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The Vic Falls Bush Telegraph, August 2009
August 07, 2009

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In This Issue
Destination Update
News and Events
Did You Know?
Topical Issue
Interesting Fact
FAQ of the month
African Foklore
Quick Links

Picture of the Month

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The Long Awaited Low Water Run Started on the 3rd Aug!!!!!

Hi there everyone
Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!
As a subscriber, you will get interesting news and events in and around Victoria Falls area.  As well as hosts of other topics that you as a wild life enthusiast, adventurer, traveller and conservationist will enjoy! 

Please interact with us  by letting us know, what you would like to see and also what you don't like, and of coarse share with us any stories you have that our readers will enjoy. Simply follow the links in the left hand column of this newsletter.


Victoria Falls Marathon

Vic Falls Marathon is all ready and set to go on the 21st -24th Aug 09 - we are trusting for a good turn out and above average support for this fun event....

Read more details of the Vic Falls Marathon 

White Water Rafting

The long awaited low water rafting run started on the 3rd Aug 09.  The operators have confirmed that the water level has dropped and is now low enough to run the low water run safely.

On the whole lower water levels means higher thrill levels. This is because when the water levels are very high, they flood the rocks and outcrops which are the formation of the rapids. As water levels drop rocks get closer to the surface and the white water starts to really boil and crash through the gorge.

Names of rapids like Stairway to Heaven, The Terminators, Deep Throat, Devils Toilet Bowl and Oblivion, give you a small insight of what to expect.

To find out more about white water rafting in the Falls

Hope For The  World Cup To Revive Vic Falls

VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe — A decade after the bottom fell out of Zimbabwean tourism, Victoria Falls wants to re-establish itself as a luxury and adventure travel destination ahead of South Africa's World Cup.

Operators are polishing their attractions -- though sometimes with what is seen as too much enthusiasm. The town, home to the world's largest waterfall, was once a tourist magnet but years of political violence and economic collapse have sent holiday makers fleeing.

The decline is stunning: 10 years ago, Zimbabwe drew 1.4 million tourists who generated 400 million US dollars (281 million euros) for the economy. Last year, 223,000 tourists came, generating 29.1 million dollars." Right now things are not well within the tourism industry, but it's much better compared to last year when we did not have tourists because of political violence," said Ollalia Nyoni, a local hotel manager.

Victoria Falls is only a 90-minute flight from Johannesburg, but Zimbabwe so far is struggling to find ways to cash in on the games that run from June 11 to July 11, 2010.

State media complained last month when hotels in Victoria Falls failed to agree with FIFA's accommodation service on prices for the World Cup. Zimbabwe's hotels were seeking rates of between 1,000 and 3,000 dollars (700 and 2,100 euros) a night. FIFA proposed maximum rates of about 500 dollars, according to state media.

The town also wants to draw football fans by increasing the number of helicopter flights over the mile-wide falls.

News and Events

Kingsley Holgate visits Vic Falls

Kingsley Holgate who is sometimes known as the most travelled man in Africa, a well-known author and a bearded face that is often seen on the National Geographic Channel passed through Victoria Falls as part of his  Boundless Southern Africa Expedition.

This expedition is backed by the governments of nine SADC countries, as is all about nature, community and culture.

It is a single symbolic Land-Rover journey from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic to link two oceans, nine countries, 30 game parks and nature reserves, seven transfrontier conservation areas and the communities that live within or alongside these conservation areas.

Kingsley's thoughts on Zimbabwe

"To be truthful, Zimbabwe has suffered from a great deal of negative publicity and we have to start changing that image and attracting visitors and investors to come back and be part of the future.

Read Full Kingsley Holgate Interview...


New to the Rest Camp Accommodation

12 Twin bedded tents which use nearby communal ablution facilities with hot showers.

Special Price - US$30 per night bed only for two people

Normal price US$ 60 per night twin or US$45 single  


The Easter Elephant Tragedy

In years of high rainfall, animals often get swept over the Falls.  A particularly heart-wrenching example occurred on Good Friday in April 2007.

Guests at the Livingstone Hotel in Zambia watched as an elderly elephant attempted to cross the river from Zimbabwe to Zambia with two younger animals.  Midway across the river, which was flowing at an estimated 35km/h, the bigger elephant appeared to get into trouble.

Quoted in an article published in the international magazine Newsweek, Kelvin Ng'andu, senior waiter at the hotel, said the larger elephant almost made it to the bank to the cheers of hotel guests who were watching from the wide lawns that stretch between the hotel and the river bank. 

However, sharp rocks appeared to make the animal change its  mind, and it turned back into the river,  It battled against the water, which dragged it downstream towards the Falls.  The battle against the current went on for half an hour, with the elephant screaming piteously and its companions returning the calls.

 "It was a very sad struggle; we could all put ourselves in the boots of the animal," Ng'andu said "Some people were crying".

 At 4.55pm, a hush descended over the scores of spectators as the elephant disappeared over the main part of the Falls, tumbling down into the Boiling Pot. "that was the same day that our Lord Jesus died for us" said Ng'andu.


Friends of Hwange Trust

Saving Zimbabwe's largest National Park
In partnership with Wildlife & Environment Zimbabwe and The National Parks & Wildlife Management Authority

To all those interested in Hwange Wildlife in the Hwange National Park, alias Friends of Hwange

As we near the end of July, we are well and truly into the dry season in Hwange National Park. Although we had a good rainy season, surface water in the South of the park dried up quickly, and the big game returned to the North of the park early this year. As a result there has been heavy demand on waterholes and pans in the Park since April, necessitating pumping of water from then.

For those who have never visited Hwange in the dry season, or have not witnessed the desperation of animals during a drought, let me try to describe the scene at a waterhole that contains inadequate water. Highest up in the chain of animals are the elephants (of which Hwange has an estimated 20 thousand)

Hwange Elephants

which due to their size are able to dominate all available water at a pan and prevent any other animals from drinking. Elephants will stay around a pan that has water until their thirst is assuaged. If the pan has been totally depleted, and all that is available is the water coming out of the pipe supplying the pan, an elephant will stand with the end of his trunk over the pipe, and suck up every drop that comes out of the ground. As one animal takes his trunk away from the pipe to pour what he has collected down his throat, another will immediately take his place and there are all the while multiple trunks searching and feeling for each drop that might escape.

Read Full Story.....




As many of you may well know we have been expecting our two female rhino Buster and Bambi to be visited by the stork and guess what, finally, last week Bambi was spotted fussing around her new bouncy baby girl. We decided we would provisionally name her Lindani which means the “long awaited one” in one of the local languages Ndebele, and goodness knows we’ve waited long enough.

A few days later, Buster not to be outdone, dropped her own little baby. We are yet to determine the sex of the baby because as you can imagine nobody is going to be getting too close uninvited, but the chosen name is provisionally Chippy which is derived from the word Chipembere meaning rhino in the local language Shona.

Read full story...

The moonbow connection: Cumberland Falls and Victoria Falls

The ghostly whitish rainbows are formed when moonlight is refracted like a prism in the mist. They occur regularly at only two places: Kentucky's Cumberland Falls State Resort Park and Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River in Africa.

Some describe moonbows as electric-looking white lights with bands of blue and red. The colors are difficult to perceive because the light is usually too faint to trigger the cone color receptors in the human eye. The color is more visible in long-exposure photographs.

Moonbows are possible on clear evenings with full moons. They may also appear, if conditions are right, on the two nights before the full moon and the two nights after the full moon.

The intensity of the moonbows tends to be faint and changes second by second. When they appear, they are generally visible for a couple of hours, said park naturalist Steve Gilbert.

Question - How much Money Should I Bring on my holiday to Vic Falls?

Answer -I have listed a few things to give you an idea of costing of  food etc.

Lunches  – depending on where you eat – Wimpy or hotels I would   suggest between US$12 – US$15 per person

Dinner –  again depending on where you eat –  would  suggest US$ 20 -US$ 30 per person

Drinks – A Beer – US$3 –  depending where you are and a  coke  –US$2 -3.

Transfers to and from Airport – US$12 per person one way

Taxi – US$8 for a trip in and around town

Tipping in Zimbabwe is normal between 5-10% of the final bill.

Souvenirs – Bungi T/Shirt etc – US$25 each

DVD – activities      - US$ 30 each

Small carving  approx   -US$  15 each

I would definitely recommend bringing small denomination notes – as change etc is always a problem.

T/Shirts/caps and shoes are like gold in Zimbabwe and good for   bartering.  Remember you are in Africa and the price they start at is definitely not the price you should pay – they like a bit of a haggle.

Hope this helps and that you have a wonderful time.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.
We're here to help you!
Bye for now and thanks for reading.
Tony and Boo Peel



Check These Out!
African Folklore

The Tortoise and the Birds

Long, long ago, beside the animals of the earth and birds of the air, there lived strange creatures whose home was far above the clouds.  They were good and kind, and although it was only the birds who had ever seen them, the animals knew they were there.  But no one knew their name.

One year there was drought everywhere and both birds and beasts were nearly dead from hunger.  The Cloud People looked down in pity upon the earth dwellers and said, "Come up, all you who have wings, and let us feed you, for here there is plenty to eat."......



Read the full folktale

 Package Tour To Vic Falls
"The Mighty Smoke that Thunders"

Price - R 5 050

  • Return Flight to Victoria Falls on British Airways from Johannesburg
  • Return airport-hotel transfers
  • 3 Nights at the 4* Victoria Falls Safari Lodge with Breakfast daily
  • 2 Dinners at either Boma or Makuwa  Kuwa Restaurant
  • Courtesy Transfer Victoria Falls Safari Lodge/Boma
  • Contact Us

    Did You Know?

    The eggs of ground-nesting birds, especially those that lay three to four eggs, such as Jacanas, Black winged Stilts and Pied Avocets, are often arranged neatly in the nest with their pointed ends all facing inwards.  It is thought that this arrangement might help to "wedge" the eggs in place together in the nest, making them less likely to roll away, as well as keeping them in the best position for incubation.




    Pursuing a Dream in Troubled Zimbabwe
    by Sharon Pincott

    They came when she called. Offering her trunk to be rubbed Lady would acknowledge Sharon’s greeting and return hers. This proud, noble and wild matriarch would bring her family to the pan at Kanondo, knowing Sharon, sitting quietly watching, only wishes them well.

    Then came the drought. The land grabbers who claimed State Land and elephants protected by a Presidential Decree their own. In came the unethical hunters and the dreadful poaching by the cruellest measure, snares, increased dramatically.

    Read full review
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