Maremani Nature Reserve
The Maremani Nature Reserve is a 40,000 ha. area of tropical savannah in northernmost South Africa close to the Limpopo River, and bordering Zimbabwe, that has been developed by the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation for nature conservation and wildlife protection since 1999.
The vision and mission for the Maremani Nature Reserve is the restoration of the natural attributes of the environment to a level where the area represents its original state, before human impact, as closely as possible. Through the acquisition of a number of arid hunting and infertile farming areas it has become possible to let the natural animal life and indigenous plants of the wooded savannah regenerate in a large continuous natural area with watering holes and secure habitats.
Most of the northern and north-eastern regions of South Africa, commonly referred to as Bushveld and Lowveld, are notoriously drought prone and consequently high-risk areas for dryland farming and, at best, marginal for domestic stock farming. On the other hand, the highly diversified range of attractions provided by wildlife – especially in remote wilderness areas – has opened new opportunities of land-use.
Many scientists and experts have contributed to planning the nature reserve. The management is supervised by one of South Africa’s most recognised nature experts, Dr. Salomon Joubert, former director of Kruger National Park, who contributes to securing the contact with students and scientists who visit Maremani.
In South Africa national and provincial parks are well established and largely provide for the local population. From the early 1970’s private game lodges have steadily increased, with sharp increases during the 1990’s. This development has been widely welcomed, both from an economic and conservation point of view and is especially attractive due to the highly diversified potential of nature-based opportunities it offers.
The major attractions offered by natural surroundings are their biodiversity and wilderness ambience. In terms of their economic importance these attributes may be seen as the products on offer. In this respect and as a general rule, the wilderness atmosphere and biodiversity qualities of an area are enhanced by its size. Consequently this has prompted the consolidation of erstwhile fragmented farming land into larger, uniformly managed areas, either by way of multi-owner contractual agreement or single owner land purchases. These developments have been hailed in South Africa as one of the major economic cornerstones of the future.