozambique and to the rest of South Africa via the border town of Beit Bridge. In addition, there is a proliferation of small air strips where small private aircraft can land. These are found on private properties on both sides of the border.

The two major economic activities on the Zimbabwean side are, sugar production from the vast sugar cane plantations in this area, and wildlife tourism. The roads were built specifically to serve the former. Although wildlife tourism is not new to this area, the Gonarezhou national park has existed since the 50's, the economic significance of wildlife tourism in the national economies of these areas is a more recent development.

On the South African side the major activities are; citrus tree plantation farming under irrigation with water from the Limpopo river, and wildlife tourism in the Kruger national park. On both side of the Limpopo valley, telecommunication links for the national parks and private game parks and conservancies are excellent.

Within the valley itself, connections to the communal areas have not been well developed, mainly because of a perceived low economic significance. These areas are served by unsurfaced roads, usually in a bad state of repair. Telecommunications are virtually non-existent. The communal areas by and large have been neglected and have a very poor transportation system for those going into and out of these areas.

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