Zambia to restock national parks to boost tourism

Male Impala antelopes graze on the plains of the Masai Mara game reserve April 3, 2008. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti (KENYA)

The Zambian government said on Tuesday that it will restock five of its national parks this year with animals in an effort to enhance the country’s tourism.

Howard Sikwela, permanent secretary in Zambian Ministry of Tourism and Arts, said the national parks will be restocked with 1,361 wildlife species such as white rhinos, black rhinos, impalas, buffaloes, zebras and hartebeest.

“The restocking of wildlife is quite an expensive exercise, but we just have to do it to improve the animal population in our national parks, which will in turn boost tourism in the nation,” Sikwela was quoted as saying by the state-run Zambia Daily Mail.

According to him, some of the wildlife species in some national parks have gone into extinction due to human activities such as poaching, and the exercise will help boost wildlife populations.

Zambia’s wildlife estate comprising 20 national parks and 36 game management areas is the country’s main tourism resources which make a significant contribution to its national economy.