Property giant, Old Mutual Zimbabwe, through its life assurance arm, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Zimbabwe (OMLAC), is set to construct a four-star hotel in Victoria Falls city, a Government minister revealed on Tuesday.
Friday, 4 June 2021
Thursday, 15 April 2021
Saturday, 10 April 2021
Monday, 8 March 2021
Saturday, 6 March 2021
The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has indefinitely shelved plans to force haulage trucks to use Kazungula Bridge by denying them access through Livingstone-Victoria Falls Border Post.
The ban was supposed to be effective March 1, 2021 and the justification given was the need to reduce the volume of heavy commercial traffic into the resorts of Livingstone and Victoria Falls towns.
Thursday, 25 February 2021
ZimParks Under Pressure
ZimParks Director General comments on financial
pressures and causes confusion over Private Concessions in
By Peter Roberts
By Peter Roberts
The Director-General of the Zimbabwe National Park and Wildlife Authority, Dr Fulton Mangwanya, has revealed some of the financial pressures facing ZimParks during the ongoing global pandemic and caused confusion in comments on proposals for private tourism concessions in the Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls.
In an interview with Willson Chimwedzi for 'The Green Show' (Heart and Soul Radio) on 17th February, Dr Mangwanya indicated that apart from annual license fees from private concessions, the Authority's income is currently practically zero.
"Yes, indeed this pandemic has caused quite a
lot of problems, like our tourism has been badly affected, if we talk of
Zimparks, because 80% of our tourists are regional, and as you are talking
right now no-one is coming in. The local ones, who are the domestic tourism, we
can't talk of much because there is no industry to travel in - everything is
down. International tourists definitely are not coming because of the
lockdowns, and with the new strain in
"Right now we've got [only] 10% of staff at work... So I'm working extra hours to make things work, because if I don't provide salaries for my rangers they will turn into poachers, so the best thing is to make sure I get something to pay them and then the Directors are paid later, even a month or two months later, it's ok, so long as we pay those ones on the ground."
Private concessions have become an increasing feature in the country's National Parks in recent years, with sites licensed to tourism operators to develop exclusive safari lodges and camps catering for international tourists. Whilst providing an important element of the country's tourism industry, and revenue for ZimParks (which is entirely self-funded), the tourism operators also often play an important role in local anti-poaching initiatives and community and conservation support projects.
There are, however,
increasing pressures against plans to grant a raft of new concessions, after a proposal
to develop a popular public campsite in the
Speaking last week Dr Mangwanya appeared to confuse the issue, outlining plans to 'upgrade' four sites in the Park 'so that the public can go and actually enjoy' them.
"What we are doing in Victoria Falls - I have
had some complaints - we have got about twenty-five picnic sites along
On first impression Dr
Mangwanya appears to be saying that these existing four sites will all be
refurbished for public use. It is understood, however, that private lodge
concessions are still being considered at Siansimba and
If this is the case the Environmental Impact Assessment currently underway for the Siansimba Tented Camp should clearly include the identification and consideration of this new public site in addition to the private development, and the proposal reviewed as a whole. The developments must also be assessed in relation to each other and existing private concessions, and this can only be done will full public disclosure of the current plans and with the implementation of ongoing monitoring and assessment of the impacts of existing tourism developments.
It remains to be seen if the fragile woodland belt which extends along the riverside can sustain the development of further sites, as well as all the extra impacts that come with the development of private tourism camps, without significant degradation of their natural and wildlife value, or if these new alternative sites will be of equal value in terms of scenic location and visitor experience.
Facebook (8th January 2021) EIA Stakeholder Consultation For Siansimba Tented Safari Camp -
The Green Show (17th February 2021) The State of Our National Parks, Heart and Soul Radio (Facebook link to video broadcast of show).
Victoria Falls Bits and Blogs (8th February 2021)
Victoria Falls Bits and Blogs (17th February 2021) Campaign to Save SiansimbaGains Momentum.