Terrible!!

by David
(Nambia)

This is no place for human habitation we spent a night here on the 26 Sep 2014 and it was without doubt the worst place I have ever stayed.Dirty unclean rooms outdated facility's, everything is broken and uncared for.Found a scorpion in the bedroom. Aircons look fancy and new but do not cool at all. To put it mildly the rooms need a complete overhaul which will never happen.My advice is don't stay here unless you don't have a car to sleep in and all other places are fully booked.

Comments for Terrible!!

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Aug 25, 2017
Checkpoints facade
by: Anthony

The checkpoints are a bit of a facade but it has made a slight difference. With the roadblocks in place there was no alternative but to stop and be checked, with the checkpoints there are no barriers across the road, there are just policeman stationed at certain points on the roadside who can wave you down and check you. It has made travelling a bit quicker not being stopped at every one and I have found that you do not get waved down very often.
It's certainly not brilliant and as you say a bit of a smoke cloud but a minor step forward is better than going backwards. Thanks you for all your input

Aug 25, 2017
road blocks in zim
by: Anonymous

Tony,
I see that the max traffic fines have now been increased from 20$ to 30$ in 2017.... and that the four roadblock per province arrangement is just a facade, because the former road blocks are now defined as informal "checkpoints", which can still be set up anywhere in any number. (Google: What is slowing tourism in Zimbabwe, by Sunday news online, Sunday July 2, 2017).
You have my sympathy. Coping with this, all the time, must be hell.
I understand that this curse is not the creation of the average Zimbabwean citizen. I sincerely hope that sanity will eventually prevail in a country with so much to offer.

Thank you for your patient response.
Signing off.

Aug 24, 2017
Hoep we can get it sorted out in the end
by: Tony

Thanks once again for taking the time to detail your experiences. I completely understand your frustration as we live with it all the time. Hopefully with reports such as this we can make some progress, ine getting things changed, albiet damaging for tourism in the short term.

Best wishes

Aug 24, 2017
zim roadblocks
by: Anonymous

Thank you for replying, Tony. I apologize if I sounded overtly negative. As a nature lover, I really enjoyed my stays in the park and regard it to be my favourite holiday destination. Yes, I maintain that it is expensive, but really worth the while, nevertheless.

I mainly wanted to vent my frustration with the roadblocks and police. It goes against every grain of one`s sense of morality / fairness to be bullied into paying hefty fines for "offences". Just an example: A $20 fine for slowly crossing a railway crossing in Vic Falls without stopping at the BROKEN (we later videotaped / photographed this robot) robot. There were also no visible STOP signs before the crossing. I,thus, got punished for a lack of maintenance on the infrastructure of the town! (At peril of making tedious comparisons again: In Botswana at any railway crossing, you will find a railway warning board long in advance,a stop sign and a functioning robot. Ignoring THAT deserves a hefty fine!

Whilst being issued my fine in Vic Falls, numerous local vehicles crossed the railway line at speed without even slowing down. Pointing this out to the officer and mentioning that as a result of his actions, we would leave Zim for Botswana and not return again, had no effect on his resolve to hustle a foreigner out of dollars.

On my second visit, I really tried to ensure that I would comply with every rule in the book. It is important to abide to and respect the laws of the country one visits. However, 30 km outside Vic Falls an officer wanted to fine me $40 for not having the right type of reflective stickers (which was absolutely acceptable the previous year.) (To my knowledge, Zim is the only country in the region requiring these stickers on a normal vehicle. Why?) After my polite attempts to reason, the officer "mercifully" brought the fine down to $20. I guess I had to be very thankful for not receiving an illegal $40 dollar fine ($20 is the max spot fine as I have it). If it had not been for my passengers who really wanted to see the falls and my pre-booking of our stay, I would have, once again, turned around and gone back to Botswana via Pandamatenga.

In conclusion:
I would really like to return to your amazingly beautiful country in 2018, but at this time, it just makes more sense to go to tourist-friendly countries, where one`s hard-earned money is spent on having a relaxing time, rather than it disappearing into the pockets of the corrupt.

Aug 23, 2017
Less roadblocks
by: Tony

In addition to my last comment. Recently the amount of roadblocks per province was reduced to 4, although there are still numerous police check points. However this is a great improvement and there does seem to be less harassment of drivers. So it is a move in the right direction and shows that there is some concern in resolving the problem

Aug 23, 2017
Thank you for your comments
by: Tony

Thank you for your comments. It breaks my heart as a Zimbabwean living in Victoria Falls to see the damage that is being done to tourism, purely because of poor policies and greed.
Being involved in tourism, we along with many other members from the industry and community are constantly lobbying to government departments to change the way they do some things, because of the damage that is being caused.
Your comments although negative are greatly appreciated as these are all collated and sent to the ministry of tourism to try and show them the effects of their actions.
Unfortunately the policeman sitting at a roadblock in the middle of nowhere is just acting under orders and he does not think that his actions go beyond what they are doing at the time. They don't seem to have realised yet that there is the internet and what they do is posted on websites and forums across the world, which in turn discourages tourists from travelling. This costs the industry and government thousands of dollars in lost revenue all for the sake of a $40 fine. Very short sighted.

Aug 23, 2017
camping in park
by: Anonymous

Camping at Kandahar, in the park, is fantastic in terms of isolation, the view of the Zambezi river and the friendly staff. The park, even though there are absolutely no facilities at the campsite, is very expensively priced ($17 plus $6 conservation fee p/p per day = $23 = R320 : 2016 prices) in comparison to the average fee at most campsites in Botswana or Namibia (with amenities = R160). Also consider that border fees when entering Zimbabwe (carbon tax etc. plus attempts at bribery from officials) are almost three times more expensive than the fees at Botswana borders. Absolutely discouraging, however, is the extortion committed by police at roadblocks in Zim. You run the gauntlet through two roadblocks with hostile officials, in just the last 20 km before Vic Falls. I have been to the park twice (2015 / 2016) and had to pay a total of four fines for the most ridiculous "offences" imaginable. I had to cut the days I intended to stay in the park short, in order to make provision in my budget for the fines I had to pay (about R1000). This meant that I had to make an unplanned border crossing into Botswana where I could afford to stay for two nights in Kasane. I have travelled through Botswana 6 times from Martinsdrift to Kasane and back. In this aproximately 14000 km, I have never been fined and hardly ever encountered any roadblocks apart from veterinary checks.
Ironically, in Zim, I got four fines on the 220 km in total that I spent on tar in Zim!! There is a roadblock about 400 m from the border post at Kazangula! What is the function of this roadblock: To keep the roads safe by fining people 400 m before they exit your country?
My 10 year old daughter, who was sleeping in the rear seat, was forced to exit the car to sign a $5 fine for not wearing a seat belt, whilst surrounded by a group of intimidating grown men!
However hard you try to oblige and respect every road requirement/rule, the police will (creatively) find an excuse to exact a penalty and one has to include this frustrating eventuality into your budget when considering a visit to Zim. In conclusion: The park is so beautiful and tranquil, that an annual visit would be on my wish list, were it not for the harassment perpetrated by the police.

Sep 30, 2014
National Park Chalets
by: Tony

Hi David

That's not good at all. I am presuming that you are meaning the National Park Chalets. These were redecorated about 10 years ago now, but it is so sad to see that the governement is not allowing any more budget to keep these chalets up to standard. They used to be so wonderful in such a lovely location. To be quite honest it is pathetic, National parks makes so much money from all the tourist visiting Victoria Falls... where does all that money go to??

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