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Vic Falls Bush Telegraph - Issue 18
March 09, 2021

The Victoria Falls Bush Telegraph | March 2021

Issue 18

Destination Update

The abundance of the green season in Africa never ceases to delight and amaze me, there is such a proliferation of nature in every aspect. Once parched and dry plains, without a single blade of grass, are now covered in thick blankets of six-foot-tall green grass. Newborn animals frolic everywhere and magnificent migrant birds make-haste in reproducing before leaving soon.

This year Zimbabwe has received significant rainfall, well above the annual average. It' s almost as if we 're stocking up during these quiet times, without visitors, so that we have enough supplies for when the floodgates open and tourists return.

The Victoria Falls are pounding at the moment, the vibrations of which rattle our doors and windows. The Falls are threatening to reach record levels in 2021 but there is still a way to go before the end of the rainy season. For regular updates, graphs and pictures please visit our Victoria Falls Water Levels 2021 page.

Victoria Falls had a flurry of tourism during December but things quietened down in the new year as lockdown measures were once again enforced here and around the world to combat the spread of the virus.

Two months later, and like a butterfly from a pupa, we are starting to emerge. Starting to open our wings and stretch and get ready for this next stage in life. Tourism has been the hardest hit industry during this pandemic so there is still a sense of caution, as businesses try to anticipate how and if the way of travel has changed. But they are eager to get going.

Whilst some hotels and lodges have been forced to close during these difficult times the majority of places have kept ticking over. They have maintained and improved their standards and the way they do business and they are open for guests who are willing to get here.

Airlines are starting to introduce more flights to Victoria Falls and the supply will definitely match the demand, as it grows.

Seasoned travellers, not to be deterred, have been trickling in to the country throughout this time and have enjoyed low prices and previously unknown seclusion.

I have been down to visit the Victoria Falls on several occasions of late and have found this natural wonder of the world all to myself, for hours on end. It's been quite an incredible, magnificent and surreal experience.

The Victoria Falls on Zimbabwe side - taken January 2021 by Victoria Falls Guide

Stormy clouds over the Victoria Falls. See the video here.
Photo: Victoria Falls Guide

Best wishes,
Tony and Boo

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News from Victoria Falls

A wonderful and exciting sighting in Vic Falls on the 25th Feb by Charles from Discover Safaris.

A Ross's Turaco is a very rare bird - Status uncertain! Vagrant to Okavango Delta, Botswana, North Namibia and West of Vic Falls. This is only the third time recorded that this bird has been seen in Zimbabwe.

The town was abuzz with eager birders arriving from Harare and further afield in the hope of getting a glimpse of the Turaco. A few were rewarded and some whilst waiting patiently for the bird had a leopard walk across the road. That is the most amazing thing about Vic Falls you never know what may cross your path!

Ross's Turaco in Victoria Falls February 2021 - photo by Charles Brightman for Discover Safaris in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Ross's Turaco pictured in Victoria Falls in February 2021. This was the only good picture to come out of this sighting.
Photo: Charles Brightman - Discover Safaris, Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is on the map and developing fast.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic decimating the income of Victoria Falls, which is completely reliant on tourism, during 2020 and now 2021, the little town is still very much in the spotlight and has an exciting future ahead of it, if managed correctly.

German travel inspiration magazine, Geo Fernweh declared in its report on the 50 most beautiful places in the world that Victoria Falls is the second-best place to visit for a holiday.

This is only days after American travel and leisure magazine named Victoria Falls Safari Lodge as one of the top 5 hotels in African and amongst the top 500 hotels in the world.

These accolades are amongst many that Victoria Falls as a destination gets, because not only does it have the largest waterfall in the world but also because it is situated in the centre of some of the best Safari and Wildlife Parks in Africa. It also has a vast array of adventure activities available and just has a very unique feel, unlike anywhere else.

For those of you that have visited Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in the past you will remember it as a rather quaint and small town with a couple of main streets.

However, post-Corona, it is on the verge of a substantial building boom as investors seek to get in as early as possible.

Before the outbreak, several lodges and hotels were in the final stages of completion, set to open for the high season in 2020. Due to the pandemic work on these slowed down but continued and these establishments are now opening for 2021.

In December 2020, the town of Victoria Falls was accorded City Status, quite what this means is not abundantly clear but the list of proposed upcoming developments is actually too long to list, suffice to say that there are huge hotel complexes with conference centres, an entire special economic zone just out of town, residential complexes and more lodges by the river.

The Zambezi National Park just on the doorstep of Victoria Falls is also targeted for a number of new safari lodges over the next few years.

Quite whether all these developments should go ahead is up for debate. Development is progress that creates wealth and employment but in a town that is reliant completely on the beauty of its natural resources the balance needs to be kept just right so as not to destroy the intrinsic value of the destination.

Victoria Falls Enviro Watch (VFEW) is a non-profit organisation, established by local Victoria Falls residents to assist local authorities and all stakeholders in planning sustainable development going forward, that benefits humans and wildlife, both of which are essential to the future of the town.

Covid-19 News

One thing that has frustrated me during this pandemic has been the media's focus on the number of Coronavirus cases and deaths every day. I am though, going to be guilty of that myself right now, but only in a bid to highlight how Zimbabwe has been affected compared to some 1st world countries.

Zimbabwe has an approximate population of 15 million, the United Kingdom has 67 million, and that means Zimbabwe has just under a quarter of the UK's population (22.4% to be exact). As of today, the UK has reported approximately 4.2 million cases and 123 000 deaths. Zimbabwe on the other hand has had 36 000 cases and 1 468 deaths, a mere 0.8% and 1.2% respectively of the UK's figures. Showing that per capita, Zimbabwe’s population has been about 20 times less affected.

For the latest details on travel information, flights, procedures etc please visit our Zimbabwe Covid-19 Latest Travel News page.

Community Efforts

Mummy's Angels Zimbabwe

Mummy's Angels is a small group in Victoria Falls that work together to provide low-income mums with essential baby items that they need to give their babies a safe and healthy start to life. They also recently reached out to the Elderly – read their report on this below. Well done and thank you for all your hard work!!

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end” - Scott Adams

The other day we paid it forward by donating excess stock of pillows and pillowcases which were donated to us to the Chinotimba Old Age Home. This old age home is home to 13 oldies, some of which require multiple pillows to support their bodies if they are bed ridden.

The old age home runs purely on donations and they take pride in running as a community. Each oldie who is capable takes part in having a daily responsibility such as washing/ pealing vegetables, assisting with tidying the lounge area, checking on the oldest oldies and general assistance with the day to day running of the home.

Their oldest member is 106 years old! She is pictured below ♥

Centenarian at Chinotimba Old People's Home in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

We hope these pillows go along way in ensuring the comfort of the oldies on a daily basis.

Accommodation Update

Shoestrings Backpackers Lodge

Shoestring backpackers in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Shoestrings Backpackers new tenant owner Fergie Johnson

The well known and much-loved Shoestrings Backpackers Lodge has a new tenant owner!!!

Shoestrings located in the middle of the town - has always been very popular with the younger visitors to Vic Falls and is often referred to as "The Night Life of the town". It is a great place for tourist to meet and chat with the many local residents enjoying some time out.

Fergie is one of the younger generations of Victorians who has recently returned from studying at Oxford Brookes University. The son of Mike and Alex Johnson - well known in our little town as the owners of Bayete, Phezulu and Nkosi Guest Lodges certainly has the gurus of hospitality in his corner.

Fergie's aim is to make Shoestrings Backpackers a home away from home where people can come swim, have a few drinks, enjoy delicious food and stay in comfortable but affordable accommodation.

We wish him all the best in his new venture.

Interesting Facts

About the Victoria Falls Rainforest

The Victoria Falls Rainforest - Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls Rainforest

The Victoria Falls Rainforest, as it has become known, is an area of dense woodland vegetation supported and nourished by the constant spray from the waterfall. The main section of the Rainforest extends only over a small section of the Victoria Falls Park, at its western end, on Cataract and Livingstone Islands on the lip of the Falls, and opposite the Main Falls, on the Zimbabwe side...Read full details about the rainforest on our website

Great Special on Offer for All Travellers

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is without doubt one of the most popular places to stay in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The Lodge is situated on a high plateau overlooking the vastness of the Zambezi National Park, giving you the superb feeling of being out in the remote African wilderness, yet a short 15-minute drive takes you into the town centre and the Victoria Falls entrance.


Price: US$ 95per person sharing per night - No Single Supplement
Includes: Accommodation; Daily breakfast.
Excludes: Other meals; Drinks; Activities; Transfers.
Children: 12yrs and under pay 50%.
Valid: until 30 June 2021

Free downloadable guide to Victoria Falls by Victoria Falls locals

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