Binga airstrip rehab boosts tourism - Zimbabwe

The District Development Fund (DDF) has refurbished the Binga airstrip to enable aircraft to land smoothly and ease transport challenges faced by tourists visiting the area.

Binga has several tourist attractions and activities such as the Bumi Hills, a crocodile farm, water sports, a beach, hot springs, boat cruising and several fisheries.

The airstrip has been idle for five years. Addressing journalists during a media tour of the airstrip last week, DDF acting provincial coordinator for Matabeleland North Mr Joseph Nhliziyana said there were a lot of tourist attractions in Binga hence the need to refurbish the airstrip.

“As DDF we are maintaining the airstrip in support of Government’s thrust to support the tourism sector which will benefit not only the community but the international community especially those who are into fisheries and crocodile products.

“We are rehabilitating this airstrip and the overall job will be completed by end of August,” he said.

Binga Crocodile Farm administration manager Mr Clever Mutondohori hailed the Government for refurbishing the airstrip saying it was now easy to transport their crocodile products.

“The airstrip is helping our business and the community in the sense that we have international buyers who come here for crocodile products and most were flying to Victoria Falls then drive 300 kilometres to Binga. The refurbishment of the airstrip has helped to shorten the distance that our buyers and tourists travel to get here.

“Binga is growing as a tourist destination, a lot of people were focusing on Kariba and Victoria Falls while Binga was laid back. The reason why it was so was its proximity to big cities and the road network which was bad but is improving.

“The refurbishment of the Binga airstrip is going to solve a lot of transport problems. In the last three months we have noticed an improvement in the number of people coming in to Binga because it now takes a few minutes to travel between Victoria Falls and Binga or Harare and Binga compared to a 13-hour drive from Harare or six hour-drive from Victoria Falls.

“That alone is a great development because tourists want to get around a lot quicker and that is now possible because of the airstrip,” he said.

A tourist from the United States of America, Mrs Melanie Woolever, said: “Zimbabwe, Botswana and Kenya have been on my list and I am delighted that I have managed to come here. We saw all kinds of wildlife and lovely people.

“The airstrip really helped because we are on such a tight schedule throughout our trip, so the airstrip helped us to shorten our travel time and to have enough time to enjoy the attractions,” she said.

Source: The Herald