The Tourism economy has been severely hit by the corona virus (COVID 19) pandemic and measures have been introduced to contain its spread. Globally, nations experienced low economic activities resulting in reduced revenue. Zambia’s tourism sector confronted challenges due to the pandemic, putting thousands of businesses and jobs at risk.

As tourism begun to open slowly, the sector developed protocols on health and safety to mitigate the effects of the turbulences caused by COVID 19 in businesses and people’s incomes.

The developed protocols on health and safety were a call to action to mitigate the effects caused by COVID 19 in the tourism sector.

Stakeholders adopted these protocols and took responsibility of ensuring that destination Zambia was safe for tourism business.

The objectives of these safety protocols included;

  • Limit and minimize the spread of COVID 19;
  • Serve as safety guidelines for tourism businesses to protect both the staff and clients;
  • Harmonize the COVID19 response measures for the tourism sector in Zambia;
  • Instil confidence among potential clients that tourism is safe and they can resume activities in Zambia; and
  • Audit and establish Zambia ‘s new carrying capacity in the provision of various tourism services.

The safety protocols included all major categories in the tourism sector. The development of these guidelines was informed by what regional partners were doing; and the sector-specific guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Betty Mumba Chabala_Nomad
Betty Mumba Chabala

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) was quick to acknowledge Zambia’s efforts in this respect and in a “tweet “highlighted Zambia as one of the global destinations committed to restarting tourism safely.

World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC) SAFE TRAVELS STAMP

To give further validation for the protocols, the Zambia Tourism Agency applied to the WTTC for the “Safe Travels Stamp” and was granted approval in October 2020. Zambia was the fifth country in Africa to obtain the safe travels stamp from the WTTC.

The WTTC branded stamp will allow travellers to recognize governments and organisations around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standard protocols, to enhance their visitor experience through safety.

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Betty Mumba Chabala (Mrs.) is a Corporate Affairs Manager with Zambia Tourism Agency.  She writes in her own capacity. 





Kitwe, Copperbelt-born Kerry MacFarlane runs Ntanda Ventures, founded in 2013, and a leading but small venture travel company focusing on Zambia. Like most people who have realized the importance of first having an educational qualification before starting any business, Kerry has had to earlier on invest in the right qualifications in travel and tourism. This saw her studying for and later obtaining in 1988, a Travel Diploma & IATA /UFTAA Certificate from Rapid Results College (Johannesburg, South Africa)

She then went on to start the company on her own for the first 3 years and currently, the team has a staff complement of five.

Behind the Ntanda Ventures founding was the urge to promote the country and its hidden gems, which was her passion, and to concentrate on leisure travel only.

Asked what has been her biggest achievement in the travel and tourism sector and why, she responded, saying: “Creating employment in a small town.”

She contends that it is not only women business owners that face the biggest hurdles in general. “I don’t think it is only women in the industry but for more for small companies who don’t have the buying power of large consortiums, dealing with little things like bank charges. My biggest hurdle is getting digital marketing right as the world is moving so fast in this direction.”

She has observed that women in travel and tourism are not receiving the right support from the government. She thinks that the Zambian government doesn’t realize the potential of tourism in Zambia, where her company is currently on a 5-year programme with The Netherlands-based CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports), to promote inbound tourism from the UK and EU markets into Zambia.

Family Life

The saying behind every successful man is a woman is in this case the reverse; she works peacefully and conveniently from the comfort that is her home.

“I am very fortunate to have a home office on our smallholding out of town in Chingola, so I have my husband and my kids (dogs) with me. My husband has been my rock behind Ntanda Ventures for affordable safaris in Zambia,” she explains.

Observing that her husband Robert has stood by all her “crazy ideas over the years”. “We love travelling as a family and often travel with my mum and sister.”

Baobab Girls_Nomad Africa
We love travelling as a family and often travel with my mum and sister.

“There are so many affordable options and I want the world to share my amazing country and its friendly people while including experiences which support local communities.”

Sharing What Zambia Offers

Her personal goal as a tourism industry entrepreneur is to strive to share what Zambia, often touted as a luxury safari destination, has to offer.

“There are so many affordable options and I want the world to share my amazing country and its friendly people while including experiences which support local communities”, noted the mother and businesswoman.

She also highlighted that a safari is not just about seeing animals on a game drive; there is so much to see and do. The to-do list, in her company’s experience, include shopping up a storm that supports conservation, education, and local art.

She also recommends doing a bush-SPA (highly recommended), getting involved in a conservation safari which covers family safaris with children with activities like tracking, spoor identification, bow and arrow making, archery, stargazing, fishing, entomology, bread making, rope making, seed jewellery making, and bush skills.

One can also sleep in star beds, dine out under the stars or chill by the pool watching animals come down to drink at the river’s edge (ditch the beach and bask in the bush) and not least of all, visit numerous waterfalls or a traditional ceremony (the history fascinating Zambia traditional ceremonies)

Motivation

What motivates her to wake up every day? She says these are the great adventures/experiences she will come up with each day, often inspired by local travelers who are getting off-the-beaten-track. Also, giving a lodge or supplier a booking in these Covid times feels so good as well as seeing the local market travel in their own country as they have never travelled before is a great motivation.

She does think more women are taking the initiative to venture into and are well represented in travel and tourism and she believes that Zambian women “are the powerhouse behind the country”.

Her advice to young or other women seeking to breakthrough in travel and tourism is that they mustn’t be afraid to follow their instinct and passion and that they will have to expect “tough days but tomorrow is always another opportunity”. “Force yourself out of your comfort zone.”

In the next 5 years, she sees her company growing gradually to become “the go-to tour operator” for affordable safaris and great experiences in Zambia.

The Future

That journey to success has already begun, with the company showing signs of adapting to the new normal of Covid 19 and preparing for the post period. Ntanda started a DIY website just for the local market which has kept it, according to Kerry, very busy. They have employed an extra member of staff in September 2020 to help with the workload – current and into the future. Zambia was fortunate not to have tight lockdowns and so the local community took to travelling local in a big way and it’s hoped this will be the start of much more business to be had on the road to success.

The journey gives tourists the chance to “experience the heart of Africa with a stunning Zambia safari tour.”

Are you’re looking for a different kind of holiday or a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Are you in search of meeting elephants and see animals in their natural habitat on a thrilling night game drive? Or to enjoy fine dining with accommodation, activities, transfers, park fees, and meals, all taken care of? Look no further than Kerry MacFarlane’s Ntanda Ventures, the safari specialists to facilitate that Zambian quest!

Thinking of backpacking to Zambia? Can you do it alone? Is it safe for women to travel on their own for the first time? Well, Zambia, like many African countries is a wonderful destination to visit. With Victoria Falls on one side and safaris on the other, there certainly lots to see and do in this beautiful country. Victoria Falls is a dream destination for many people. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, it is the largest waterfall on the planet. Zambia is a really friendly place and a great introduction to Africa. Explore verdant Zambia on a Zambian safari, with its game-rich parks and incredible proximity to the Victoria Falls. The continent’s largest animals – including elephant and hippopotamus – roam Zambia’s reserves, and on the safari, there is no shortage of game viewing opportunities. Visit South Luangwa National Park, a haven for elephant, lion and endemic species such as Thornicroft’s giraffe. During night drives, spot nocturnal animals including leopard and spotted hyena. Another must on the Zambia safari is the Lower Zambezi National Park, crisscrossed by the Zambezi River, the life-source of enormous herds of elephant, buffalo and waterbuck, as well as 350 bird species. Choose between exploring the floodplains on foot or by 4×4 vehicle – or more uniquely, by canoe, gently gliding through the thick reeds on the trail of hippo. Trek to the Victoria Falls and marvel at this spectacle of nature, an essential Zambia safari experience. Lodging options are second to…

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The warm people of Zambia, numerous water bodies, national parks and traditional festivals make it an ideal country to add to the list of destinations for backpackers trekking across southern Africa. Here are some tips to help you make the most of it.   The backpacker scene The backpacker scene in Zambia is active, with most backpackers starting their journeys from Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Accommodation serving backpackers in the capital city and the tourist capital Livingstone is plentiful, however lodges and camps in national parks can be on the expensive side, so backpackers should consider carrying their own camping equipment to save costs. A road less traveled: elephants crossing the Luangwa River, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia © Geoff Gallice / WikiCommons   Making the most of it A little language goes a long way As Zambia was a British colony, English is the official language and is widely spoken, especially in large towns such as Lusaka and Livingstone, as well as cities like Ndola and Kitwe. However, in remote areas, one or more of the seven main local languages may be spoken, so it is helpful to learn a few useful phrases in Nyanja (spoken mostly in Lusaka) or Bemba (mostly spoken in the Copperbelt region). Language guidebooks can be purchased at bookstores in Lusaka. Go with the flow There is a local term, “Zambian time,” which describes the sometimes slow process with which government institutions or banks and some restaurants deal with customers, as the the reality is that…

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Your Agriculture Company(AGCOcorp.com), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, unveiled its pioneering Farm in a Box (FIAB) initiative for Africa at Germany’s International Green Week 18-27 January 2019. 

“With this brand-new new concept, we aim to take farm mechanization plus all its necessary support facilities deep into previously underserviced rural communities in Africa,” said Martin Richenhagen, President, Chairman and CEO of AGCO at the launch event. 

FIAB offers a package of essential farm equipment including a tractor and implements together with the crucial support mechanisms such as parts, workshop tools, training and expertise to ensure sustainable and productive machinery operations. Some of the equipment is packed inside a box – a modified shipping container – which is then used as an office or workshop. 

In sub-Saharan Africa, humans provide 65% of the power required for land preparation. Capacity-building and agricultural mechanization are a priority to facilitate food security and unlock the potential of small-scale farming in Africa. AGCO’s FIAB is an innovative solution for small-scale farmers to gain access to the machinery they need to transform their operations and achieve profitable businesses.

Designed to provide a holistic solution, FIAB is localized farm support center which delivers mechanization services to rural communities. Research shows that demand for machinery is high in these remote areas but barriers such as affordability, availability, maintenance/repair services and inadequate farmer skills and training are hindering the uptake of mechanization.  

In sub-Saharan Africa, humans provide 65% of the power required for land preparation

FIAB offers a 45-80hp tractor and implements – such as a ripper, disc harrow, trailer and planter – to carry out land preparation, planting and crop transport, plus parts and workshop tools for their service and maintenance. The objective is to offer ‘for-hire’ mechanization services to small-holder farmers, enabling them to reap the benefits of agricultural equipment without having to invest in capital assets. The package includes training programs and support from a dedicated AGCO Operations Support Center which provides technical advice and guidance. Importantly, FIAB takes maximum advantage of the latest telemetry and mobile technology to enable remote monitoring of the equipment and the use of mobile apps. This high level of monitoring, support and guidance from AGCO really sets the concept apart.  

FIAB is very much an entrepreneurial platform and operates on a franchise model, with franchisees appointed and trained by AGCO and the in-country Distribution partners. Typical franchise holders would be those with relatively well-established businesses successfully serving the agricultural community within their sphere. This franchise model helps build the capacity of small-scale enterprises and provides business opportunities for entrepreneurs, contractors and the many specialty agricultural supply stores – known as agro-dealers – present throughout Africa’s rural areas.


AGCO Africa Team Front Row (L to R): Louisa Parker – Senior Manager, Global programs; Shlobi Maluleke – Manager, Corporate Marketing & Communications, Africa; Gary Collar – Senior Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific & Africa Back Row (L to R): Jason Burbidge – Director, Key Accounts, Africa & General Manager, Zambia; Dominik Reus – Director, Marketing, Africa

“The thinking behind FIAB is definitely outside of the box but the benefits literally come inside a box!” remarked Mr Richenhagen at the launch event. “It’s a win-win situation for all participants.”

Acting as a localized hub of know-how and practical help, the franchise partner offers hire of equipment and drivers to local farmers and small-holders, enabling them to boost their crop production processes and output. Furthermore, franchisees expand their businesses and provide potential new employment opportunities in the locality. Local communities benefit from improved economies as a result of the enrichment of the agricultural value chain. For AGCO, it leads to increases in sales of products and services and further develops the company’s footprint in Africa.

“With AGCO’s wide-ranging experience serving African farmers, the company is uniquely positioned to develop innovative solutions to meet the challenge of sustainable and productive farming on the continent,” said Mr Richenhagen “There is an urgent need to empower the millions of smallholder farmers in Africa to ensure food security. Tailored, inclusive and integrated approaches to agricultural mechanization can increase the welfare of farm households and create opportunities for economic growth in rural areas.Our Farm in a Box is yet another initiative fulfilling AGCO’s commitment to ‘Run Africa from Africa’.”

Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde has said, the Zambian Government desires to attract International Businesses of all sizes and the country has a lot of trade and investment opportunities for those looking to do business.

Addressing the Westminster Africa Business Group during a lunch meeting, High Commissioner Chikonde called on UK officials, Companies, MPs and academicians who were in attendance to take advantage of the trade opportunities and conducive business environment to maximise business between Zambia and the UK.

The High Commissioner who was accompanied to the lunch meeting by Counselor Economic Mr. Mukela Mutukwa at the Inner Temple said, even though trade has increased in the last five years between Zambia and the UK averaging about £200 million per annum, this increase is minimal given the historical strong warm and cordial relations between the two countries.

NomadAfrica_LusakaZambia
Lusaka, Zambia

I would like to enlist the support & collaboration of the Westminster Africa Business Group to encourage UK investment into Zambia, and importation of Zambian products into the UK

“There is need to address the issues of standards, quality control, production capacity, transportation, product variety, innovation, food safety and traceability systems, all of which are important for our products to be able to gain access to the global market chain.” he said.

Furthermore, the High Commissioner said in order to achieve the desired levels of economic growth, President Edgar Lungu has called for the total diversification of the economy from Copper dependence and has identified key priority sectors of the economy namely: Agriculture and Agro-Processing, Energy, Manufacturing and Value addition, Tourism and infrastructure.

Also Read: DRC could become the Top Ecotourism Destination in Africa

“I would like to enlist the support and collaboration of the Westminster Africa Business Group to encourage UK investment into Zambia, and importation of Zambian products into the UK. We need to leverage the Commonwealth advantage of common language, common law, common business practices, and close historical and cultural ties to strengthen trade, investment and people to people ties between our two countries,” he said.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for members of the Group to ask questions about doing business in Zambia. Possibilities of the business community to travel to Zambia to explore trade and investment opportunities were also discussed.

The Westminster Africa Business Group was formed in 1947 and its membership includes both companies and individuals with interests in Africa, commercial, political or otherwise. It aims to bring together business and political activities in Africa and develop relations between the UK and the African continent.