Despite being home to 3 of the big 5, Kyle Recreational Park has been experiencing a decline in the numbers of tourist arrivals with officials saying there is need to ensure the white rhino sanctuary is made more visible through marketing.
In 2017, 9 500 tourists visited Kyle Recreational Park, and the figure shows a decline over the past years, given that in 2014, 11 000 people visited the white rhino sanctuary.
Apart from having a sizable herd of the white rhino, Kyle is also home to the leopard and buffaloes, all part of the big 5 family.
Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority Southern Region Manager Mr Trumber Jura says various factors which include poor road network and unavailability of commercial flights to Masvingo are adversely affecting the tourism sector.
“There is a gradual decline in terms of arrivals; we are actually trying to put more emphasis on marketing. Most of our clients are locals, but we also have international clients and while on the regional front there is a decrease, on the international scene we have a slight increase,” said Mr Jura.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Area Manager Masvingo Mr Daniel Mumpande believes tourist arrivals at Kyle could improve significantly if it could be packaged together with the Great Zimbabwe Monuments to ensure visitors who go to the monuments get a chance to also view the wildlife at the recreational park.
“Our only impediment right now is that we do not have a cruise which is operating on Lake Mutirikwi. It would make it much easier for us to make a package that includes going to the monuments, then a cruise which then leads to the recreational park,” Mr Mumpande said.
Recently the ZTA Chief Executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke told players in the Masvingo tourism sector that not much has been done to market tourist places in Masvingo, giving assurance that the approach will be changed.