What's New in Zimbabwe?

Ndaipaneyi MukwenaAs Africa continues to hold the world’s attention thanks to the World Cup in South Africa, we caught up with Ndaipaneyi Mukwena of the Zimbabwe Tourism Office.

Mukwena acknowledged that tourism to Zimbabwe has been down in recent years, but quickly added that the country has seen a “revival of visitors” recently. To that end, the Tourism Office is not waiting for traditional markets to come to them, but is reaching out to new ones, looking to simultaneously “revive and revamp” existing relationships and build new ones.

Zimbabwe, Mukwena said, is “gifted with products” for travelers to experience— Victoria Falls being especially high on the list. But the Falls should not stand alone as an attraction, she added; rather, they should be included with visits to the Parks and seeing the Big Five game animals (lions, water buffalo, leopards, rhinos and elephants).

One of the biggest developments in Zimbabwe right now is the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a 13,513-square-mile park that will link the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique; Kruger National Park in South Africa; Gonarezhou National Park, Manjinji Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area in Zimbabwe; as well as the area between Kruger and Gonarezhou—the Sengwe communal land in Zimbabwe and the Makuleke region in South Africa. The project has been ongoing for nearly a decade, and there are rumors that the final combined park will expand to cover 36,000 square miles. (For the record, that’s about the size of the entire state of Maine.)

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