New Shisinze Station unlocks enormous tourism potential of Nkasa Rupara
On his way to Katima Mulilo to attend the progress review on development projects in the Zambezi Region funded by the German Government, the ambassador arrived a day earlier to open the new park management facility at the entrance to Nkasa Rupara National Park.
Situated in the triangle south of the Sangwali tributary, the Kwando in the west and the Linyanti in the east, Nkasa Rupara consists of two large islands and the surrounding areas of the Linyanti swamps. The two islands, roughly 24 square kilometres, are the only areas that remain dry when both the Kwando and Linyanti are in flood. This area is exceptionally rich in wildlife lying in close proximity to extensive conservation areas just across the rivers in Botswana.
The inauguration of Shisinze Park Management Station in Nkasa Rupara was done by the Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon Tommy Nambahu, assisted by the German Ambassador, HE Christian Schlaga and attended by the Deputy Minister of Economic Planning, the Governor of the Zambezi Region and representatives of local Traditional Authorities.
The advanced new station significantly improves the environment ministry’s ability to manage Nkasa Rupara National Park. Striking new entrance gates have been constructed complemented by and attractive reception area for visitors. Substantive information is provided for the visitor on colourful billboards and displays.
Outside the reception there is a scenic new picnic site where tourists can relax after their long journeys. For the staff, there are proper offices and a football pitch as well as nineteen new houses with a state-of-the-art solar powered electrical system and a purified hot and cold water system.
The total cost of Shisinze Station is about N$41 million of which N$34 million came from the German Government.
Standing in front of a grove of mature Mopane trees, the Ambassador said “Within the framework of our bilateral development cooperation, the Namibian and German Governments have long realised the substantial contribution from national parks to economic development. The promotion of sustainable tourism, which is directly linked to national parks, is an effective strategy to enhance growth and employment and thereby reducing poverty.”
Shisinze Station marks the first of three similar facilities at national parks in the north-east of Namibia. The other two, at the northern and southern entrances of Khaudom National Park, have recently been completed but not yet officially opened.
New stations were also built previously at Mahango, Susuwe and Ngenda in Bwabwata and Mudumu National Parks. These stations are operational and provide ideal conditions for proper park management.
“The efforts and results of the Namibian German Cooperation to develop the four north-eastern parks, are steadily improving the effectiveness of park management. This is having a positive effect on wildlife numbers and the park environment. Proper park management therefore also influences experiences of visitors positively, which are bringing considerable benefits to the region in general and to local communities in particular. Tourism concessions and trophy hunting projects undertaken by neighbouring and resident communities in the Zambezi Region are generating more than N$13.7 million per year. These local benefits are directly linked to the successful management of the parks” stated the German Embassy.