The Victoria Falls Bush Telegraph
December 9th, 2014
As I re-read the destination update from our last newsletter in mid-September it’s hard to believe the so much as happened in just the 2 months. We have endured the extremely hot months of October, November where the temperatures hovered around 38 to 40 degrees. Some days it seemed unbearable and yet at the same time wonderful.
On the 20th September in the early hours of the morning we had a few loud claps of thunder which amounted to only a few spots of rain…the heavens were teasing us. We had to wait for several
weeks with searing temperatures before we enjoyed a few thunder showers which like a blast freezer immediately cooled things down.
Then on the 6th November slightly earlier than we would normally expect some significant rain arrived dropping several inches within a few hours. The transformation of the bush after these rains was quite extraordinary. Dry woody branches without a single leaf turned into a profusion of green leaves within 2 days...a true miracle of nature.
Since then though the rainfall has been disappointing and we eagerly await the rain to return. Once again temperatures have returned to the high 30’s and we look to the skies daily for some relief. What an expectant time of year, all of nature dependant on this life giving rain. The warthogs in the Safari Lodge grounds have dropped their cheeky looking
piglets and it won’t be long before all the other plains game follow suit.
As is normal for November the Falls get very low with water reduced to flowing just over Devils cataract and Mains Falls and a tiny trickle on the Zambian side. We did a helicopter flight on 7th November and from the photo right you can see how low the water level actually is. From the air it looks unimpressive but from the ground it’s a different story. The 2nd photo shows Main falls taken the next day and it’s still ever so impressive.
Despite the limited local rainfall, the Zambezi River will soon start to rise rapidly due to rainfall in the Zambian catchment area which flows downstream and starts arriving here within the next week. The river will rise 2 to 3cms per day and by the end of December the dry rock face that you see in the photo will be covered with water, the Falls will be pumping. Rafting will move from low to high water and the Devils swim will have to close around early January.
The real tragedy to end this year has been the Ebola crisis. Up until this outbreak Victoria Falls
operators were recording record breaking figures across the board. Africa to the rest of the world is sometimes unfortunately classed as one country, when in reality the West African countries that have been hit hard by the Ebola crisis are actually closer to Europe than to us in Southern Africa. However some international travel agents and tourist alike have just said no go to Africa. This has hit our industry hard and many operators are now reporting a sharp decline in figures. We are Ebola free and as such travellers should not cancel or stop planning their visit to Victoria Falls.
Much has been going on and we have reported on several interesting happenings in the articles below.
It only remains for us to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
Tony and Boo
here to subscribe and receive future editions of our newsletter directly by email.