Zimbabwe- once avoided, now must visit


“This country’s beauty and bounty have been overshadowed by political unrest and economic collapse over the last few decades, but today, the government is finally stable, the overinflated Zimbabwean dollar is gone, and the prices are low.”

One might be tempted to think that this is something from a Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front “apologist”. It is not.

It is from one of the leading newspapers in the United States, the only country that still maintains full sanctions on Zimbabwe. It is from the New York Times.

“An international terminal at Victoria Falls Airport set to open in July will make it far easier to get to, and new trips from outfitters like Red Savannah and Cox and Kings give travelers a way to explore the many riches: There’s the spectacular Victoria Falls, the Zambezi, Unesco World Heritage sites like the granite landform Matobo Hills and the colonial charm of cities like Harare.

“The biggest draw, however, might be the abundance of game, including hippos and lions, on full view on water safaris, like those offered by the new luxury cruiser Matusadona, or the old-fashioned way, by land, at upscale lodges like Bomani Tented Lodge in Hwange National Park,” says travel writer Shivani Vora.

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi last year said Zimbabwe could boost its tourism earnings from US$1 billion to US$5 billion within the next six years and he was not dreaming.

“We have the potential to earn $5 billion per annum by 2020. The $5 billion is exactly the size of Minister Chinamasa’s budget today. I am not dreaming. In 1999 we had 48 international carriers landing at Harare International Airport, today we are at 16. We are seeking to bring Zimbabwe back to its air hub status. We need to sign up another 32 airlines and it is not impossible.”

His ministry was, however, only allocated $6.2 million this financial year. It had applied for $73.2 million.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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