Kariba station charms ZTA

KARIBA is set for a new treat as organisers of the proposed annual Nyaminyami Festival are angling to combine forces with the Nyaminyami Lakeside Festival hosts.

Information privy to The Sunday Mail Society indicates that the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), organisers of the Nyaminyami Festival, are willing to merge with Nyaminyami FM to come up with a bigger festival.

ZTA said joining forces will result in resource rationalisation and creating more impact.

The idea of a partnership between the two was first muted last year.

However, the two-day Nyaminyami Lakeside Festival, which is held at Lake Harvest Harbour, had been set for July 30, thereby pouring cold water on the plans.

However, Davies Mugadza, one of lakeside festival organisers last week revealed that dates for the event have since been moved to October.

“The second edition of the festival will no longer be taking place on July 30 as initially planned. Instead, we are likely going to have the event on the last Saturday of October,” said Mugadza.

“The water levels in Kariba dam have tremendously risen over the past few months to cover part of the area we used for the festival last year.

‘‘The relevant authorities have advised us against hosting the event this July, they suggested we go for October when water levels will have slightly gone down.”

The ZTA boss, Dr Karikoga Kaseke, said the postponement is a blessing in disguise.

“I understand this is a Zimpapers organised event and we certainly would love to partner with them. I’m sorry to say I’m happy that the event has since been postponed,” said Dr Kaseke.

“It is always good to combine forces because the end result is creation of a solid thing. This postponement means there is now a real chance for us to work together this year. Our target is to run the Nyaminyami Festival this year but, of course, that is based on availability of resources.”

The resort town of Kariba has a lot to offer as a tourism destination.

Festivals like this one will help the resort town boost arrivals.

“These festivals are good for domestic tourism as people from surrounding areas get to visit Kariba and access tourist facilities outside peak holiday times when prices are affordable.

The sad thing is that everyone wants to travel over the same holiday periods and yet expect discounted prices,” noted publicist for Destination Kariba, Mr Laiton Kandawire.

“The spread of travel by hosting such events allow locals to get best rates and enjoy tourism products and services. The festival should be used to showcase what Kariba has in store.”

The Zimbabwean side of the lake has hundreds of kilometres of shoreline, with sun-baked African hills, placid backwaters and numerous islands.

Furthermore, Kariba is close to several national parks, including Matusadona and the Mana Pools National Park.

The lake provides a splendid wildlife experience. Elephants, lions, crocodiles, hippos, tiger fish and an assortment of birds are also found in Kariba.

Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson, Mr Tinashe Farawo believes Kariba is an ideal tourism destination.

“Tourists should visit Kariba just as much as they visit Victoria Falls. The area is a complete package that offers almost everything that is offered in Victoria Falls, talk of your boat cruises, game viewing and so on.

‘‘Actually, we encourage foreign and domestic tourists to try every tourism product on offer in the country,” said Mr Farawo.

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