Situated 12 km off the Vic Falls Bulawayo Road, about 2 km along the Gorges road, the place located just outside the Vic Falls National Park offers a typical live traditional village life.
Management of the facility: Mr Ndhlovu the coordinator and owner of the village works with his extended family are involved in the day to day operation of the business.
Accommodation – The village has huts than can accommodate 10 overnight visitors and shelters where a maximum of 20 people can be sheltered overnight.
Access – Easily accessed by road from Bulawayo Vic Falls road. The 12km off tarmac can be travelled using 2x2 vehicles. Tours in hired buses are regularly organized from Vic Falls by tour operators.
Amenities – Ablution blocks, clean water, curious available on site. Other services are readily available from Vic Falls
Attractions: the village structures, traditional cuisine, crafts, scenic views of the Vic Falls, Masuwe gorge
Activities – cultural dance, storytelling, herbal solutions, live and stage made traditional wedding parties. The village also allows local craft makers to sell their wares to tourists who visit the village.
Awareness – At the moment the village is working closely with Vic Falls based tour operators for sale, packaging and marketing of the product. Main Challenges: The facility lacks a proper framework for private – community partnership. Pricing of the product and packaging is an area that needs improvement. Future Prospects: As a social responsibility, the village has donated books for the schools around within the community, facilitated the maintenance of the roads and the famous KoMphisi soccer trophy. Above all the village is facilitating the water project for the community.
Situated in Lupane, 2km from the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway, the Lupane Women’s Crafts Centre is a lucrative centre for basket making of all shapes and sizes. The centre has a membership 3 400 people from Lupane District. Of these 2400 are women and 1000 men. It is used for making crafts including baskets, floor cushions, trays, hats and stools which are made from the local resources such as ilala palm, sisal and wood. The bulk of products are mainly exported to America, Canada and Holland. The Lupane Women’s Crafts Centre has potential to be widely marketed to local and international tourists. Construction of the Centre was done with funds received from the Bernard Sunley Foundation, Sulzeberger Foundation, British Embassy, American Embassy, Canadian Fund Development Agency and the American Embassy small grants. Since 2004 Lupane has received institutional and program funding from Liechtenstein Development Services (LED) and occasional but valuable projects support from the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI). Management of the facility: It is a local organization which is run by the women with the assistance of a secretariat of 17 and 13 members of the Board of Trustees. The center is managed by a board drawn from members who are assisted by a technical team of employees (Manager, training coordinators, marketing officer and accountant) who manage the center on a day to day basis.
Accommodation – The centre has accommodation facilities which can carter for 25 people at any given time. Access: The center is easily accessible by road, along the Bulawayo Harare highway.
Amenities – N/A
Attractions – The main attraction is the unique basketry that the women produce. Weaving days are also a great attraction where one can see more than 300 women weaving – synonymous with bees in a bee hive. The accommodation and cafeteria also provide a convenient stop over for visitors travelling to and from Vic Falls or Binga. Activities – Tours around the craft center and surrounding villages where women come from
Women at Lupane Crafts center weaving crafts for export
Awareness – the center is highly marketed through the website, http://www.lupanewomenscenter.org Main Challenges: Limited visitor inflows Future Prospects: The plan is to put up lodges a training centre, conference facilities and a shop in the remaining extent of the land. The place is situated close to the Vic falls/Binga Bulawayo highway and has quite good potential for traveler’s enroute to Vic falls or Binga to provide visitor stop over facilities. In this venture the Centre is looking for funds to set up the structures the women are prepared to contribute the thatching grass and labour where possible.
Binga Craft Centre is a community based organization, linked to more than 4000 Tonga Women craft producers living in the Binga district. The Binga Craft Centre was established in 1989 and has since transformed into a members' association comprising 33 affiliate clubs with a total of 4 000 women. All the women are basket weavers. The Craft Centre, located in the center of Binga town serves as an outlet
This facility is situated next to the Siamuloba on the Sebungwe River. This camp was also meant to provide accommodation for the fishermen and to serve as an additional accommodation facility to accommodate overflows and budget tourists from Siamuloba camp. There are four huts which have since dilapidated and were not able to be roofed due to lack of funds. Ablution facilities had also been built. The community cited costs involved as the main drawback to the resuscitation this facility.
Future Prospects: There is an arrangement that once the two camps are put up, the community manages the smaller camp (Kamata base) whilst a private expert partner manages the larger high end camp on behalf of the community.
Siamuloba center is a fishing camp established in 2005 and funded through the Campfire Development Fund (CDF). It is situated on the shores of the Sebungwe river.
Infrastructure: The original structures comprise two lodges under thatch, a gazebo/kitchen area and an ablution facility. A swimming pool overlooking the Sebungwe River has also been built. The buildings at this camp are dilapidated and need to be renovated. The site is connected to an electricity transmission line. The electricity transformer was stolen hence there is no electricity supply at the moment. Water reticulation system is not in place although the plans were to draw water from the Sebungwe river. Management of the Facility: The camp management is not in place, the Trust that was originally earmarked to oversee the management of the camp was never registered. The committee is no longer fully constituted and there is no responsible person to run the camp at the moment. The camp is manned by a caretaker-family who has limited information on the status and plans of the business.
Accommodation: The two lodges can accommodate a maximum of 8 people. There is adequate camping ground to accommodate more than 50 campers in small tents.
Amenities: No visitor amenities are in place. Access: The camp is about 26km of the Lupane Binga Road through Manjolo or Siachilaba business centers. The road is rough and one needs a rough terrain vehicle to get to the camp. It is regularly serviced by the RDC and hence the place is fairly easily accessible. The place can also be accessed by boat from Mulibizi Resort of Binga Town both within 15-20 minutes drive on a speed boat. Activities: The main activity on the camp is fishing, game viewing and boating on Sebungwe river or Lake Kariba.
Attractions: The river, lake, fishing and game are the main attractions. Tonga culture could also be incorporated into the set of attractions. Awareness and
Marketing: There are no efforts to market this facility. Challenges: The CDF funding period ended before the full development plans could be implemented. The RDC had pledged to continue with the project but not much development has taken place ever since CDF. The infrastructure is dilapidated and there have been incidences of theft and vandalism although now there is a full time care taker family. Patronage is low at the moment.
Future Prospects: The facility is strategically located and has a potential to be resuscitated into one of the best community tourism camps on Lake Kariba. The communities are still very keen on the project and the RDC believes the site has potential to bring in revenue to the community. There are opportunities for multipurpose use camp – fishing, cultural village, researchers’ camp etc.
This is a multicultural village centre established in 2004 with funding from Kellogg Foundation. The center is located close to 60km on the West of Plumtree town in Masendu area in Bulilima District.
Management of the Facility: The facility operates under a registered Trust called Masendu Valley Trust. The Trust is made up of six Kalanga villages which include Chiborama, Thandawani, Mambo, Masendu Central, Makundi and Ziluma Villages. Each village is equally represented in the enterprise. Each village participates in the management committee and is represented at the centre by a hut that depicts their village and way of life. The committee relies on a facilitator/coordinator who lives in the area and commits part of his time to the village. Otherwise the facilitator is fully employed by a NGO as a development facilitator in charge of other programmes. Infrastructure: The facility comprises of six roundavels, a central reception area with offices, storeroom and meeting room and a large Gazebo with a capacity of 150 people. The gazebo stage is where most functions for the villages are held and this also acts as a tourist relaxing area.
Accommodation – all the six roundavels are designed to provide overnight facility. Each room has a capacity of four single beds. Maximum capacity of the center is 24. The centre is also supported by a network of village hotels/votels in the area. Villagers built special huts in their homesteads to accommodate tourists who are willing to spend their stay within the village homesteads. The votels are pegged at us$30 per night which accrues to the owner of the facility.
Amenities: The facility is electrified and is equipped with a generator which serves as back up. Water is supplied by a borehole. Clinic and grocery shops are in close vicinity. The centre is also equipped with its own PA system and computers. The computers were brought through a project by the Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) and National University of Science and Technology (NUST). The gazebo provides a refreshing meeting and functions space for both visitors and locals.
Access: The facility is easily accessible by road from Plumtree. The 60 km drive required a rough terrain vehicle. The access road is regularly serviced and it provides visitors with a nice scenic experience as it passed through different types of attractive village set ups. Public transportation to the facility is not reliable and one has to make special arrangements to get visitors to the site.
Activities: The main activity of the area is cultural activities. Villages exhibit their way of life, crafts and traditional wares and dances. Every year, the Masendu community organizes a cultural event. To sustain their cultural and traditional practices, the community has dedicated every Wednesday of each week to teaching the young people about their culture. This has potential to enhance the cultural product. The village hosts also offer a variety of tourist activities largely built around the day to day way of living. Attractions: The main attraction to the area is the Kalanga culture that is exhibited through the make and crafts of the 6 roundavels on the facility and the village life style that can be experienced during stay in votels. The Musendu Cultural Festival is held yearly at Masendu Cultural Village in September. Its major aim is to manifest and boast the Kalanga Culture although it accommodates other sub-cultures in the province and beyond.
Awareness and Marketing: The centre is being marketed through the Kellogg Foundation, Bulilima-Mangwe website, and the cultural village monthly newsletter. The cultural festival is also featured on the National Arts Council Website this gives a platform for publicizing the other year round visitor activity. Not much information is available on Masendu Village and the Votels. Besides the newsletter, there are no brochures that package the facility. Challenges: In terms of running the business, the centre is facing the challenge of lack of pricing knowledge especially on the meetings venue and services provided hence they are in need of capacity building in this area. Due to the low visitor patronage, the facilities have been turned into office and accommodation for various NGOs and Government agencies working in the area. During the survey, almost every roundavel was being rented out to service providers. There is generally lack of technical and managerial capacity to run the center efficiently. This was evidenced by the general state of disrepair of the water and power supply and other equipment on the center. The generator that was donated a few years ago has not been connected and is lying idle this is despite the erratic supply of electricity to the center. Future Prospects: There has been a relatively earnest investment in this center compared to other cultural centers in the country. The village has potential to be the main attraction in the district given its relatively good access roads, its centrality and the legacy that the center has as a preserve and interpretive center for the Kalanga culture. There are plans to repair the water and electricity supply and to restore the tourism utility value through removing the tenants and refurbishing the roundavels. The votels are a growing area of interest for the villagers and a number of homesteads have been earmarked for this type of
The Ndebele Cultural Village started operating in 1999.This village depicts the Ndebele way of life. Infrastructure: To date there are five huts which were constructed using local resources. It is in these huts where different aspects of the Ndebele culture are depicted. These include the Indulangama hut (Sangoma hut) and the dispense house for grinding traditional medicine. The village is in the process of constructing the reception centre. This was funded by funded by ORAP and it is about 90% complete. They are also expecting US$ 10,000 from the Culture Fund to build a museum for traditional artifacts.
Management of the facility: The facility operates under a registered Trust whose Board of Trustees oversees its management. The Trust operates a bank account. The establishment benefits 230 households and is run by a committee of 8 members (4 women and 4 men). The management committee is active although meetings are irregular. There are no formal employees at the center. The representatives of the management committee are responsible for the day to day running of the village including the supervision of the construction works underway.
Accommodation – camping on site is provided either in the grounds or in the gazebo, no bedding provided, and self catering. No safe water facilities for visitors’ overnight use.
Access – Access through Matobo National Park, road rugged, not well serviced. 2.5 hour drive from Bulawayo.
Amenities – limited development, public bath and toilet under construction, no visitor reception area or interpretive center; no piped water and power supply on the site, clinic is a distance, Attractions – Scenic drives, close to World Heritage sites, Ndebele crafts, rock paintings
Activities – Entertainment and catering services are provided by selected members of the local communities. Entertainment includes traditional dances by men and women, herbal medicine, sangoma clinic and nature walks to the caves. Children are also very actively involved in dancing.
Awareness – Limited publicity and marketing of the facility, communication is the greatest challenge. no network coverage of all cellular networks, poor accessibility, and lack of marketing skills for the product. There is limited information on the STEP website. As a result, visitors to the facility are very low. On average they receive 3 day visitors a month. This includes official visitors from Government and NGOs on familiarization visits. Main Challenges: The study noted a number of challenges facing this development. Although there is a set and agreed development plan, there has been no meaningful capital injection to implement the plan. The management has limited management and marketing skills although there are many opportunities to establish joint packages with tour operators to the World Heritage site. Communication is also a main challenge despite that a few cell network boosters have been erected within the vicinity of the facility. Future Prospects: The center is one of the few initiatives in the area and offers a diversity of exciting visitor experiences with great chances of day visits from the Park and the World Heritage Site. The centre intends to revamp its ablution, refurbish the huts, and build four bee hive huts as part of its growth. There is current construction work in progress although the pace is slow. To further enrich the product, the community recently discovered some rock paintings and caves nearby, about 3km from the cultural centre and this is likely to boost the facility’s product and activity portfolio.
The Zimbabwe Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) forum was constituted in April 2005 with the goal of promoting sharing of CBNRM skills and knowledge and providing direction, cohesion and consolidation of national CBNRM policy and practice. The forum is made up of various organizations working in the area of environmental management. This forum brings with it a pool of specialists to share information on sustainable management of natural resources. The Forum is currently going through a consolidation phase whose objectives are: (i) Institutional strengthening of national CBNRM forums and regional CBNRM forum; (ii) Consolidating best practice & capacity building in core CBNRM processes; (iii) Performance monitoring, evaluation & dissemination; (iv) Policy development & implementation; (v) Concluding support to selected existing partner training institutions; and (vi) Programme management and coordination. This activity - Developing a National Community Based Tourism Enterprises (CBTEs) Strategy, relates to the Objectives (ii) and (iv) namely institutional strengthening and policy development of the CBNRM Forum strategic plan. The activity is divided into two phases. The first phase was designed as a study of the current status of the CBTEs in Zimbabwe. The second phase is informed by the first phase, and it was designed to develop a national strategy for CBTES which will then form the basis for further action. This report is an output of the first phase. For this activity the Forum, through the CBTE working group, agreed to support Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA)’s efforts to promote CBTEs in Zimbabwe. As such this activity will be implemented in collaboration with the ZTA. The strategy will form the basis for streamlining Government approach to supporting Community Based Tourism Enterprises (CBTEs). It will also form the basis for the development of appropriate programmes for the community based tourism enterprises.
Background to CBTEs in Zimbabwe
Community Based Tourism Enterprise (CBTE) is a recognized sector in Zimbabwe. It is specifically acknowledged for its socio-economic and ecological importance to the development of Tourism in Zimbabwe. Firstly, CBTEs are a strong source of competitiveness for the tourism sector as they offer a range of diverse products and services notable of which is the arts and culture, the tradition, the natural landscapes and host services in rural villages. Community Based Tourism (CBT) certainly adds value the traditional attractions and services offered by the mainstream players in Tourism. Secondly, CBTEs are important because they provide an opportunity for the tourism sector to achieve pro-poor and sustainability objectives. CBT reaches out to marginalized communities who can participate directly through developing and managing tourism enterprises or benefit indirectly through the economic activities stimulated when visitors come through their areas.
Thirdly community based tourism presents an avenue for achieving environmental conservation and sustainable use of natural resources objectives. This is especially so in iconic landscapes occurring in
communal areas and strategic wildlife areas. These landscapes and resources therein would otherwise be threatened in the absence of community based tourism. Fourth, community based tourism can contribute towards preservation of Zimbabwe’s culture through cultural tourism. Most of Zimbabwe’s cultural heritage has been preserved by local communities. Zimbabwe boasts of high cultural diversity exhibited through the history, lifestyles and iconic infrastructure of many of its tribes name Ndebele, Shona, Tonga, Venda, Shangaan, Ndau and Karanga to mention a few. Tourism development stimulates preservation of cultural sites resulting in the conservation of the natural landscapes in which they occur. The initiation and growth of community based tourism sector was realized between the period 1990-2000, most of them supported by the CAMPFIRE programme. To date there are close to 33 known CBTEs in Zimbabwe, 10% of which are operating consumptive tourism ventures such as hunting. The most notable developments in CBTEs were associated with major tourism nodes and in areas close to wildlife and protected areas. Some of these areas include Vic Falls and Hwange areas, Zambezi Valley - associated with the upper and lower Zambezi Wildlife Areas; the South Eastern Lowveldt – associated with the Gonarezhou National Park both in the north and south; Matabeleland – associated with the widely renowned unique Ndebele culture and the Matobo world heritage site; Mashonaland – associated with unique landscapes and rock outcrops; Chimanimani – associated with the highlands and protected areas; and in Nyanga area – associated with the Nyanga National Park unique landscapes and fishing experience of the cold streams. Many other community based tourism developments are isolated across the country where communities or entrepreneurial individuals have invested in small enterprises. With renewed effort to re-establish its economy Zimbabwe has identified tourism as an important sector for its turn around. There is growing emphasis by many sector players on Tourism revival as a result, with a number of new financing, product packaging and marketing partnership opportunities being explored. These present opportunities for the CBTEs. Like many other business initiatives, the Tourism Sector has not been spared from the last 10 or more years of the economic problems Zimbabwe experienced. Community based tourism has not been visible in the last 10 years. Whilst mainstream industry players have been investing in refurbishing, rebranding and marketing in line with the new market trends, there has been limited or no focus on the Community Based Tourism Sector, despite its acknowledged importance. In addition to the new opportunities presented for communities to revive the subsector, the environment sector is also seeking new ways to green the economy in response to global warming concerns. Community based tourism, or ecotourism is one avenue through which the Sector can achieve green economy objectives. Its potential in contributing to environmental conservation has already been proven, hence its revival strategy is important. One of the main objectives of the CBNRM Forum, through the CBE working group is to address the challenges faced by CBEs through supporting their growth and access to markets.