The Telegraph recently ran a story about the question of travelling to Zimbabwe. It’s similar in some ways to this one in Conde Nast Traveller and this one in San Francisco Chronicle. Bring on more! The writer talks about the negative impact that political policies have had on the country, and also the positive attitude of Zimbabwean people.
Here’s my favourite extract from his piece:
“With every day I travelled and with every Zimbabwean black and white I met, I realised that this interface between foreign visitors and the local tourism people had no connection at all with the political wrangling that was taking place at conference tables in Harare, Pretoria or wherever.
This was about ordinary people who have been dealt a terrible hand by a violent autocratic government and who are trying to make a living just as you and I are in Britain.
It has wonderful natural assets, the nicest, friendliest people of the continent and for the time being at least it is not overcrowded with tourists.
This may be the right time to take another look at Zimbabwe.“
– Graham Boynton, The Telegraph
He also interviewed Jean-Luc Grillet of Emirates airlines, who spoke of his impression of Zimbabwe:
“The problem is that the image of many African countries is dictated by the image of the dictators.
In fact, when we arrived in Zimbabwe we were surprised to find the infrastructure was in good condition compared with the rest of Africa.”
– Jean-Luc Grillet, Emirates airlines
Many people see Zimbabwe as just another place to go on safari, or else as failed African state. It’s neither – it’s so much more.