George Maponga — Masvingo Bureau

Zimparks has started boosting the profile of Gonarezhou National Park in the southeast of the Lowveld by reintroducing rhinos in a move tailored to boost the revival of the local tourism industry, one of the key anchors of the local and national economy.

Gonarezhou is one of Zimbabwe’s most popular tourist attractions with diverse flora and fauna.

The park is also part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park that is joined to South African’s Kruger and Mozambique’s Gaza national parks to create one of the world’s largest wildlife habitats.

Rhinos were hunted to extinction in Gonarezhou almost 30 years by poachers but with the vastly improved protection offered by the parks across the border and by Zimparks on the Zimbabwean side it is now possible to bring rhino back.

Zimparks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo said the ongoing reintroduction of rhinos in Gonarezhou would boost tourism in the park. Tourism is expected to play a key role in stimulating national economic growth in line with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030.

“We are in the process of reintroducing rhinoceroses in Gonarezhou to boost the park’s profile and attract more tourists there. We hope by bringing rhinos back to the park the habitat will regain it’s position as a prime local tourist destination and this dovetails with our overall goal to grow the tourism sector,”he said.

“We will be officially launching the reintroduction project of the rhinos but the process is already underway but we cannot disclose the number of rhinos to be involved for security reasons.”