Work on $18mln Victoria Falls tourism park starts

via Work on $18mln Victoria Falls tourism park starts | The Source April 20, 2015

VICTORIA FALLS, April 20  (The Source) – Work at the planned $18 million historical and recreational park in the resort town of Victoria Falls by Africa Albida Tourism group is set to begin in June this year after a consultant engaged by the developer started an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) last week.

The Santonga Park, the biggest private investment in Zimbabwe’s tourism hub, will also house a zoo on an 80-acre piece of land close to the group’s flagship Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.

It is expected to attract up to 120,000 visitors yearly and increase the average stay of tourists in the town from three to four days.

Black Crystal Consulting has started consultations with stakeholders as part of the EIA for the proposed Santonga Project, Africa Albida said in a statement last week.

Construction will start in June this year, with the park expected to open to public in July next year, It said.

The facility will act as an education and entertainment park for visitors and locals while also complimenting tourist facilities in the resort town.

It will involve interaction and close encounters with different kinds of game and wildlife that would be caged, partly resembling the Africa Kingdom in the USA, Africa Park in Dubai, and similar facilities in China.

“What none of them has is the authentic and natural wildlife resources that we have. This will extend visitors’ stay and bring economic benefits such as jobs and income. The Santonga Park is a must see for tourists to view canned and caged wildlife together with historical and cultural monuments,” said Africa Albida.

The theme park is expected to create 1,500 direct and downstream jobs  while the developer expects a 40 percent increase in hotel occupancy rate, between 20 and 40 percent increase in transport activity among other benefits.

“This may all be good for African Albida but not necessarily for the wider community. All residents and businesses in Victoria Falls should take a keen interest in understanding exactly what this project is really about,” it said.

In 2013, government announced plans to establish a $300 million “Disneyland in Africa” theme park on 1,200 ha of land near the airport which will house shopping malls, banks, exhibition and entertainment facilities such as casinos.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 7
  • comment-avatar
    Kariba 6 years ago

    This may be ok for the cheaper end of the tourist market but they still have to get there which is going to cost a bit.
    The high end tourists will want something a lot more genuine. They can see animals in the zoos in their own countries not that they would want to, the world has moved on.
    I’m afraid this is all a bit sad and misconceived. But all the best if it does work out.

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    I am not the one 6 years ago

    Agree with u, kariba. Ultimately another waste in every aspect. Shudder to think of the cruelty which will be meted out on the animals and the destruction of the land all for a rondavel with a thatch roof and a empty swimming pool

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    A zoo? Where there is a wild game park just a few kilometres away that some people won’t bother with? African Albida should have more sense. I hope the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge lose business over this stupid decision. The brain-drain in Zimbabwe is starting to show all over the place these days. People are getting desperate and stupidity is the order of the day it seems.

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    Zanu madness 6 years ago

    I’m not flying from Europe to come see a lion in the zoo…

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    Consumptive Nightmare 6 years ago

    What is Zimbabwe thinking? Forst the capture of 80 calves for sale to a lifetime of hell in Zoos in China and elsewhere anbd now this. Catch up with the rest of the world Zimbabwe. The CONSUMPTION of other living beings in Zoos, circus and entertainment parks is an anchorism. It is time to step into the 21st century. Menagerie is a medieval concept, long past its use by date. This is a failed venture before it starts, international tourists will NOT be visiting a Zoo. Truly this is a bad development decision on so many levels its hard to know where to start with the critique. But bottom line – across the rest of the world now, zoos, entertainment parks, circuses re ont he wane. Just look at Sea World’s recent financial reports.

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    Doris 6 years ago

    18 million would go a long way to providing medicines and supplies to our hospitals and clinics. And I agree – who the hell will travel across the world to Africa to see caged African animals. A total disgrace.

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    Bravo! Caged lions and elephants on a World Heritage site. Where are your brains, let alone compassion?