River of Gold, narratives and Exploration of the Great Limpopo River – the story of the ‘great, grey, green, greasy Limpopo all set about with fever trees ’ (Rudyard Kipling). In this most exquisitely designed book, rich with photographs and story, the authors explore the Limpopo River’s history, its ancient past, wildlife, landscapes, early kingdoms and their people, warfare, trade, slaves, 19th-century hunting, travel and adventures and the conservation efforts of four national parks of which the renowned Kruger National Park is one.
The book (and the river) encompasses two world heritage sites, two Transfrontier conservation areas, private game reserves, some of the richest rock art sites in southern Africa with the river’s ‘source’ centred at the site of the world’s richest gold deposits ever discovered, Johannesburg.
This publication comes at a critical time with the growing concern for the country’s water resources, threats to our rivers, wetlands and catchment areas, loss of municipal water through aging infrastructure and contamination through sewage outflow. Add climate change to the mix and the prospects grow dimmer.
River of Gold reveals the magnificence of one of our prime rivers and draws attention to its unique biodiversity and history and reveals information previously unknown. It will also place emphasis on rivers and wetlands and the vital need to conserve them, not just for South Africa’s sake but also for that of neighbouring countries who share this river and its far flung tributaries.
About the authors…
Mike Gardner’s career in the tourism business started in 1967 when he was appointed as assistant to the director of FEDHASA – the Federated Hotel Associations of South Africa. He acquired various diplomas and certificates in advanced tourism studies and in 1970 he applied for and was successful in being appointed as the Chief Marketing and Development Office of the then Rhodesia National Tourist Board. He rose quite swiftly to the post of Director of Tourism and somehow helped to steer the tourism industry through the difficult bush war years in a relatively intact condition. In 1985, they moved to a village near Magoebaskloof and established a tourism research, development and marketing company that still operates today. Mike has explored many wild places in Zimbabwe, Venda and Limpopo Province and he was quick to accept the invitation to become a co-author of the proposed book on the Limpopo River.
Peter Norton has worked as a widely respected ecologist deeply rooted in the South African bush. His research spans klipspringer, Cape mountain leopard and mountain reedbuck, among many others. After working as a scientist and researcher for conservation for 20 years, Peter became one of the early people working in ecotourism in the Northern and Eastern Cape, Transkei and in the northern provinces of South Africa. He coordinated for Mapungubwe to be a World Heritage Site, as well as the Cradle of Humankind, Limpopo Transfrontier Park, and urban tourism in Soweto.
Clive Walker is well known for his work in rhino conservation. He is the author of The Rhino Keepers (Jacana, 2012) He founded the Endangered Wildlife Trust in 1973. He cofounded the Rhino and Elephant Foundation and the African Rhino Owners Association, and served on the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group for close on 14 years. He served as a member of the South African National Parks Board from 2000 to 2006.
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