y Thupeyo Muleya
Beitbridge — The second edition of the three nations Wildrun tourism expedition was successfully held in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA), with 80 tourists drawn from Sweden, Arizona and South Africa participating.
The GMTFCA is made up of national parks from Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.
The Wildrun, which was held from Wednesday last week to Sunday, saw the number of participants doubling from 39 to 80 this year. The tourists had the opportunity to run following the treks of wild animals in the park for 90 kilometres.
South Africa’s Department of Environment marketing manager for national parks, Mr Roland Vorwek, said the event was aimed at developing community-based tourism.
Said Mr Vorwek; “This was a memorable event, we are very happy with the level of coordination and cooperation by stakeholders from the three nations. “The whole idea is to promote tourism in the TFCA, as well as develop community-based tourism. We are overwhelmed with the number of tourists who made it this year and are looking at making the Wildrun an annual event. It is also important for us to continue introducing new tourism products in the GMTFCA so that we boost arrivals throughout the year.”
Mr Vorwek said the participants traversed the three countries under the guidance of parks rangers from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana.
He said they employed 18 people from the Maramani area to assist with logistical issues and camp management.
The tourists, who entered the country through a temporary tourism border, were based on the Zimbabwean component of the mega park, which is surrounded by communities.