Ilala Lodge Hotel Group has commenced construction of a new luxury hotel on the banks of the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, following a Ground-breaking Ceremony held last week. The 4-star luxury hotel will be named the Palm River Lodge and marks a significant expansion to the Ilala Lodge Hotel Group.
Welcoming the construction of the Palm River Lodge, were honorary members of council, including the Honorable Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Matabeleland North Province, Honorable CDE. Richard Moyo and the Mayor of the Municipality of Victoria Falls, Cllr Dhlamini.
“Such expansion allows for the increased accommodation of various tourist activities which translates into an increase of our tourist arrival space,” said the Honorable Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Matabeleland North Province, Honorable CDE. Richard Moyo, “This project will also create a number of job opportunities for our people in the resort town of Victoria Falls and other supporting industries like the transport sector, arts and music industry.”
“In addition to boosting tourism and employment within Victoria Falls, the USD$ 15 million investment marks a distinguished expansion for the Ilala Lodge Hotel Group,” said Jim Brown, CEO of Ilala Lodge Hotel Group, “Given the continued growth of Victoria Falls as one of the premier destinations in Africa, we feel there is room in the market to offer another high-quality, luxury hotel for the discerning traveller.”
The idyllic location of the Palm River Lodge offers an unmatched panoramic view of the renowned Zambezi River, just a short distance from the mighty Victoria Falls waterfall. Guests staying at the hotel will experience the tranquil riverside location, its beautiful landscapes and the wildlife that roams within.
The Palm River Lodge takes inspiration from a rich local history of Victoria Falls town, as illustrated in its high ceilings, spacious verandas and iconic Queenslander style architecture. It will cover a total floor space approx. 8000 square metres.
Inside reflects a modern, natural and stylish elegance, with 73 generously-sized deluxe guest rooms, a luxurious presidential suite, two honeymoon suites and two private villas. The Palm River Lodge will also offer a relaxing spa, state-of-the-art gym facilities and an outdoor swimming pool.
The hotel will present two unique dining experiences, including indoor á la carte fine-dining and outdoor dining on the banks of the Zambezi River. Guests may also delight in luxury river cruises on board the Ra-Ikane River Cruise, owned by the Ilala Lodge Hotel Group.
Striving for first-class service with immaculate attention to detail, the plus 4-star hotel is scheduled for completion in June 2020.
The shortage of land is undermining efforts by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to implement the on-stop-border border post concept at Victoria Falls, it has emerged.
Government is establishing one-stop-border concepts at the country's ports of
entry with Chirundu border on the boundary with Zambia the only facility so far completed.
The programme involves expansion of Victoria Falls, Kazungula, Plumtree, Forbes and Beitbridge border posts to enhance efficiency and improve trade by reducing time spent by travellers and cargo at the borders.
However, Zimra commissioner general Faith Mazani said there is no land for expansion of the Victoria Falls border.
"We do want to facilitate the one-stop border in Victoria Falls but we are restricted by the fact that this is a tourist area," she said.
"There is the game park, the river and railway line and we are looking at opportunity from local government where we can build our commercial facility to ensure that we live up to the smart border concept."
She was speaking at the recent commemoration of the International Customs Day in the resort town. The commemorations are held on the 26th January annually
Meanwhile, Zimra has adopted use of information communication technology systems and other innovative products at border posts to enhance efficiency.
"I am proud to intimate to you that the Electronic Temporary Import Permit project (e-TIP) has been so successful in dealing with the issue of border congestion at Beitbridge Border Post during this past festive season," said the Zimra boss.
"The project allowed travellers to pre-clear their vehicles online thereby reducing the congestion which often worked as a bottleneck to our travellers and tourists.
"We are now working at improving the e-TIP system so that visitors will spend an average of between 3 to 5 minutes to get their temporary import permits processed."
Zimbabwe and Zambia have offered 2,000 and 132 hectares of land respectively around the Victoria Falls area── which borders the two countries── for the construction of the Wakanda One Village.
The project will serve as the first of the project in the Southern African region and will comprise a 100-bed teaching hospital, a university and technical college, primary and secondary schools, day-care centres, three five-star hotels, game lodge, pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, agricultural farms and parks.
The infrastructure will also include a shopping centre, commercial office buildings, renewable power plants, a monorail around the complex and roads ready to support self-driving electric cars.
Zambia made its offer in March and Zimbabwe’s offer was confirmed by African Union Ambassador to the United States of America Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao at the recently held Intra African Trade Fair in Cairo, Egypt.
“I met His Excellency President Mnangagwa recently and he offered us 2000 hectares for the regional Wakanda One Village in Victoria Falls.
The offer comes after the Zambian Government offered some land across the river in Livingstone. We are looking at building a village transcending the borders of the two countries,” she told Zimbabwean journalist Sydney Kawadza in an interview.
The project targets Africans in the diaspora who want to help build the continent to the level they want it to be, Ambassador Chihombori-Quao said earlier this year.
“You know, when you talk about a ‘good Africa’ or returning home, many people say ‘Well, [Africa] is not what I’m used to,’ and to that I always tell them, ‘Then build the home you want,” she said at the launch of the African Diaspora Global Bank.
“We don’t even realize we are on autopilot waiting for the White man to build this ‘civilization’ for us. So we are taking our destiny into our own hands and creating something built for and by the people of the African diaspora,” she added.
The African Union said it will first sensitize the Diaspora before forming an investment board from all the regions of Africa headquartered in Washington DC to manage the fund and decide on the value of shares and conversion factors.
“The establishment of an Investment Board should lead to the opening up of the African Diaspora Savings and Investment Accounts in the four banks. We will also encourage African Diaspora to open individual accounts with a minimum deposit of US$10 a month while the board will decide on the transition to a credit union,” Dr Chihombori-Quao said.
“We are looking at raising at least US$2 billion in the next two years with the first ground breaking set for the end of the year 2020 … We are going to build the Africa that we want so those Diasporans who say I cannot go home because home is not what I am used to will make it what they want,” she added.
Dr. Chihombori-Quao also revealed that Kenya and Tanzania have also pledged land for East Africa’s Wakanda One Village project.