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  1. #1
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    Default Developments at Matusadona National Park

    African Parks are really making every effort to put Matusadona onto the Tourist Map. Eva and Robert Reid are at present managing the initiative.

    One of the exciting initiatives is the introduction of a vehicle ferry service from Kariba to Matusadona.
    There will be two landing areas. One at Changa which is at the land side opposite Fothergill Island and one at Tashinga. This project is being developed by Dave and Sonya McMaster. They are in the development and planning stage and the following are their proposal.

    Please note this is a new project and we are still working on costings because there will be variations in the trips e.g. where people get dropped off and want to be collected (different areas) (or one way trips, etc). so we have come up with a basic costing but obviously will cater for each trip request individually.

    Trip Costs per ferry – we don’t charge for individual vehicles.

    Kariba town to Changa return – U$450 per trip
    Kariba town to Tashinga return – U$900 per trip

    Price EXCLUDES all National Parks lake usage fees and VAT.

    We do not provide any meals or beverages.

    Maximum number of vehicles on the vessel – 4 (bakkie size) (or 2 vehicles with trailers)

    Weight restrictions per vehicle – normal light 4x4 vehicles – no restrictions

    Frequency of trips – Totally dependent on demand, no set dates of travel.

    Travel time – Kariba to Changa – approximately 3˝ hours (depending on weather/lake conditions) – one way
    Kariba to Tashinga – approximately 6 hours (depending on weather/lake conditions) – one way

    Nearest accommodation day before trip – Kariba town – Lomagundi Lakeside have a camp site and self-catering lodges with a pub & restaurant, or Warthogs Bush Camp have similar.

    Vehicle Insurance requirements – all vehicles to be fully covered by vehicle owner – we are covered for the vessel and passengers only.

    Please note, the ferry has a very basic ablution for passengers and a top deck for seating, again very basic (own chairs).

    We look forward to this development as it will save the arduous trip down from the Karoi – Binga Road. Robert Reid of African Parks has advised me that they have redeveloped a lot of the roads and tracks and are planning to do more. They will be developing a tourist map with more detail than is currently depicted on their temporary map. I have added some pictures of the ferry.

    Some questions I posed
    I noticed one of the landings is Changa. Was this not the same as the old camp called Changachiri – I think it is. When we are referring to Changa, we mean the Parks camp/offices “Changachiri). The ferry could fetch clients Changa (the National Parks offices) or from Fothergill Island (not an island at the moment due to lake levels).
    A couple of other questions.
    You have indicates rates return.

    1. What will the rates be one way. Example they want to travel via ferry to Mats but will exit via road to Chizarira or onto Binga etc or vice versa? We are still working on this as the boat stays in Kariba town. If clients want to be collected from Changa/Tashinga, we would have to send the boat from Kariba to fetch them, incurring fuel there and back. This would mean full price (return price) would have to be charged to cover our costs, however, should we have a return load (normally Kariba across has a load) then we would be able to offer a one way price. If the boat is that side already, then again, we could organise a one way price. This is all new so we are going to have to see how best it works as we go along.
    2. If people travel down escarpment to Tashinga but want to be picked up either at Tashinga or Changa – what would be procedure? As above, we would try to factor in a trip across from Kariba then collect clients from Tashinga/Changa and return with them (they would then be charged a one way price)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    African Parks are further more endeavoring to improve management structures in the park. The advert below shows their effort to make this park a great park again.


    ** JOB ADVERT **
    We are looking to employ a Tourism Manager for the Matusadona Conservation Trust, based at the Tashinga HQ in Matusadona. Are you interested and the person we are looking for? See advert below!
    JOB ADVERTISEMENT
    Position title: Tourism Manager
    Location: Tashinga headquarters, Matusadona National Park
    Starting date: As soon as possible
    Duration: Initial 3-year contract
    Overview:
    The Matusadona Conservation Trust (MCT) is non-profit conservation organisation, established from a partnership between the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and African Parks Network, that has taken on the management of Matusadona National Park in Zimbabwe since November 2019. The organisation takes on responsibility of the rehabilitation and long-term management of the protected area whilst simultaneously supporting the development of communities around the park and promoting tourism and enterprise development in- and around the protected area.
    MCT is seeking a Tourism Manager, who can drive the tourism development in the Park. This will entail the development of various tourism products in the park (as laid out in the Tourism Development Plan) as well of the management of bookings, social media, marketing, the Tashinga campsite, hospitality employees and any future camps that MCT may develop in Matusadona National Park.
    Role and Responsibilities:
    The role and responsibilities are wide and varying due to the management of the different products offered to our visitors. They include but are not limited to the following:
    1. Tourism Development
    • Based at the Tashinga headquarters, the Tourism Manager will play a vital role in the development of Matusadona’s tourism products as outlined in the Tourism Development Plan
    • Delivery of a world class tourism product synonymous with African Parks
    • Management of hospitality staff and providing training and upskilling
    • Liaison with concession holders and guides
    • Assessment of new opportunities to grow the tourism products in MNP
    • Development of merchandise opportunities
    • Management of- and adherence to the expenditure budget
    • Drive the improvement of the tourism experience in Matusadona; development of maps, road signs, game-viewing loops, activities etc.
    2. Campsite management
    • Management of the campsite staff
    • Set-up of a tented camp for visitors
    • Management of the assets and infrastructure of the campsite
    • Maintenance of relations with campers
    3. Visitors
    • Management of the guest bookings for the campsite
    • Interact with the finance department to account for revenue streams.
    • Management of the asset and infrastructure of the centre including maintenance of all (future) tourism vehicles.
    • Management of the stock and sales of the future shop.
    • Manage tourism use of the airstrip and airstrip-houseboat transfers
    • Management of a payment system for houseboats in the Ume and Sanyati rivers
    4. Management of tourism infrastructure
    • Management of the asset and infrastructure of the commercial satellite camps
    • Management of the people movement for those units
    5. Marketing, communication and reporting
    • Develop and promote new activities within the reserve.
    • Manage all social media platforms, posting news on a daily basis and responding to posts
    • Monthly staff attendance report
    • Monthly park manager activity report
    • Monthly expenditure reporting
    • Development of communication products (posters, maps, flyers)
    6. Logistics
    • Logistics and procurement for hospitality
    • Liaison with APN Commercial on request bookings
    • In country logistics for guests
    4. Reporting Lines
    The tourism manager will report directly to the Park Manager
    Role requirements:
    • A passionate, practical, adaptable, enthusiastic and independent person with extensive camp and F&B management experience
    • At least 5 years’ experience living and operating in remote safari locations
    • Excellent planning and organizational skills
    • Strong initiative with a “dare to “attitude
    • Team player who will nurture and develop hospitality employees
    • Professional with a sense of fun and ample creativity
    • Excellent ability to build and manage relationships with a wide variety of people and cultures
    • Strong ability to use Microsoft Office products
    • Efficient at using social media streams
    Summary
    This is a unique opportunity to be part of a leading conservation organization in Africa.
    The tourism opportunities in Matusadona are vast and as of yet in their infant stage.
    The aim is to sell the incredible story of Matusadona’s revival and develop a tourism product that will attract tourists from far and wide, to ultimately safeguard Matusadona’s long term sustainability. Accommodation for at least until end of 2022 will be in a tent, as we are still in a building phase.
    To apply, please email your CV and cover letter to [email protected] before the 7th of September, 2021.
    Should you not hear back from us within 2 weeks after closing date, please take it that your application was unsuccessful.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    I am adding their new Map which is work in progress plus an old map I did off Google Earth
    Attached Files Attached Files
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Thanks Mike, we had a lovely stay at Tashinga about 10 years ago. Just the road conditions to it from the Binga-Karoi road!!!!!

    I am sure all the planned developments you detail, will only enhance its appeal.
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    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    in 1999 we were at Tashinga ..driving down the escarpment in 2x landy Defenders after a week at Chizzarira. There were 4x young Zim families who were camped at Tashinga when we arrived >> They all had saloon cars (3 x Peaugout and 1 x Toyota Tazz) .. They left via Ferry for Kariba while we stayed on to drive out days later > So this is not a NEW initiative >> been going on for decades

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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Peter, you are referring to the good ol’days. When you could get a ferry (something like 8 or more vehicles and passengers) from Milibizi or Kariba and if needed a detour via Matusadona. What is being described here is a new initiative. Note the small ferry show in the pi’s. Well done, so far, to all involved may these endeavors be success and sustainable.

    Can anyone comment on the road and conditions and traveling times from Changa to Matusadona?

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Quote Originally Posted by TRON View Post
    Peter, you are referring to the good ol’days. When you could get a ferry (something like 8 or more vehicles and passengers) from Milibizi or Kariba and if needed a detour via Matusadona. What is being described here is a new initiative. Note the small ferry show in the pi’s. Well done, so far, to all involved may these endeavors be success and sustainable.

    Can anyone comment on the road and conditions and traveling times from Changa to Matusadona?

    Thank Tron
    The one route is on Tracks 4 Africa from Changa to Tashinga. This road has already been regraded. I have asked Robert if they are setting up a camp at Changa for Ferry arrivals or will arrivals need to camp at Sanyati West or the new satellite camp nearer to Changa. I will share on this thread any feedback I get. There is also a very challenging track that runs along the bottom of the Escarpment that would be a great challenge for some younger 4x4 enthusiasts to tackle. African Parks are also looking at some of the mountain tracks which also would be challenging. i think African Parks would welcome assistance in road or track mapping using the T4A facility.
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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Hi Tron

    Just check on Basecamp and put in your own travel times per each leg. There are a few River Crossings but this road has been attended to. The distance around 50 kms at say a slow travel at 25 km/hr should give you 2 hours travelling time with a few stops and off road track to coast line. I would give at least 4 hours which could include a refreshment stop.
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Mike, you have some very interesting information on the roads and thank you for all your valuable work. The road between Changa and Tashinga sounds very interesting. When we were there in 2002 I did not even know there was a road. The roads to most of the other camping sites were overgrown. The most important road to me, however, is the one from the Binga-Karoi road to Tashinga. In 2019 even Zimparks told me rather not to try it.
    Do you know if they have done some work on that entrance road.

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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Those ferries look like the old DDF ferries I sailed on back in the '90's to Matusadona from Kariba. They loaded up what sounds like the same place in Kariba. Roads to Matusadona were horrible and the tracks were worse. Fuel was not a guarantee back then. Cutting the drive there from Vic Falls or Kariba meant I could explore the park and still have what I needed to get out of there. Also, it was cheap enough to justify. The DDF Ferry back then was primarily transporting supplies, fuel, and locals to the park and villages along the lake. It was an adventure. The fuel in bowsers venting petrol fumes and the crew smoked as they did their thing, often a bit too close to the bowsers. At Tashinga, the ferry unloaded near the park managers house and there was a place near Changa back then too. The park was one of my top favorites at the time for wildlife viewing, bush walking and few in any tourists at the time. Buffalo numbers were high, along with the lion prides that fed primarily on them. I had one experience of tracking a herd of buffalo on foot with a retired game scout to find a pride of 26 lions in close proximity with our backs to the lake.

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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobus P Venter View Post
    Mike, you have some very interesting information on the roads and thank you for all your valuable work. The road between Changa and Tashinga sounds very interesting. When we were there in 2002 I did not even know there was a road. The roads to most of the other camping sites were overgrown. The most important road to me, however, is the one from the Binga-Karoi road to Tashinga. In 2019 even Zimparks told me rather not to try it.
    Do you know if they have done some work on that entrance road.
    Hi Kobus

    Robert Reid of African Parks has advised that work is being carried out repairing the entry road to Matusadona. The issue with gravel roads is that they change like the weather. Today can be fine but after a good storm it can be a nightmare. I towed a trailer down and it was an adventure. We buy 4x4 vehicles to meet Africa's challenges. It is still an option to stay over at Chizarira and then down to Matusadona due to efforts being made to attract tourists.

    Kobus I have attached a copy og the Changa / Tashinga route off Basecamp for you.
    Attached Files Attached Files
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  18. #12
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Quote Originally Posted by MikevR View Post
    Hi Tron

    Just check on Basecamp and put in your own travel times per each leg. There are a few River Crossings but this road has been attended to. The distance around 50 kms at say a slow travel at 25 km/hr should give you 2 hours travelling time with a few stops and off road track to coast line. I would give at least 4 hours which could include a refreshment stop.
    Thanx Mike and of course one must include a refreshment stop or two!

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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Mike
    I have always wondered if cheetah have been spotted in the park again. I had the dumb luck of driving from Changa to Tashinga in the late '90's and there was one standing in the middle of the track. With all the lion in the park at the time, not something you would expect.

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  21. #14
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Hi,
    found this highly interesting article by Dick Pitman on an equally interesting web site. https://wholeeartheducation.com/matu...national-park/
    Perhaps some of you will equally enjoy it to look back in time whilst following and perhaps better understand new developments in Matusadona.
    Regards
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    … I recall, in the ‘70s travelling from Karoi right across Eastward to Kazungula,
    in a Merc, and it was in the rainy season.
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Great initiative; I am also interested in the condition of the road from the Karoi side as it may be one way to get there after Mana Pools visit we are tentatively, covid willing, planning for mid 2022.

    Also, is the Milibizi - Kariba ferry still running?

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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    The Kariba-Milibisi Ferry only runs on demand with an acceptable load and even then it is pretty expensive. So you need a fair number of vehicles or find out when a large group is travelling and there is space. We drove the Mlibisi-Binga- Kariba road in 2019 and the road was reasonable- nothing that a 4x4 cannot handle! We always take the turnoff to Kariba via the so-called powerline route so I have never continued to Karoi. Years ago (2000)we used the Ferry and it is a memorable experience.

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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    The is a decent section of tar from the Karoi side towards Chizarira and they are widening at as well at present. They were also working on the gravel sections so the road is not that bad for a backroad gravel road. Took us a comfortable 6h30 from Chizarira to Karoi about 4 weeks ago. Next time we will try Matusadona and Gache so cant comment on those sections

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  28. #19
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Herewith attached is an update on Matusadona.




















    Last edited by MikevR; 2021/09/22 at 03:39 PM.
    The more we talk about what is wrong, the less we see what is right in this world.

  29. #20
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    Default Re: Developments at Matusadona National Park

    Retry add report
    Attached Files Attached Files
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