Zim urged to repack­age Ma­pun­gubwe park

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Thu­peyo Mu­leya Beit­bridge Bu­reau

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.

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