ZIMBABWE, one of Africa’s most beautiful countries, has been neglected as a tourist destination for many years, but is gradually making a comeback.
This is a place not to be missed, with one of the best climates in the world, a wonderful blend of different scenery and wildlife, and an ambiance unique to Africa.
Tourism is the third sector in Zimbabwe, ranking behind mining and agriculture. Hwange, Mana Pools, and Gonarezhou National Parks are among the national parks and natural attractions in Zimbabwe, along with Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba and The Great Zimbabwe National Monument.
The magnificent Victoria Falls is the most famous and well-known attraction. This magnificent curtain of water, known as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, offers a variety of activities and attractions to keep visitors entertained.
Try bungee jumping and white water rafting, or take a helicopter or microlight trip to get a bird's eye view of this magnificent monument.
Victoria Falls is one of Zimbabwe's most famous picturesque features, with thousands of visitors each year. While it is a popular destination for athletic people, it is also ideal for honeymooning couples and families!
Zimbabwe is distinguished from the others by the existence of a number of old and fallen civilisations. This blast from the past adds a whole new sense of authenticity to traveling the nation, built in a dry stone style peculiar to the ruins.
The most well-known of these are the Great Zimbabwe Ruins in Masvingo, which are a Unesco World Heritage Site. Its walls, some of which reach over five metres in height, are one of its most noticeable features. It was the royal palace from which the rulers of the day would rule, and it was formerly home to 18 000 people.
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Hwange National Park has all you need if you enjoy wildlife. It is also known as the country's best reserve, having substantial elephant and buffalo herds and about 400 distinct bird species, including the southern carmine bee-eater and the Kori Bustard in the summer months.
Grassland, Kalahari sandveld, saltpans, and woods; the park's rich scenery is only enhanced by the fauna that inhabits there.
Take in the beauty of Mana Pools National Park with boat cruises along the roaring Zambezi River and fantastic animal watching.
The Zambezi River dominates the environment, which is a mix of floodplains and grasslands, with the Rift Valley highlands towering in the distance.
Because there are four large pools in the region to visit, the park's name was inspired by the number four, with the word “mana” meaning “four” in Shona.
The fauna of the area includes lions, wild canines, and one of Africa's largest populations of hippos, which you may see while gliding down the Zambezi on the Mana Canoe Trail.
Despite the negative effects of Covid-19, tourist arrivals in Zimbabwe decreased by 40% in 2021 to 375 799 from 630 369 in 2020, as per Zimbabwe Tourism Authority data.
Despite a decrease in arrivals from Europe, the Americas, Oceania, and Asia, most visitors to the country came from Africa and the Middle East.
The government has estimated that the tourism industry generated US$397 million in 2021, which is higher than the US$360 million recorded in 2020.
The tourism sector in Zimbabwe experienced a 133% rise in earnings, amounting to US$672,9 million by 2022. Last year, there was a more than two-fold increase in tourist arrivals, with the number of visitors more numerous than ever before, reaching 895 338 and rebounding by over 160%.
Increased receipts are attributed to greater efforts to promote Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE) tourism and travel restrictions as the world emerged from Covid-19 lockdowns.
In recent years, the government has facilitated capital investment in the tourism sector by providing tax-free status and exemptions on certain capital goods for hotels, restaurants, and safari operators.
Wildlife photo and hunting tourism have a significant potential for growth, but some wildlife conservancies faced obstacles in obtaining trophy hunting licences from the government.
The premier tourism expo in Southern Africa, held its 16th edition from October 12–14, 2023, in Bulawayo at the esteemed Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre, commonly known as the Trade Fair Grounds.
Sanganai/Hlanganani is Africa's leading signature event and a great setting for networking and forging lasting business connections. In total, you may conduct 365 days’ worth of business in just three days, giving your brand a significant advantage over rivals. Present your tourism-related goods and services on the biggest stage available.
According to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, this year’s expo highlights Zimbabwe’s tenacity, dynamism, and unrealised tourism potential.
To maximise investment, Zida will launch a tourism matchmaking platform.
The tourism industry will have the opportunity to advertise their businesses on the website to attract investors from both domestic and foreign markets.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Barbra Rwodzi addressed business owners, stakeholders, and leaders in the industry at a breakfast meeting held during the yearly tourism showcase, Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo.
She stated that the industry was essential to the country's economic growth, cross-cultural exchange, and realisation of Vision 2030.
Tourism, according to Rwodzi, was a gateway to cultural interchange, economic growth, and international partnership. She described it as a sector with the capacity to change the nation's image and offer citizens prosperity.
Rwodzi also said the private sector was critical to achieving this potential and asked tourism stakeholders to collaborate to accomplish common goals.
- Denhere is an investigative journalist. — [email protected] or WhatsApp +263 773 894 975.