Tourists Hail New Parks' Rainforest Café
by Patrick Chitumba
Victoria Falls — The opening of a National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority-run Café in the Victoria Falls Rainforest has been welcomed by tourists, who feel it has added value to their experience of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The Rainforest Café opened its doors last week and becomes the first place to offer food and beverages in the area.
Previously, day-trippers would be dropped at the entrance, pay entry fees, tour one of the Seven Wonders of the World and then drive back to Kasane in Botswana or Livingstone, Zambia, soon afterwards without really enjoying the best that Zimbabwe has to offer.
However, the new café has seen tourists spending longer periods in the rainforest. The café manager, Mr Chris Brown, said nothing was brought down in building the facility as the thatched structure was constructed within the trees.
Yesterday, The Herald caught up with some American, German, Australian and English tourists enjoying a meal at the café.
They commended the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority for coming up with the facility.
Mrs Hannes Greenwell from Germany said the last time she and her husband visited they had left early because they got hungry and crossed back into Zambia where they were staying.
"This is just marvellous," she remarked.
Mr Mark Henceforth from England said he had been to Iguacu Falls in Brazil and Table Mountain in South Africa where he saw big, world class restaurants near the sites.
"This allows us time to sit back and relax. We also get to meet other people from other countries."
In an interview in the rainforest recently, Tourism and Hospita-lity Industry Minister Walter Mzembi said controlled development should be allowed to take place in the area. He said other tourist attractions with World Heritage Site status, like Iguacu Falls, were open for 24 hours and this meant greater revenue inflow.
"In Victoria Falls, gates are closed after 6pm. Tourists want to visit even at night to see the rainforest. We want to see lights here and other activities so that revenue increases," he said.
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