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The Vic Falls Bush Telegraph, October 2009, issue # 3
October 20, 2009 [October, 2009]

In This Issue
Destination Update
News and Events
Animal Stories and Facts
Interesting Facts
African Tale
Did You Know
Quick Links
"A baby elephant enjoying his mud bath"

Picture of the Month

Letters from recent clients

"We also did the elephant walk. This was really nice, peaceful, and relaxing. It was our first wilderness experience in Africa so was exciting. However, if you've done things like this before, it may not be as special as it was for us. Getting up close to the elephants was great, and the guides were terrific.

We booked everything (except the VFSL) with the help of Boo Peel at She was very helpful, everything went very smoothly, and there was plenty of wiggle room to adjust our schedule once we got there."

Todd - USA

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Victoria Falls Is Named One Of The New  Seven Wonders Of The World !

Hi there everyone
Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!

Sorry this months edition is a bit late. We have just returned from a 3 week trip to Vic falls, Hwange and Kariba. Where we were getting photos, seeing the tour operators and their operations so we can keep our site really up to date. We had a great trip and will be posting lots of photos and stories on the website over the coming weeks.

Please interact with us by letting us know, what you would like to see and also what you don't like, and of course share with us any stories you have that our readers will enjoy - Its easy click here and submit your story.


Full Moon Dates in Nov 09-

1st, 2nd, and 3rd

See a Moonbow......

A surreal and magical night experience awaits you if you are lucky enough to plan your Victoria Falls trip to coincide with the full moon. For three nights each month (one on either side of the actual full moon date), the Rainforest is open for a dramatic lunar rainbow – a rare natural phenomenon (also known as a moonbow or lunar bow or white rainbow) produced by the moon rather than the sun (a solar rainbow).
A MUST DO!!!!!

Tourism improves in Victoria Falls

Tourists visiting the magnificent Victoria Falls are increasingly being drawn to the town of its namesake in Zimbabwe, thanks to tourism and government initiatives to reclaim visitors from neighbouring Zambia.

The Victoria Falls have been named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature as the world’s largest curtain of falling water, 1.6 kilometres in length with a drop of 108 metres into the Zambezi River.

Due to Zimbabwe's political situation tourists have in the last few years preferred to view the falls from the Zambian side in Livingstone, which has heavily invested in tourism in recent years, including an 11 million dollar project to modernise Livingstone airport. But according to Earth Times, Zimbabwe is looking to regain its competitive position on the other side of the falls.

The acceptance of US dollars and foreign currencies makes it easier still to visit the ever-improving town and experience one of the world’s natural marvels first-hand, while Zambia remains a viable alternative on the other side.


News And Events

Getting Married - Check out this venue and decor!

Set on the banks of the Zambezi River

City Link Bus

City Link has started a bus service from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo and various destination through out Zimbabwe.

To find out services and prices

Vic Falls Airport remains competitive in region

THE Victoria Falls International Airport infrastructure has been maintained in good shape over the years making it competitive compared with other airports in the region, the airport manager, Mr Ephraim Masawi, has said.
Speaking at commemorations to mark Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) Customer Service Week in the resort, he said tourists, tour and adventure operators, had commended the airport.
“We are the first and last impression a tourist gets in the resort town and country at large as soon as he/she lands here. So we are happy to note that we have had little or no complaints concerning the infrastructure itself as we have maintained it over the years,” he said

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe is a member of the London-based International Customer Service Organisation and has been commemorating the week for the past four years.

Wild Horizons takes over Africa Travel Company

A Victoria Falls adventure company, Wild Horizons Tours and Adventure Company, has taken over the running of the Africa Travel Company, an overland trucking firm, from the now defunct Worldwide Adventure Travel.

Worldwide Adventure Travel closed its Victoria Falls office and part of its staff was incorporated into Wild Horizons. Africa Travel Company trucks are now being handled by Wild Horizons putting to rest fears that ATC business was going to be taken across to Livingstone in Zambia.

ATC is an overland trucking company that brings tourists into the country. The company brings at least five truckloads of tourists a week with each load varying between 16 and 22, creating business for local tour and adventure companies.

Sources said all bookings from ATC would now be done by Wild Horizons. The source added that packages between WAT and its employees were agreed by the two parties and that the employees had been offered contracts with Wild Horizons.
“All bookings from ATC are now being done by Wild Horizons. Everybody is happy that the deal managed to go through without major complications. As a result, tourists are still coming here instead of going to Zambia if this deal had not gone through,” said the source.

Animal Stories And Facts

South African game warden rides rhino

Dennis, a 12-year-old bull rhino, has become best buddies with game warden James Ndlolvu after the animal was critically injured in a fight with another rhino.

After 17 months of rehab Dennis began to form an extraordinary friendship with James, aged 32.

In nature rhinos are well-known for being decidedly grumpy becoming extremely vicious and dangerous if disturbed.

But incredibly this wild animal formed such a strong bond with James that he even now allows him to ride around on his back.

James can "steer" Dennis with his legs as the pair explore the Moholoholo reserve in the Limpopo province of South Africa.

Despite being released back into the wild, Dennis still comes to visit James almost every day to be fed horse pellets and get a scrub down with the brush.

 Reserve manager Colin Patrick said it is incredible that such a wild animal can be so close to a human.

He said: "In 2000 a rhino he socialised with was killed by a stronger dominant bull and Dennis barely got away alive.

"This occurs a lot with rhinos, they are fiercely territorial animals and will kill each other to keep them off their area of land.

"Dennis was brought to the rehabilitation centre here at the reserve and was treated for his injuries.

"It took 17 months of rehab to get him back to health and in these months he got used to people, especially to James.

"He was fed horse pellets and was washed and brushed every day to get him back in shape.



Zimbabwe’s Black Rhino: Good News

In an intense international rescue and anti-poaching operation, 46 black rhino have been moved to safer areas - and eight poachers have been killed - in Zimbabwe.

Thanks to coverage by international media, public support, and international pressure from CITES, the International Rhino Foundation’s (IRF) Crisis Zimbabwe awareness campaign has reportedly raised more than $120,000 in emergency funds to rescue 46 black rhino from vulnerable areas in Zimbabwe. And since May, eight poachers have been killed during armed confrontations with police, compared to seven known rhino poaching losses in the Lowveld.

Curio carvers, vendors get accreditation

THE Forestry Commission has started accrediting curio carvers and vendors in Victoria Falls, a move aimed at controlling the harvesting of timber in the forestry area.

The curio industry, which employs more than 1 500 people in the area has not been controlled leading to rampant poaching of timber, resulting in deforestation.

Wood Poachers are apprehended in the Zambezi National park

Speaking in an interview yesterday, the Forestry Commission co-ordinator for Hwange, Mr David Mandongwe, said they wanted timber harvesting to be done in a controllable manner to ensure sustainability of the forests.

He said so far 10 co-operatives at Busy Island, a popular vending area where tourists buy curios in town and at curio stands along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Highway have been accredited.

Read full report


Due to the world recession, and the inability of our major donors from previous
Elephants at waterhole

years being able to support us, we have had difficulty finding the necessary resources to keep pumping water to the pans. We have found ourselves appealing to anyone and everyone to support our cause by donating whatever they feel they can. However, if we are to avert a major disaster this year, and avoid the deaths of thousands of animals, there is still great need for adequate funds to see us through the next four months.

Our major requirement is for diesel to run the Lister engines which are responsible for driving the mono pumps that supply water to the pans.
Each engine uses about 500 litres of diesel a month, and one litre of diesel costs about USD 1. We try to supply water to 10 pans spread through the Northern section of Hwange, this gives an idea of our requirements. USD 20 will keep one pump running for 24 hours. Our five windmills do a wonderful job, and we are exploring ways to go more "green" and install more eco friendly systems, but at present these simply cannot keep up with the demand for water during the height of the dry season, and we are forced to use Lister engines.

To read full Friends of Hwange Trust Newsletter


Interesting Facts

Schalow's Turaco

One of the most amazing birds of the Victoria falls region is the rare uraco ( Tauraco schalowi ). Very similar in appearance to the Knysa and Livingstone's Turaco's except for the long pointed crest. The Turaco's family of birds were previously called Louries.

It is remarkable in that its colour is directly related to the amount of copper in the soils in the area. This fruit eating birds, was observed by 19th century prospectors - excess copper is deposited in the pigment of the feathers, giving them a purplish tinge, thus indicating whether there are reasonable copper deposits in the surrounding area. Schalow's Turaco is very secretive, and the best chance of seeing one of these birds is the flash of it's redwings as it flies between the trees of the rainforest or by scanning the many Figs trees on which it feeds.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles had a moment of morbidity when he first visited the Falls named after his great-great grandmother.

"How many people have committed suicide here?" he asked his hosts. 

Statistics on tourist fatalities are not available, but it is well known that lots of local villagers swim and wash in the river especially on the Zambian side, every month sadly a few of these people lose their footing and get washed over the edge meeting a rather gruesome death. 

Next months issue promises to be packed full of exciting stories and events including the story of how the 13 years son of a friend of ours narrowly escaped from the jaws of a crocodile last weekend.  

Feel free to contact us with any questions or queries ideas or criticisms.

We're here to help you!
Bye for now
Tony and Boo Peel



Check out our special deals!
African Tale

This is Good

The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!"

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!"


Read Full Story

Victoria Falls Specials

3 Nights at The Kingdom 3* Hotel + A Combo of Activities

VFG 1 - US$ 550

Price : US$ 550 per person
Reference: VFG 1
Hotel: Kingdom , The
Duration: 3 Nights
Validity From:
25th August - 01 Nov 2009

See all specials 

Did You Know

Did you know that male giraffes often engage in necking, which appears to have various functions.

One of these is combat. Battles can be fatal although this is rare.

Another function is affectionate and sexual in which two males will caress and court each other leading up to mounting and climax.

Male same sex relationships are more frequent than heterosexual behaviour. In one area 94% of mountings were of a homosexual nature.


SAS Survival Handbook

How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea - by John "Lofty" Wiseman

This is a new edition of an international bestseller first published in 1986.  The author, a professional soldier, served for 26 years in all parts of the world with the British Army's Special Air Service, and later became their survival instructor.

Read full review | Pietermaritzburg | Kwa-Zulu Natal | 3201 | South Africa

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