By Kenias Chivuzhe
INCREASED tourism investment in Mutasa is transforming the district into an intriguing destination of choice in line with the national vision to grow the tourism sector into a five billion dollar industry by 2025.
The arrival of two lions, nine zebras, eleven impalas, four blesbok and crocodiles as well as two ostriches and 12 horses at Wonderland Park in Mutasa rural has excited the local community with the area being transformed into an exhilarating tourism destination.
“The developments in our district has excited us. We have seen lions, zebras, ostrich, and crocodiles among a number of animals that are rare to come across.”
“Plans to bring camels that are found in desert areas will make the area more interesting. We believe this investment will transform lives by not only helping to educate our children but by creating employment. I had never seen an ostrich and a lion in my life and this initiative has brought the animals closer to my home.”
Lion handler Mansen Ncube says all the dangerous animals are kept in enclosures that are well secured while Knowstics Academy head Edith Mukuwapasi spoke on the draw cards at the school-run Wonderland Park which also includes the use of technology.
“We have built this enclosure to secure the lions. All measures have been put in place to ensure the animals will not move out of their habitat. We have adopted the close encounter tourism concept in order to make viewing more intriguing but secure through the use of enclosures made of glass. This will allow tourists and researchers to take pictures and selfies with the animals nearby. The use of technology is critical in broadening tourism packages and grow the tourism industry.”
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority spokesperson Godfrey Koti says Manicaland has huge prospects for tourism growth.
“Manicaland is one of the best provinces in terms of scenic views and the idea now is to invest in infrastructure in all facilities that push the growth of the tourism sector. There is a need for us to entice more investment. However, out of the 100 million investment total that has come through to the sector, a huge chunk has been directed towards Manicaland. The efforts to diversify tourism packages in Manicaland is encouraging as we want to grow the tourism sector into a five billion dollar industry.”
The broadening of tourism packages is in line with the national vision to grow the sector which is one of the country’s low hanging fruits.