BULAWAYO, Thursday, August 11, 1966 — Both Wankie and Victoria Falls airfields should be able to take Viscount aircraft if Rhodesia was to keep ahead of its competitors in the tourist field, the Rhodesia Publicity Association’s conference was told here.
Pointing out that Rhodesia was the first country in the world to start an air service into a national park (Wankie), the chairman of the Tourist Board, Sir Athol Evans, said some of Rhodesia’s competitors were trying to copy this country. “We must make sure they don’t overtake us”, he said.
At present DC3s carried tourists into Wankie, but the service could not cope with all those wanting to travel by air. If larger Viscounts could land at Wankie Rhodesia would draw the traffic.
Mr H Chittenden, Assistant Director of Tourism, said the treasury was seeing if it could find funds to extend the Wankie airfield to take Viscounts and to provide full facilities at Victoria Falls. Game culling in the Wankie park would begin in the south where there was an overflow of game into the tribal areas, said Director of National Parks and Wildlife Management, Mr JE Robinson. There were more than 6 000 elephants in the park, he said.
Numbers were increasing still more as the animals come in from the Chobe “in their hundreds”. There were also 10 000 buffalo- more than the park could carry. Culling would begin in about three weeks, with the animals being killed by a drug in a dart fired from a cross bow. Between 400 and 500 elephants a year would be culled.