A private firm intends to operate a hot air balloon in the Harare Gardens to give tourists and residents a chance to see the city from a vantage angle.
Under a proposed partnership, Harare City Council will lease 10 hectares in the large city centre park to Bateleur Safaris for five years, with Bateleur erecting movable structures compliant with green tourism and befitting the environment.
Hot air ballooning is the oldest forms of flying known to man and arguably the best way to have a bird’s eye view of the landscape.
The deal will result in better security around Harare Gardens and better public toilets as well as a general improvement in the state of the gardens as Bateleur will be responsible for general maintenance. The partnership was discussed during a recent meeting of the Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee.
In an interview yesterday , the director of housing and community services Mr Addmore Nhekairo said the deal will be a game-changer for the city.
“This will promote tourism and general recreation as people will view Harare and its environs from the skies,” he said.
Harare Residents Trust Director Mr Precious Shumba said hot air balloons are an addition to the leisure activities for visitors and residents. “We commend council for continuously seeking to improve their services. It is a necessary addition, which has great potential to increase their revenues as well,” he said.
Hot-air ballooning has become a highly sought after activity, especially in South Africa.