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The Dark Hole Of Tourism In Zimbabwe, Kariba Is Not Spared

By Shingirai Vambe

An incredible wilderness destination with spectacular views, beautiful sunsets , water activities including fishing. Whether you are traveling for business or leisure you will not miss out on the panoramic views of the lake and surrounding landscapes from various points. Visiting the dam wall is a must and the locals are always ready to share the history of the resort as they sell their local handmade wares. One can visit the nearby islands which are untouched and offer an opportunity to view various game.

It is everyone’s desire and wish, to refresh, travel and appreciate nature. However, it’s a plethora of things that enables citizens, tourists make a destination tick and a must visit or even add on the to-do list, not exciting when you find no accommodation in the few available facilities.

Visit by this publication in the resort town of Kariba was an eye opener to vast opportunities and low hanging fruits the country and tourism industry have in Zimbabwe and this include taxation, pricing, safety and dilapidated infrastructure making it difficult to grow and increase revenue.

Source of revenue and livelihood is from fish, the only affordable commodity in Kariba, everything else will cost one a tooth and a nail. Thriving local economies reported growth in Zimbabwe due to increasing number of local and international tourist travelling to various destinations at least leaving money behind.


90% of tourists travel by air, and the cost of air travel in Zimbabwe, considering state of the road to tourist destinations like Kariba remain high and the road infrastructure keep hindering the possibilities of culture exchange and development happening in between towns and across the country.

The then minister of Tourism, Walter Mzembi told this publication that there are very few flights connecting major cities in Africa and not many of the very few are good enough, or at least meet international standards. The perception of Africa being a country and not a continent has to change. We need to overhaul the entire air transport system within Africa, and engender more airlines to fly within Africa.

“The number of tourists visiting Africa every year runs into millions. Imagine how many more we will record if we can bring in more airlines to convey many more tourists to various destinations” Mzembi said.

He said there was lack of strategically-integrated product development in Zimbabwe, hence the need to develop marketable products under the right leadership.

The exorbitant and prohibitive cost of accommodation in Kariba has improved business in the lake, where majority now resort to get into the house boat and float across the lake than paying a double standard hotel room between US $200 and $400 dollars per night let alone the cost of flying to Kariba with Fastjet, US$360 round trip either from Harare or Victoria Falls.

The existing opportunity in Kariba is building of more hospitality facilities and increase competition so as to reduce the price of a room per night. The scenic view and geographic setup of Kariba, gives one an opportunity to put a zip line and a sky-walk currently found in the heart of Manicaland.

Associated with only fishing activities, 77km from Makuti to Kariba by road, one is already in the game park and very few people know there are elephants and lions as well as other wildlife species found in Kariba including zebras. Without a guide it is difficult to know how to get about hence a billboard map of the destination would be ideal as one enters the resort.

Meanwhile,Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) announced that FlySafair, a leading South African Low-Cost airline, will be launching its inaugural flight into Harare, Zimbabwe on October 2, 2023. As part of their expansion into Southern African countries, FlySafair will be adding Harare, Livingstone, Victoria Falls, and Maputo to their route network.

FlySafair, a subsidiary of Safair Operations, has been a prominent provider of specialized aviation services in Africa since 1965. They have established themselves as a major player in the South African aviation industry, even serving as the domestic carrier for the South African national rugby team, the Springboks.

With a mission to provide a low-fare, hassle-free, and punctual travel experience, FlySafair has served over 30 million customers on their domestic routes. Now, they are excited to extend their services to Harare, Zimbabwe.