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The illegal killing in Zimbabwe of Cecil, a lion that was protected and was the subject of a research study, has drawn international attention to wildlife trophy hunting in Africa. Outrage about how Cecil died has led to questions about the larger problem of wildlife conservation in Africa, specifically the decline in Africa’s lion populations.

Speaking on CNN International, Luke Hunter, president of Panthera, an Aid for Africa member working to ensure the future of wild cats through scientific leadership and global conservation action, said that wildlife trophy hunting is used in a number of African countries to help generate funding for conservation.

Wildlife conservation requires “massive resources” that African countries have difficulty generating, he said. “Zimbabwe uses legal trophy hunting to put money back into conversation.”

Hunter said that Zimbabwe does a “pretty good job” of managing trophy hunting and that he believed this illegal hunt was an “outlier.”

Lion populations in Africa are in overall decline in all but a few African countries, according to Hunter. But trophy hunting is not the reason lions and other cats are declining in Africa. Lions are disappearing because of human encroachment into lion habitats and actions by rural African pastoralists who kill lions to protect their livestock.

“In Africa the huge challenge we face is a rapidly growing human population, a large percentage of which relies on livestock for their livelihoods,” Hunter said.

Hunter said it is up to the international community to help fund the African wildlife organizations that are charged with protecting lions and other wildlife. Although we may find trophy hunting distasteful, he said, African governments need the funding that legal trophy hunting brings.

“There are solutions,” Hunter said. He described Panthera programs that employ local people to monitor lion activity in order to protect livestock. The programs provide tools and techniques that help reduce conflict between lions and people. Panthera provides training and equipment for lion monitoring and helps pastoralists build fortified corrals to protect livestock at night. “We reduce the issues from the beginning and also to provide incentives (to protect wildlife),” he said.

“This situation has shown how much people care,” Hunter said. The next step is to support African governments and the people of Africa to better manage wildlife.

Learn more about Panthera’s work to research and save African lions and its innovative solution to save leopards in South


By New Ziana, 15 August 2013

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi told New Ziana that the government had acquired 1,200 hectares of land to construct the park he described as the "Disneyland in Africa."

The Victoria Falls park would house among others shopping malls, banks and exhibition and entertainment facilities such as casinos.

"We have reserved 1,200 hectares of land near the Victoria Falls International Airport to construct hotels and convention centres," Mzembi said on the sidelines of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe from Aug 24 to 29.

Mzembi said the Victoria Falls was not benefiting the country financially at present as it was being used as a transit zone by tourists who flew in to visit the falls and left without spending much in the country.

He hoped that the park would help ensure Victoria Falls town attracts and retains capital in the country.

"We want to create a free zone with a banking centre where even people living outside Zimbabwe can open bank accounts there," he said.

With Victoria Falls declared a cyber city, Mzembi said that the government is also planning to expand the town's airport to provide easy access to larger aircraft.

Zimbabwe's tourism sector earned U.S. 300 million revenue last year.


Sep 06, 2013

The UNWTO General Assembly hosts, Zimbabwe and Zambia, are probably still patting each other on the back for a job well done and so too may many of the participants to the event.

The dust from the United Nations World Tourism Organization General Assembly held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Livingstone, Zambia is yet to settle.

However, the danger with such events is they simply end up as talk shops. Worse still, the temptation to rest on one’s laurels for hosting the event is yet another trap.

For Zimbabwe to walk the tourism talk, we need to see more action towards growing this key sector which at its peak in the late 1990s grew at more than seven percent per annum, then plummeted into negative terrain between 2000 and 2008 at the height of political and economic instability sparked by the fast track land reform program.

Figures for the growth of this sector since 2009 when Zimbabwe moved over to multiple currencies, which halted hyperinflation, show it has been stunted, hardly surpassing two percent per annum.

The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority are to be commended for the sterling efforts they have been making towards resuscitating the system.

More importantly, the tourism players themselves –– under their various umbrella bodies such as the Zimbabwe Tourism Council and the Hotel Association of Zimbabwe –– also need to be congratulated on their efforts in sprucing up their facilities in the face of liquidity challenges and a dearth of foreign direct investment.

Nevertheless, there needs to be a more concerted effort towards promoting tourism.

There needs to be a blueprint for stimulating the tourism industry in the form of a Tourism Master Plan. This plan will not leave development in the hands of the tourism industry alone, but emphasize on the links between this sector and other key sectors.

The plan should rope in the Ministry of Transport for instance, to ensure that destinations are accessible through a comprehensive road, rail and air network.

It must rope in the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure smooth facilitation of foreign tourists at entry points.

The same should apply to the Ministry of Finance’s Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. The Zimbabwe Investment Authority is also crucial to this master plan, where the tourism sector is sold aggressively to potential investors.

Above all, organizations such as the Department of Parks and Wildlife need to be capacitated better in order to conserve the natural attractions.

There are many under-marketed and unexplored tourism destinations such as the Mavhuradona areas, Chizarira National Park, the Lowveld etc. Concentration is on Victoria Falls alone.

Though it’s our prime destination, it should be used as an entry point only, then visitors should be lured to other areas. Even Vic Falls itself has limitations, with many visitors complaining of the absence of night life for instance. Efforts must be made to attract every penny from visitors.

Above all, we should move away from thinking that only foreign tourists are the movers of the industry. In many developed countries such as the United States and Japan, domestic tourism accounts for more than 80% of tourism activity.


Air Tours of Zimbabwe

Thin Air Touring Company is operated by a team of professionals with a tremendous wealth and experience in the travel industry and capable of fulfilling every need of clients' requirements. We specialize in providing all the ground arrangement during he holidays and business travels in and outside the country including:

Escorted transfers, Meet and Greet Services and the airport

Hotel bookings, City sightseeing and flight confirmations,, guided sightseeing tours

Tailor made programs, cultural tours, business travel, educational travel, golfing trips etc as per clients' specific requirements.

We conduct tours around the country but our main focus is on the Eastern Highlands where we house one of our offices. We have two offices one in Harare (the capital city) and the other one in Mutare (3rd largest city) which is in the Eastern Highlands. The Eastern Highlands comprise of Nyanga (which has Zimbabwe's highest mountain and Africa's second highest waterfall) we have ancient ruins, rock paintings, reconstructed prehistoric structures, museums, waterfalls, cultural centers, abundant wildlife and birdlife. We also have Vumba in the Eastern Highlands famous for its evergreen natural rain forests, springs, waterfalls, monkeys, world-renowned golf courses and casino. It is in the Vumba that we have our beautiful lodge called Eco resort & Spa. The main theme of this lodge is traditional, visitors to this resort can experience true African hospitality and sample true African cuisine. Food served here and the services are varied to cater for different people. It is have n for those who enjoy nature walks, health food, mountain trailing, butterfly watching, spa and yoga. Guests have the opportunity to visit local traditional homesteads where they can take part in daily activities at the homesteads which include milking cows, herding cattle, goats and sheep, preparing and cooking traditional foods, traditional dancing, riding donkey drawn scotch carts and folk telling.

Tours to the famous Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Hwange National Park and Kariba Dam can be organized these tours can be day trips or one to two week expeditions. Accommodation will be at lodges, hotels or campsites. We have a harmonious relationship with major hotel chains and individual hotel chains in all categories and we enjoy special negotiated rates with most of them and we believe in passing the benefit to the customer which results in the lower pricing of our packages.

In order to deliver the extreme level of professionalism and personalized services and also to be most competitive, we maintain our own fleet of deluxe air- conditioned vehicles consisting of premium cars of different makes and models and luxury coaches of varied seating capacity to suit the individual requirements.

Our mission is to be a customer driven organization providing second to none world class services products and services in the spheres of our operations.

Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us, we will immediately furnish your requirements.

In the meantime if you have any queries, trips, people interested in viewing the total solar eclipse in Zimbabwe on the 4th of December 2002 do not hesitate to contact us we will immediately get back to you with essential information and detailed programs.

We wish you all the best and hope we have your thoughts and comments with regards to our request for your assistance in establishing a tourism market or a business linkage.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Fadzai Mugwagwa
Tel/ Fax: 263-20-67034


Ms. Mary Hatendi Director
1270 6th Avenue, # 412
NEW YORK, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 332-1090
Fax: (212) 332-109

Zimbabwe Tourist Office
PO Box 9398, Johannesburg,2000
(11) 622-5740/47/50/51/52
Fax (11) 622-5757

Tourism Connections USA
Africa Travel Association, 347 Fifth Ave., Suite 610, New York, NY 10016, phone 212-447-1926, fax 212-725-8253

Notice to all Tourism Wholesalers and Retailers

AFTEX , Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Come and join the southern African tourism industry at a quality tourism trade exhibition...Contact the organizers now: FREE adventure activities and functions. Victoria Falls - is an incredible destination offering beauty, adventure & wildlife.
Major Zimbabwean and Southern African tourism players are exhibiting. The event is timed to end a day before Indaba begins - allowing you to take in both shows with one visit to the region. Only event focused on inbound tourism to Southern Africa, delivers the top producers to you the buyer, is endorsed and supported by major Zimbabwean and regional tourism producers and by public sector organizations within the southern African (RETOSA countries) region.

Three days of professional one on one meetings with top southern African tourism producers, appointments with producers of your choice and the facility to make more appointments at the event.

Deirdre Bailey

Air Zimbabwe
Air Tours of Zimbabwe