Zimbabwe is one of a few African countries which have helped to drive ecotourism to become the fastest growing sector on the continent. Ecotourism is a growing industry which Zimbabwe is set to cash in on by targeting tourists who spend more and stay longer, which adds to the local economy and creates work. Ecotourism in Zimbabwe is booming and becoming internationally recognised for providing jobs, it’s estimated that the industry now employs around 200,000.
However, Zimbabwe is well-known for its political and economic instability and this has led to a decline in general tourism, but it’s generally very safe for tourists and locals are warm and welcoming. It’s vital that ecotourism in Zimbabwe continues to grow as many communities rely on income from ecotourism in Zimbabwe – without this income, many indigenous people will suffer further crippling poverty.
The Community Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) allows local communities to take control of the wildlife in their area. This brings in much needed revenue from tourists who partake in wildlife watching around national parks and helps to preserve the natural environment. Projects have also been undertaken to build lodges on communal lands for ecotourism in Zimbabwe to become thoroughly viable.
Ecotourism activities in Zimbabwe
Due to the natural beauty and outstanding array of wildlife, there is plenty for those who want to experience ecotourism in Zimbabwe to do. Of course, no trip would be complete without a visit to the magnificent Victoria Falls – visitors can stay in the nearby Victoria Falls Safari Lodge where they will be charmed by the on-site watering hole which attracts a variety of game such as Elephants, Buffalo, Impala and Kudu.
It’s best to use a tour operator which has connections with locals should you want to ensure ecotourism in Zimbabwe is authentic. Look for companies that use local guides and are committed to protecting the environment and wildlife. Zimbabwe is a wonderful country to enjoy a safari holiday, where holidaymakers can enjoy big cats and their prey in their natural habitat. When choosing an operator, make sure they use local lodges and that the money you spend will be going directly into the local economy.
Know before you go
There are many options to consider when planning ecotourism in Zimbabwe, it’s always wise to carry out research first and a plethora of information is available both online and in print. To ensure a trip is truly ecological, read up on how your money will help local communities and how your trip will impact on the local environment. Walking safaris as well as driven are available and these may be a better choice given the high price of fuel, which has already had an effect on ecotourism in Zimbabwe.
Photo credit: IDEE_PER_VIAGGIARE