from OBERT SIAMILANDU in Kariba, Zimbabwe
KARIBA, (CAJ News) – BOASTING the world’s largest man-made lake and teeming with game and bird life as well as being a household destination for fishing, Kariba is undoubtedly a jewel in Zimbabwe’s tourism crown.
However, lack of marketing has hindered the northern Zimbabwean town from fulfilling its potential.
It is against the backdrop of this that an industry executive, Cephas Shonhiwa, granted this CAJ News Africa an interview.
A holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies, and several diplomas that includes Natural Resources and Wildlife Management, Community Development and Monitoring and Evaluation, he has spent more than 15 years in the field of tourism promoting Kariba, Zimbabwe and other destinations in Southern Africa.
He has served in various associations and trusts as a board member.
Shonhihwa also serves as a volunteer environment and conservation specialist in various non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
He has been invited by several tourism boards to assess their tourism facilities and activities across African countries.
Shonhiwa is the Executive Director of Malachite Travel and Tours, a destination management company (DMC) that develops packages and facilitates tours in Southern and East African destinations focusing more on leisure tourism (safari packages, attractions, history, culture, museums and monuments) and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) tourism.
“As a DMC Malachite we believe in Tourism partnerships and collaborations,” he said.
“We believe that destination Kariba has the potential to become Zimbabwe’s tourist hotspot if fully marketed and resources with tourists’ facilities such as infrastructure.”
Malachite is a member of the Travel Connection Africa (TCA), a networking body created in 2016. Shonhiwa is a founding member and assumes the role of the President.
TCA is responsible for the development and promotion of Intra African Tourism, connecting African tourism players.
Shonhiwa is also the Administrator at Kariba Tourism and Business Indaba (KTBI), a registered community initiative member organisation representing tourism, business and community of Kariba.
The association also covers Binga to Kanyemba. Currently, its membership stands at 144.
KTBI keeps the government, at the highest level, updated on its projects and progress and has in turn received much interest and encouragement pertaining to travel and tourism matters.
KTBI lobbies the relevant authorities on pertinent issues as well as promoting Kariba to restore its identity as a prime tourist destination in Zimbabwe.
The overall aim of KTBI is to promote, co-ordinate and consolidate all aspects of tourism business and community life for the development of Kariba and Zambezi Valley.
“The organisation will continue to work tirelessly with all interested parties in the revival of Kariba as a destination,” Shonhiwa pledged.
Keith Ballantyne, KTBI treasurer, who described Kariba as the ‘jewel’ in Zimbabwe’s tourism crown, noted Kariba attracts both local and international tourists.
“Therefore, authorities should continue marketing destinations internationally in order to continuously appear on the world map. More wildlife conservation and preservation programmes should be advocated in order to save the wildlife,” Ballantyne said.
– CAJ News