Devolving tourism — The story of Nyangombe Safari Lodge

07 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Devolving tourism — The story of Nyangombe Safari Lodge Nyangombe Safari Lodge

The Chronicle

Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
AFTER almost two years of a business hiatus in the tourism sector caused by the Covid-19 pandemic-inspired lockdowns characterised by restrictions on movement across the globe, some tourist attractions and service providers in the tourism value chain were already facing neglect.

However, as much of the world begins to open up, both local and international tourism is on the rebound with emphasis on facelifting the tourist venues across the country as the sector seeks to regain its status as one of the revenue earners in the national economy.

It is in that light that Nyangombe Safari Lodges in Midlands province is being revamped in line with the call by Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu for tourism players in provinces to move in the tide of devolution as espoused in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu

During his tour of tourism resort areas last week, Minister Ndlovu said he was convinced that the province had explicit divergence adding it was a true reflection of everything Zimbabwe, but little was being done to exploit them.

Minister Ndlovu said each province across the country had its unique tourism products that could help contribute to the country’ vision 2030 of achieving an upper middle-income economy.

He said in line with the devolution agenda the ministry was on a drive to develop tourism products at provincial level so as to benefit the provincial economies.

Minister Ndlovu and his Deputy Barbara Rwodzi toured Nyangombe Safari Lodges and its subsidiary Midlands Black Rhino Conservancy before challenging players in the province to unlock the potential that is lying idle in the province.

Located about 38 kilometres out of Kwekwe along Mvuma Road, the place has a unique holiday ambience for family and corporates but very few know about the place yet it remains one of the best tourism places in the Midlands province.

Nyangombe Safari Lodge

It is a place where one comes in direct contact with nature as Sebakwe River meanders through the safari with water washed rocks presenting a lovely unadulterated aura of naturalness where the wild meets civilisation without too much interference with each other.

A small sandy area serves as a perfect spot for a beach where a family can enjoy the moonlight and the heat from a bonfire.

Thatched lodges complete the package which brings with it the natural touch with animals’ skin carpets presenting a pure natural feel.

The bouquet will however, not be complete without the Midlands Black Rhino Conservancy which is home to a number of animals.

Despite it being the only place where the black rhino is found in the province, the conservancy is also home to a number of wild animals such as elephants, resident sable, leopard, eland, kudu, giraffe, crocodile, painted African dog, African rock python, waterbuck among other small species. It also used to be home to the lion.

A farm which produces a variety of commercial seed for export is also part of the Safari.

ZimParks-owned Sebakwe Game Park which houses the iconic Sebakwe Dam also lies just a stone-throw away and tourists may tour the place at any time.

With such a package, all that the management need to do is to market the place and this is what exactly the team is doing after they invited a team of journalists to spend the weekend and get a feel of the place.

Nyangombe Manager Mr Jed Moyo said their wish was to promote local tourism first before appealing for the international tourists.

Nyangombe Safari Lodge

“We intend to make sure that people of Kwekwe know this place first since charity begins at home. We want to appeal to the Midlanders that there is a place for you that you can spend time with your families and enjoy everything they may enjoy in other resort places like Victoria Falls or Hwange,” said Moyo.

The safari recently acquired four-wheel motor bikes to assist patrons with easy touring of the place which measures around 65 000 hectares including the conservancy.

“Indeed, the bikes are there to facilitate easily access to the Dam that we have in here as well as go around the conservancy. We are very grateful to our leaders who take heed of what we say. The bikes were delivered within two weeks of making the request. This shows how serious we are in turning around the fortunes of this place,” said Moyo.

Midlands Black Rhino Conservancy Conservationist Brilliant Chibura said they were ready for the tourists.

The joint has also lined up other activities like marathon, bonfire activity and family events like mud race among others.

“We are ready to take our tourists around, that is our duty, not just keeping the animals for no reason. That is the beauty of nature and we are glad to be showing everyone around, showcasing what we have as Midlands Province,” he said.

The black rhino population, which at one time had gone down to three due to poaching, has since grown to eight and Chibura is pleased by this.

“Black Rhino is scarce and we are lucky to have it in the province. I am not saying people should not travel to other resort areas, but we are worth a visit,” he said.

The tourism sector is likely to contribute towards unlocking economic value if properly revamped.

The province is endowed with such areas which are waiting to be unlocked among them Chizarira National Park in Gokwe, Gandavaroyi Goerge also in Gokwe, Sebakwe National Park in Kwekwe, Korogwe Gorge in Zhishavane as well as Midlands Black Rhino Conservancy both in Kwekwe.

Chizarira National Park entrance

Paper house, Gweru Military Aircraft Museum, Antelope Park, Gwenhoro Dam, White Waters Resort and Echo Park are also found in the Midlands province. @michaelmagoron1

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