Is Zimbabwe back on the traveller’s map?
Back in the day, before UDI, Lancaster House and all the post-independence disasters, Zimbabwe was a fantastic country to visit. Due to the traumatic political unrest over the last few decades Zim has been off the traveller’s radar. But I think all that is gradually changing.
For example, Mana Pools used to be the “must do” of any safari to Zim. The northern boundary of the national park is the River Zambezi, and the ultimate way to explore this area was on a multi-day canoe safari. It’s great to see that the canoe safaris have been re-introduced.
Even more interesting to hear is that the area to the east of the national park (The Sapi Concession) which used to be a hunting reserve: the argument being that revenue raised from hunting fees went to support conservation; controversial stuff. Last month, one of the leading conservation groups from Botswana took over the lease of Sapi which is downstream of Mana Pools. The 118,000 Ha is to be managed exclusively for conservation tourism with a camp set up by the end of 2017, in effect enlarging Mana Pools national park. This is an example of the power of the tourist dollar! Interesting quote from the camp manager, “By the time the camp opens, there should have been about two new cycles of wildlife births that won’t know the scourge of hunting”
Watch this space.