Wildrun expedition 80 attracts tourists

Wildrun expedition 80 attracts tourists

The second edition of the three nations Wildrun tourism expedition was successfully held in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA), with 80 tourists drawn from Sweden, Arizona and South Africa participating.

The GMTFCA is made up of national parks from Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.

The Wildrun, which was held from Wednesday last week to Sunday, saw the number of participants doubling from 39 to 80 this year. The tourists had the opportunity to run following the treks of wild animals in the park for 90 kilometres.

South Africa’s Department of Environment marketing manager for national parks, Mr Roland Vorwek, said the event was aimed at developing community-based tourism.

Said Mr Vorwek; “This was a memorable event, we are very happy with the level of coordination and cooperation by stakeholders from the three nations. “The whole idea is to promote tourism in the TFCA, as well as develop community-based tourism. We are overwhelmed with the number of tourists who made it this year and are looking at making the Wildrun an annual event. It is also important for us to continue introducing new tourism products in the GMTFCA so that we boost arrivals throughout the year.”

Mr Vorwek said the participants traversed the three countries under the guidance of parks rangers from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana.

He said they employed 18 people from the Maramani area to assist with logistical issues and camp management.

The tourists, who entered the country through a temporary tourism border, were based on the Zimbabwean component of the mega park, which is surrounded by communities.

insert from Herald | Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

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Zimparks guns down hippo in Nyanyadzi

August 31, 2017August 31, 2017
Inset from Zimpapers. THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority last week shot dead a hippopotamus that was damaging winter wheat in Nyanyadzi. The hippo, which had a calf, is believed to have escaped from Save Conservancy. ZPWMA ordered the shooting of the hippos after traditional leaders in the area reported that it was damaging crops and endangering lives. ZPWMA officer, Mr John Danfa, said they were still hunting for the calf which is believed to have found habitat along Save River. “Usually hippos move up and down rivers during the rainy season. We believe the two escaped from Save Valley Conservancy. They were both females and they do not usually click if there is no male. “They are believed to have separated. We received reports from traditional leaders in Hot Springs and Nyanyadzi that these hippos were feeding on wheat and crops in their fields.” “People’s lives were endangered so the authorities ordered its killing. The first time we attempted to kill it, it was in the company of so many cattle and could not do anything. Our officer teamed up with villagers to track it until last week when it was shot down in Nyanyadzi”. The officer is said to have fired 12 shots before the hippo died. The meat was shared by villagers. One of the villagers in Dirikwe village, Mr Tapiwa Munyati, said: “This hippo was becoming a threat to human lives in the area. It was being spotted near homes at night. “There are vegetable gardens along one of Save River’s tributaries where it was being spotted.“We were told that hippos do not like light and the danger was that lives would have been lost.” “A villager survived death by a whisker recently when the hippo strayed into his homestead.“He went out of his house to investigate when his dogs were barking. He had a torch and the hippo advanced towards him. “Fortunately he managed to escape the attack and notified other villagers and the village head. We are appealing to the responsible authorities to make sure that the remaining one is also killed,” said Mr Munyati.