Travelling & touring: Dete-Binga road an anathema to tourism

Source: Travelling & touring: Dete-Binga road an anathema to tourism | The Standard (Local News)

By Burzil Dube

THE upcoming Binga business centre is slowly proving to be a force to reckon with in tourism circles. It is also destined for boom in terms of infrastructural development, among other related improvements within Matabeleland North province as it is flora and fauna endowed.

It is a matter of time before this centre competes with the likes of Victoria Falls in terms of tourist attraction facilities and other places which are gradually becoming abundant in the province’s hospitality industry.

Binga district has also an array of attraction places such as hot springs, renowned sand beaches, Lobengula’s Cave, Zambezi River “detour” among others.

The hot springs, which are considered to be among the country’s largest are situated in the Lubimbi area along the Gwáyi-Lusulu road.

Lobengula’s Cave is domiciled in Chief Pashu area. It is believed that King Lobengula of the Ndebele tribe took refuge in this particular cavern during his flight from the early colonial forces towards the end  1893.

Others are of the opinion that one of King Lobengula’s senior indunas was interred in that cave during the same flight from Major Allan Wilson, the battalion  which was bent on capturing the Ndebele monarch.

Yours Truly will certainly decrypt the nitty-gritties concerning this controversial cave as the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe is yet to establish what really happened there.

A lot has been written about the sand beaches situated a few kilometres from Binga centre and have proven to be one of the key tourist drivers and its marketing has gathered momentum as evidenced by recent hosting  of a world acclaimed volley ball beach tournament.

The distance from Hwange to Kariba is around 600km while the shortest route through Zambezi Detour is an average of 200km even though the voyage may take two days of fun-filled adventure via the Zambezi River all the way to the world’s largest man-made inland water body-Lake Kariba.

More on the Kariba ferry route in not so distant Travelling and Touring columns.

However, all the above mentioned places may slide into oblivion if the powers that be do not attend to road network systems, which are in dire need of repair as well as related infrastructural development projects.

The Cross-Dete-Binga highway is in a rather sorry state, several months after government declared a state of disaster for all of Zimbabwe’s major roads as most of them were rather in a deplorable state and a danger to travelling public.

Many roads are currently being rehabilitated at a fast pace and Yours Truly is quite impressed as the festive season is already upon us where movement to various tourism and leisure places is going to be the order of the day.

However, it is rather sad to note that some leisure places in Binga might not reap their full potential in terms of efficient accessibility due to lamentable state of some of the roads and the Cross-Dete-Binga route rightly falls in such category.

Yours Truly recently travelled to Manjolo area, which is situated about 10 kilometres before Binga business centre. The place is a hive of activity as it is considered to be the last gateway into Zambesi River’s famous sandy beaches.

The road from Cross-Dete to Kamativi Mine is in dire need of some form of attention as some potholes are   gradually   becoming tourist attraction features if they are not attended to with the urgency they deserve. The same also applies to  the  Kamativi Mine to Simbala stretch  where the once beautiful road especially on the latter whose deplorable state is in dire need of redemption. The gravel  applied was swept away by forces of nature leaving motorists at the mercy of inaccessibility and extemely  dangerous to vehicle survival.

However, kudos to the authorities that repaired the  stretch from Mlibizi, Syansundu up to Siachilaba where Yours Truly’s jalopy was at ease, but later forced to travel at a snail speed upon approaching Manjolo peripheries whose potholes can qualify for any world cup competition.

The same applies to Gwayi-Lubimbi road which passes through one of the country’s largest hot springs whose maintainance is long overdue and it  is Yours Truly’s fervent optimism  that responsible authorities will take heed as we seek to  revive and promote local tourism industry.

Yours Truly is quite hopeful that it is a matter of time before Binga’s tourism industry is counted among the country’s top leisure destinations-courtesy of improved road transport network system.

On a positive note, Yours Truly is reliably informed that this column is now part of the agenda in most weekly meetings for some organisations and associations as they are at times kept on their toes.

Plausible news indeed.

Binga has to be a place to be and the onus is upon all of us to make sure it happens.

Meanwhile, there could be some “interesting” developments concerning the Masiyephambili Drive in Bulawayo whose handiwork is also ‘interesting’.

Till we meet again in the next column.

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