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Vic Falls Bush Telegraph - Issue 17
April 16, 2020

The Victoria Falls Bush Telegraph

The Victoria Falls Bush Telegraph

April 2020: Issue 17


Destination Update

We hope that you are keeping safe and well in your homes during these crazy and challenging times. Just a quick update from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Our once bustling town full of tourists has gone quiet - hotels, restaurants and activities are all closed until the 1st of June. It remains to be seen what will happen after that.

Almost the entire town's income is generated from tourism in one form or another. It's collapse has therefore led to a great deal of unemployment, uncertainty and hardship. The true magnitude of which will no doubt only unfold in the coming months. Initiatives to help mitigate these pending disasters have been set up, which can be read about below.

We just wanted to let all our readers and clients know that Victoria Falls Guide, is very much still here and in business. We have over the last weeks been reshuffling clients itineraries to future dates and issuing refunds where clients can't change. That chaos has settled down a bit now and our small team is poised and ready to plan and book anyone's holiday as soon as the borders open again and the world gains confidence in travelling once more.

We are optimistic that tourism will rebound to previous levels but are not unrealistic in believing that this will happen too soon. The world has been given an unparalleled sucker-punch and is reeling from it, it is still dizzy and hasn’t yet fully come to its senses, but it will and we will emerge with a totally new outlook on life. An outlook that says be grateful for even the tiniest things in life and an outlook that says we don't have a moment to waste.

Victoria Falls will be waiting.

Best wishes,
Tony and Boo
www.victoriafalls-guide.net

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News and Events

Zimbabwe COVID-19 Update

Zimbabwe seems to be a few weeks behind the rest of the world in regards to breakouts of COVID-19. Although we only have few cases that have been recorded so far, we have been taking all necessary steps to avoid it getting out of control. The government ordered a 21 day lockdown that began on the 30th of March, and we are expecting that to be extended. So, we are not sure how things will unfold in the weeks to come, but we will cross future bridges when we get to them and update you along the way. We will continue to stay at home and live consciously in order to get to the other side of this as smoothly as possible.

In light of this crisis, there are a couple of community non-profit projects running to help both the less fortunate and our wildlife get through this time safely. We would be eternally grateful for any help that you might be able to give. Every little bit counts!

Victoria Falls anti Poaching Unit (VFAPU) are doing everything in their power to keep our wildlife safe from poachers and to conserve our National Park, whilst the Falls Famine Appeal is doing whatever they can to prevent extreme starvation in Victoria Falls, due to the tourism economy collapsing.

If you’d like to, you can donate to VFAPU here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/victoria-falls-anti-poaching-unit and Falls Famine Appeal here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/vicfallsfamine-appeal.

Have a look at their websites to find out more about them! VFAPU: http://vfapu.com - Falls Famine Appeal: https://www.fallsfamineappeal.com

Zambezi Water Levels

We are so thrilled as The Zambezi River has reached extremely high water levels over the last few weeks. In areas upstream such as Chavuma Mission Station (where daily river flows are recorded) in North Western Zambia, the flow has been one of the highest ever recorded!

According to the Zambezi River Authorities, it peaked at Chavuma for the second time this year at 5,825m3/s on 6th April, while the flow observed last year on the same date was 657m3/s. Flows at Victoria Falls so far have peaked at 4,289m3/s on 31st March, last year on the same date, the flow was 896m3/s. So there is a considerable difference in water flow between this year and last year.

The second flood from Chavuma hasn't reached Victoria Falls yet and these are expected to arrive soon. The river started receding on the 2nd April, but has been rising again by 1cm a day for the last few days, so maybe they are almost here.

The waterfall is flowing furiously and we can hear and even see the magnificent spray from our homes! It's making itself more present than ever, maybe in hopes that it will get noticed by those who spread and believed the false news that it had dried up just a few short months ago, which of course was not the case at all. The Falls really are a sight to behold at the moment. You can see a video that was taken on the 3rd April 2020 here.

Annual Events

We mentioned all of the events that Victoria Falls was hosting this year in our previous email. To recap, they were the Enduro, The Vic Falls Marathon, Pumping Legs for Hwange, The Zambezi Cycle Challenge, The Zambezi White-water Festival and of course, at the end of the year is The Vic Falls Carnival. As it stands, The Enduro has been cancelled, and registrations for the marathon have been suspended until further notice. The other events that are held later on in the year will wait and see whether or not they too need to cancel closer to the time.



Activities Update

New on the Zambezi River

What unfortunate timing for African Eye to launch its brand new boat safari. I feel so much for Shaun and Tracey, who have invested so much time and money in this project.

Their magnificent photographic boat safari will be ready and waiting though to take guests on an incredible safari on the river where they can capture all the wildlife on the cameras provided by African Eye. Guests will have a professional photographer on the boat with them who will teach them the necessary tips and tricks on how to get the perfect shot! They will of course be able take their SD Card home with them, along with some new photography skills!

We will do another feature on them once things are back to normal, because if you are a keen photographer, this is one product you don't want to miss out on!


March’s Super Moon and lunar Rainbow!

On March 10th we decided to join a night tour of the Falls as there was a super moon, and we were desperate to see a lunar rainbow! Lunar rainbows aren't always guaranteed but we took our cameras anyway just in case. Luckily, there was a beautiful lunar rainbow waiting for us by Devils Cataract and the super moon also put on a show! Here is a picture we took of the Falls at night under a super moon, and of the lunar rainbow.



Our Zambezi Queen Collection Experience

Perk of the job is that we have to experience first, anything that we offer our clients. This confirms to us the quality and also the nitty gritty details. In February, just before the whirlwind of Corona descended upon everyone, we were lucky enough to spend three nights on the magnificent Chobe Princess (part of the Zambezi Queen Collection) on the Chobe River in Namibia. We had such a fantastic time and can highly recommend the product! Watch the short video of our experience here.


Free downloadable guide to Victoria Falls by Victoria Falls locals



Conservation

Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit (VFAPU) is reaching out to all of those who have the means to help conservation during this time. Charles Brightman – head of operations says that, "In amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and without taking away from the sad and tragic humanitarian crisis taking place globally, we here at VFAPU are facing a crisis of our own in terms of our ability to continue with our on-the-ground efforts to support our National Parks and Wildlife Authority in the protection and conservation of the wildlife in Victoria Falls and the surrounding areas."

As more hardship settles in during this crisis and less food is available or affordable, it stands to reason that sectors of the local population will take to poaching to provided for themselves and their families. This is going to put huge pressure on our precious wildlife unless it kept in check.

If you can, please help VFAPU keep the scouts on the ground so that our wildlife is kept safe from poachers and so that conservation in the area can continue. You can contact Charles here: charles@discovervictoriafalls.co.zw. or go straight to their VFAPU GoFundMe page

Here are a few images of animals that the VFAPU team helped last week:



Customer Feedback

"I would highly recommend Victoria Falls Guide. I dealt with Boo when planning a safari to Botswana and cannot say enough good things about her. She is amazing! She was so patient with my many questions, answered promptly and patiently and offered many ideas and suggestions. Then after all the work and effort she did on my behalf, I had to cancel the trip due to the Coronavirus. She worked diligently to give me the options that were available to me and went to bat on my behalf. I cannot thank her enough for all that she did and I look forward to working with her again in the future!."

Click here to read more feedback



Hotels & Lodges Update

Under Construction

Africa Albida Tourism announced that they would be opening Victoria Falls' first ever purpose built safari spa! The safari spa will be located on the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge grounds and will be open to everybody! They hoped to be open by September, but we are unsure now, as construction has been put on hold.



Did You Know?

Zimbabwe's National Flower is the Flame Lily (Gloriosa Superba). These fiery looking flowers grow in the northern parts of South Africa, and into Zimbabwe and east Africa. They thrive in savannah and thickets, and sprawl over rocks and low bush. A diamond Flame Lily brooch was gifted to Queen Elizabeth II when she visited Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) as crown princess of England in 1947.

This image is of the Flame Lilies that grown in the Victoria Falls rainforest with the waterfall as their backdrop! ©Africa Albida Tourism.




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www.victoriafalls-guide.net | Ngugwuma Cres, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe | info@victoriafalls-guide.net | +263 83 2846213


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