Eyeing the future of lake tourism
Eyeing the future of lake tourism
Cahora Bassa is ideally placed to benefit from Tete city’s ongoing economic boom. Within a few hours stressed executives, tired miners and their families can find themselves on the shores of Lake Cahora Bassa, where tiger fishing and the therapeutic balm of nature can distract them from their hectic working life.
Whilst there are a number of good lodges and fishing camps on the lake, tourism has never been a major local industry, which is kapenta fishing and hydro-electric power. But for an ever increasing expatriate population coming into the city of Tete as well as residents of TeteProvince with an increased earning capacity, Cahora Bassa is an attractive retreat.
Gary Aitchison, one of the early kapenta businessmen, has changed direction, sold off his fishing boats and prepared his piece of lake shore into an opportunity for hotel development. Zambezi Traveller investigates.
ZT: What is the opportunity?
GA: What we have to offer a hotel group, developer or private individual interested in tourism, is the opportunity to position themselves on Cahora Bassa with a 60 room hotel and conference facility.
ZT : The legal bureaucracy in Mozambique is time consuming – how long has it taken you to get this project to this stage?
GA: It has taken a number of years to ensure the project is attractive to foreign investors. It is approved through CPI, entitling various tax incentives and duty and VAT exemptions on most of the building materials, furnishings and equipment. We also have 30ha of land with lake shore frontage. The land has D.U.A.T. land titles and our Environmental Licence is in hand. It’s difficult to judge the exact savings for an investor coming on board now, but in both a time and a monetary sense the savings are enormous.
ZT : What stage is the hotel development at?
GA: The 30ha area is fully fenced and under irrigation to ensure a cool lush environment year-round amidst the normally hot and dry conditions. The main complex foundations are complete and we are currently building foundations for the six blocks of ten rooms. Much of the landscaping is done and lawns planted, but there is still much to be done to complete our vision.
ZT : Other than the relaxing lake environment, conferencing facilities and sport fishing, what activities will be available to guests?
GA: In addition to fishing charters we have a three green nine hole chip and putt course planned, as well as a driving range. There will be two tennis courts, two swimming pools and other family oriented activities like abseiling and paintball, as well as day trips to interesting sites on the lake. We have a beautiful ten hectare site on the North Bank that will make an ideal lunch and picnic venue.
ZT : Opportunities in Mozambique continue to present themselves, and investors can do well to work with businessmen who know the ropes.
Aitchison : It has become easier to do business since we first arrived over 15 years ago, but it does help to be involved with someone who knows the language and has had previous experience in the various government departments. I’d love to take interested parties around.
Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 13, June 2013)
Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Cahora & Tete Destination Profile