At least 200 elephants have died owing to droughts experienced over the past two years in Zimbabwe, Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Nqobizitha Ndhlovu has said. Being a developing country located in semi-arid subtropical region, Zimbabwe is highly vulnerable to climate variability and change.
“The 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 agricultural seasons were also characterised by delayed onset of the season, low rainfall and prolonged dry spells resulting in low crop yields and impacts on livestock and wildlife,” Ndhlovu said.
“Resultantly, the country lost over 200 elephants to drought and had a number of its climate-sensitive tourism sites losing their sparkle as water levels fell in most of our major dams, rivers and waterfalls.” Prime tourist destination, he said, was not spared as the records show that it had one of the record low flows.
Tourism is a major foreign currency earner for the southern African nation. Under the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy – Vision 2025, government targets to increase tourist arrivals to over 5.5 million by 2023, as well as growing tourism receipts from US$1 billion in 2017 to US$3.5 billion by 2023.