Tourism: Vast potential for Zambia

Known as ‘the real Africa’, Zambia is particularly attractive to people seeking an experience of the real wild Africa. Because Zambia is not yet as popular as the leading destinations in Africa, it has remained rich and unspoilt with the low tourist populations. Zambia is the land of the awe inspiring Victoria falls (100 meters deep, 200 meters wide and 2 kilometres long), the wild Zambezi river, breath taking lakes including the Kariba, one of the world’s largest man-made lakes, expansive wetlands for which Zambia was awarded a conservation certificate by the 2002 Johannesburg earth summit, 13 game reserves with abundant wildlife and a profusion of birds, the legendary and unique Zambian walking safari, colourful traditional ceremonies such as the famous ‘kuomboka’ -crossing the waters - of the Lozi king in western province) and raw, pulsating wilderness.

Zambia has recently acquired the Royal Livingstone, a world-class hotel situated less than a kilometres from the Victoria Falls. The ‘Zambezi Sun’ is another hotel adjacent to the falls. Zambia’s abundant tourist attractions are accessible from fine eco-friendly lodges. Lake Kariba is two hours drive from Lusaka, whilst the Victoria Falls is one hour’s flight from the capital. Most attractions are within a few hours drive or a short flight from any urban centre in Zambia. Tourists enjoy amongst other activities world class white water rafting, a 111 meter bungi jump into the Victoria Falls gorge, abseiling, canoeing safaris, river cruise, microlighting, water skiing, and fishing.

The tourism sector grew by 4.7% in 2002 over an above the 24.7% growth in 2001 when the country benefited from an increase in visitor numbers resulting from attractions including the solar eclipse and the opening of the Sun hotels in Livingstone. To sustain the current momentum, Government has planned the rehabilitation of infrastructure in Livingstone and the promotion of tourism development in other important tourist areas such as the Kafue, Lower Zambezi and Luangwa national parks. To allow participation from Zambian entrepreneurs in the tourism sector, a Tourism Credit facility will be set up with an allocation of K5bn.