National Geographic : 1996 Jul
On the windswept frontier between two nations, a lion patrols the dry Nossob riverbed, center of a vast ref uge for big game. Here South Africa's Kalahari Gemsbok National Park is joined by afence less border with Botswana's larger Gemsbok National Park. Encompass ing an area larger than Vermont, they represent an Afri can trend toward transnational parks, allowing wildlife free rein in their natural ecosystems. Lions and many other large species had all but disap peared from South Africa by the turn of the century be cause of unbridled hunting by white settlers. But the seeds of a remark able comeback were planted in the 1890s with the country's first game reserves, including Umfolozi in Natal and Sabie in Trans vaal. From the latter sprang Kruger National Park in 1926.