By Mpho Tebele
Gaborone - Some of the sleepy tourism resorts in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) came alive this week as the area was the setting for the biennial Land Rover Germany Experience Tour.
The biennial tour takes participants on an adventure through some of the toughest and most stunning landscapes on earth.
KAZA is the second largest nature reserve in the world, which spans parts of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Every two years, Land Rover Germany supports a Land Rover Experience Tour in a different country or region.
According to senior tourism expert and team leader at Agriculture and Finance Consultants GmbH (AFC), Netsai Bollmann, the aim of the tour was to give off-road and outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to get an insight into a country and or region with its unique nature, people and culture.
She said the KAZA TFCA was identified for the 2019 edition of the tour.
“The purpose is to raise awareness and to showcase the KAZA landscape internationally. A key feature of the tour is the participation of international journalists who in turn share their experiences with the international community through their works,” said Bollmann.
She revealed that the Land Rover Expedition Tour 2019 started in the Khaudum National Park on 3 November 2019. The expedition went to Popa Falls on the 4th, crossed into Angola, then into Zambia driving through the Sioma Ngwezi National Park, crossing into Botswana from Namibia on the 5th, traversing the Chobe National Park.
Bollmann said the expedition crossed into Zimbabwe on the 7th, going through the Zambezi National Park, passing by Victoria Falls.
The second group of journalists joined the expedition from Victoria Falls town, Zimbabwe, and proceeded to Hwange National Park and drove back to Botswana on the 11th, going through the magnificent wilderness to the Okavango Delta area ending on 13 November 2019.
“This expedition will support KAZA in working towards its vision of establishing the Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) as a world-class tourism destination,” said Bollmann.
The expedition was also expected to achieve the following; test and demonstrate connectivity and ease of ground travel between respective KAZA partner states; strengthen collaboration between KAZA partner states and their respective parks and tourism authorities.
Its objective was also to increase awareness of biodiversity and socio-economic activities as well as opportunities for international development cooperation involvement and private sector investment and raise awareness on transboundary destinations and products in the region.
The expedition was also meant to showcase identified nature, biodiversity and community development initiatives in the KAZA TFCA landscape as well as promote ecotourism in the region; and showcase KAZA as a premier tourism destination for regional and international markets.
During the expedition, participants marvelled at the untouched animal world, enjoyed a taste of the local cuisines and visited the Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world.
Besides getting to know the countries, participants also got to know the people, immersed themselves deeply in their cultures and tradition. They also experienced aspects such as sustainability initiatives, as well as animal and nature conservation on site.