Business Development Tourism Travel

Another Big Tourism Investment for Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe’s tourism sector continues to make significant strides in increasing investor confidence as its room capacity has been on a sharp rise since the turn of the second Republic in 2017.

The country’s Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Priscah Mupfumira yesterday officially opened Mpala Jena Camp at a colourful event last week.

Mpala Jena Camp is an exquisite tented Camp, located in a private concession within Zambezi National Park overlooking a beautiful stretch of the Zambezi River and in the shade of indigenous trees. The lush property is owned by Blessing Munyenyiwa in partnership with Dereck and Beverly Joubert who also operate the Great Plains Conservation investment firm. 

Honorable Minister Mupfumira said the construction of the multi-million-dollar investment began in January 2018 and was completed in December 2018.

“This property has the largest solar farm in Zimbabwe, which is very much welcome in terms of responsible tourism,” said Mupfumira. She added that Great Plains Conservation has not only invested at Mpala Jena Camp but also in SAPI area where they have already spent USD 3 million, which is evidence that Zimbabwe is indeed also open for tourism business.

Speaking at the same event, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Acting Chief Executive, Mrs Rita Likukuma said that Mpala Jena Camp is a big story that the country can sell as part of the positive developments happening in Zimbabwe. She highlighted that Mpala Jena Camp is unique in that it is one of the only two (2) properties that fully operate on solar power in Zimbabwe. 

Likukuma also urged the country’s tourism industry to focus more towards speaking about the positive developments happening in the country’s tourism sector. 

“Because of the work that Great Plains is doing in Zimbabwe, you can become the mouth piece that can tell a positive story about Zimbabwe and I must say we have so many positive stories to talk about. Further to that, your conservation efforts which also fall within our Ministry’s portfolio are such a fantastic addition to all the work that you are doing here and your association with National Geographic gives us that extra platform to talk about all the good things that are happening in Zimbabwe “she said.

Likukuma also applauded the Camp for the foreign currency earning capacity that they have created by putting up such a high value asset and for investing in renewable energy, which the tourism industry can replicate towards sustainable tourism.

The camp is named for the spring-line that runs through the concession and attracts an abundance of wildlife. Mpala Jena means “white impala” named, according to local National Park rangers, after an albino impala seen in the area in 1979 when the Zambezi National Park was created and separated from Victoria Falls National Park.

Mpala Jena Camp has assets worth USD 8.5million and is registered under both the Zimbabwe Investment Authority and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Over the last two (2) years, Mpala Jena Camp becomes the 18th facility to open in Victoria Falls among them, Zambezi Island Lodge, The River Brewery, The Old Drift Lodge, The Great Plains Lodge, Nguni Boutique Lodge, Mbano Manor Hotel and Ilala Lodge which added 18 additional rooms. Other facilities such as Victoria Falls Safari Club have been newly refurbished.

The Director Generals of Civil Aviation Authority (CAAZ), Parks and Wild Life Management Authority as well as representatives from the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe (TBCZ) and the Victoria Falls Tourism Industry were among the guest that attended the launch of Mpala Jena Camp.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende