Home » Travel » ’Peaceful Zim Good for Tourism’

The world’s celebrities and business moguls who have visited Malilangwe Trust in Gonarezhou National Park have given Zimbabwe a clean bill as one of the most peaceful countries in the world, general manager of the Trust, Mr Mark Saunders, said on Thursday.

Mr Saunders said most of the visitors expressed shock at the negative publicity Zimbabwe was getting from the international media compared to the situation on the ground.

Among top visitors to Malilangwe Trust are Microsoft founder Mr Bill Gates and top musician Shakira.

“We have g referrals and huge interest in our community work, our conservation work and we are saying, hey, this is a safe place to be, this is our country, please come back here. And we find some saying we want to come back, we understand,” said Mr Saunders.

“There is a lot of stuff that we hear outside your borders about negatives, which is wrong. That for us is very important,” he said.

“The referrals we get from these high profile people show that they enjoy peace, we get positive spin-offs from that.

“I will say to you intentionally, we have not aertised . . . for us here at Malilangwe Trust, we treat them as if it’s a head of state from another country. That is our tourism philosophy,” he said.

Most of the tourists who enjoy watching game at Malilangwe Trust are treated to the true Zimbabwean hospitality at Singita Pamushana Lodge that is managed by Singita Company.

Singita also runs similar businesses in natural resource-rich South Africa and Kenya. Malilangwe Trust that manages 50 000 hectares of private land in Gonarezhou National Park, practices one of the best conservation in the world that promotes co-existence between people and wild animals.

Over the years, the Trust has managed to maintain a balanced ecosystem where no animal species become a threat to the environment and people.

The place has 2 000 buffaloes against a holding capacity of about 3 000 and whenever the figure gets closer to the limit, they are exchanged among players in the industry.

The place is also home to over 5 000 impalas.

There are about 500 giraffes, over 450 blue wild beasts, rhinoceros, and recently 60 elephants were translocated to Bubi Conservancy as part of efforts to keep the numbers manageable.

The elephants can get to 60 years old and weigh up to eight tonnes. The zebra population is about 300 while kudu number close to 400.

The Shangani people have not been disaantaged by the existence of the trust that is run by trustees Dr Albert Mhlanga, Messrs Nick Fawcett and Ben Faydherede.

Mr Saunders said the Trust employs over 300 people, all of them Zimbabwean.

He said in the surrounding communities of Sango in the north and Matibi in the south, the Trust was running community projects that had seen over 19 000 pupils from 13 local schools receiving supplementary food distributed at 430 points.

“The feeding programmes have seen enrolments improving in schools. Where we run these programmes, pupils are fit and willing to learn. We also assist the communities to become food secure.

“We have opened irrigation schemes for them. We do not believe in spoon-feeding people,” he said.

Source : The Herald