Victoria Falls’ Boma breaks record

By Lovemore  Ranga Mataire

VICTORIA FALLS – ONE of Victoria Falls’ flagship attractions, The Boma, has defied odds by breaking a new record of 61,000 visitors last year.

This at a time when most industry players’ preoccupation was focused on survival.

Africa Albida Tourism (AAT), the proprietors of The Boma said the record-breaking number of visitors could be attributed to the constant innovative infrastructural and management strategies being implemented by the group.

AAT chief executive, Ross Kennedy, said the Boma- Dinner and Drum Show has so far hosted more than one million visitors since its inception 25 years ago.

“As with all our products and properties the team at AAT is always looking at ways to innovate, enhance and improve, and this is yet another step in that ongoing exercise to keep abreast of trends in service, presentation and the overall experience,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said subtle changes in food preparation, service equipment and presentation along with new uniforms and branding have added a new impetus to the outlet. He said the raft of changes, which have taken place over several months include the fine-tuning of the Boma’s food offering under the guidance of South African celebrity chef Arnold Tanzer as well as the introduction of new entertainment elements and changes to the décor.

The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show was officially re-launched on January 23 at an event that will be attended by travel industry players.

Among other provisions, the Boma offers a delicious four-course meal, made up of starters, soup from the campfire, a braai (barbecue) buffet, featuring Zimbabwean delicacies such as mopane worms, warthog steak and Zambezi bream, as well as vegetarian dishes, and desserts. A shared starter platter featuring peppered impala, smoked crocodile tail, vegetable samoosas and nyimo bean fritters has been introduced, while at the salad bar new salads have been added and dressings improved, and to the mains, new meat marinades.

A new chef, rising star Brighton Nekatambe, has been appointed to head The Boma kitchen. Nekatambe joined the hospitality industry through Victoria Falls Safari Lodge’s apprenticeship program from 2005 to 2007, before later leaving to pursue other opportunities in Zimbabwe and Europe and represented the country in three international culinary events.

A drum painting corner has been inroduced where guests armed with a paintbrush and under a tutor’s guidance may design and paint their own drum, map bowl or other memorabilia as a souvenir of Boma experience.

Other changes include a new Boma website, a name change from The Boma – Place of Eating to The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show, a new branded Boma bus, new kitchen equipment and colourful buffet and starter platters.

The Boma tells the story of the food and culture of Zimbabwe, and the changes effected have been about making it more on trend, more contemporary, but without losing its traditional feel.

Africa Albida Tourism is a Zimbabwean hospitality group with a portfolio of hotels and restaurants in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Chobe, Botswana, including Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Lokuthula Lodges, Ngoma Safari Lodge and The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show.

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