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The Vic Falls Bush Telegraph, July 2009
July 03, 2009

In This Issue
Destination Update
News and Events
Elephant's Sad Farewell To a Friend
Zambezi Seaway Project
Interesting Fact -Tragic Bride
Update on Damiano
African Folklore
8 Day Safari
Quick Links

Picture of the Month


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July 2009

White Water Rafting Season Opens!!!!


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Destination Update

White Water Rafting Opens – Rapids 15 to 25

The rafting companies in the Falls have opened the season this

week with a high water run between rapids 15 and 25. This is an extraordinary time to raft with amazing aquatic power down in the gorge. Hold on tight you “adrenalin seekers” and enjoy the ride!

White Water Rafting in Victoria Falls....

Elephant strolling through Vic Falls town

A small herd of nonchalant young elephant bulls have decided that this is the time of year to taste some of the more exotic trees available only in the suburbia of Victoria Falls! So it’s not unusual to walk out of the bank having completed your errands and get delayed by one of these bulls reaching for a tree branch overhanging your car!

Read the full story with pictures....

SA tour operator crosses the river

SA tour operator Jenman Safaris will, from January 2010, be running most of its tours out of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, instead of Livingstone.

In its newsletter, the company says: “This change allows us to avoid long border crossings with the Kazungula Ferry which has been taking up to 3 hours on our past tours. Staying in Victoria Falls will give you (clients) another cultural experience and you’ll be able to walk to restaurants and craft markets all from your accommodation!

An additional plus is that for most nationalities, visa fees are much cheaper for Zimbabwe, making travel here even more affordable.

High-level support for Marathon

The Victoria Falls Marathon billed for 21 – 24 August 2009 has received the full support of Zimbabwe’s sports minister Sen. David Coltart. 

He has called for the full backing of all government departments, participation of neighbouring countries and has saluted organizers and sponsors whose commitment would make the marathon “an exceptional regional event on the world stage”.

Read more details of Vic Falls Marathon....

News and Events

 Art Gallery Opens

Larry Norton is one of Southern Africa's finest artists, with an amazing body of work spanning wildlife, landscapes and still-life.

Some of it can now be seen on display in the main lounge of The Victoria Falls Hotel, and a more detailed review can be found in his official home studio- now situated at the Hotel.

The launch of the gallery and studio took the form of a stylish evening event on the meticulous front lawns of The Victoria Falls Hotel with Karl Snater, recently appointed GM of Victoria Falls Hotel, welcoming Larry and his stunning work to the hotel.

Also in attendance was well known adventure and expeditionary Paul Connolly who spoke at the occasion. 

Read more about Larry Norton....

New food court widens budget dining options

The recent opening of a new food court in central Victoria Falls presents a great new dining option for tourists on a low budget.  The food court offers pizza, chicken and bakery outlets and customers can choose to take out or sit-down.

Safari Shop Opens

The David Livingstone Safari and Leisure Shop has opened in Vic Falls Stocking a wide range of safari clothes and jewellery. 

 The shop can be found in The Elephant Walk Complex

Animals Stories and Facts

Elephant's Sad Farewell To Friend

Tourists watched in tears as an elephant bull bade farewell to is "friend", the deceased bull Alexander.

The bull tried to chase vultures and hyenas away from Alexander's carcass and even tried to pick Alexander up. After dying, presumably of a hear attack. 

Tourists parked near the carcass watched as an elephant bull arrived there and tried to lift up its friend.  The carcass was about 20 metres away from the road.

I don't know whether he was saying goodbye or whether he was trying to wake him," san a game ranger.

The bull first chased the hyenas and the vultures away.  He then tried to manoeuvre his big tusks under Alexander's head.  During one of the attempts, one of Alexander's tusks nearly pierced one of the bull's eyes.

By then game reserve personnel had already removed Alexander's heart and lungs for examination, and the scavengers had also got stuck into the approximately six tons of meat.

The bull sniffed and touched Alexander all over with its trunk.  When it could not lift Alexander, it went and sat down on top of him.  It even urinated on him.

After trying for about half an hour to get him up, the elephant bull suddenly left.  It later appeared that he had just gone to have a drink of water, as he was back again a little while later.  Another fifteen minutes later, he seemed to realise that his old pal would not be able to get up again.  He then placed his trunk over the spine of the carcass and stood dead still for about a minute before disappearing into the trees.

The evening in the camp some of the women said they had not seen such passionate love for a friend in a long time,  They said that everyone, men, women and children - cried.

Topical Issue

Zambezi Seaway Project

Recently worrying reports have popped up in the press that the Zambezi Seaway Scheme, first mooted in the 1950’s by the Portuguese to reduce freight costs for landlocked countries in Southern Africa, is back on the cards.

The proposed Seaway would be 1500kms long stretching from Victoria Falls in western Zimbabwe to the Indian ocean in the eastern Mozambique. Promoters of this gigantic scheme - The Zambezi Seaway Corporation, say it will offer a cheaper, faster and more efficient route to the ocean, thus boosting local economies.

The current cost of transporting the vast quantities of goods and minerals to the coast is prohibitive. Therefore by floating these goods transportation cost would be dramatically reduced thereby bringing them onto the world market at greatly reduced prices leading to an industrial boom......

Read Full Story and add your own comments  

Interesting Facts

Tragic Bride

*  The Victoria Falls have lured many to their deaths- either accidentally or suicidal.

*  An eight four-year old many from America, unable to bear the loss of his wife, made the long journey by sea, road and rail to leap to his death from the bridge.

*  Another unhappy bride ran from her honeymoon suite in the hotel after a tiff with her husband and jumped over the edge. 

*  In 1932 another young woman, fleeing from a rapist in the rainforest, ran over the edge in her panic and the assailant attempting to escape arrest, fell off the bridge. 

Since the turn of the century the falls have claimed at least fifty lives. Others have only been save by the daring and ingenuity of the rescue teams. 

But my favourite story is of a man named Ted Spencer, who often performed breathtaking aerobatics over the falls in a light aircraft – which he one flew under the bridge.  He always denied this for fear of losing his licence. 

His charter flights gave tourist a unique view of Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River, but on occasions the plane ran out of fuel and had to make a forced landing. 

Spencer’s night landings were a notable event.  Flying low over the town he would cut his engines, lean his head out of the cockpit and shout  “Cars”.  When his friends heard this, they drove quickly to the airstrip and lined their cars up on either side of the runway with their headlights on.  After his death in an air crash at Croydon, London, just after the second world war, his ashes were scattered over the Victoria Falls. Read More strange Facts...

Update on Damiano

Now that our radio collared elephant bull, Damiano and his 6 wild compatriots have completed their tour of destruction at the old elephant camp, they have decided to move off and look for new pastures to thrash!

Transformer and Damiano were seen, to our horror, only 5 kms away from our new Wallow and we all waited with bated breath for the electric fence to be knocked down and the bulls happily united with their old friends.

 Luckily they moved off back in the direction of old Old Elephant Camp where they have not been seen for at least 3 nights. This is a great sign as perhaps now that they have demolished all in sight at the camp they will venture further afield to find new delights to conquer.

We are waiting for the satellite downloads to be sent to us to find out their whereabouts. Damiano does definitely not want to be with us, but he sure is making a big scene of having been sent out to fend for himself in the big world. He is always with the other 6 bulls so has not had to make it on his own.

The lovely "kirkii" tress have all burst out in new leaf and many bushes have buds appearing with the heat of summer and the scent of the rains in the air.

 Plenty of scrumptious greenery out there and with the rains coming up in a month or so there with be fresh water available in the Pans and what more could a "wild" elephant or "domesticated and gone wild" elephant ask for ?

Will keep you all updated.  Damiano, by the way, looks good - he is big and healthy and not looking like he is under any duress at all.

Happy travelling, our old elephant friend.

Wild Horizons Wild Life Trust

Read About Damiano release....

Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit (VFAPU) Update

Early in a morning late in May, the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU) was patrolling around Victoria Falls town, near the boundary of Zambezi National Park.  The game scouts came across a horrendous snare line that told a story of terror and pain.  Entangled in one snare were the remains of a buffalo carcass. The snare line was a few days old, and a young buffalo had gotten caught early on and was strangled to death.  Shortly thereafter, two male lions came to feed on the buffalo carcass as it was an easy meal.  While feeding, one of these young male lions also then got caught with a wire snare around his neck.  Over the next day or so he struggled to free himself, only to force the snare tighter and tighter around his neck, eventually causing his strangulation. 

Due to the claw marks around and up the tree that the snare was tethered to, and the digging around the lion carcass, you can see how hard this lion tried to get out of the snare.  Meanwhile the other male lion was nearby (given his tracks), and helpless to assist his mate.  Charles Brightman (director of VFAPU) kindly contacted the Wild Horizons Wildlife Trust to assist with the investigation, and DNA samples, whisker photos, and the skull of the lion have been taken. The Wild Horizons Wildlife Trust works together with the Oxford Carnivore Research Project in Hwange, and all samples, etc have been passed on for identification of the deceased cat, and evaluation of how his death will affect the overall population dynamics. 

Read more about VFAPU...

Feel free to contact us with any questions.
We're here to help you!
Tony and Boo Peel
Check These Out
African Folklore!

The Kikuyu People believe that in the days of long, long ago, when the Good Lord N'gai made his plans for all the creatures upon his earth, he made the hippopotamus as an animal of the forests and plains.  But the hippopotamus was greedy and, finding plenty of food all round him and no enemies to worry about, he grew fatter, and fatter and fatter. And the fatter he grew, the more he suffered from the heat of the Equatorial midday sun.

Read the full folktale.......

8 Day Special Safari

2 days Victoria Falls

2days Hwange National Park

2 Days Lake Kariba

2 Days Binga

This is about as good as it gets!!!


Did You Know?

The ostriches are one of the most ancient living birds.  Ostriches are seven times too heavy to fly whilst the females sit on the nest of eggs in the ground by day, the males do so at night.

They have the largest eyes of all birds, only have two toes on each foot, and do some of the most spectacular dancing when courting.


Great Books

THE DERELICT HOUSE--by Lesley Cripps Thomson

Told in the style of a diary, this tells of the daily difficulties and frustrations of running a lodge with only the barest essentials as nature, in the form of the Luangwa River in Zambia...

Read Full Review


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