Zambezi offers enchanting tourism, recreation

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Zambezi offers enchanting tourism, recreation

KATIMA MULILO – The Zambezi region has diverse natural resources for development.

Located in northeastern Namibia, Zambezi is increasingly gaining popularity as a destination for two forms of wildlife tourism, hunting and safari.

The region is strategically located at the heart of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) and plays a huge role in the economic advancement of the country. Zambezi regional control warden Morgan Saisai explains that the Zambezi region is strategic, particularly the town of Katima Mulilo.  He said the region is the heart of the KAZA Transfrontier Area which is endowed with woodlands, river systems, and wildlife. 

KAZA TFCA is a multi-objective tourism initiative involving parts of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The goal is to sustainably manage the Kavango Zambezi ecosystem, its heritage and cultural resources. Its management is expected to be based on the best conservation and tourism models for the socio-economic wellbeing of the communities and other stakeholders in and around the eco-region through the harmonisation of policies, strategies and practices.

“Visitors will not feel lonely, as there are a lot of adventures they can explore. We have protected areas and eight conservancies, which are gazetted. We are in proximity to Chobe National Park which is a river boundary. Just by driving on the national road, one is exposed to wild animals. We have the longest migration of Zebra in the region which extends as far as Luhonono, Lake Liambezi up to Linyanti. We have the big five in the region in addition to the sixth one, being the hippos. It is easy to access our protected areas if one wishes,” Saisai noted.

On local tourism, he indicated Zambezi is performing very well.

“We are close to the winter season. We have a drought this year. No rain. I think this year will be a good year for domestic tourism. We have the Bwabwata National Park with game drives and wonderful scenery. Because of the drought, game will hang around the Kwando system, which has good potential for sighting of game and there are campsites and lodges,” he said.  Another protected area is Mudumu National Park, which also has beautiful sceneries and game drives.

Nkasa Rupara being a wetland park also offers self-drives.

All these parks are adjacent to water systems, which is good for game drives.

He assured visitors who wished to visit the parks that they would be provided with park rules on the dos and don’ts. 

“Game is dangerous, and it can harm. It is important to adhere to the rules. Stay on your route. If people are camping during the night, they should adhere to the rules,” he warned. 

The conservancies in Zambezi also have game views, traditional and living museums, and craft centres for visitors to see and buy their local arts and crafts. 

Saisai, however, stressed that waste management is an issue in the region. 

“It’s an attitude of throwing away rubbish. If we say health is a security issue, then environmental health is critical. We use transnational highways; people should ensure they eat and clean up. No visitor wants to come to a dirty country,” he said.

He further advised that it’s the responsibility of every citizen to ensure Namibia, which is “our pride”, is clean and loved by the global village.  “We want people to be citizens and obey the legislation of their country. They should be disciplined and show love and peace. Every citizen should ensure they peacefully contact themselves,” he encouraged. 

Further, he alluded security is very important, saying no visitor wants to come where there is no peace and security. 

Visitors can also explore boat cruises on the Zambezi River, an opportunity to watch hippos and crocodiles in the water. 

 The Zambezi River is one of the great rivers of Africa and is also home to an abundance of wildlife. Local tourism entrepreneur Dobson Kwala assured Namibians from all walks of life will experience great times with the unique vegetation and wildlife from the nearest game parks and conservancies. 

He said local tourism activities like boat cruising on the mighty Zambezi River; visiting the open market in Katima Mulilo and tasting traditional cuisine are some of the activities one can enjoy. Kwala highlights Zambezi region is a place used for transit when trading and in the history of Namibia, freedom fighters used to cross over into exile.

“The late freedom fighter commander Tobias Hainyeko was shot by South African security forces on the Zambezi River next to Namwi island. What else can we say? The traditional experience is among the main attractions, though it’s hot due to poor rains; the scorching sun will keep us wearing sunglasses and head gear,” he said.

He urged the youth to learn and take part in independence celebrations, so they understand politics.