Proposed Zim theme park more 'Eden' than 'Disney'

2013-08-30 15:02
Harare - Zimbabwe is planning a low-budget entertainment park in the resort town of Victoria Falls to boost local tourism, a cabinet minister said Friday.

"We want to bring the Garden of Eden to Victoria Falls, where flora and fauna can co-exist," Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi told AFP at the end of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly co-hosted by Zimbabwe and neighbour Zambia.

"We don't know how big the Garden of Eden was but it will be our model. It's still a vision. We are at the conceptual stage. What's in place is the land."

"The main aim is provide a facility in Victoria Falls where locals who cannot afford the high cost of booking in major hotels in the resort can come for holiday. Victoria Falls should cease to be the preserve of the rich and foreign visitors," Mzembi said.

The government allocated 1 200 hectares of land for the project to be built by local and foreign private investors, he added.

"Government's only contribution is the land. We will invite investors to come in and build."

Among the planned facilities will be a zoo, hotels, a skating rink and a garden with a replica of the Victoria Falls waterfall.

While Mzembi has gone a rather earthy and modest route, referring to it as the Biblical paradise, others have dubbed the project more gregariously - "a Disneyland for Africa."

The original reports announcing Zim's plans for the theme park on the very brink of the country's most sought-after natural wonder was met with incredulity by many News24 readers, while others thought it would be an asset. This is what commentators had to say:

Tony De Waal - Just wondering where the funding for this project will come from?

Nathan Lombard - Are the guptas moving north too?

Dik Derrim -And the main attraction - poach your own rhino and win a Datsun!!

Tapedza Hondo - All you brats on this forum, if you nothing positive or constructive to say about Zimbabwe,just zip up those stinking openings of yours!!!

Mudare Tom - Quite a brilliant idea. I can appreciate where the negative comments are coming from, however when it comes to the economics the idea is good. And oh by the way, tourist numbers have been on the increase. Funny enough it's the Americans and the British that make up the bulk of visitors.

Michelle Morgan - the most ridiculous waste of funds when the current economic climate in the country is so unstable. Money needs to go back into the agricultural sector as this is what Zimabawe's economy should be built on. However, the government have shot themselves in the foot with their poor policy on land reform and the unspeakable human rights atrocities that followed the reform.

Dirk Fourie - Fix the stability, then many tourists will come to see the beautiful land and game parks .. no need for a theme park. I will rather go to Disneyland, than to a Zim fake.

Charmaine Rowlands - for the love of.... PLEASE, you can't feed your people and NOW you want to mess with the majesty of the Vic Falls!! Always wondered at the depth of stupidity, now i KNOW. Leave it alone and DON'T ask South Africa for money!!!

Cephas Nkosi - I thought dat disneyland was american and 'imperialist'? Mugabe has double standards shame he is one confused fool

Oscar Tabane - It will be a great idea if it will benefit the people of Zimbabwe. This is a good business opportunity as long as it will be open to all the Zimbabwens, not the well connected. The future will tell.

Conroy De Villiers - I think the country can do so many other things that they really need with that money ! Ridiculous if you ask me ...

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  travel international  |  travel

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