Malawi tourism undeterred by cyclone Freddy

EXTRAORDINARY aerial shots of the Shire River meeting rainwater on the floodplains in Malawi. The Southern African nation has been ravaged by floods in recent months. Photo: Malawi Travel Marketing Consortium.

MAVHUTO BANDA TOURISTS are encouraged to visit Malawi and not to be deterred by the recent devastation by tropical Cyclone Freddy. The Southern African country is recovering from the floods, which impacted on some infrastructure. The Central African Wilderness Safaris provided an update on the Liwonde National Park. Mvuu, located in the north of Liwonde, was spared from the devastating effects of Freddy. After a surge of rainfall, the Shire River level has begun to drop slowly and the wet interior of the park begins to slowly drain. “Nature is incredibly resilient. To date we can report that we have not been affected at Mvuu, and to our knowledge no major loss to habitat or wildlife has been reported,” Central African Wilderness Safaris stated. The main devastation has been in the South, around the Blantyre, Zomba and Thyolo area. The central and Northern regions were spared. All roads on traditional tourist routes throughout Malawi are open including to Majete Game Reserve in the Lower Shire and to the tea fields of Thyolo and Zomba Mountain. With the dry season fast approaching the few access roads damaged in these areas are all open and the situation is anticipated to speedily improve. “Physically and logistically there is no reason not to visit,” Central African Wilderness Safaris. It however noted the moral question of traveling in light of the devastating consequences suffered by several rural communities in the south is a trickier one to answer. Nonetheless, rural communities rely on income from tourists. The power of the “tourist dollar” in Malawi is seen as exponential. Mvuu Camp  and Lodge employ 100 people who in turn support extended families. The local trade in food, services, and general supplies trickles down directly into rural economies that depend on this income. Conservation efforts such as Children in the Wilderness, Nanthomba School and Root to Fruit are funded by the market. Freddy left over 500 people dead in Malawi. – CAJ News



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