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Nyanga relishes domestic tourism uptick

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THE volume of traffic to Nyanga, one of the country’s leading tourism destinations, is increasing ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays.

OWEN GAGARE
Major hotels, such as Troutbeck Resort and Montclaire Hotel and Casino, are fully booked ahead of Christmas, with domestic tourists taking up the bulk of the space.

Popular with nature lovers, hikers, photographers and those who just want a peaceful, picturesque environment to rest away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Nyanga is a destination popular with many holidaymakers.

Ever beautiful and ever mystic with rolling mist-capped mountains — which provide a picturesque setting to some of the most fascinating folklores in Zimbabwe — the resort town is at its enchanting best at this time of the year, with the pouring rains bringing to life the diverse vegetation in the resort, enhancing the natural beauty which is already in abundance.

The rivers are in full flow and the numerous waterfalls in the area, among them Mutarazi, Nyangombe and Pungwe, are at their majestic best at this time of the year.

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe Nyanga representative Brian Nyakutombwa, who is also Montclair Hotel general manager, told The NewsHawks it is indeed a merry Christmas for Nyanga tourism operators.

“In terms of bookings, most properties are fully booked, there is high occupancy rate. People have started coming and we are expecting the numbers to increase as we approach Christmas,” Nyakutombwa said.

“The domestic tourism is driving the hospitality industry here. I can say 95%, if not higher, of the bookings are from the domestic market. This is also because most players have come up with attractive rates to tap into this crucial market.”

Like other tourism destinations the world over, Nyanga has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic which saw many countries impose travel bans to contain the spread of the virus.

Nyakutombwa expressed confidence that the tourism industry in Nyanga will rebound from the pandemic because of its unique attractions.

“We have unique landscape which is different from other tourist attractions. It’s different from Victoria Falls, Hwange, Kariba, Harare, Bulawayo or any other place in Zimbabwe you can think of. Our unique landscape is a major attraction. We have large plantations and forestry areas; Mount Nyangani is the highest mountain in Zimbabwe, the second-highest waterfalls in Africa are found in Nyanga and we have wide variety of flora and fauna. We also have the natural pool in the Nyanga National Park and other unique attractions. That sets Nyanga apart,” Nyakutombwa said.

“The weather, this side, is also not hostile but besides the natural beauty, there are also a lot of activities. These can be found within the facilities offering accommodation. We have the skywalk and zipline at Mutarazi Falls, swimming, horse riding, hiking, squash and other activities offered by service providers.

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