Zowa Homepark in Hunda Village under Sabhuku (Village Head) Chirova, Chief Mangwende in Murehwa is an epicentre of agritourism.
In Sub-Saharana Africa, agritourism is still a new concept even though the people might have been involved in similar activities for ages.
For this reason, it is of significance to start by describing agritourism so that everyone can have a full appreciation of the story.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) defines Rural Tourism as a type of tourism activity in which the visitor’s experience is related to a wide range of products generally linked to nature-based activities, agriculture, rural lifestyle or culture, angling and sightseeing.
Rural tourism or Agritourism is very comprehensive, encompassing activities that range from the offer of accommodation in farm hotels (rural hotels) to walks on nature trails, or even the participation in milking and fruit harvesting.
Zowa Homepark is approximately 100kms from the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare.
The homestead was established more than two decades ago by Reverend Forbes Matonga Zowa and wife, Reverend Nyaradzai Zowa Matonga of United Methodist Church.
Matonga being a family of pastors thought of venturing into missionary work at personal level so as to create employment for the village as well as dietary supplement considerations for the physical healthcare of the community.
Rodney Kurirai Zowa Matonga, a son to the owners was a tour guide to this writer.
Rodney is studying towards a diploma in Agriculture with Blackfordby College.
He holds a BA English Literature and Pre-Law degree attained with Rust College, United States of America.
However, Gashirai Matonga Zowa, a daughter to the family is the one who runs the day to day operations of the homepark.
Gashirai is also a holder of Agriculture diploma with Blackfordby college as well as a Farm and Agribusiness Degree with Africa University.
Zowa homepark offers lessons in plant nursery and agri-forest in general, accomodation for guests, art gallery among other services and activities.
The homepark is also a ruraltourism attraction centre of note and has attracted visitors as far as America and locally from dignitaries such as Chief Siyachilaba from Binga, Professor Author Mutambara among many.
Zowa homepark is home to agritainment fused with art in the form of scultupures to create a holistic cultural and agricultural symposium.
Guests will not miss home at Zowa homepark as the family make sure that they share their spacious house with guests so as to assist whenever if need be.
The Zowa homestead is made up of state-of-the-at house in the middle of ruralness.
The homepark boasts of electrical power from the national grid and as well as solar power for backup.
Tourists will not run out of power and they are assured of safe drinking water from the two boreholes available.
All the houses are thatched and have a centre house in the form of a traditional round kitchen which is shared between the family and guests.
It is unAfrican not to have a round kitchen at a homestead, the centre house is in the form of a hut.
The kitchen though traditionally constructed, houses modernity.
One can probably have a feel of urbanity but still in a rural setup and this sooth guests into comfortability.
The idea of the kitchen is purely African, the kitchen resembles the mother, the mother as a provider and care giver which is traditionally done in the kitchen.
Suppose you are one of those people that food is always an extra motivation when choosing your tours and trips.
In that case, be rest assured to find your niche in the homepark kitchen, infact the aura of traditional dishes welcomes you on the gate a distance away from the homeatead.
The fruit plantation is another plus to food lovers, but the writer will not divulge much about the plantation as it will be pre-emptying the other story on the agricultural aspect of the homepark.
There is a fireplace to keep occupants warm in the kitchen and the writer assume that during the night, tourists will be treated to traditional folktares as they warm themselves on the fire.
Frankly speaking the activities at Zowa homepark are so many that the writer can not mention all of them in this article but will surely write several articles after this one.
Nursery, fruit plantation, vegetable garden, fisheries and recreational activities such as boat cruising, canoeing, mountain hiking as well as an art gallery are some of the activities one can expect to find and experience at the homepark.
For this writeup, this scribe will delve into the recreational aspect of the agritourism and next article will be about the agriculture side of it.
Walking up to Zowa dam, you will be accompanied by the melody of birds singing and the smell of wet earth.
At the dam you will experience some waterfalls and if you like, that will culminate in a waterfall bath.
In the dam guests can expect to do boat cruising for those looking for adrenaline rush activities, canoeing or even swimming.
Zowa dam provides a water view where guests can do some braaing enjoying the calmness of the country life.
Fishing activities are also available in the dam and fish ponds by the homestead.
Being of the shiri totem, the homepark is also home to those who want to experience tree climbing and be perched on tree tops like birds, there are several trees to climb and have an aerial view of the homepark.
A stone throw away from the back of the house, is a mountain were mountain hikers can be taken to explore the rock life and appreciate a wide view of the village.
The list does not stop there. It depends on the the interests and choice of visitors of how they want to experience the rural environment responsibly and sustainably.
There are also options for those seeking a complete immersion in the culture of traditional peoples and local communities, in Hunda village, as is the case with community-based tourism.
Murehwa Town is just about 25 kms away from the homepark to those who might need to purchase food items or want to pick some drugs from pharmacy.
If you have already decided to experience Rural Tourism, but you are wondering where to go, do not think again, Zowa homepark is the place to be!
For local entrepreneurs and producers, Rural Tourism diversifies the possibilities of employment and income for the community.
It also contributes to the appreciation of the cultural and natural heritage of tourist destinations.
Broadly, it favours the development of villages and, consequently, reduces the rural exodus.
Usually, when people travel to rural destinations, they look for relaxation and a greater connection with nature.
The exciting thing is that after experiencing these activities, they tend to return to their urban routines with a new perspective on their daily lives and a greater environmental awareness.
Subscribe to this website below so that you will not miss the next article of agritourism aspect of Zowa homepark.