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  1. #1
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    Default Chizarira an Update

    I have been in communications with Dr. Niall McCann who is the Conservation Director of National Parks Rescue who are at present endeavoring to improve the situation at Chizarira
    1st Response
    Nice to hear from you, feel free to direct any questions you have to me. You might be aware that the first Chizarira 4x4 Challenge took place six weeks ago, with 10 vehicles entering a three day friendly competition. The event was organized by Zim-Parks, with my team creating a few of the obstacles and providing security and support for the two days of driving in the park. We’re hopeful that it will grow from here, and become a popular annual event over the coming years.

    There are currently two camps with running water and basic ablutions for self-drive campers. Chiz is a wonderful place to visit for self-sufficient 4x4 enthusiasts, especially now that we have repaired/re-opened much of the derelict road network inside the park. It’s now possible to do a few days of challenging - but not dangerous - driving in the park, and to reach some of the more spectacular features such as Mount Tundazi.

    Discussions are ongoing with a couple of developers about creating tented camps inside the park, and I hope to see development starting in the next year or two. We’re adamant that Chizarira needs to retain its wilderness character, but also aware that we need to attract more tourists to the park to help it achieve sustainability; tented accommodation is probably the most sustainable way we can achieve that without significant environmental drawbacks.

    2nd response
    Sorry for the slow response, I’m trying to get you an up-to-date map of the road network, and the two members of my staff who are best placed to do this are both on leave.

    Fascinating seeing your old maps; I’ll read the report later in the week when I get some more time.

    That yellow road you refer to is no longer functioning as far as I know. Over the past four years we have focused on the internal network, rather than peripheral roads that might also be accessed by ‘uninvited’ individuals. You can definitely drive pretty near the marsh, up to the Muchininga Spring, but I need to check if the road via Siampondo to the Muchesu Gorge - to the north of the marsh - is open.

    The road to Tundazi is open all the way. There is one very steep section (called Tundazi Echo) which is 8-9km from the base of the mountain, but it’s passable for experienced drivers.

    We discussed Busi camp when we drew up the General Management Plan for the park two years ago. There is general agreement that some more investment needs to be made in the Busi area, but we’re likely to focus on the camps nearer HQ to begin with. We opened the road up to Busi camp in August/September 2019. I was disappointed to find very little animal spoor, and to see a lot of evidence of human encroachment in the area, no doubt due to zero law enforcement presence for the past few years. We’ve rectified that now, and I hope that the wildlife will start to return to the area in due course.

    The two camps that overlook the Mucheni Gorge both have running water and a basic ablutions block, but the camps south of the HQ are currently derelict. Our focus for the last four years has been on law enforcement and the infrastructure that supports it, but we are aware of the need to invest in the tourism infrastructure in the years to come.
    Regards

    MikevR



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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Chizarira an Update

    Hi Mike, on behalf of the many forum members that are interested in the ever improving National Parks situation in Zimbabwe a massive thanks for all that you do to keep us up to date on developments. Cheers John
    John 2021 Prado GXL 2.8 (Australia) & 2017 Land Cruiser 79 D/Cab + Alucab Ossewa "Hagrid" (Africa)
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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Chizarira an Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedx2 View Post
    Hi Mike, on behalf of the many forum members that are interested in the ever improving National Parks situation in Zimbabwe a massive thanks for all that you do to keep us up to date on developments. Cheers John
    Seconded. Thank you, Mike.
    Phil
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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Chizarira an Update

    Thanks for update Mike, looking forward to our trip next year.
    www.lani4travel.com

    Louis Le Grange

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