SHEARWATER tour and adventure company says they are planning to build a $5 million one-stop different designs hotel and game reserve with a capacity of accommodating in excess of 2 000 guests in Victoria Falls.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
The company’s spokesperson Clement Mukwasi said construction of the lodge, to begin in the next three months, was in response to the government’s request for more accommodation facilities to cater for the increasing number of tourists in the resort town.
Shearwater recently built the $1,2 million Victoria Falls Explorers’ Village, a 150-bed lodge opened earlier this year.
Mukwasi said all the paperwork and plans have been put in place and the multi-faceted hotel facility will be located in the 3 000-hectare park, along the Victoria Falls International Airport Road.
“We have since applied to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) because the construction of a lodge, according to the Environmental Management Act, is subject to environmental impact assessment. In two months, EMA would have given us direction as to how to go about the construction of the lodge. Our architects have done all the planning as well, so we are ready to kick off,” he said.
Mukwasi said Shearwater group will soon meet the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to seek clearance to have some wild animals kept at the lodge.
“We will be doing the construction in phases and the target is to finish by 2021. The 3 000 hectares of land given to us is big enough for us to construct as many rooms of different designs as we can. The place will not only be for accommodation, but we will also look for wild animals to be fed in the game park where our guests interact with different types of animals that are not common in the region. We will approach ZimParks for that so that we boost our game.”
Victoria Falls has about eight hotels and 45 lodges with a combined capacity of plus or minus
3 800 beds.
Tourism drivers have revealed that tourism industry in Victoria Falls is booming due to the upgrading of the Victoria Falls International Airport and last month’s hotel occupancy stood at 70%.