Who we are, What we do, How and Why we do it?
This Victoria Falls Guide website was created by Tony and Boo Peel in early 2008. Find out how, what and why it was created.
Who We Are
Our roots to Victoria Falls go back to the mid-1980s when we were young, and Victoria Falls was a much smaller town, as tourism hadn't kicked off yet. Sunset cruises and fixed-wing flights over the Falls were about the only activities back then.
White-water rafting was in its infancy. I was transferred from the lower Zambezi River, where I was a canoeing safari guide, to Vic Falls to learn how to become a rafting oarsman on this unchartered and thrilling grade 5 river. They were exciting and pioneering days of which I have fantastic memories.
That's me with the oars and blue life jacket, back in 1986
My future wife, Boo, was at that time secretary to the General Manager of the grand Victoria Falls Hotel. We met, fell in love and are happily married all these years later, with 3 adorable sons.
In 2008, we returned home to Africa after having spent five years in the UK. (You can read more about why we ended up in the UK here). Whilst in the UK we studied some internet marketing techniques and because of this were determined to build an Internet Business based on our knowledge and passion for our home country Zimbabwe, and in particular Victoria Falls.
How We Did It
We started this website initially as an information site (hence the name). Our goal was to provide tons of free, accurate and up-to-date information derived from our local first-hand knowledge, with the intention of getting advertising revenue once our rankings improved and site visitors increased.
For months on end, we both just wrote and wrote content on everything we could think of that was interesting about Victoria Falls, from the facts and figures to the history, art and culture. We wrote about all the hotels and the activities that one can do these days.
We used a platform called Solo Build It to build the website. It's brilliant and taught us not so much about creating a pretty website but how to reach the top spots in the search engines, like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
After about a year of painstaking work, we started appearing on the first page of Google, for some searches. The number of visitors to our site started climbing into the thousands every day.
What We Do
Because we were local and seemed to know a lot about Victoria Falls and how things worked, we started getting people contacting us to ask if we could book their holidays for them.
Boo and I on Livingstone Island over looking the Victoria Falls
My wife and I had both been involved in travel previously, so this was nothing new to us, it was just not how we had intended the business model to turn out.
So we restructured the company, established relationships with local and regional suppliers and started booking holidays for clients who were contacting us from around the world, anything from an airport transfer to a 21-day safari itinerary around Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Zambia. The business grew and grew as did our team.
The real benefit though is that the information is still all there for everyone to read. We keep it updated regularly and add to it so that it is current and you can rely on it.
Why We Do It
For us it was not so much about making money, it was about making sure that people had the time of their lives when they came to our part of the world.
We have a real passion to provide the information on our destination, the kind that we search for when we travel to other destinations around the world we don't know anything about.
In travel, booking agents like ourselves don't charge clients for our services. Being a recognised and registered agent we get a wholesale price from our suppliers, be it an activity or a hotel.
We then mark that product up to the recommended retail price (the price that you pay if you go direct to the supplier), sometimes our prices are even less. You get the expert service and advice for free and we still make a living. Please also read our why book with us page.
We also do this because we get to experience all the wonderful products that we offer to our clients. Can't recommend it if you haven't been there or done it. Everything we offer is from first-hand knowledge (except for bungee jumping 😊 ).
Here we are experiencing the Luxurious Chobe Princess on the Chobe River, Namibia
To arrange a decent holiday can take weeks if not months of intense work depending on the complexity of the client's itinerary, but it's very rewarding when you receive positive feedback from hundreds of satisfied clients who have had the holiday of a lifetime.
You can read this customer feedback on our reviews page.
So that's a brief history of how Victoria Falls Guide started and became established. Please feel free to browse all the available information. We hope it helps you to plan or understand Victoria Falls and the surrounding region, and don't forget that if you want us to personally assist you at no extra cost then contact us and we would be delighted to assist.