The transnational nature of biodiversity provides impetus for transboundary protected areas, however support for these also stems from expectations of political, social or economic benefits. The sociopolitical context of southern Africa makes conservation initiatives incorporating economic development particularly appealing, and supporters of transboundary conservation advance visions of tourism growth in this regard; however, this assertion has not been objectively assessed. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, straddling South Africa and Botswana, is Africa's oldest formally recognized transfrontier park and widely viewed as the prototype for regional transboundary conservation. This paper examines visitation data combined with results from a visitor survey to indicate the tourism performance of the Park. Visitor numbers to the Park have not grown since its opening, but average length of stay and total visitor days have increased. However, it appears that this increase is primarily due to growth in bed numbers; the survey indicates that the Park's new features are only modestly used, and fewer than 10% of guests visit the adjacent country. Potential barriers to further growth include road conditions, Park size and homogeneity, and a lack of innovative tourism strategies. The need to expand socioeconomic monitoring of transboundary conservation areas in order to ensure their viability is reaffirmed.