Hippo Pools Camp re-opens

Augustine Mukaro

HIPPO Pools Wilderness Camp has re-opened its doors to tourists and holidaymakers after five months of forced closure by invading Zanu PF youths.



, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The camp was first invaded on October 16 last year forcing booked clients to vacate the resort in the middle of the night.


Camp owner Ian Jarvis this week confirmed the re-opening.


“We have been operating for the past three weeks without any problems,” Jarvis said. “There have been some assurances that our operations will not be disturbed again.”


He said the Wilderness Trust held meetings with Environment and Tourism minister Francis Nhema and National Parks officials in which a proposal to form a partnership to develop the area with the authority was mooted.


“We have since submitted the proposal on how the safari area could be restocked as well as develop projects for the community. We are currently waiting for government response,” he said.


Jarvis said the area had the potential to become one of the country’s biggest tourist destinations if the National Parks controlled rampant gold panning and poaching in the safari area.


The camp is situated in the Umfurudzi Safari area in Mashonaland Central, which falls under government’s Parks and Wildlife Authority.


Jarvis said most of the equipment that was looted had not been returned and he was having problems in restocking.


“The camp keys which I was forced to hand over during the invasion have not been returned and we are in the process of buying new keys for the whole camp.”


Jarvis said the invasion has disrupted Wilderness Africa Trust projects being supported by the camp. The trust was involved in the translocation of game species from invaded farms.


Umfurudzi Safari area is a 74 000-hectare game park 150 kilometres north of Harare in the Mazowe-Shamva area.