TOURISM IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT OF GABORONE GAME RESERVE AND STRATEGIES USED TO MINIMIZE THE IMPACTS WITH THE HELP OF STAKEHOLDERS Gaborone Game Reserve was established in 1988 as a wildlife education centre. Although small, at just under 600 hectares, it is now the third busiest reserve in the whole of Botswana. The park has network of game viewing roads, a visitor’s education centre, picnic sites with barbeque stands set among tall trees, a ‘hide’ for viewing game around waterhole and a ‘bird hide’ overlooking a read-filled expanse of wetland. A detailed route map is supplied at the entrance gate, which is a short distance off Limpopo Drive on the eastern side of the city. A variety of wildlife animals are found there like impala, kudu, ostrich, zebra, gemsbok and springbok. The reserve is also popular with bird watches. The variety of habitats within the pack, from thorn shrubs and woodland forest and marshland has attracted a wide range of birds including raptors, like the snake eagle, the crimson boubou and the gallinule, which inhabits the wetlands. Gaborone Game Reserve was established to enhance conservation awareness in Gaborone and the surrounding areas. (Lebogang, 2010) ENVIROMENTAL IMPACTS
The impacts of tourism upon the environment of Gaborone Game Reserve can be separated into two broad categories of positive and negative impacts. The positive impacts of tourism are that tourism help to protect habitants and wildlife within the park from other more environmentally harmful forms development such as logging or from other forms of destructive human activity such as poaching. Looking at the issue of poaching it is said that poaching in Gaborone Game Reserve is less because it is closer to a police camp called Special Support Group which makes poachers to be afraid to poach there. Tourism has also makes the environment to look beautiful because it has makes some improvements in tourism landscape. The landscape made the environment in the reserve to look attractive which attract tourists and at the same time reducing the effects of soil erosion. Tourism has increased the number of some species of plants and animal’s life, that’s why in the reserve there are a wide range of birds including raptors, like the snake eagle. There are even some improvements in manufactured and natural environment so as to make the environment in the game reserve to be of good quality which will then later satisfy the demands of tourists. It shows that tourism at Gaborone Game Reserve has created beneficial effects on the environment by contributing to environmental protection and conservation which is a way to raise awareness of environmental values and it can serve as a tool to finance protection of natural areas and increase their economic importance. This positive impact on the environment of Gaborone Game Reserve makes the reserve to receive a large number of tourists, thus making the negative impacts from tourism to occur when the level of visitor’s use is greater than the environments ability to cope with this use within the acceptable limits of change. Environmental impacts of tourism which are negative in terms of efficiency and use might be caused by careless behaviour by tourist which can also affect wildlife and ecosystems. A common problem associated is littering, which can potentially result in the death of animals eating the litter and also lead to the attraction of predators of endemic species into areas where they would not normally go or in areas with concentrations of tourist activities and appealing natural attractions, waste disposal is a problem and improper disposal can be a major despoiler of the natural environment.eg picnics in the reserve mostly causes this. (Holden, 2000) Noise pollution from airplanes, cars or buses causes distress to wildlife and can cause animals to alter their natural activity. This usually happens when the tourist use a vehicle to go around the reserve and at the same time the desire...
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Lebogang. (2010). Gaborone Game Reserve. Botswana Bojanala Volume 5 , 10-15.
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