from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) – STAKEHOLDERS in the Zimbabwe tourism sector have called for the upgrade of the Kazungula border post, linking the country with three others.
It is one of the most important posts in the country, joining Zimbabwe to Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Anald Musonza, Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe Matabeleland North chairperson, added the facility was also one of the busiest because all the tourists that visit Victoria Falls pass through it.
They use it for day trips into Botswana.
“So this is a very critical entry and exit point for our country,” Musonza said.
“However, infrastructure at the border has not been commensurate with the facility’s importance.”
Besides Kazungula, other ports leading to Victoria Falls include Victoria Falls border with Zambia and Pandamatenga from Botswana.
Before COVID-19, more than 1 000 visitors on average, per day, passed the Kazungula border.
A majority of these are self-drive tourists from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Some are day trippers going to do game drives in Botswana’s Chobe National Park.
The border also handles cargo although the recently commissioned Kazungula Bridge at the tip of the border has diverted haulage and cargo trucks away from using the Zimbabwe ports.
Musonza said tourism was the key economy for Victoria Falls.
“Stakeholders started the Pristine Victoria Falls initiative last year to ensure that each and every one of the citizens embrace cleanliness of the environment including sprucing up Kazungula,” he said.
The government is currently upgrading the Beitbridge border linking Zimbabwe with South Africa and Chirundu to Zambia through the One Stop border concept.
Currently, Kazungula border has a single building with limited offices shared by all border stakeholders.
Five years ago, tourism players built a shed to protect tourists while attended to.
Previously, they would queue under hot conditions.
Daniel Sithole, Green Shango Environment Trust director, said upgrading of border infrastructure should be environment-friendly in order to maintain the destination in its pristine nature.
– CAJ News