Wildlife exceeds waterfalls as tourist trump card


Games drives in Victoria Falls

from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) -WHILE the majestic waterfalls are the most famous tourist attraction in Zimbabwe, because of the Victoria Falls being one of the world’s seven natural wonders, wildlife is becoming the main drawcard for travelers in the city.

Hence, game drives are becoming the most popular activity.

According to stakeholders, a majority of tourists during the festive period booked for the drive.

“Wildlife is becoming the main attraction for travelers in Victoria Falls. Three-quarters of people who booked during the festive season booked for game drives,” said tourism executive, Clement Mukwasi.

Game drives, cruises, white water rafting, tour of the Falls and high wire activities such as gorge swing and others make up a full basket list of activities in the country’s prime resort city.

Locals were the majority of travelers that visited Victoria Falls during the December holidays.

Chamabondo, Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Parks are in the city.

Victoria Falls National Park has small game while Zambezi and Chamabondo have the Big Five, especially in the private concessions.

The Big Five comprising the elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and the endangered rhinocerous, which is found at the protected sanctuary at Stanley and Livingstone can be found in Victoria Falls.

Some clients book for game drives in the vast Hwange National Park, about 200km away from the Victoria Falls.

“Wildlife is becoming the most attraction as more and more people want to be close to nature and also enjoy the open air and uncrowded spaces,” Anald Musonza, Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe Matabeleland North chairperson, said.

Wildlife photo and hunting offer enormous growth potential.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority reported that close to 1 million tourists entered national parks in 2019 when 2,29 million tourists visited Zimbabwe.

More than 2,57 million tourists visited Zimbabwe in 2018.

Numbers fell drastically in 2020 and 2021 because of the global COVID-19 but wildlife remained the major attraction.

Tourism is Zimbabwe’s third largest sector after mining and agriculture.

The sector at peak contributes about 10 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Zimbabwe.

– CAJ News