from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS – A NEW helicopter service has been introduced in Victoria Falls to provide tourists with an aerial view of the waterfall and nearby game parks.
It is a partnership between MJ Air and Zimparks, the country’s wildlife authority.
Nqobizitha Ndlovu, Minister of Tourism presided over the launch.
“We are witnessing today the birth of a new entrant into the tourism industry, with the launch of this partnership,” he said.
Ndlovu said such partnerships have a huge bearing in the country’s economy.
“This is a 100 percent indigenous company operated by Zimbabweans. We encourage such partnerships in our departments so that we all contribute to the national vision,” Ndlovu said.
He applauded MJ Air for creating jobs for locals especially at a time when the tourism industry was hard hit by COVID-19, which led to closure of business and laying off of workers.
Previously, Zambezi Helicopter Company operated by Shearwater, Chikopokopo and Bonisair offered helicopter flights above the falls.
Gerald Zumbika, MJ Air director, said theirs is unique as they will be offering both aerial view of the falls and game drive in one flight.
The flight is 30 minutes long over Zambezi and Victoria Falls National Parks, the waterfall and gorges.
“We will be having a combination of different products such as fly over the falls which normally is 15 minutes and ours is different because it has a game view making it 30 minutes,” he said.
The operator will also offer private charter flights for clients connecting to different lodges around Victoria Falls and Hwange.
Fulton Mangwanya, Zimparks director, said the partnership comes at a time when the wildlife authority is making efforts to raise revenue to support its mandate of conserving wildlife.
“Zimparks relies on the revenue that it generates for all its operations” Mangwanya said.
“We seek to strengthen and bolster our networking efforts and work on increasing tourism revenue and enhancing tourist experience in and around Victoria Falls,” he said.
The helicopter flights, known as Flight of Angels, are one of the basket of tour activities in Victoria Falls.
– CAJ News