Wildlife Conservation Hub to be Established in Victoria Falls

SANTONGA conservation, culture and history park in Victoria Falls will be “a force for good” in the region, incorporating a conservation, education and research focus, Africa Albida Tourism group chairman Dave Glynn says.

Mr Glynn described a World Wildlife Fund report, published last year, which found humanity had wiped out 52 per cent of the world’s wildlife in the last 40 years, as “terrifying”.

“So if we, as humans, have wiped out 52 per cent in the last 40 years, how much are we going to wipe out now in the next 40 years? And what can we do to try and reverse at least some of that,” Mr Glynn said.

“We will be involved in fundraising initiatives and we wish to become a specialist conservation, education and research unit. In other words, to add a focal point for conservation in the area,” Mr Glynn said.

Santonga, the $18 million, 80-acre park, scheduled to open in 2017, will tell the story of Victoria Falls from the very beginning, 4 billion years ago, through its history, people, plants and wildlife.

“We also have two dinosaur species that are significant in the global dinosaur story,” he said.

Santonga, is expected to be at least a six-hour experience, drawing 120,000 visitors annually, and boosting the average length of time tourists stay in Victoria Falls, thereby benefitting the entire economy. It is also expected to create 150 direct jobs, and many more downstream jobs.

In addition to Santonga, Africa Albida Tourism, a Zimbabwe-owned company, has a portfolio of hotels and restaurants in Victoria Falls, including its flagship property, the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.