More than 8 000 local people have visited Lake Malawi National Park since last year, the figure which the Department of Parks and Wildlife has said is the highest in a decade.

Previously, not more than 3 000 local tourists visited the park.

Speaking on Wednesday the department Upper Shire Division manager, McPhillip Mwithokoma said the booming number of tourists to the park should encourage other tourists to visit the game reserve.

He said this during a media tour organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to appreciate the implementation of Promoting Investment and Competitiveness in the Tourism Sector (Picts) project in the park.

Mwithokoma said: “We are very much excited because of the recorded increased visits of local tourists at the national park. This means that our sole purpose of preserving beautiful nature of fresh water and exceptional aquatic species for the nation is being achieved.”

However, he pointed out lack of publicity for the place to the nation as one of the biggest challenges.

On his part, Lake Malawi National Park manager Talandira Kasapira hailed AfDB for their support which has seen some remarkable improvements in many aspects of the game reserve.

“AfDB has supported us in many ways and one area is in law enforcement where they helped us with a modern engine boat which we use when going around the protected areas,” he said.

One of the local journalists on the tour Johans Mumba, described his visit as a great adventure which was beyond his expectations.

“This is my first time to visit Lake Malawi National Park. The experience and the pleasure I have is really captivating. In this park, the lake has the freshest water you can find. It’s just amazing,” he said.

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