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Zimbabwe ranked eighth most preferred destination in Africa




Zim ranked eighth most preferred destination in Africa

TANZANIANS need not worry about their immediate neighbours, Kenya any more; the country should worry about Botswana down south, a force to reckon with in the industry.

Still ranking at Number One in Africa, Tanzania remains the most preferred destination by foreign visitors during leisure travels on the continent, topping the bill in the latest ratings compiled by ‘Safari Bookings’ an authoritative global travel portal.

Kenya is further down at position Four while another East African country, Uganda, takes the ‘seventh’ position, judging from combined 18 ‘expert’ and 485 ‘traveller’ reviews as well as the outlook of six syndicate media outlets in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.

Tanzania takes the first position, followed by Botswana, Zambia and finally Kenya in the fourth position, which means Arusha, the country’s Safari capital, should direct its energy down south, where there are two new competitors and not Kenya.

Targeting to up the tourists’ number to 2 million by 2020, Tanzania currently receives around 1.4 million foreign visitors, but 80 per cent of this sample the Northern Zone Circuit comprising of Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro.

In the latest listing, South Africa, Namibia, Uganda and Zim are ranked in the fifth, sixth, Seventh and Eighth positions respectively, according to the compilation by Safari Bookings which previously also released the ranking of best National Parks in Africa. In Zim, many tourists visited Victoria Falls.

So how is Kenya no longer Tanzania’s competitor in Tourism? The Director of Tourism and Marketing for the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Mr Ibrahim Mussa has an explanation.

“Kenya relies on most tourists arriving at its ports aboard Cruise Ships, these however simply indulge in daily visits and go back to their liners at night then set off to other destination without exactly sampling what the country has to offer,” revealed Mr Mussa.

Tanzania, according to the expert, gets tourists who spend between 5 and 7 days in the country and most visit more than one destination, with the majority returning for a repeated experience.

Ms Ariadne Van Zandbergen from South Africa wrote this in Safari-Bookings; “Having travelled all over the continent, people often ask me: ‘What is your favourite country in Africa?’

It is a silly question, but it is easier just to give an answer than to start to explain about what makes each country special and unique.” “My answer is usually Tanzania.

Its northern safari circuit is reminiscent of Kenya but on a bigger scale. The lesser-known southern and western circuits are like different safari destinations in their own right. The combination of grandness and diversity in Tanzania is unrivalled,” she summed.

Safari-Bookings is the largest online marketplace for African safari tours which combs the continent, comparing offers from 2,220 specialised tour operators; nearly 150 destination guides; major media outlets and nearly 1500 tour experts who churn out 35,387 professional travel reviews.

Tanzania received an average of 4.8 out of 5.0 from early 20 experts’ reviews and the country again got 4.8 out of 5.0 from 485 users (travellers or essentially tourists who have visited local attractions here).

Travel writers Tim Bewer and Ms Mary Fitzpatrick from the United States; Mr Kim Wildman from Australia, Mr Stephen Cunliffe and Philip Briggs from South Africa all gave Tanzania a combined 5.0 out of 5.0 ranking or 100 per cent.

Some of the syndicate media organisations working with Safari-Bookings include ‘The Times’ of London; ‘Travel Africa Magazine,’ ‘CNN Travel,’ ‘The Australian,’ and ‘Chicago Tribune.

DailyNews Tanzania

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African leaders boycott WEF Africa over xenophobic attacks in SA



World Economic Forum on Africa

The presidents of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi have decided not to attend the World Economic Forum on Africa hosted by South Africa in the face of ongoing looting and burning of small businesses in that country, owned largely by African immigrants, local media reported on Wednesday.

The chairman of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat has condemned the attacks, which have seen scores of people arrested in Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria.

Reports said Zambia had also cancelled a friendly football match with South Africa’s national men’s team Bafana Bafana scheduled for March.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari instructed his foreign affairs minister to summon South Africa’s high commissioner to Nigeria over the violence.

Some South Africans say they are retaliating against crime committed by foreigners and the sale of illicit goods by foreign shop owners, but political analysts say African immigrants have become scapegoats for rising anger over joblessness and general economic woes.

In a statement on Tuesday, the African Union Commission’s Faki called for “immediate steps to protect the lives of people and their property, ensure that all perpetrators are brought to account for their acts and that justice is done to those who suffered economic and other losses.”

“The chairperson reiterates the African Union’s Commission continued commitment to support the South African government in addressing the root causes that led to these despicable acts, in order to promote peace and stability, within the framework of the African Union’s longstanding principles of continental solidarity,” his spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said. African News Agency

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Econet goes into forex exchange. Launches bureau de change



Ecocash Zimbabwe

ECOCASH has launched a digital mobile phone-based bureau de change in a move set to increase competition in the foreign currency exchange business.

The innovative facility, a first by a mobile money service provider, will likely revolutionise the business by providing the much-needed convenience to the platform’s 10 million registered customers.

According to the company, the new service will allow EcoCash customers to sell foreign currency in real-time and instantly have the local currency converted and credited to their wallets.

The move follows the granting of an operating licence to EcoCash by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which has an effect of increasing access to specialised digital financial services to millions of Zimbabweans.

Speaking at the launch of the service in Harare yesterday, EcoCash chief executive officer, Ms Natalie Jabangwe, explained how the service would work.

“Before performing a currency conversion transaction, one needs to fund their EcoCash wallet,” she said, adding that a wallet could be funded in a number of ways.

“You fund your wallet by doing a cash-in of physical US dollars (or forex) into the wallet. Or you fund your wallet over the counter, at any Econet Shop. You can also fund your wallet through a direct in-wallet receipt of remittances from the diaspora into your EcoCash wallet. This could be through existing EcoCash remittance partners, which include Cassava Remit, World Remit, Mukuru, Western Union, Money Gram, Orange Botswana and MTN.”
Ms Jabangwe said an EcoCash customer could also fund their wallet via a Nostro bank-to-wallet transfer on their phone, from their respective FCA bank account linked to the EcoCash FCA wallet. She said once the wallet was funded, a customer could then proceed to dial a dedicated EcoCash Bureau de Change menu on the access code *150# to carry out their transaction.

“Customers will be able to check the rate of the day, get a quote for the amount to be sold and receive instant ‘confirmation of sale’ of foreign currency and the ZW$ conversation amount – all this happening via their mobile phone,” Ms Jabangwe said.

Cassava Smartech CEO, Mr Eddie Chibi, the parent company of EcoCash, said: “We are excited to be the first and only mobile financial service provider in Africa to offer this innovative service to our customers, empowering them with a simple, convenient, fast and real-time Bureau de Change service that they can access and use to transact anywhere, anytime.”

He said the service will help customers access competitive exchange rates quickly, convert or change their money in real-time, and transact on a secure platform that they have come to trust.

Ms Jabangwe said EcoCash Zimbabwe continued to leverage on the dynamic innovation capabilities that technology gives by building new products and services that go beyond the early services of financial inclusion.

“The advantage of having a scaled transaction platform is that you can build new services in line with a changing market environment. Accessibility of these services on the mobile phone enables us to travel the journey with our customers towards more complex but necessary financial services in the future,” she said. The Chronicle

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Eskom Begins 400MW Power Supply to Zimbabwe



Fortune Chasi

ZESA Holdings has reportedly started receiving 400 Megawatts of electricity from South Africa power utility, ESKOM.

This comes after the latter accepted Zimbabwe’s payment plan which involves payment of US$890,000 per week to settle its long-standing debt with ESKOM.

Zimbabwe is currently generating about 692 megawatts against a daily peak demand of about 1 600MW to 2000MW in winter.
All sectors were projecting fewer revenues this year as a result of the crippling load-shedding which ZESA had implemented due to the power deficit in the country.

Some companies were contemplating closing some of their branches with OK Zimbabwe, one of the biggest retailers in the country, having already closed one of its shops in Rusape.

The main power generator in the country, Kariba South Hydropower plant, has reportedly been immensely affected by the shrinking water levels at the dam whilst Hwange thermal power is underperforming due to ageing equipment.

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