HARARE – The Zimbabwe women’s cricket team, who are hosting Ireland for a series of matches, took a break from their camp on Saturday to visit Kuimba Shiri Bird Park, a sanctuary for indigenous birds and a popular tourist attraction.
The visit was part of the ZimBho campaign, launched by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) to encourage locals and the Zimbabwean diaspora community to travel within the country and support the economy. The campaign aims to shape the future of tourism in Zimbabwe and contribute to the national vision of an upper middle income economy by 2030. It also feeds into the target of a US$5 billion tourism economy by 2025.
The ZTA has been promoting various clusters of tourism, such as excursions, rural, sport and religious tourism, and hosting the girl child as part of its initiatives. The Zimbabwe women cricketers, who are playing three one-day internationals and five Twenty20 matches against Ireland, are an example of sport tourism and an inspiration to many young girls and women in the country.
Kuimba Shiri proprietor Gary Stafford said he was honoured to host the team and hoped that their visit would encourage more people to explore the country’s wonders and appreciate its rich biodiversity. “Zimbabwe has so much to offer to domestic and international tourists, yet a lot of people rarely take the time to explore,” he said.
Kuimba Shiri, located at the shores of Lake Chivero, was founded by conservationist and falconer Gary Stafford in 1994. It is home to some of the 606 bird species found in Zimbabwe, and some of them have been featured in BBC documentaries with David Attenborough. The park is also a Sri Chinmoy International Peace Park, sharing this privilege with 800 other sites around the world.
The park is a non-profit organisation that offers refuge for injured and orphaned birds, as well as educational trips for students. The park is open every day of the year.