Malawi: Minister of Tourism advises private wildlife parks to respect laws
Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Minister Michael Usi paid an impromptu visit to the R&L game farm and ranch in Bunda Lilongwe on Wednesday September 1, 2021 where, among other things, he advised the owner of the establishment to follow the laws that govern the keeping of wildlife on private ranches.
The minister said that the private ranch is a very good development as it is in tandem with the philosophy of the Tonse Alliance as well as the strategy of his department to promote domestic tourism as a way to boost the economic growth of the country. He said, however, that there should be no shortcuts when it comes to following the law and guidelines that govern the domestication of wild animals.
“This is a very good development and I want to congratulate you because you are promoting domestic tourism as a way to achieve economic growth. I think this establishment has a solid business case as a place of tourist attraction because, in addition to functioning as a farm, it is also a tourist attraction pole where you come to see the animals for a fee. thing, which is a very encouraging tourism concept.
“Besides being just a business concept, tourism is also about representation, which means that this concept also represents what we do as a country in tourism. This is why my ministry is very interested in the concept, “said the minister. .
The minister praised the fact that the ranch owner is a young person, something true to the government’s agenda of promoting youth enterprise as a means of job creation. He added that it was high time that young people started to broaden their perspectives and come up with ambitious concepts like the R&L ranch.
Usi said: “Of course there are a number of areas that need to be critically looked at because you are in the tourism business where you deal with so many people and partners, and in your case you deal with also from animal life, which is why it is important not to make mistakes.
Already I have noticed that there are some animals which are not healthy and I would like to believe that this is due to food problems and maybe insufficient roaming space.
“I also noticed that, besides the fact that you haven’t finished sorting out the licensing issue for certain animals, you have rushed to bring too many different animals to the ranch that demand too many different types of food. Consequently you find it difficult to feed them. So I want to urge you to quickly find a solution to this challenge in order to protect the life and rights of animals “
He called on the Director of Parks and Wildlife, Brighton Kunchedwa, who was also part of the delegation, to engage with the ranch owner as well as the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust within a week to find a solution to the issues so that the ranch works without any problems.
In his words, the owner of the 48-hectare ranch, Rashid Geloo, 33, said he was pleased that the Minister devoted his time to touring the R&L farm and ranch. He said that in addition to earning income from sightseeing, the concept also helps create jobs for young people in the area.
“We employ 15 young people at the ranch who primarily serve as tour guides for visitors, but other than that we also have part-time employees who help us feed the animals and do other chores,” Geloo said.
Geloo, whose professional background is computer engineering, said he ventured into the concept because he was passionate about animal husbandry, and expressed his joy that the minister visited the ranch during the month. of tourism in September.
He said most of the animals are imported from Zambia and some from as far away as Japan. Animals kept at the ranch include zebras, ostriches, emus, kudu, bushbucks, porcupines, geese, vultures, rabbits, guinea fowl and various types of birds.