By Harare Free Walking Tour
The wave of creative youth entrepreneurial dynamism that is sweeping across Africa is not skipping Zimbabwe’s hospitality industry. While most foreign visitors to Zimbabwe visit national parks and natural wonders scattered across the country, many of these also pass through Harare, a vibrant capital city.
Lynette Gonga, a tourism entrepreneur has in her words, made it her mission to help more people enjoy Harare. She does this through a free walking tour of Harare’s CBD that aims to put the city’s culture and history on the tourist map. First offered in June 2017, the tour provides an introduction to Harare. The tour is customized based on the interests of the group, but the most popular one focuses on the eastern side of the city, a less dense area offering a more relaxed vibe. This part of town received the bulk of the city’s mid-20th century economic development after very early colonial-era development was concentrated to the west, below the Harare Kopje.
According to Lynette, “The tour provides an in–depth and intimate insight of Harare’s hidden secrets, and historic sites. The experience gives an authentic impression of the city, coloured by the guide’s personality.” Tripadvisor ranks it as one of the best tours in Harare and it employs a team of 3 Zimbabweans. Lynette is eager to dispel the notion that a free tour is the reserve of a cash strapped backpacker or miserly tourist. It’s something which is truly rewarding to all types of travellers and locals.
The Pioneer of the Walking Tour
Lynette is a qualified Accountant. However, a series of travels in Europe and North America encouraged her to follow her passion for hospitality. Her previous hospitality experience includes stints with a leading hostel in Johannesburg and 5-star hotels in the USA and Madagascar. She has worked hard to prepare herself and her team in order to deliver top notch standards and build a brand that will become recognised in Zimbabwe’s urban tourism sector. She has been invited as a notable speaker for several travel platforms where she shares her vast knowledge including at the Travelprenuer summit hosted in Nigeria earlier this year.
Young people across Africa have been at the forefront of revitalizing the continent through interventions in the tourist sector – their efforts have helped to change misunderstandings, challenge stereotypes, and promote local travel. Youth from the hospitality sector have advocated for a more truly pan – African visa regime to facilitate travel within the continent, a cause that has been taken up by the African Development Bank and the Chair of the African Union. Lynette’s walking tour is positioned to be a prominent input – showcasing to the world that despite economic challenges – Harare remains resilient with much to offer visitors.
Visit http://www.walkingtourharare.com to find out more
Ndeipi Magazine, Issue 114 http://ndeipi.co.zw