Monday, July 16, 2012

(TALKZIMBABWE) UK firm reintroduces Zimbabwe package tours

UK firm reintroduces Zimbabwe package tours
This article was written by Our reporter on 16 July, at 01 : 30 AM

A United Kingdom-based luxury travel company, Cox & Kings, is to reintroduce package tours to Zimbabwe after a 10 year absence. The tours will begin this summer.

The company announced this week the return to Zimbabwe after quitting the country 10 years ago when Britain and her allies imposed sanctions and issued travel warnings to its citizens visiting the country, resulting in a nose dive in arrivals.

According to a British paper, the Telegraph, Cox & Kings joins other tour operators such as Expert Africa, Africa Travel and Cazenove & Lloyd, who have also started featuring the country in their brochures.

The airline Emirates recently launched direct flights to Harare and announced it would increase its frequency to daily flights beginning 1 October.

Tour operators started returning to Zimbabwe this March after a revision of Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice.

From April 2008 routes were being diverted into neighbouring Zambia while the FCO advised against all but essential travel to the country.

“Zimbabwe offers one of the most comprehensive and varied African safari experiences on the continent,” said Cox & Kings’ Africa Product Manager, Louise Stanion.

“We have chosen to work with partners who help their local communities and ensure that the vast majority of the money earned from tourism goes into the hands of the people who really need it.

“The local Zimbabweans are thrilled to see tourists back in their country. Expect to be welcomed with genuine smiles and hospitality.”

Cox & Kings are offering an 11-day/8-night fly-safari that begins in Bulawayo and includes safari drives in Matobo Hills National Park and Hwange National Park culminating at the Victoria Falls.

Alternatively, visitors can go on a “Grand Tour of Zimbabwe”, a 13-day/11-night private journey, with a personal driver/guide accompanying throughout.

Mr Ben Tesa, the managing director at Khanondo Safaris, said the coming back of international operators into the country was a welcome development which he said should be warmly welcomed by the Government and the sector at large.

“It’s good news indeed and a welcome development, this is what we have been waiting for, now we will see the British joining other tourists from Europe, America and the East visiting the country and it is a plus for the coming ahead of UNWTO general assembly,” he said.

However, getting to Victoria Falls from Harare and Bulawayo has become rather difficult for tourists since Air Zimbabwe suspended daily flights to the resort town early this year.

Tourists say chartered light aircraft flights are expensive.



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