CONSTRUCTION has started on a new tourism complex at Hwange National Park.
The project, which has been given the green light by Environment, Climate and Wildlife Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu, will include a high-security checkpoint with smart-camera technology to prevent the illegal trafficking of wildlife products.
The scheme is part of a 25-year partnership between the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
It’s meant to support wildlife conservation in the Hwange National Park, which is home to 45 000 elephants in addition to other critical biodiversity.
The complex, which is scheduled to be completed by June next year, will include a visitors’ centre, car park, tourism offices, housing for wildlife rangers and a new gate.
Minister Ndlovu said the complex will significantly improve visitors’ experience at Zimbabwe’s flagship park.
“This new complex will greatly increase the visibility of Hwange National Park, improve the visitor experience, enhance security and help reposition the park as a competitive and must-visit destination,” he said.
IFAW Zimbabwe director, Alleta Nyahuye, said their long-term partnership with ZimParks was to transform Hwange National Park into a well-managed and well-protected park that can serve as a haven for wildlife and an economic engine for the country.
“As we forge ahead with this important mission of restoring Hwange National Park to its former glory, we are excited about the journey ahead and remain optimistic that our interventions will contribute to the recovery and growth of Zimbabwe’s tourism sector.”
The ZimParks-IFAW conservation partnership has concentrated on improving parks infrastructure, uplifting community livelihoods, strengthening law enforcement and developing tourism since 2019.