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80 tourists arrive for Greater Mapungubwe expedition

80 tourists arrive for Greater Mapungubwe expedition
The heart of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area

The heart of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area

Beitbridge Bureau
ALL is set for the inaugural wild run tourism expedition, which will be held in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA).

Preparations for the event, which involves Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa, have gathered momentum with organisers saying they are ready to roll starting today.

The expedition seeks to market the GMTFCA as one of the best tourist resorts in the Sadc region. Participant cyclists pass through three countries during the course of the event.

Zimbabwean coordinator, Peter Ncube said the event will run for three days starting today on the Zimbabwean side of the park.

He said 80 tourists had registered to participate in the expedition and most of them were from South Africa.

“The group will enter the three countries through make shift borders in the mega park. The participants will be staying at the Maramani camp on the Zimbabwean side of the TFCA.

“Basically the tourist will be running in the park exploring and experiencing truly wild places on the run. This will be blended with interactions with cultural and local area experiences unique to each Wildrun geographic area,” he said.

Ncube said the event will be covered by a number of media houses as part of marketing the tourism packages offered by the park and this is expected to boost tourists arrivals.

He said the team will be running in the bush for 30 km on each day.

Ncube said as part of boosting tourism packages on the Zimbabwean side, Boundless Southern Africa had donated equipment worth R327.625, which will be used at Maramani camp. “All the services and food for the tourists is being sourced from Zimbabwe as well as labour for setting camps and tour guides. This is done to ensure that people living within that community also derive maximum benefits from natural resources around them,” he said.

Ncube said the event has been held mainly in South Africa and Lesotho since 2009 and was now being piloted in Zimbabwe and Botswana.

The Wildrun is the second largest tourism programme after the Tour De Tuli biking, which attracts around 350 cyclists annually and is held in the same mega park.

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