VIPs test drive bush to beach route
VIPs experienced the new Rixile Bush to Beach route through an exploration tour in mid-April 2008, as part of an effort to raise the profile of Limpopo and Mozambique as tourism destinations.
The tour was organised by Limpopo Tourism and Parks (LTP) with Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (Ledet). The guests included the deputy minister for tourism, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, MEC for economic development, environment and tourism, Collins Chabane, plus delegates from LTP, Ledet and the Mopani district municipality and Marc Demmer and Mark Glanvill from the Palabora Foundation and Ba-Phalaborwa Tourism.
They departed on April 20, through the Phalaborwa gate into the Kruger National Park (KNP). On their way to the Giriyondo border post the group stopped to visit the Masorini heritage site and the revamped elephant museum at the Letaba Rest Camp. Having made their way through the Limpopo National Park (LNP) in Mozambique, they continued until their stop at Covane Lodge, Massingir.
The delegates made an overnight stop at Complexo Aquarius and Complexo Praia do Sol in Bilene. The deputy minister met Mozambique's minister of tourism and high commissioner over breakfast. The group continued their tour with visits to various schools in Xai-Xai, a visit to the statue of King Ngungunyane at Chaimite and then on to the museum and birthplace of Eduardo Mondlane at Manjacaza in the Gaza Province. The VIPs spent a night at Xai-Xai Beach Club before beginning the journey back to Phalaborwa, once again taking the route through the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park via the Massingir dam and Giriyondo.
The Bush to Beach route is one of three Rixile routes, launched by the Palabora Foundation in cooperation with the Ba-Phalaborwa municipality and Open Africa, to position Phalaborwa as a tourism hub in the Lowveld.