Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau
KARIBA’S Caribbea Bay Resort Hotel is pioneering the “Glamping” hospitality phenomenon which combines outdoor experience and its glamorous amenities.
This comes as tourists have defined Zimbabwe as a hidden gem which is waiting to be uncovered and explored while management of the country’s ports of entry have been commended for facilitating easy passage for tourists. The development at Caribbea Bay is part of the US$11 million upgrade of African Sun hotels across the country.
Caribbea Bay’s rooms are undergoing a major facelift which is expected to strategically position the facility for a higher grading and improved revenue.
Glamping is a relatively new phenomenon in Zimbabwe and the world over, where camping has been hybridised to incorporate the glamour of modern amenities including Wi-Fi and phone charging ports.
At least eight tourists from Germany and Australia were the first to sample the campsite at Caribbea Bay.
Australian tourist Matthew Boys said Zimbabwe, in its beauty and simplicity, provides a different picture to what is painted in mainstream media.
“It has really been good, I guess everyone has this perception of what Zimbabwe is because of the news and what is projected as political turmoil. It is actually a good place with beautiful scenery, game and really friendly people. The scenery for me stood out maybe because I am into landscapes. It reminds me a little bit of Australia, but it has something unique about it. The greatest thing is the friendly nature of the people,” said Boys.
He said tourists do not feel objectified or scared when moving around the country.
Turning to the campsite, he said, it was beautiful, providing a spectacular view of Lake Kariba while providing clean ablution facilities and other amenities. The camp area provides a braai and bonfire areas, tent slabs, charging ports, toilets and bathroom facilities.
Patricia Bantle from Germany said Zimbabweans are extraordinarily friendly, but challenges with use of foreign currency in shops and conversation facilities for ordinary transactions should be addressed.
“It was difficult to buy things in shops and we had challenges getting local money even to buy things in shops. It’s a challenge that has to be addressed for tourists,” she said.