Zim urged to repackage Mapungubwe park
ZIMBABWE urged to repackage Mapungubwe TFCA component Zimbabwe needs to fully utilise opportunities that come with the establishment of the greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA) as a way of boosting the country’s tourism sector, the mega-park’s international coordinator, Mrs Patience Gandiwa has said.
The GMTFCA is made up of three major parks from Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe around the Tuli Circle, and stretches to the south western area of Beitbridge town.
The park also plays host to the annual Tour de Tuli tourism expedition, which attracts over 350 tourists from across the globe.
This year the GMTFCA also played host to 105 other tourists during the Wild-Run.
During the event, tourists spend three days in the park running for fun.
Mrs Gandiwa said in an interview recently that it was important for Zimbabwe to review the state of its component of the mega-park with the view of repackaging it to maximum benefits.
She said the Zimbabwean side was rich in terms of wildlife management, ancient history and cultural preservation around the Maramani community.
“There are many opportunities which arise from the setting up of this park and as Zimbabwe, we need to repackage our component to promote more arrivals.
“Let’s have more tourism or cultural activities in the park rather than waiting for Tour De Tuli or the Wild run only. Zimbabwe is rich in terms of natural resources and you will note that among the three countries, we have human settlement who are rich in terms of culture,” she said.
Mrs Gandiwa challenged the country’s media to raise the park’s profile, adding that the area had ancient dinosaur fossils at Sentinel Safaris and that the park has Tuli police station, which is one of the first police stations which were established during the Pioneer Column.
“Zimbabwe being the coordinating country of the mega-park, should take a leading role and come up with a lot of initiatives so that we can get the lion’s share.
“We need to link safaris with education, health, tourism and sports, as well as raising the profile of the GMTFCA. Businesses should see opportunities and build more camps where we can have more tourists putting up,” said Mrs Gandiwa.
She said it was also important to intensify efforts in promoting domestic tourists arrivals in the area.
Mrs Gandiwa said Zimbabwe had the largest population of elephants in its component among other wildlife.