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At one time, indigenous rural communities received very little direct benefit from Zimbabwe’s booming tourism industry. For the rural villager living next to a national park, wildlife was by no means an attraction; elephants ate their crops and lions killed their livestock. The animals were problematic and not something to encourage let alone protect. Tourists were strange looking people that travelled past in buses and planes who sometimes waved but spent their money elsewhere.

Our goal and long term vision is that by  building some of our safari lodges and camps within the communal lands and peripheral areas around our parks and bringing people closer to nature, a symbiotic relationship between conservation, responsible tourism and local communities can grow.  This in turn promotes conservation of the local wildlife and natural resources, and encourages sustainability for these village communities while at the same time adding significantly to the experience for the responsible safari enthusiast.

 

Our journey started with proposals to Rural District Councils through Zimbabwe’s CAMPFIRE program and developed into negotiations with excited local communities, ultimately paving the way for Gorges Lodge to open in 1996, which at the time was the largest safari tourism development ever undertaken on communal land.

 

Since then, Bomani Tented Lodge, Camelthorn Lodge, Zambezi Sands and Jozibanini have opened, Gorges has been extended and the luxury tented Little Gorges is now open, and we acquired the beautiful Nehimba Lodge in the North West of Hwange National Park.  Our program has blossomed into a showpiece and model for actual successful community-based ecotourism. With funds and support reaching the communities directly, the results are tangible and the quality of life for tens of thousands of villagers in the huge area in which we operate has dramatically improved. Their response has exceeded our expectations. Visiting guests are welcomed with open arms in local villages and at our lodges, locally employed staff have real smiles and provide an extra measure of hospitality.

 

Our commitment to conserving our wildlife and natural resources is not only aimed at local communities – Imvelo is heavily involved in a range of wildlife conservation programs on a daily basis, particularly in the more remote portions of our national parks.

 

Our guests can expect to be pampered in exciting lodges by friendly staff with experienced guides who will show them a unique safari experience that gets them involved and actually does make a difference to wildlife and local people’s lives – connecting people and nature.

2017 RECOGNITION OF EXCELLENCE HotelsCombined
9.5 Rated by guests

Imvelo Safari Lodges

68 Townsend Road

Suburbs

Bulawayo

Zimbabwe.

 

Tel: +263 29 2252232  | Mobile: +263 783 568 632 or +263 772 155 872  | Fax: +263 29 2232331

 

Email: res1@imvelosafarilodges.com