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The chocolate box charm of Tshabalala Game Sanctuary

Located 10 kilometres south-east of Bulawayo is an ideal escape spot — Tshabalala Game Sanctuary.

The place is where leisure meets wildlife to produce a brilliant mind and body relaxing environment.Only known, back in the day, to offer wildlife trips, the place now promotes domestic tourism and Zimbabweans have gone there in droves to celebrate the beauty of nature. The sanctuary houses lions, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras and plenty of plains game.The place is also home to some of the most unique birds in the region and for bird lovers this is a place not to let pass as we head to the festive season.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo said the place was opened due to a hunger for a good feel vibe in the bushes by the revellers.

“The idea to open the leisure centre was in response to the market gap that was visible. When tourists visit our parks, they did not have a facility to buy or refill their food and beverages, hence the refreshment centre was developed to provide the service,” said Farawo.

Farawo said Tshabalala Game Sanctuary now offers the Zimbabwean feel that was lacking in the past. “The idea was also in response to the national tourism strategy of focusing on domestic tourism post the Covid-19 era.Tshisanyama/Gochi gochi is part of the Zimbabwean people’s way of life which was lacking in most parks thus as ZimParks we realised the need to address that gap.“Our offers are unique from braai packs, the Matopo Fish rack, traditional meals and the popular game meat. We also offer herbal teas from its Botanical Garden including Zumbani tea, Green tea and the Rosemary for your seasoning. The centre also offers a full range of foreign and local beverages with a wide range of Matopo cocktails that are popular with visitors,” said Farawo.The sanctuary has a play centre for children.

“The pandemic has restricted its growth, however, the market has welcomed this family entertainment centre. The park is in the process of restocking more wildlife so as to enhance the visitor’s experience.“The authority hopes to continue developing similar facilities in all its parks and would consider any partnership that would add value to the park and the community. The organisation is looking forward to partner with local and foreign investors in empowering local communities through the value chain,” said Farawo.

The project has so far created 15 jobs and over 50 downstream job.

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