Bicentenary of the birth of David Livingstone celebrated with a Festival

by SA Tourism news

Next year it will be 200 years since the birth of David Livingstone, who was born in Blantyre, Scotland, on March 19, 1813. He went on to become famous for his expeditions in Africa as a medical missionary and was the first European to set eyes on the Victoria Falls in the mid-1850s, which he named after Queen Victoria. The town of Livingstone, in turn, was named after him.

To commemorate the bi-centenary, a selection of cultural and sporting events, along with an international arts exhibition is being planned in Livingstone between March and October 2013. These include theatre, street theatre, traditional dancing, bands and concerts, soccer, seven-a-side rugby, David Livingstone events on the Zambezi, fishing and cricket.

Neighbouring countries have been invited to participate in various events. “The idea is to develop and hold these events regularly as part of a world-class festival,” says Rory Young, Chairman of the Livingstone Arts, Cultural and Sporting Events Development Organisation, a non-profit trust set up to ensure there is a lasting legacy from the David Livingstone Bicentenary to boost tourism, the local community and economy of Livingstone, as well as Zambian-based charities.
For more info, visit www.livingstone2013.com.

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We would firstly like to welcome you all to the first edition of the 2011 Victoria Falls Tourist Police newsletter.
In this and future newsletters we will be including current news and updates as well as up-coming events and special occasions to look out for. We trust that you have had a good year to date and appreciate all the support you’ve given to The Tourism Police. We are celebrating 7 years in operation and we started 2011 with a revived committee setting new and changeling objections.

Mission statement for the Tourism Police;

To ensure that Victoria Falls remains a safe and friendly environment for all.

Remember that they are there to look after you, guide and assist you. The unit continues to operate seven days a week and you will see them in their smart uniforms with yellow reflective bibs in all the main tourist areas of the town.

As we are all well aware that security is a highly important consideration, by travelers when choosing their idyllic getaway and so, with an increase in occupancies and travelers that we have all noticed through late 2010 and 2011, this in return has also increased the amount of vendors and thefts in the town. Zimbabwe Republic Police in conjunction with the local business stakeholders has continued to keep the operation alive, and with thanks to all stakeholders we are pleased to continue to make Victoria Falls a safe destination.
Understanding at times that the police are swamped with many vendors and due to an increase of tourists around the town; we do our upmost best to maintain the awareness of offices and any concerns are brought to the committees attention immediately.
To date we had over 500 arrests from illegal vendors and with the peak season upon us we will be out in force to continue achieving these positive results.
With the increase in operating costs that we all are familiar with, your support is absolutely imperative to continue and keep the operation alive. We therefore thank you once again for you continued support and look forward to a strong working relationship moving forward into the new year.
Here wishing you all the success for 2012 and a safe and cheerful festive season.
Please free to send us you suggestions or any feedback to help ensure we facilitate and meet your expectations.
Kind regards,
The Tourism Police Committee

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Livingstone Island Closes for the Season

(Victoria Falls)

15 April 2015

The Livingstone Island tour will be closed for the end of their 2014-2015 season. This popular activity is a tour of the Livingstone Island which is located by the edge of the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River.

"We have decided to use the opportunity to close for three weeks to allow full preparation for a new Season" - Tongabezi

The island tour is run on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, exclusively by Tongabezi. It is combined with the Devil's Swim starting from mid-August until the end of December each year. The alternative edge-of-the-falls swim is done at the Angel's Pool in July, then from January til March.

The closure of the island tour will be from the 21st of April 2015, and will reopen on the 13th of May 2015 with the Morning Breezer.

Find out more about the Livingstone Island Tour and Devil's Swim here.

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Elephant Kills Victoria Falls Safari Lodge Guide

On June 8, tragedy struck at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, when the lodge’s Head Guide Tendekai Madzivanzira was killed by an elephant in full musth.

Madzivanzira, who had years of experience, had escorted an international guest from the hotel to the nearby Siduli Hide on an armed walk at 16h00. The hide is close to a waterhole frequented by a variety of game and while the guest was inside the hide, a number of animals visited the waterhole, including a bull elephant in full musth.

The bull chased off another four elephants that had made their way to the water to drink and, after some time, the bull elephant started to move off. It was at this time (18h00) that, while Madzivanzira was escorting his guest back to the lodge, the bull spotted them and started to charge. According to the guest, Madzivanzira grabbed her arm and instructed her to run but by this stage the elephant was too close. Madzivanzira then instructed her to climb a nearby tree and stumbled as he turned to face the elephant as he discharged his weapon. The elephant hit the guide tossing him to the ground.

Efforts by observers and staff whistling and shouting from the lodge’s balcony to try to distract the charging bull elephant were to no avail. The elephant eventually ran off and staff members and a medical team were on site to rescue the guest from the tree and attend to Madzivanzira, who had been fatally wounded. Senior management from Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and experienced wildlife experts, in co-ordination with the National Parks and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), were called to secure the area and to conduct further investigations into the matter.

Once news of the incident had reached Africa Albida Tourism’s head office by 18h30, Madzivanzira the various management staff were deployed to assist with contacting family and immediate grief counselling ensued with the guide’s family and the guests.

While in transit today to Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Ross Kennedy, Africa Albida Tourism’s Chief Executive, said: “It is a very sad and shocking thing to have happened and we will do everything we can do to provide support for Tendekai’s family. I‘ve been told the staff at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge have been amazing in dealing with the situation and I have to say a big thank you to all of them. This is the first time in the 17 years of the lodge being open that something like this has ever happened and as much as we train our staff for a worst case scenario when living in the bush with wild animals, you still never think an incident like this is ever going to take place. Tendekai was a skilled professional who had the respect of his wildlife peers and conservation colleagues, along with all clients, staff, and the community as a whole”

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Batoka Dam deal expected to go ahead

by Judith Hara

Batoka Gorges

Batoka Gorges

ZAMBIA and Zimbabwe have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly construct the 1,650 mega watts Batoka Hydro-power project which is estimated to cost in excess of US$4 billion.

Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma confirmed the development in Lusaka yesterday, saying the agreement was signed during the Council of Ministers which was held at Kariba in Siavonga last weekend.

Recently, the Zimbabwean government agreed to pay off more than $70 million it owes Zambia for the sale of the Central African Power Corporation (CAPC) assets which were jointly owned by the two countries.

Mr Yaluma said the agreement was dependant on Zimbabwe’s commitment to pay off the debt it owed Zambia on time.

He said the two countries had agreed in principle and was now going into capital sourcing.

The minister said Government was already in talks with the possible funders, who would bankroll the project.

"This means that Zimbabwe will have to pay off the debt without defaulting and this is expected to be paid within a period of three years," Mr Yaluma said.

Plans for the project were initially mooted in 1993, but the Zambian Government was reluctant because of the outstanding debts which it wanted Zimbabwe to clear first.

The proposed Batoka Power project site is located below the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River and once completed would boost power supply in the two countries.

Mr Yaluma said the Government had mandated Zambezi River Authority and Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Company to commence and conduct a feasibility study.

He said the project was expected to commence soon when all logistics were in place.

The meeting was attended by the Attorney General, Finance and Energy ministers from both Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Comments for Batoka Dam deal expected to go ahead

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Feb 15, 2012
Very Worrying
by: Tony

I am not sure who else is worried about this report, but I certainly am. The construction of this Dam would flood all the rapids below the Falls that currently constitute the White water rafting. It is a gorge of immense beauty and flooding it would be a tradgedy.

The dam has been on the cards for about 25 years now and they have never been able to afford it, so that might still be the case, but this is cropping up more and more in recent months, so there is definately a drive to make it happen.

Mar 20, 2012
Batoka Dam site no!
by: Concerned

This would be a catastrophic development. The dam would in essence be a dead dam, the steep sided gorge would not sustain a viable fish population. In addition one of the worlds last pristine environments would be lost. What is particularly upsetting is that there are many other opportunities to generate power. Zambia is already committed to the Kafue dam project and plans already exist for a second phase of the Vic falls power station. Zimbabwe should look to develop existing infrastructure which has been badly neglected. Before rushing into a new project.
I sincerely hope Zimbabwe defaults and this area can be saved.

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Botswana project poses threat to Victoria Falls

(The Botswana Gazette)

Botswana has apparently notified other Southern African countries of its intentions to extract some 30 cubic metres from the Chobe River where it meets the Zambezi River for a planned irrigation scheme in the Pandamatenga area for domestic water supply, according to the Standard newspaper in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean Minister of Water Resources Development and Management, Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo is quoted as saying the attractiveness of the mighty Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world, is under threat if Botswana goes ahead with its planned extraction of large volumes of water from Chobe River for the Pandamatenga area.

Sipepa-Nkomo said this would affect foreign currency inflows for both Zimbabwe and Zambia pumped in by tourists who throng the falls annually to witness the "smoke that thunders."

Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo reportedly told Parliament Zimbabwe was considering Botswana's submission.

However, he noted that the project might have serious repercussions on Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of water in the world, which is 1 708 metres wide. "They have notified us because the Zamcom (Zambezi Watercourse Commission) agreement requires them to do that and we are now considering their submissions," he said.

"Though more studies may be necessary, it looks like 30 cubic metres is a lot of water which might deprive the attractiveness of the Victoria Falls."

Victoria Falls, which is still preserved in its natural state, continues to attract tourists as more than 14, 000 tourists were recorded during the festive season.

The falls and the surrounding area has been declared National Parks and a World Heritage Site, thus preserving the area from excessive commercialization, the paper wrote.

The Minister said Mozambique had also notified Zimbabwean authorities of its intention to construct Mphanda Nkuwa Dam which is set to generate some 2275MW of electricity for the country.

The dam site, which is on the Zambezi River, lies between Cabora Bassa dam and the City of Tete in Mozambique. Unlike the Botswana project the Minister gave the Mozambique dam project thumbs up.

"This project is an advantage to Zimbabwe because we can import more power from Mozambique," Sipepa-Nkomo said.

Comments for Botswana project poses threat to Victoria Falls

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Feb 28, 2011
botswana project to pump water
by: Anonymous

Dear Sir, as I live on the zambezi this project would help the people up stream that the water could only be pumped when the zambezi is in flood, as this would help all flooding both on the zambia, botswana and namibia side, ofcourse if they pump when its low then yes it would have a big impact but like now it would be a god send. so please pass this information on It will MAKE NO difference to the victoria falls, falls. I can assure you as there is so much water coming down you have no idea, you must remember when it goes into the flood plains of the zambezi after the area of kalimbezia it goes for at least 30km and this water could sure be taken away from all these poor village peope if it was pumped, but as I said only for the flood seasons.

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Zambezi Sands Opens

(Victoria Falls)


Zambezi Sands River Camp opened its doors on the 7th August and things are going fabulously so far! Situated on the Upper Zambezi, the lodge sits unobtrusively on the banks of the river with 4 of the tents overlooking the rapids towards Zambia and the other 4 nestling quietly on a small tributary that oozes charm and quietude. This new lodge is in the middle of the Zambezi National Park and offers spectacular game viewing in open 4×4’s.

The spacious and comfortable Arabian style tents command breathtaking views of the river from the long veranda that also boasts a small plunge pool. The en-suite bathroom separates the bedroom from the lounge area and an outside shower completes each tent. Zambezi Sands offers excellent value for money – an opening special rate of 3 for 2 nights is available until December 2015.
(Victoria Falls 24 News)

Contact Us for information about their opening specials.

Comments for Zambezi Sands Opens

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Oct 17, 2014
Sounds interesting
by: Kuda

Imvelo Safaris have a good track record. I would love to visit their new lodge soon.

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Knight Rider Visits Victoria Falls

by Patrick Chitumba
(Victoria Falls 26th September 2011)

Micheal Hasselhoff

Micheal Hasselhoff

POPULAR American actor, singer and businessman David Michael Hasselhoff, popularly known as Michael Knight, was in the resort town of Victoria Falls on a three-day private visit.
He was expected to leave Zimbabwe yesterday.

The Hoff, as he is known these days, rose to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s as the leading actor in the popular television series Knight Rider, alongside his famous car KITT.
He was also part of another popular series - Baywatch - alongside blonde beauty Pamela Anderson.
Hasselhoff, who was in the company of his fiancée Hayley Louise Roberts and his cousin Nicholas Jean Corjon, said he was in the country to enjoy the splendour associated with one of the Seven Wonders of the

World, the Victoria Falls Rainforest and the mighty Zambezi River.
These are among other adventures that make the resort town the tourism hub of Southern Africa.
In an exclusive interview at the five-star Victoria Falls Hotel, where he booked in soon after his arrival from South Africa, Hasselhoff said this was his second visit to Victoria Falls.

"I was here in 1986 with my father and I will always want to visit this place. "I am here to show them the beauty of what God made, the Falls, it is so beautiful."
He added that he had fond memories of Victoria Falls with the most vivid one being when a monkey entered their hotel room.
"Back then, there was a sign written that when a monkey enters a guest room, you should report to management.

"So one day we walked into our room and found the monkey. We called management and they came and took it out and it was such an experience," he said.
He said he also remembers that he once bartered a pair of tennis shoes for an elephant tusk but was quick to note that things had changed.
"Right now there is the moratorium on the trade of ivory and I believe it is good for the protection of the wildlife. The last time I was here I traded my pair of tennis shoes for ivory," he said.

Hasselhoff added that he was touched by the fact that people in South Africa and Zimbabwe still recognised him for the role he played in Knight Rider.
"I also visited South Africa during the apartheid era to show support for the people who were fighting against it and what I have learnt is that the people want to see a happy world where there is love and friendship."

Hasselhoff also said his visit to Victoria Falls might prove worthwhile since he intended to propose to his fiancée while bungee jumping.
"I proposed to her when we were in South Africa when we were under the ocean in a cage watching sharks and she refused even after I had told her that I was going to open the gate of the cage and we will be eaten by sharks.

"I even proposed to here in front of charging elephants and she still said no so I will again propose, as I do bungee jumping or the swing," he said.
Hasselhoff also said that he was hoping to do white- water rafting in the Zambezi River together with his fiancée.
"For the next three days we are here in Victoria Falls and we intend to do a lot of adventure activities as we have a lot of fun with my fiancée and my cousin, as we see the world together.

"So basically we are having more of fun than anything here in Victoria Falls it is very spiritual. I think that sitting on the edge of the falls is the closest that you'll ever come to God. And you're going to want to jump. It is so powerful, you'll just want to give yourself back to God ," he said.

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Cricket Test Ground at Victoria Falls

by Martin Williamson

The site near the Victoria Falls could become one of the world's most attractive Test venues

The site near the Victoria Falls could become one of the world's most attractive Test venues

Zimbabwe Cricket has announced the construction of a major new cricket ground close to the iconic Victoria Falls, widely considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

The venue, which will have a capacity of up to 12,000, will be of Test standard, the first such major site outside Harare and Bulawayo, and will utilise the latest ecologically-friendly features. Approval has been obtained from the local authorities and ZC is now working with architects on the final design. The board hopes tenders will go out by the end of August.

"Victoria Falls is a wonderful location," ZC chief executive Ozias Bvute told Cricinfo."Its climatic conditions create the ideal environment for year-round cricket and its status as an international heritage site and one of the amazing wonders of the world will aid to the excitement of teams visiting it.

"Victoria Falls has always been a fascinating destination for visiting teams and they will undoubtedly revel at the prospect of playing between the mighty falls and surrounding wildlife".

"The ongoing 2010 World Cup means that the eyes of the world are focused on Africa as a sports tourism destination more than ever before and as one of the most loved sports in the world, it is only right that we play our part in making Zimbabwe a sporting destination of choice."

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo

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Victoria Falls Mountain Bike Event

by Cansaf
(Victoria falls)

Victoria Falls is further positioning itself as an adventure hotspot with the recent introduction of a three-day mountain biking event that will be run annually.

The destination already hosts the annual Victoria Falls Marathon and the Zambezi Man Challenge.

The three-day race takes cyclists through the Victoria Falls National Park, along the Batoka Gorge into Botswana, following the Zambezi River into the Zambezi National Park. The route is about 275km over the three days.

Wild Frontiers, Wild Horizons and Adventure Zone (Safari Par Excellence Zimbabwe) are the official organisers of the Zambezi Man Challenge.

The event challenges participants’ rafting skills on Grade 5 rapids, followed by timed mountain bike and 42.4km marathon events.

The 42.4km Victoria Falls Marathon, says Founder, Brett Williamson, is becoming hugely successful, leading runners through the town of Victoria Falls, over the border into Zambia and back into Zimbabwe on Zambezi River Drive.

The marathon, as well as a half marathon, will be hosted on August 29.

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International Airlines Set Their Sights on Victoria Falls

(Victoria Falls)

27 January 2015

Three airlines have engaged in preliminary discussions to introduce direct flights to Victoria Falls International Airport following the large scale expansion of the airport.

Priscilla Mawire, Acting Director of Vic Falls Airport confirmed to Tourism Update that Etihad, Kenya Airways and Emirates have shown interest in launching direct flights, but that the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe still needs to engage in a more serious approach with these airlines.

None of the airlines have applied for permits to operate in the country as of yet, Mawire said.

From SA Tourism Update (http://www.tourismupdate.co.za)

Should their plans succeed, these three airlines would make Victoria Falls easily accessible to travellers from UAE and East Africa. In addition, since Etihad and Emirates airlines connect a large web of traffic from all over the world to Abu Dabi and Dubai respectively, the market for Victoria Falls from these locations will greatly increase.

The expansion of the Victoria Falls Airport may also see other international airlines flying into the resort town.

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Jan 27, 2015
victoria falls airport opening
by: Riverboy19@aol.com

This is great news for everyone on the planet
especially for zimbabwe..rock on victoria falls carnival come december 2015..
again thank you zimbabwe.
trevor cremer
kamativi tin mines boy
dete and huwange safari lodge
los angeles california

Jan 29, 2015
Vic Falls
by: Anonymous

Even Chinese airlines are eyeing Vic Falls.

Aug 01, 2015
by: Riverboy19@aol.com

Hellow My friends in zimbabwe usa and the world.
So sad about Cecil the lion,lets hope his coward of a killer is sent back to Huwange game reserve and set free for the hyenas other lions ,wild dogs etc, to take care of him..no ifs or buts..thank you zimbabwe for extraditing this coward of a dentist, yukk..a prayer to Cecil..
see you all in december 2015,blast off coming up.

kamativi tin mines ex
milton high school for boys ex
Zimbabwe Diplomat..
los angeles
california usa

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High Water Rafting Season Starts

by Tony

Low water rafting season is now over. So its High Water Rafting from rapids 11 to 24 only. Pick up at about 6.30am and back in town at about 1.30 to 2 o'clock.

This will last through until about late February, when the river just gets too high and rafting closes altogether. When the water level drops around mid June rafting re opens.

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Nov 25, 2014
5th grand white water rafting..
by: trevor..

been down this so many times,ear infected with water, and right left knee injured, best fun off all especially the last rapid, where we all get to jump into the calm part of the mighty zambezi,best swimm ever back to shore,no crocks or hippos, phew...nice, and the cold beer at top of gorge was worth it...here we come again 2014/2015
thanks to all my friends at victoria falls, trevor
kamativi tin mines,los angeles, california AND Bulawayo..

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Victoria Falls working together to speed up immigration

by SA Toursim update
(6th Sept 2011)

Members of the tourism industry in Victoria Falls have come together to ensure immigration into the town will be both fast and efficient following concerns over delays at immigration at the Kazungula border. The industry will be working with the Immigration Office and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) office in Victoria Falls.

A Green Route has been established through the use of a tent, two tables and four chairs to assist non visa travellers and returning residents with their entry into the country. This was made possible by the Wilderness group’s non-profit organisation Children in the Wilderness. Immigration has also assigned two extra officers to the Green Route to help to alleviate the immigration delays.

The Victoria Falls Border from Zambia will be the next focus as most airlines fly into Livingstone Airport and transport almost 40% of guests coming to Zimbabwe.

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by Pete Roberts
(Victoria Falls)

Break-in and entry – a late night intruder caught in the act.

Break-in and entry – a late night intruder caught in the act.

I am lucky enough to be currently house-sitting in Victoria Falls, on the edge of town and on the elephant frontline. Most people here spend their time avoiding close encounters elephants – especially after dark. The walk home in the evening has an extra sense of adventure when there is the chance of bumping into an elephant walking down the road to meet you, and as anyone who has been on safari in Africa will testify, despite their size, elephants are quite capable of hiding silently behind a bush, only to emerge right in front of you at the last moment – even in daylight. In darkness often the only give-away sign of their presence is the breaking and crunching of branches – and that’s only if they are busy feeding!

Some years ago I had my first elephant encounter in such circumstances. On a moonless night, as I approached the house where I was then staying, I was suddenly surprised to find a dark shadow blocking almost the entire view. It was not until I made out the shape of the elephant’s rear end, after it passed by in front of me and silhouetted against the stars, that I realised there was an elephant five metres in front of me. The elephant had been feeding by the side of the road, and obviously alerted by my approach, had silently waited until the last minute before deserting its meal and crossing the road to an open area of bush. They are bigger at night, I promise you!

As reported previously (Click here), our local elephants have developed a particular taste for the well-watered gardens of residents. Almost every night some part of the town gains the attention of these gentle giants. To the tourist, the idea of having elephants in your garden is probably quite exciting. To the home-owner, and especially the proud gardener, they are a destructive menace. Not to mention the financial cost in terms of damage to walls, fences and other property. Pressure is building for National Parks to take action and with residents coming into conflict with these animals on a nightly basis, there is risk of an incident and someone getting injured or worse. The typical solution to ‘problem animals’ is to shoot them.

My early morning slumbers are disturbed by the close crashing of vegetation. I crawl from my bed, throw on some warm layers and grab my camera. Sneaking onto the front porch, my pocket torch feebly picks out the rear end of an elephant only a few metres away. Disturbed by my presence, and perhaps the light of the torch, it silently moves off, walking through the wire fence and on to the road. After a brief pause, he moves off up the road, presumably to another favoured feeding spot.

The crashing of more branches nearby alerts me to the presence of a second elephant, this one still in next door’s garden. After a patient wait of about an hour it follows the first, into the garden were I am waiting, through a convenient gap in the wall created by a previous incursion. In the darkness I am ready with my camera, and with hope rather than photographic skill I fire off some shots. The flash temporarily blinds me and I’m left with the image in my minds eye of the elephant facing me, ears extended, only a few metres away and looking straight at me, eyes glowing with the reflection of the flash. As my eyes re-adjust to the darkness, he turns away with typical elephant distain and heads off through the fence.

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Pack for a Purpose Initiative

Have you ever booked your holiday and also wanted to take a little something to help with the local community but didn’t know what to pack or how much? Pack for a Purpose (PfaP) is a non-profit organisation that can help you with exactly that sort of information. Simply put, it is a website that provides travellers with up-to-date information on the needs of different community projects all over the world.

One of the founders of Pack for a Purpose, Rebecca Rothney found herself in the same sort of situation the second time she wanted to visit Botswana. So she did a bit of research to try and figure out how much she could carry along with her and what she needed to carry.

In Victoria Falls, accommodations that have partnered with PfaP are listed below:
Lokuthula Lodges
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Victoria Falls Safari Suites
Victoria Falls Safari Club

And in the Hwange area:
Bomani Tented Lodge
Davison’s Camp
• Ivory Lodge
Little Makalolo Lodge
Somalisa Camp
The Hide

So how does it work? When you have decided on a destination, say Victoria Falls, you will need to go onto their website www.packforapurpose.org, click on “Destinations”, select “Continent” and click Africa, then the country Zimbabwe, and finally then the “Lodging”. If you are feeling strongly about making a contribution, note that not all Vic Falls accommodations are listed on the website, so you may want to pick your lodging based on the ones on PfaP before you finalise your booking.

On the page for the lodging, you will see the list of different needs. Some pages will list more than one community project. What you choose to support is entirely up to you.

When you arrive at your hotel/lodge, all you have to do is hand in your contribution when you check-in and they will deliver your gift for you.

To read more about the needs of the community projects in Zimbabwe’s destinations click here

If you are on Facebook, be sure to follow the PfaP Facebook Page

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Zimbabwe Artist - Dexterous Dexter

by Pete Roberts
(Victoria falls)

Zimbabwean Artist Dexter Nyamainashe's masterpiece, the ‘Global Village’, took him six years of work and dedication. In this mechanical wonder, animated by crankshafts, miniature sculptures bring to life scenes from everyday African life, with figurines preparing food, gathering wood and, of course, drinking and relaxing. Completing the global theme are groups of figures representing people from all over the world - again eating or drinking and getting up to the sort of things that we all like to get up to. Including the story of Christ and a message of practicing safe sex, there is much more to this African Ark than first meets the eye!

An artist of undoubted talent and skill, Dexter was born in Bulawayo in 1967. He started making wire animated figures, ‘moving art’ as he describes it, in Harare in 1994. Recycling and reusing scrap metal, plastic and pieces of cloth, Dexter creates colourful scenes inspired by everyday life, recorded with the keen eye of an artist who observes and records human behaviour with realism and humour.

Dexter’s vision has been to create a Global Village of different races and nationalities living peacefully together, a reflection of his Rastafarian beliefs and influenced by his growing up during the years of the Independence bush war and subsequent troubles. His smaller sculptures represent Zimbabwe’s and depict people living in harmony and prosperity.

Currently Dexter is ‘artist in residence’ at Shoestrings Backpackers Lodge in Victoria Falls, where he is often to be found showing groups of guests his mechanical masterpiece. Earning a living through ‘spinning’, Dexter rotates the handles of the crankshafts to bring to life his creations, telling its story and entertaining tourists of all nationalities.

Dexter makes smaller, portable versions of his mechanical sculptures in varying sizes and available for sale. These mini ‘African Arks’, each a unique piece of art, make an original and yet typically African souvenir and memento.

Clink on the link to see more talented Zimbabwean Artists

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Victoria Falls restaurant above board

Shearwater adventures, a tourist company accused of illegally constructing a new development inside the world famous rainforest in Victoria Falls, insists everything was done above board. The development consists of a new kitchen, a top class restaurant and bar, plus a converted and expanded information centre, all within the core zone of the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site.

Environmentalists who spoke to SW Radio Africa last week said the Victoria Falls - one of the seven natural wonders of the world - was under threat due to the new development in the highly ecologically sensitive core zone.
They said the development violates national, regional and international regulations under which a World Heritage Site is governed. But Paul Connolly, a legal advisor to Shearwater, told us it was incorrect to suggest the company broke any laws.
Connolly said: “There are UNESCO regulations pertaining to the site. The UNESCO regulations say, among other things, that there should be no developments in an area which is not already designated a facilities area.
“Shearwater has simply improved and developed infrastructure within the physical parameters of the buildings that have been in existence for a long time. This is already a developed area and Shearwater did not go an inch outside that designated area.”

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Nov 15, 2010
Rigidity to change
by: Noma

The problem is not wt Shearwater but MMZ is rigid to change. Vic Falls is stagnant in terms of development and just this development...then all this noise. We need more of this Shearwater, we accommodate change.

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Victoria Falls Leading Hotels

by Faniso Zimunya
(Victoria Falls)


The World Travel Awards of 2014 recognised the Victoria Falls Hotel (https://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/victoria-falls-hotel.html) as Zimbabwe’s Leading Hotel. This is the 6th time that the hotel has received this award, in past years competing only with The Stanley and Livingstone Hotel located in the same area of Victoria Falls Town. Victoria Falls Hotel was also awarded Leading Hotel Suite. In the past, the hotel has received awards and nominations for Zimbabwe’s Leading Resort by the World Travel Awards. The Victoria Falls Hotel is one of the most famous in Africa, certainly a favourite among visitors to the Victoria Falls. It was built in 1904 and has a long history with guests from all over the globe, famous and nonfamous.

For Zimbabwe’s Leading Private Game Reserve, the World Travel Awards gave the award to The Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve, also in Victoria Falls (https://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/stanley-and-livingstone.html). This is the second time that the game reserve has received this award. In previous years, they won the Zimbabwe’s Leading Hotel Award for 4 years in a row from 2009 to 2012. The safari lodge is situated 10 minutes drive out of Victoria Falls on a private game reserve the lush gardens, water features and sparkling swimming pool makes this truly, an oasis in the African bush.

On the other side of the Zambezi, The Royal Livingstone Hotel (https://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/royal-livingstone-hotel.html) was recognised as Zambia’s Leading Hotel for the 10th time now. The 5 star Sun International hotel is about 5km from the Zambia-Zimbabwe border and stretches along the banks of the Zambezi River. The Royal Livingstone Hotel was built on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls and opened in 2001, but if you are familiar with the colonial style of architecture, you would not think that it was built just 13 years ago. You will, however, greatly appreciate the design of this magnificent accommodation option. Its sister hotel Zambezi Sun was also nominated for the award. The Travel + Leisure 2014 World’s Best Awards recognised Royal Livingstone Hotel as one of the best hotels in Africa and the Middle East. Tripadvisor also gave the hotel their Certificate of Excellence.

“The World Travel Awards celebrates excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the World Travel Award brand is recognised globally as a hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire. The annual programme is renowned as the most prestigious and comprehensive in the travel and tourism industry.” – breakingtravelnews.com

See more award winners on their website - http://www.worldtravelawards.com/

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Oct 17, 2014
Excellent indeed
by: Tino

Dispite global trends its good to know that some establishments still maintain world class standards. Well done!

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Zimbabwe and Zambia battle each other for tourists in Vic Falls

by Jean Liou

VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe (AFP) – "Tourists are back!" said Knowledge, all smiles at the Victoria Falls tourism office.

His sentiment is shared widely in this resort town on the edge of the mile-wide waterfall, where it's hard to remember that three years ago Zimbabwe was trapped in a seemingly endless spiral of hyperinflation, hunger and political violence.

Victoria Falls had become a ghost town as tourists opted for the comforts and safety of resorts on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River, where the once sleepy town of Livingstone enjoyed a tourism boom as Zimbabwe collapsed.

"The Zambian side has definitively profited from all the problems in Zimbabwe," said Sarah, who sells excursions for at the Zambezi Sun, part of a South African hotel chain that opened on the Zambian side in 2001.

Hotels, lodges and other tourist attractions have mushroomed over the past decade around Livingstone, which became so popular that it now boasts several daily direct flights to South Africa.

But a brand new curio market on the main road lies empty as tourists fly in and hop across the border.

"We are not happy, the situation is bad," said the Livingstone Tourism Association. "They come here for activities and they go to Zimbabwe for accommodation."

Livingstone still runs a brisk trade in business travel by hosting conferences and corporate team-building workshops, but now faces stiff competition with Victoria Falls for leisure travellers.

Zimbabwe's tourism earnings jumped 47 percent last year to $770 million, as the number of visitors rose 15 percent to 2.3 million nationally, with Victoria Falls the country's biggest attraction, according to the tourism ministry.

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi hopes to grow that number to five billion dollars by 2015.

"However, this is on condition that the current peace and stability in the country prevails and the country is able to spin a more positive image of itself," he told reporters last month.

Since Zimbabwe adopted the US dollar two years ago, prices are lower in Victoria Falls than in Livingstone, where entrance to the derelict Railway Museum costs $15 for foreigners.

"It is cheaper here, and people can walk to the falls. They don't have to take a taxi or whatever," said Duni, a Victoria Falls hawker offering sunset cruises, helicopter rides, rafting, bungee jumps and safaris to passers-by on the sidewalk.

While Victoria Falls sits at the river edge, Livingstone is 10 kilometres (six miles) away, with a fleet of blue taxis shuttling visitors around for $10 a pop.

Opinion is divided on which side offers the better view of the 108-metre (360-foot) high falls, though the Zimbabwean side has a greater variety of viewpoints.

Confident in its renaissance, Victoria Falls has asked for Chinese aid to expand its airport to accommodate bigger planes.

But the throngs of street vendors trailing tourists are a constant reminder that it's still not business as usual.

Among the souvenirs on offer, a 100-trillion-dollar note from the old Zimbabwe currency, a worthless amount during the age of hyperinflation. Its relegation to the trinket shelves is what allowed to Victoria Falls to welcome visitors again.

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Elephants Cause Traffic Jam

by Tony
(Vic Falls)

Where else in the world would you see this?

Where else in the world would you see this?

Recently a herd of totally mature Elephants bulls moved into Victoria Falls Town. They wander through the suburbs doing what they do, which is eat…. a lot.

It’s quite surreal to witness these mighty animals which can a crush a car with a single blow of their trunk, peacefully going about their business. In most cases completely unperturbed by humans.

The town is built upon ancient elephants trails and these animals believe, rightly so, that it’s just part of their feeding grounds, they have no idea of boundaries or why a concrete wall is there, all the Elephant knows is that if that if the leaves smell good they are going to eat them. So a small wall is not going to deter him. Many residents a have been very upset with these great grey creatures as they have caused extensive damage to their property.

What’s even more amazing with this herd of mature bulls is that they have adopted and are protecting a small elephant calf, which at its age should be still suckling on its mother’s milk. No one has any idea why this youngster has broken away from the breeding herd and is with these bulls but at the moment all is well and the baby is doing just fine.

The group have been nicknamed the "Urban Legends and the Street Kid"

The most characteristic feature of elephants is their elongated "trunk" or "proboscis", which is a fusion of nose and upper lip. It has been found out that an elephant trunk has more than 40,000 muscles. The trunk is used for various purposes such as feeding, drinking, defending, interaction with others and also as a sensory organ.

"Tusk" or "ivory", which is another extraordinary feature of an elephant, is nothing but the second upper incisor that grows continuously. An elephant may be either right-tusked or left-tusked as we are right or left handed.

The skin of elephant is about 2.5 cm thick and covered with light hairs.

Elephants usually wallow in mud to generate heat and also to protect from the harmful rays of the sun and insects.
The African Elephant has large ears with a network of veins, by flapping the ears the blood in the veins is cooled and in doing so the Elephants body temperature is maintained.

Elephants are herbivores and eat about 5% of their body weight. They spend nearly 16 hours a day in eating, however only 40% of the ingested food gets digested. They drink about 30-50 gallons of water.

Females mature at about 11 years of age and stay in breeding herds with the other older females. Whereas males mature between 12 to 15 years of age and then moved in bachelor herds.

Adult female elephant is called "cow" and adult male elephant is called "bull". The sexual features are not so distinct for both males and females, and are often confused during identification. Male possesses internal testes, which can’t be seen and female possesses two teats between her front legs. Usually females are identified by their pronounced forehead, which is not present in the case of males.

The gestation period is 22 months, which is the longest of all the existing land animals. One calf is born at a time (very rarely twins). The young calf is nearly blind. It uses its trunk to explore its surroundings and relies on elders of that certain group. At birth, an elephant calf weighs about 100-120 kilograms and is about 2.5 feet tall.

An elephant may live as long as 60-70 years. However, the oldest recorded elephant is 82 years.

In fact, they are quite gentle creatures and have no natural enemies. But, in spite of their calmness and non-disturbing character, it is very unfortunate to say that elephants have been listed as an "endangered animal" because of their declining population. Both the African Elephant and the Asian Elephant are included in the endangered species list. Their population decreases mainly because of habitat loss and human poaching for ivory and flesh.

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Jul 12, 2010
by: Inge Skliros

How wonderful to see that the ellies are comfortable enough with the people and the cars to venture into town. I wonder if they have 'met' the elephants that are trained for riding and have lost their fear of humans? Truly and extraordinary event! I hope the baby continues to thrive with his 'uncles'. Please keep us informed on the herd and the baby via the blog!

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Air Zimbabwe Offers Special Fares

(Victoria Falls)

20 March 2015

Zimbabwe's national airline , Air Zimbabwe, has introduced special low fares for flights between Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Johannesburg. The special fares are applicable during "Low Season" only (see below), and include departure tax.

Harare - Victoria Falls - Harare
One Way $110
Return $200
Harare - Bulawayo - Harare
One Way $90
Return $160
Harare - Johannesburg - Harare
One Way $170
Return $290

Low Season
5 January to 31 March
21 April to 31 July
16 August to 30 November
High Season
1 December to 4 January
1 April to 20 April

With increased competition for flights in the region, Air Zimbabwe's special fares most certainly compete with the low cost carrier FlyAfrica.

Please contact Air Zimbabwe directly for Terms & Conditions and children's rates.
Flight bookings: 263-4-575021 263-4-575021.

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Mar 20, 2015
by: Anonymous

Competition is always good for the consumer.

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Record Floods Predicted - Victoria Falls

by Pete Roberts
(Victoria Falls)

Huge Spray of the Falls at Sunrise

Huge Spray of the Falls at Sunrise

Earlier this year five countries in southern Africa issued flood warnings following heavy rains in the region. Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe issued alerts predicting that serious flooding could affect tens of thousands of people, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

However predicting the nature of the Zambezi River is not easy, with a catchment basin of 1,390,000 km² (537,000 miles²), monitoring rainfall and modelling river flow is a difficult job. Locals with a knowledge of the river often predict high floods, confident that when they do come they can say “told you so”! But rarely do these major floods materialise here at the Falls. Some may still recall the floods of the late 1950’s when the levels of the river in the gorge just below the Falls rose and partly submerged the recently built Power Station, threatening to wash it away into the rapids.. (A monument marking the flood level can be seen on the Zambian side of the river above the Falls on the way to Livingstone).

At the Victoria Falls records have been kept since 1906 of the level of the river at the measuring post, just over one mile above the Falls (close to the Big Tree). At this point the river is at its widest, inclusive of islands, a distance of over one and a quarter miles from bank to bank.

These records show that the Zambezi normally reaches its highest level here from about the end of March to the end of April in each year. However, the highest level has been reached as late in the year as 1st June and as early in the year as 7th March. This was the phenomenal flood of 1958 which reached a height of 2,907.75 feet above sea level at the measuring post.

At the beginning of March this year figures from the Victoria Falls Hydro-Station showed that the river was 30 cm higher than at the same time last year, with the river rising steadily by 3 cm a day. River levels then stabilized for a couple of weeks, with levels lower than last year, before rising again at the end of the month. Levels are still 10 cm off that recorded in 2009.

Could this indicate the beginning of the so-called ‘second surge’ with second wave of floodwater reaching the Falls from the upper catchment areas and the Barotse floodplains? Will the Victoria Falls flood to levels never previously recorded? Only old story tellers and time will give you an answer.

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History of the Victoria Falls Bridge

by Tony

"Sun, Steal & Spray" a new book on the history of the Victoria Falls Bridge

This month sees publication of a new book on the Victoria Falls Bridge. Entitled ‘Sun, Steal & Spray’, and written by our own man on ground in Victoria Falls, Peter Roberts, the book is a thorough history of the planning and construction of the bridge and is well illustrated will photographs from the period. The book will be available for sale from the Bridge Visitor Centre, located on the Zambian side of the bridge, behind the viewing platform and restaurant, as well as many other outlets in town. Or you can order your copy through us. Contact us

The book has taken over nine months of research, from the British Library, London, to the Bulawayo Railway Museum, and was sponsored by the Victoria Falls Bridge Company who have recently launched their historical Bridge Tours, a specialised presentation and exploration of the bridge.

Visit this link "Historical Bridge Tour" to find out more about these excellent tours operated by Shearwater Adventures.

We have featured several articles about the bridge and its construction in our newsletters. To have a look at some back issues Click here

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South Africa makes breakthrough in cure for malaria

by SA Tourism news
(13 Thu, Sep 2012)

Researchers at the University of Cape Town have announced that they have made a huge breakthrough in research for a cure for malaria. They discovered a compound that has the potential to cure malaria in a single dose.

An effective treatment for malaria would have the potential to considerably boost tourism to the continent as the fear of contracting the disease remains a major deterrent to many tourists.

So far, the drug has had a 100% success rate on animals. The next step in the research is to prepare the compound for human trials.

In addition to treating the disease, the compound might be able to block transmission of the parasite from person to person and could potentially lead to the eradication of the malaria altogether.

"This will be a gift from South Africa to the rest of the continent," Science and Technology Minister, Naledi Pandor, said when she announced the exciting news at a press meeting in Cape Town last week.

If the compound is successful, it is expected to be available on the market by 2020.

Dorine Reinstein
Tourism Update

If you would like to receive similar updates on everything that happens in the Victoria Falls area - why not sign up for our FREE newsletter, for full details and back issues Click Here.
You can also join us on Facebook and receive all the latest information.

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Victoria Falls Airport Facelift commencing July

by Simon Moyo
(Victoria Falls, May 22, 2012)

Work on expanding the Victoria Falls Airport starts July according to Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walter Mzembi.

He told Radio VOP that this followed the signing of a $150 million dollar agreement with China Exim Bank.

Upgrade of the airport is a timely development as the country prepares to co-host the United Nations World Tourism General Assembly (UNWTO) with neighbouring Zambia.

"Following this signing we are targeting to have the project commence and be completed well ahead of the 2013 United Nations World Tourism General Assembly. This we know is achievable," said Mzembi.

"The contractors have assured government and the UNWTO Inter-Ministerial Committees that they have already started mobilising equipment to the site so that work starts as soon as possible," he said.

The expansion, which had been on the cards for nearly three years, will see bigger and wide-bodied aircrafts such as airbus A340 and Boeing 777 flying directly into the resort town, making it accessible to the outside world.

"The development of the airport is a fulfilment of Civil Aviation of Zimbabwe's (CAAZ) role as an enabler in the tourism sector," Mzembi said.

CAAZ Board chairperson, Jacob Mudenda, said the Environmental Impact Assessments were being corrected and would be re-submitted to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) for approval before the project takes off. CAAZ is expected to pay a fee of US$2,4 million to EMA.

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Jul 14, 2012
vic falls expansion
by: george

i would love to see some photos in hd of the work and the progress of refurbisment of this very important airport in souther-africa. i beleive the time is now for vic falls to shine and become one in the top ten destinations in the world. plse up load the photos for ethusiatic people like us.

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Victoria Falls Hotel 2013 refurbishment

by Victoria falls
(18th April 2013)

Green screening in place

Green screening in place

The 2013 refurbishment is under way

The Victoria Falls Hotel is excited to announce that our much anticipated refurbishment has begun in earnest with the building contractors arriving and beginning the physical work. We have been busy for some time already with many aspects such as sourcing the required materials and preparations to commence. Below is our anticipated scope of work and dates for completion for each section of the refurbishment program. Rest assured that we have worked hard to plan the entire process to cause as little disruption as possible to bookings and guests.

Timetable to completion and scope of work

We are working to a carefully planned schedule to get our refurbishment done in the quickest time possible. In most cases we are boarding off the entire working areas to minimise noise and other disruptions to our guests. The refurbishment aims to bring the Victoria Falls Hotel to the standard of a true Luxury 5 Star product.

We have already started on the Stables Wing as a first priority and we expect to reach completion of the wing by early July. All deluxe rooms and suites will undergo a soft refurbishment, furniture replacement, lighting replacements, and the re-tiling and upgrading of the bathrooms.

Over on the North Hammerhead Wing work has also begun and should be completed by mid-June. The existing suites will be converted into a more luxurious space through enlarging the rooms and remodeling the lounge and bathrooms. They will also undergo a soft refurbishment, replacement of furniture and light replacements.

The Livingstone Room is being worked on in two stages. The first stage comprises replacement of all carpets, curtains, fans and furniture and conversion of windows to French doors. This stage should be completed by end of June. The Livingstone Room will then re-open to guests in the evenings, amidst external work which will continue from mid-May until mid-August. The external work will comprise the building of a new entrance and covered veranda.

Our South Hammerhead Wing refurbishment will begin mid-June with expected completion in August. The refurbishment scope will be the same as that of North Hammerhead described above.

On the world famous Stanley's Terrace, extensive refurbishment & expansion will begin early June and should be ready by middle of August. The Terrace will be expanded into the current bar area, seeing the bar move to the current Stanley's room. In addition a larger upgraded kitchen will be installed to service the Terrace. The bar service will relocate to The Pool and Jungle Junction area during the refurbishment.

The Pool Pavilion refurbishment will begin late May, during the coldest months. Late June should see it come to completion. The changes include extensive tiling and the creation of open plan arches. The pool will be accessible to guests during this time.

Lastly the public areas of Main Lounge, Bulawayo and Centenary Rooms will undergo a complete soft refurbishment with furniture and lighting replacements. This will bring to finality the refurbishment works.

I look forward to welcoming you to the newly refurbished Victoria Falls Hotel in the near future.

Thanks and Regards,

Giulio Togni
General Manager - The Victoria Falls Hotel

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Jul 06, 2014
Dont lose the magic
by: Anonymous

The Vic falls hotel is attractive because it has all the nostalgia of a bygone time - if you replace all of the colonial heritage furnishings and spruce up the faded grandeur of the old lady you risk losing some of the magic - take care not to make it just like any other hotel - because then people will not be attracted to visiting it. repairs and maintenance - fair enough - but carefully does it.

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White Water Rafting season closes 5th Feb 2011

by Shearwater Adventures

Please be advised that the curtain came down on the White Water Rafting season on February 5, 2011 for all commercial trips, as the water level has reached the precautionary cut off level.
We hope to resume the High Water trips in May, depending on the water level. We will keep you updated.

We thank you for all the support throughout the season and always. We hope your clients had loads to rave about.

Canoeing presents a refreshing opportunity for the rafting enthusiasts during the rafting off-season to get up close to the upper Zambezi river and appreciate its beauty and grandeur. Canoeing trips run throughout the year and we have a cocktail of trips to choose from. Trips are confirmed with a minimum of 4 pax, and a minimum age restriction of 10, but minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian.

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by Pete Roberts
(Victoria Falls)

At the end of June a huge rubbish clean up was organised by the Victoria Falls community. Sponsored by the Victoria Falls Green Fund, a voluntary environmental awareness project supported by the tourism industry, the day was more than just a litter pick, but an attempt at reminding the residents and business of Victoria Falls of the environmental responsibilities of living within a National Park. Bringing business and communities together, over 600 volunteers turned out to help scour the town and suburbs clear of rubbish.

In recent years municipality rubbish collection services have been disrupted by ‘the situation’, a residents call the economic meltdown of their country, and regular refuse collections were for some years irregular or suspended. Many residents resorted to burning and burying their own rubbish. In some cases rubbish was, and still is, left at small dumping points along residential streets (see picture). These mini rubbish dumps, which are burnt periodically, have become daily points of attraction for stray dogs, wild baboons, warthogs and even elephants. All have a good sniff around the rubbish, and together with the wind and other agents of dispersal, have a good go a re-distributing it randomly around the bush (I’ve even found plastic rubbish in elephant poo!). Plastic bags and bottles, together with aluminum drinks cans, make up the large proportion of this unsightly problem.

With the emphasis on residents and businesses taking responsibility for clearing areas local to their homes and business premises, it is hoped that all will play a more active role in ensuring that the town, and the surrounding bush, is kept clean of the rubbish and waste which has caused such an unsightly problem in recent years.

Waste is a big problem in Victoria Falls, with the rapid growth of the town in recent decades and an overflowing landfill dump on the edge of town. It is hoped that the municipality will be encouraged to improve the management of the waste site and collection services, and that residents will become more aware of the rubbish they generate and how they dispose of it. In a country where recycling opportunities are minimal, it pays for consumers to be aware of the rubbish they generate, and to reduce, re-use and recycle as much as they can.

The concern is, however, that residents, businesses and even the local municipality, will come to rely on these organised litter picks to solve their rubbish problems.


- Be aware of the potential rubbish you are bringing with you on holiday. Minimise your luggage, and support local businesses, by buying toiletries locally on arrival.

- Bring a re-usable drinking water bottle. The tap water in Victoria Falls is safe to drink, so a re-usable bottle is ideal. Even if you prefer bottled mineral water, buy one large bottle and re-fill from this.

- Use strong re-usable shopping bags instead of many smaller disposable bags. Many of the shops will also charge you for their plastic bags, so it pays to have a stronger, longer lasting alternative.

- For waster items such as batteries, where there are no recycling facilities available, take these with you and recycle where you can – often airports have such recycling points.

- Be aware of the rubbish you generate during your stay, minimise where possible and always dispose of properly. If you are concerned about environmental issues, let your tour operator, hotel and booking agents know – hopefully you can play a part in the ‘greening’ of Victoria Falls!

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Possible Tollgate on the Victoria Falls Bridge

THE Emerged Railways Properties (ERP) Private Limited is set to begin tolling the Victoria Falls Bridge in a bid to raise the necessary funds to maintain this state of the art infrastructure which is over 100 years old, an official has said.

In a statement, the joint secretary of ERP, Mr Misheck Matanhire, noted that they recently held a consultative stakeholders meeting to inform all its publics of the impending tolling of the bridge.

“The ERP Private Limited successfully held a well attended consultative stakeholders meeting to inform stakeholders of the impending tolling of the Victoria Falls Bridge and to get any suggestions from stakeholders on the intended tolling,” he said.

Mr Matanhire said the proposed tolling of the bridge was a means of raising financial aid for the maintenance of the historic superstructure, which came as recommendations made by international consultants who said it could last another 100 years if properly maintained.

“Tolling of the bridge is meant to raise funding for major bridge renewal works as recommended by our international consultants who assessed the structural soundness of the bridge and recommended certain major works which would give the bridge a lease of life of another 100 years,” he said.

He also revealed that during the consultative meeting, various stakeholders made varied suggestions as to how the tolling system is going to operate, issues which include access to the bridge, which vehicles would be tollable and the levels of the toll fees.

“Stakeholders made various suggestions on access to the bridge, tollable vehicles, level of toll fees, multiplicity of tolls and charges and other possible funding options,” he said.

ERP has other sources of revenue, which, however, fall short hence the proposal of the tollgates.

Recently an Engineer of ERP, Mr Herbert Dvinotyiwei, said they need more than US$1.9 million to inject into the maintenance of the bridge, whereby US$800 000 will be for the replacement of the railway deck; US$300 000 for the replacement of the footway deck and US$800 000 for the replacement of the roadway deck.

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Human Skeletons Unearthed in Victoria Falls

by Patrick Chitumba

TWO Iron Age skeletons believed to have been buried between 9-1100AD and now between 600-700 years old have been discovered in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

The skeletons were discovered by contractors who were excavating land to set up an Econet wireless base station near A 'Zambezi River Lodge, about 100 metres from the banks of the mighty Zambezi River.

In an interview at the site, the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe chief archaeologist, Mr Tungamirai Chipunza, said preliminary findings point out that one of the skeletons was of a full grown adult.

He said they were still to confirm the status of the other skeleton.

“I can confirm that the skeletons are from the Iron Age. The skeletons were discovered in two separate holes and could have been buried between 9-1100AD. There is evidence that there could have been settlers along the river.

“In the graves were artifacts that included pots, iron bangles and a piece of a smoking pipe,” he said.

“This is a base station for Econet. Contractors excavating accidentally hit the graves at 110metres.

“In the first hole, they did not see that they had hit a grave and scooped the bones and skull outside. However, on the second hole, they quickly noticed the second skeleton and immediately stopped digging.”

Mr Chipunza said the iron bangles were not joined as the endings are crossing each other.

“These bangles are similar to bangles we have in the museum and they relate to this period when the people then were wearing iron bangles. After that period people started wearing copper and bronze bangles.

“So this is an archaeological grave and we are going to thoroughly analyse every thing we find here. Using today's technology we want to go and put a face to the skeletons and see what they really looked like.”

Mr Chipunza said the second grave could have been for a man because there is a smoking pipe, which he said was decorated with a head of an arrow.

“This means that the person could have been a hunter. Today's Tonga and Nambya people decorate their articles and even utility articles meaning that tradition has been theirs since the late early Iron Age,” he said.

Mr Chipunza said because of the nature of the ground, which is rocky, drainage was very good.

“When a person is buried in this area, all bodily fluids drain and the skeleton is well preserved,” he said.

Mr Chipunza said Victoria Falls had evidence of early Stone Age sites along the Zambezi River

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Littering and Dumping in Victoria Falls Carries Fines

(Victoria Falls)

29 January, 2016

The basic role of the Urban Councils Act in Zimbabwe is to regulate "the affairs of cities, municipalities, towns and local boards" (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/). This means that it governs local authorities in urban areas (while the Rural District Act governs local authorities in rural areas).

According to the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29: 15), it is an offense to throw litter such as waste containers, clippings, rubbish, rubble, garden waste or vegetable matter, paper, etc. or any other matter or substance which is unwholesome, offensive or untidy.

In Victoria Falls, the Anti-Litter By-Laws have offences and penalties, which are as follows:

1. Street littering (bus tickets, food wrappers, cigarette packets etc) - US$ 50

2. Littering at picnic spots, lay-bys, parks and open spaces - US$ 50

3. Discharging rubbish from a vehicle - US$100

4. Dumping of garden refuse or building rubble where prohibited - US$250

5. Dumping of dead animals, filth or any substance which is unwholesome, offensive or untidy - US$300

6. Dumping of hazardous waste material - US$1000

7. Affixing a poster, sign or advertisement of any material to a wall, post, tree - US$300

8. Continuing contravention, for each day during which the contravention continues - US$100

In the Victoria Falls town centre, you will find trash receptacles along the roads, and at the supermarkets. If, for some rare reason you cannot find one, or they are filled up, the lodges and hotels in town will have somewhere for you to get rid of refuse.


Victoria Falls Green Fund - Environment Africa.
Email: edith@environmentafrica.org
EMA Toll free: 08080028
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The Victoria Falls Hotel Latest News

(17th October 2012)

The Victoria Falls Hotel in 1904 the year it originally opened

The Victoria Falls Hotel in 1904 the year it originally opened

108 Years old and still offering the best hospitality in Victoria Falls

New General Manager Appointed

The Victoria Falls Hotel Partnership, made up of African Sun and Meikles Hospitality, has appointed a new General Manager for the hotel. He is Mr Guilio Togni, who will take up the post on November 1.
Mr Togni brings many years' experience in hospitality management, most recently as Manager of The Royal Livingstone Hotel just across the Zambezi River in Livingstone, Zambia. Previous career experience has been obtained at The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa and at hotels such as Radisson SAS Waterfront, Carlucci's Delicatessen, The Beverly Hills Sun Inter-Continental and The Cellar Country House. He has been in the industry for almost 20 years and looks forward to welcoming guests from across the world to The Victoria Falls Hotel.

The 2012/2013 Refurbishment is under way

The continuous upgrading of all aspects of The Victoria Falls Hotel is an essential component in our drive to ensure that the hotel is second to none. A number of recent refurbishment activities have been undertaken as part of the current overall programme:

• Flat-screen TVs have been installed in all of the hotels 161 rooms and suites
• New mattresses have been placed in all of our deluxe rooms and suites
• New feather pillows and duvets have been introduced in all deluxe rooms and suites
• New linen has been placed in all deluxe rooms and suites

Coming Up

• Mini bars will be installed for all 161 rooms and suites after January 2013
• New mattresses will be placed in all standard rooms after November 2012
• New feather pillows, duvets and linen will be placed in all standard rooms after November 2012

In the Stables Wing, 42 deluxe rooms and two honeymoon suites will see changes:
replacement of carpets, curtains and furniture, as well as a soft refurbishment of the bathrooms. Work on this will take place between December 2012 and March 2013.

Suite refurbishment is also taking place in the 45, 55, Songwe, Baines and Livingstone suites. Full refurbishment of these suites will be undertaken, including enlargement of their floor space. Work will be completed by June 2013.

The Livingstone Room, which is the hotel's flagship dining venue, will undergo total refurbishment, with incorporation of a new verandah and entrance from the courtyard. The Livingstone Room will be closed for the entire month of February 2013 to enable this work to be carried out.

Stanley's Bar will be moved to Stanley's Room to allow for more seating capacity on the Terrace, and this will have been done by June 2013.
The swimming pool area will see conversion of the old kitchen to a pavilion for guest use by June 2013. Complete re-laying and refurbishment of the tennis courts is under way and this will be complete by November 2012. Soft refurbishment of the main lounge, Bulawayo Room and e-lounge is scheduled for completion by June 2013.

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Victoria Falls International Airport Undergoes Massive Upgrade

by Faniso Zimunya
(Victoria Falls)

Victoria Falls Airport (image by ZNCC)

Victoria Falls Airport (image by ZNCC)

Construction has already begun at Victoria Falls International Airport in order to increase its size and capacity on a large scale. After the refurbishment, the airport will be able to land and handle larger and wider aircraft than it currently manages. This means that there will be an opportunity for more flights and airlines to traffic the country and the region. The new airport will be large enough to handle 17 medium sized aeroplanes plus three Boeing 747 aircrafts at any one time. The $150 million dollar project will turn the airport into an International one, rather than a regional airport.

The number of visitors is already increasing, and is expected to keep growing after the expansion is complete. The manager of the Victoria Falls International Airport, Ronnie Masawi states that after completion, the airport would be able to accommodate three times more passengers than before, with a yearly capacity of 1.25 million international and regional passengers.

Apart from a new 4km runway, the new airport will have a new international terminal building, as well as a revamped domestic terminal. The existing runway will be used as a taxiway. A new control tower with more modern equipment is also under construction. A new fire station will be added to the airport as well. In addition, the aircraft housing and visitors’ parking lot will be expanded.

The entire project is set to be completed by August of 2015 and will see the Victoria Falls International Airport being upgraded to a Category II airport. Low cost air carrier flyafrica.com are considering increasing routes from Victoria Falls. They currently service a Victoria Falls-Johannesburg route.

Zimbabwean Government has funding from China's Export-Import (Exim) Bank loan for the expansion of Victoria Falls International Airport, and constructed is being done by China Jiangsu International Group.

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Sep 16, 2014
Good News!
by: Anthony

This is very good news, especially for the Southern African Region. Things are looking up for Zimbabwe.

Sep 01, 2015
by: Joerg Seufert

Great thing the upgrade of the airport.

Will Emirates then also land in Vic Falls?

Would be the thing , i think. ;-)

Lets cross fingers

Kind regards

Joerg Seufert, Katima Mulilo

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Temperatures Drop to Below Freezing

by Pete Roberts
(Victoria Falls - 30/6/2011)

Overnight temperatures dropped to below freezing in Victoria Falls town over the weekend! Whilst temperatures in the bush often drop below zero as you travel south (Hwange for example often experiences minus temperatures during winter – in fact this is one of the factors that determine the local vegetation patterns in the region), frosts at the Victoria Falls themselves are very rare.

In the 1960’s ‘Guide to the Victoria Falls’, written by Jonah Woods, the following is recorded:

“In winter icicles have been known to form on trees in the Rain Forest during an occasional heavy frost but theirs is a short-lived span once the sun appears in the heavens. Sir Peveril and Lady William-Powlett, on their first visit to the Victoria Falls in 1953, were lucky to see and photograph this most unusual occurrence at dawn on 4th July that year.”

Indeed the spray and mists from the Falls must make for some very interesting frost formations. Unfortunately the book did not reproduce the photographs and they are most probably now lost. Has anyone reading this ever seen or photographed frosts in the rainforest at the Falls? If so please let us know!

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Zambezi Water Levels Higher Than Normal

The Zambezi

“The water in the Zambezi is much higher than is normal for this time of year,” Guido van Langenhove told IPS. “This morning we measured three metres at Katima Mulilo, normally it should be half that.” The Zambezi is considered to be flooding when the water level breaks through the 6-metre mark.

Van Langenhove, Director of Hydrology in Namibia’s Ministry of AgricultureM warns that floodwater from heavy December downpours in upstream Angola are gradually making their way down Southern Africa’s largest river, traversing six countries.

“The Zambezi usually reaches its peak around March or April, but there are signs that flooding will occur earlier, depending on the rain in the coming months.”

Flooding of the mighty Zambezi has caused havoc in the basin in the past, notably in 2000, 2001 and 2007.

Water authorities in the region have strengthened early warning systems to head off disasters that leave people like Hamaundu destitute.

“We get readings from six stations in the Zambezi and its tributaries, that allow us to predict the water levels two weeks in advance,” says Van Langenhove about the area where four countries share a common border along the Zambezi.

“In addition we get satellite images from NASA that allow us to monitor the rainfall and flooding situation.”

He is keeping a close eye on another part of Namibia, the Cuvelai Basin in the central north, which experienced severe floods in 2008 and 2009. An area inhabited by a million people – or half the country’s population – was inundated. Heavy damage occurred to crops and livestock, while many people drowned.

“Since then we have put up 18 measuring stations in the Oshanas (floodplains) that send us automatic messages on the water levels,” explains Van Langenhove.

This year the dreaded ‘Efundja’ (flood) from Angola has yet to come. “We are monitoring the situation by satellite, but so far the rains in that part of Angola have not developed as normal.”

Yet an absence of the annual flood is by no means a blessing for the arid area, the hydrologist said. “It brings fish and people depend on it to fill up their dams for the dry season.”

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Artificial Fuel Price Hike

by Paul Ndlovu

VICTORIA FALLS - The recent fuel hike caused an artificial fuel shortage in Matabeleland recently, with Victoria Falls being the worst affected area.

Fuel shortages are hindering tour operators in the area, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Manager for Victoria Falls, Patty Kateketa, has said. The mining town of Hwange is also experiencing difficulties with many service stations running dry.

In an interview early this week, Kateketa said almost all the service stations in the resort town had run out of fuel.

Fuel shortages have been blamed on the rise in prices by between six and eight per cent last week. This was after stocks dropped drastically as demand rose in European countries due to the onset of the winter season.

Just before the festive season last year, local fuel dealers increased the price of petrol and diesel by an average eight per cent citing an increase in crude oil prices. Domestic supplies dwindled towards the festive season culminating in unjustified price adjustments as demand outstripped supply.

At the weekend the price of diesel had risen from US$1, 25 per litre to between US$1, 30 and US$1, 40 while petrol was selling between US$1, 40 and US$1, 49 from US$1, and 35 per litre.

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Jan 23, 2011
petrol no prob in bostawana
by: zarina

if you going to vic falls from south africa then go via botswana, kazangula border, safer, and petrol anytime, last petrol station about 2 km before the border into vic falls so u can fill up safe clean south african petrol before going into zim at 1.12 pula a litre, unless there price increased since i was there dec 2010

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Ebola Update - February 2015

(Victoria Falls)

3 February 2015

Since our last update on the Ebola outbreak, Mali, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been declared outbreak free by the World Health Organisation. Although these two countries are thousands of kilometres away from Zimbabwe (Mali is 5443km, Nigeria is 6486km and DRC is 1848km from Zimbabwe), this is still very good news as it raises hopes that the disease can be beaten worldwide. Countries that are still battling with Ebola are Guinea (5336 km away from Zimbabwe), Sierra Leone (5427 km away from Zimbabwe) and Liberia (5085 km from Zimbabwe).

Zimbabwe still has had no reported cases of Ebola and screening at all ports of entry has been enforced on incoming travellers. This means that if you are flying into Harare or Victoria Falls, your passport will be checked to see if you have travelled to any Ebola affected countries in the last month. If you have travelled to any of the listed countries, further screening will be required - your temperature will be checked and you will be examined by trained health workers. The same process applies when you enter the country via any the border posts.

The screening of Ebola at the ports of entry does cause more congestion and delays, but it is a necessary process in order to prevent the disease from spreading, which is a vital part of fighting this deadly disease. Although the busiest holiday has ended, travellers should still expect slight delays at the ports, but this doesn’t have to deter you from travelling to your favourite destinations.

If you are still concerned about whether or not you should travel to Victoria Falls, start by arming yourself with information about Ebola, and then decide if your trip should go ahead:
• You can find the latest updates on Ebola outbreaks here
• You can find information about what Ebola really is, how it is spread and how to protect yourself from the WHO website
• Click on this link to see the World Health Organisation map that shows where Ebola has been reported.

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Zambezi River low water rafting season expected to commence again on Sunday

by Tony
(25th August 2011)

Zambezi River Rafting

Zambezi River Rafting

Earlier this week oarsmen from Adventure Zone and Wild Horizons rafted the Zambezi River below Victoria Falls, between rapids number 1 and 10 to assess whether the river has reached the levels suitable to start this seasons low water rafting trips.

The river was runnable but still a bit wild, and not quite safe yet to take clients. Water levels are dropping and the companies anticipate the low water trips to commence this coming Sunday 28th August 2011, which is great news for everyone.

High water trips raft rapids 11 though to 24 skipping out the more treacherous rapids like number 7 which are dangerous at high water levels, as the water level recedes these rapids become safe to run.

Low water trips, which raft rapids 1 through to 19, normally start on about the 15th August every year, but due to highly rainfall in the region this past season it has taken longer for the river to drop to the required safety level.

The Zambezi low water white water rafting has the highest concentration of grade 4 and 5 rapids anywhere in the world. It will stay as a low water run until the rains once again arrive at the end of the year and the river level rises to unsafe levels normally towards the end of December.

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Elephant Camp in Trip Advisor’s Top 25 Best Luxury Hotels

(Victoria Falls)

30 January 2015

Elephant Camp is a luxury tented camp run by Wild Horizons, located about 10kms from the Victoria Falls. It is on its own private concession surrounded by wildlife and certainly qualifies as a glamping (glamorous camping) option. With excellent quality service, guests who opt for Elephant Camp are hardly ever disappointed.

TripAdvisor is a travel review website where real travellers from all over the world share their ratings, experiences, and opinions on restaurants, places, activities and hotels that they have been to. Members of the TripAdvisor website rate hotels and the results of the Travellers’ Choice Award are tallies according to these ratings. For the 2015 instalment, Elephant Camp ended up top of the list of Victoria Falls hotels, and part in the list of the top 25 Luxury Hotels in Africa.

“The Elephant Camp has once again achieved top accolades in the TripAdvisor 2015 Traveler's Choice Awards by coming in the top 25 Luxury Hotels in Africa! Trip Advisor is the world's leading review site, and this is something that our team at The Elephant Camp is incredibly proud of! Well done to our incredible team of staff and management for this collective effort!” – Elephant Camp

Some of the comments on Elephant Camp’s page on TripAdvisor are listed below:
• "Extremely pleasant experience"
• "Amazing"
• "Total Escape"
• "Simply the best"
• "Elephant Camp the definition of Glam-ping"
• "I can't say enough good things"

Visit our Elephant Camp page for more information about this hotel, and make your booking.

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Victoria Falls Bridge Toll

HARARE - Emerged Railway Properties (ERP) is engaged in consultations with the governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia to commence tolling at the Victoria Falls Bridge as it moves to raise funds to maintain infrastructure, an official has said. (Pictured: A toll is being debated to provide the money necessary to repair the Victoria Falls bridge.)

The company needs a cash injection of US$1.9 million to maintain the bridge with US$800 000 being used to replace the railway deck, US$800 000 needed for the replacement of the roadway deck while US$300 000 needed for the replacement of the footway deck.

In an interview, ERP joint secretary, Misheck Matanhire, said stakeholders from the two countries (Zimbabwe and Zambia) held a consultative meeting in November to deliberate on the tolling arrangement.

“The stakeholders appreciated and endorsed the need to toll the bridge in order to fund bridge renewal activities (which would extend the life of the bridge) as well as routine repair and maintenance thereof and made wide ranging constructive suggestions on the impending tolling.

“Subsequent to the stakeholders meeting we are engaged in further consultations with our principals to ensure we comply with all statutory and regulatory requirements whereafter we will commence implementation.”

The Victoria Falls Bridge was commissioned by Cecil John Rhodes in 1900, although he never visited the falls and died before construction began. The bridge affords a magnificent view both down the gorge on the one side and through to the falls on the other.

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Zambezi Helicopter Company Clears Litter

Litter management is a challenge to any growing community and Victoria Falls is no exception. The scourge of plastic bags, tin cans and other debris presents a relentless onslaught which, over the years, several community individuals and organisations have tried hard to contain. ( Who can forget the sterling job done by Paddy Morrison and her "Clean Team"?)

This month it was the Zambezi Helicopter Company's turn to step up to the mark. Glenn Moroney and his team took on the daunting task of clearing the 20km stretch of road between the Victoria Falls Airport and town. Sixteen truck loads of rubbish later, the team celebrated a job well done!

The Zambezi Helicopter company has now returned to the skies over Victoria Falls where the air is clean and the view is magnificent!

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Victoria Falls Tram Accident

by Victoria Falls
(3rd July 2014)

Scenes at the Tram after the accident

Scenes at the Tram after the accident

It is with great regret that we report on the unfortunate accident which happened on July 1st at around 5pm local time, when a National Railways of Zimbabwe goods train failed to stop and rammed into the very popular Victoria Falls Tram carrying 30 passengers. The Tram was stationary and getting ready to take off for the evening trip which is scheduled to leave at 17:00, and takes passengers to and from the Victoria Falls Bridge between the Zambia-Zimbabwe border.

We spoke to Edmore from the Victoria Falls Steam Train Company who revealed that the Tram activities have been suspended until further notice. More information was given to us by the company spokesperson, Ranga Mberi, who said that they and the National Railways of Zimbabwe are unsure yet as to why the goods train did not stop and that is part of their investigation. Mr Mberi said that the National Railways investigators are in Victoria Falls working on the matter and to make recommendations in order to avoid such a situation in future. More information will be made available once investigations are complete.

The injured passengers of the Tram were taken to different medical facilities, and 2 of the passengers said to be in critical condition have been flown to South Africa for treatment.

For more information on the Victoria Falls Tram click here

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Jul 03, 2014
Such a pity
by: Bob and Sheila

We went on this earlier this year and it was fantastic. Very sorry to hear about this unfortunate and what I can only imagine is a freak incident.

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Emirates set to Fly into Livingstone and Harare

EMIRATES' extensive African network is to be boosted with the launch of two new destinations - Zambian capital Lusaka and Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.

The two countries, which share a border with the Victoria Falls, will now be linked with a five times weekly flight from Dubai, starting February 1, 2012.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates, said: "Emirates has long understood the enormous potential of Africa, which today is one of the fastest-expanding economic regions of the world, benefitting from a combined market of over one billion people, rising consumer demand and an abundance of natural resources."

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The Boys (Elephants) are Back in Town

by Pete Roberts
(Victoria Falls)

Broken down walls

Broken down walls

Three o’clock in the morning and I’m awoken by the crashing and thumping of vegetation onto the roof of the backpackers room I’m staying in. After a few seconds of confusion as I try to identify the sounds, and after quickly dismissing drunk baboons falling out of trees, I realise it can only be one thing – the elephants are back in town.

The familiar sound of a wooden spoon on a tin cooking pot confirms my theory – the night-time security resorting to tried and tested methods of elephant deterrent. I’m soon up and out and peering into the darkness… I can hear but not see our giant visitors, who are just a few meters away on the property next door and feeding over the fence. This causes the night-time security some concern as last year thousands of dollars worth of damage was caused to fences and walls around Victoria Falls, with at least one elephant learning that a little pressure in the right direction could topple walls and open up well watered gardens for a tasty night-time munch. Even 8 foot high concrete block walls succumbed to the technique, and in some streets on the edge of town almost every property suffered. The elephants appeared almost to enjoy their new freedom of the town, breaking down the same walls in different places rather than using the already made gaps as they moved from garden to garden - and giving themselves a bit of a bad reputation at the same time.

I’m just beginning to wonder however if the banging of the cooking pot is loosing its edge as an effective tool in scarring elephants when a different technique is introduced. The firework. As red and green flashes of light zip into the shrubbery, and the familiar smell of firework smoke fills the air, our intruders begin to quietly retreat. Two in number, they, like most of our animal friends, are obviously not as appreciative of the joys of firework displays as us humans. I’m left with one of my more bizarre elephant encounters – dark shadows in the night lit up by red and green flashes of light.

Next time I’ll have my camera ready - meanwhile the residents of Victoria Falls will be bracing themselves, and their garden walls, for the arrival of midnight raiders.

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David Livingstone letter sells for £28,800


AN UNPUBLISHED letter written by Scots explorer David Livingstone in Africa - which revealed for the first time how he was forced to eat elephant during his expedition - has sold for £28,800 at auction.
The 12-page letter, marked private, was written in November 1861 to then prime minister Lord Palmerston, and reported on Livingstone's famous Zambezi expedition of 1858-64.

In it, he revealed a series of intimidating incidents, including the first time he was robbed by thieves in Africa; how he had to fight off Zulus firing poisoned arrows; and how tribeswomen fed him cakes made from thousands of tiny insects.

The Blantyre-born missionary and explorer also explained how his party killed an elephant so they could eat, and appeared to note the rest of the beast's herd in mourning.

He wrote: "We were robbed by professional thieves from the coast creeping up from sleeping places and making off with what they could lay their hands on. They showed their art by choosing the hour just before dawn. I never was robbed in Africa before. Provisions also were extremely scarce.

"When at a distance from the slave trade route the people were civil - no dues were demanded and all seemed pleased with the prospect of a new trade being established. At present they have no trade but that in slaves.

"They seem afraid to kill elephants for the ivory, for the animals were not disturbed by the presence of man.

"When we killed one for food the rest of the herd stood a mile off for two days. Elsewhere they would not have stood within 30 or 40 miles."

The manuscript went under the hammer at Bonhams' in London, soaring beyond its pre-sale estimate of £7,000 to £9,000 before being sold to an English buyer for £28,800.

A Bonhams spokesman said: "This is a fascinating letter from one of the major figures of the Victorian era. It is not surprising that it was eagerly sought after."

The letter described, in particular, his trip between August and November 1861, including an intimidating encounter with a party of Zulus, saying: "Evidence of their vengeance on the people of the country were abundant…they were as much afraid of me as our men were of them.I went to them unarmed, and because I would not sit in the sun while they sat in the shade they tried to scare me by rattling their shields, and that having no effect they sped away up the hills as if they had seen a ghost."

He told how the people of Ajawa had attacked his party: "Some foolish Manganja called out that one of their sorcerers had come and deprived us of the protection of our English name. We were at once surrounded and showers of poisoned arrows shot at us. We were obliged to act in self defence and drive them off."

He described the tribeswomen, writing: "The lips which in all conscience are big enough naturally are enlarged by the insertion of quartz stones till 'hideous' becomes a mild term for their appearance.

"We may have appeared ugly to them for they crowded round us in hundreds whenever we stopped. Indeed we were as great curiosities as the hippopotamus was in London and without knowing that they were understood called us the 'chirombo' - the wild beasts."

He also revealed how native peoples ate insects - "kungo" - which he sampled. He wrote: "Columns exactly like smoke floated over the lake. We thought at first that these were smoke from the Eastern shore but passing through one we found it to be composed of myriads of an insect just like our smallest gnats - the people actually collect these minute creatures and boil them into cakes, which have the flavour of locusts and taste like fish."

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Victoria Falls Rafting season closure

Zambezi White Water Rafting

Zambezi White Water Rafting

Due to the high water levels of the Zambezi River we are expecting rafting to close on the 16th/17th of April 2012. Rafting is expected to re-open in the 3rd week of May after a short period of closure.

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Zambezi Triangle Takes Flight

by Faniso Zimunya
(Victoria Falls)


Air Zimbabwe is now running flights between Kariba, Victoria Falls and Harare. Of-course the Harare-Vic Falls flights have been operational for a while now, flying 6 days a week, but Air Zimbabwe are giving you the potential to enhance your Zimbabwe travel experience with scheduled flights from Harare to Kariba, then Kariba to Victoria Falls. This means that you can now spend a few days in Kariba or Victoria Falls, and take a flight between the two towns without having to go to Harare first.

According to Wild Zambezi, the “Zambezi Triangle” route is flown by a 52-seater aircraft on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing from Harare and arriving in Kariba in the mornings, then flies out from Kariba the same morning to arrive in Victoria Falls some time after noon. On the same day, the airline leaves Victoria Falls at 2pm for Kariba. It then leaves Kariba at 15:50 and arrives in Harare at 16:40.

So contact us, or Air Zimbabwe for your travel arrangements.

For more information about Kariba accommodation, follow this link - https://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/kariba-house-boat.html

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by Victoria Falls Resident


Two deaths caused by elephants, within the space of a week, have shocked residents of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

The first death, of a young man in Chinotimba, Victoria Falls, occurred on the evening of 3rd June. The man, an apostolic sect member, was trampled to death by a bull elephant soon after dusk while praying.

In the second, unrelated incident, a professional guide was killed by a bull elephant at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge while he was accompanying a client during a safari walk. The elephant was believed to be on ‘mustch’, a period where a bull elephant has higher testosterone levels that heighten aggressive behaviour, charged at the two prompting the guide to fire warning shots. The guide however, tripped and the charging elephant trampled him.

As reported in our recent Newsletters and stories, residents of Victoria Falls town have been plagued by garden-raiding elephants (see previous stories here). Of concern is that as patience has worn thin with their nightly visits residents have resorted to harassing the animals more and more, from throwing stones to using loud fireworks, in order to move them on.

Residents now look to ZimParks to offer advice and guidance on elephant-human interactions and how they can protect their properties from the attentions of elephants. Local conservationists are recommending non-lethal measures which will discourage the elephants from visiting residential areas. They are working on various alternatives such as qualified teams being set up to deal with elephants and a hotline for residents to call 24 hrs a day.

Clearly shooting all the elephants involved is not an option that the tourism industry, or international community, will support, and yet something must be done before another tragic loss of life occurs.

Tourists walking in Victoria Falls are recommended to always carry a torch at night-time and to take special care on roads frequented by elephants (the tell-tale signs are usually more than evident to sight and smell). Ask around and find out if elephants have been around – if so take a taxi. If elephants are encountered on roads, retreat to a safe distance. Do not throw stones or other objects. If you are close enough to throw stones and get a reaction from the elephant, then you are too close!!

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Lion Walks to be Suspended in Livingstone

(Victoria Falls)

16 April 2015

The Lion Walk experience will be suspended in November 2015 in Livingstone, Zambia. The management at Lion Encounter announced that they would stop the Lion Walks "to reduce the number of lions entering into the African Lion Rehabilitation & Release into the Wild Programme, until lions have been successfully released into the wild from the Programme".

The Lion Walks that are offered in Zimbabwe will continue, but at a reduced level. These are run in Victoria Falls and Antelope Park (Gweru). "Suspension of lion walks at these locations will also be considered in light of progress made on releasing lions over the next two years".

The Lion Encounter run a conservation program where they breed lions in captivity, and then release them into the wild when they are ready to be released. To help their cause by raising funds and awareness, the Lion Walk program allows visitors to walk with the lions that are in captivity with an experienced guide. To find out more about their program, visit Lion Encounter's website.

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Victoria Falls Benefiting from World Cup

HOTEL occupancy in Zimbabwe’s premier tourist resort, Victoria Falls, has shot up to 80 percent ahead of the Fifa World Cup soccer showcase to be held in South Africa.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority board member and Victoria Falls tour operators representative Mr William Chuma said there has been overwhelming growth, forcing industry players to stretch their services to try and meet the surging demand.“We have begun to witness steady growth in arrivals into the Victoria Falls region and our market visits continue to give us positive signals of an upturn.

“Hotel occupancies are significantly higher than the first quarter.
“We expect the second quarter to grow as well and we are bullish about the third and fourth quarters of 2010,” said Mr Chuma.
He applauded the move taken by national airline Air Zimbabwe to re-introduce the Victoria Falls-Johannesburg flight as the service restores confidence in the tourism industry.

Air Zimbabwe last week re-introduced the direct-link Victoria Falls-Johannesburg flight. “The re-introduction of this flight is therefore such a welcome move and we applaud the Air Zimbabwe team for their courage and foresight.

“As a private sector representative, I pledge full support. We will engage the airline to develop attractive, viable and profitable packages.“I hope we can all, rather than expend our energies on the past, resolve to look into the future,” added Mr Chuma.

Victoria Falls Hotel, which has 161 rooms, is projecting to rake in between US$8 million and US$10 million during the Fifa World Cup.
Tourism industry players said the tide was turning and that many tourists were flocking to the Zimbabwean side to get a better view of one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

The players eager to reap economic benefits from the World Cup tournament have in recent months been busy sprucing up tourist destinations and hotels in a bid to lure World Cup teams and visitors.
Zimbabwe’s tourism industry has been on a recovery path since the inception of an inclusive Government last year.

The tourism sector is expected to bring the quickest turnaround ahead of other sectors such as manufacturing, mining and agriculture.
The industry, once the backbone of the economy, declined by 22 percent in 2008.
Last year, only 223 000 tourists came, generating US$29,1 million.


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Lions & Buffaloes Come Into Town

(Victoria Falls)

21 January, 2015

On 17th of December, we received emails and texts on behalf of the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit who were alerting residents of Victoria Falls that a large herd of buffalo had entered the resort town. The messages started coming in at about noon. The news was that the buffalo had been chased from the wild into town by a group of lions. The buffalo roamed the centre town and then split up into two groups:

“There has been a huge herd of Buffalo that has been chased into town by lions. This herd has now split up and half the herd is around the Zimra \ Victoria Falls Court and the other heard is next to Cresta Sprayview. There have also been sightings of the lions in town.”

“Please pass onto all staff, children and adults walking. To stay away from the bush areas do not walk along paths surrounded by bush. It is very dangerous and the Buffalo have been terrorized by people and the lions. So they are and could be very aggressive.”

Some time later in the afternoon, game rangers managed to drive the animals back into the bush.

Fortunately, no injuries or incidents were reported. However, there was plenty of excitement and buzz. The local people of Victoria Falls have learnt to coexist with the animals by showing respect and understanding animal behaviour.

Rarely does this type of incident happen but the town does get visits from different animals - the regulars include monkeys, baboons and warthogs, in areas closer to the bush even kudu and elephants at night. Occasionally, a small herd of elephants or even a single bull may be spotted in town during the day; especially when it has been raining and the trees are full of fruit (mangoes are a favourite). This is because Victoria Falls is built on the boundary of a national park, and there are no barriers to prevent animals going in and out of the town from the parks. The bush is so close to the centre of town, but normally, the wild animals are too shy to enter Victoria Falls town.

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Victoria Falls Online Portal

by Benedict
(Victoria Falls)

To Victoria Falls Residents
This serves to inform everyone that an online portal has been launched. The aim of the portal is to bring together the community, the local businesses and the leaders that serve the community. This will go a long way in exposing local businesses, promoting community discussions on issues that affect us as residents.
The portal features discussion forums and different user friendly advertising platforms. User can list on classifieds, directory listings, auto listings, garage sales, events and featured companies. User can also send the story of their business success that will be published on the business spotlight. This will help expose your business to potential customers.
The portal also features different size banners. Banners are effective if you want to raise awareness of your business and to get links to your website or web page. Check the www.vicfallsonline.com/advertise.php link to see the supported banner sizes and why Vic Falls Online is an ideal portal to advertise with. User will also have the opportunity to have a page like this if they can’t afford a website. www.vicfallsonline.com/user/Bennie
We look forward to serving you and growing together as a community.
Benedict Nyathi
Vic Falls Online Admin.

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New lodges to open in Victoria Falls and Hwange

by SA Tourism news

African Luxury Hideaways has announced the addition of two new properties in Zimbabwe to its collection: The Victoria Falls Cliff Tops Lodge and Elephant’s Eye, Hwange National Park.

“We have recently been awarded a concession in Victoria Falls overlooking the Zambezi Gorge, as well as a private concession in the heart of the Hwange National Park,” said Garth Jenman, Owner of Jenman Safaris.

African Luxury Hideaways is a separate brand to Jenman African Safaris, but 100% owned by Jenman African Safaris, and was created to market existing up-market properties throughout Southern Africa.

“We feel that the time is right to take the next step and add our own lodges to this portfolio. We have gained valuable experience in the tourism industry over the past 20 years and strongly feel that our aim to offer truly eco-style sustainable lodges, without compromising the traveller’s experience is what the market is looking for. All our lodges will allow our customers to experience barefoot luxury in different parts of Southern Africa. We have seen a great demand for unique and natural experiences that are eco-friendly and not overpriced,” said Jenman.

Both lodges will have eight chalets with en-suite bathrooms, reception area, restaurant and bar areas, a lounge area and swimming pools. Eco-friendly sustainable materials will be used. “We plan to put in natural swimming pools that will use reed beds to filter the water, and solar power for heating water as well as for lighting. A local farmer in the area has agreed to supply us with all the vegetables for the lodge.

“With all our projects we will be employing locals and training locals to supply us with fresh produce as much as possible. Our aim is to provide healthy meals, not the typical heavy safari meals – so the kitchen will receive special attention too. We look forward to adding to the growth in tourism to Zimbabwe by developing the first eco lodges in the country and promise to keep you updated in the upcoming months,” he concluded.

Construction will start on October 1 and both lodges will be complete by the end of April 2013.

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Zimbabwe might construct Batoka Gorge Power Station

(Monday 19th September 2011)

HARARE — Zimbabwe will construct the Batoka Gorge Power Station alone if Zambia refuses to invest in the project, power utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority says.

This comes after negotiations for a joint operation between the two countries were stalled following Zimbabwe’s failure to pay a $260 million debt it owes to Zambia for the shared Kariba infrastructure.

Zesa has to date failed to secure investment for its proposed power generation projects.

Simbarashe Mangwende, Zesa deputy board chairperson and former chief executive, told businessdaily on Thursday that Zimbabwe had made contingent provisions to construct the 1 600 megawatt Batoka station amid fears Zambia could refuse to buy into the proposed joint venture.

“The questions of whether we go it alone or not will entirely depend on the Zambians’ willingness to join into the venture. And I must say that right now the political differences between the two countries regarding the project have been resolved, but Zambia can say that they are unable to raise the requisite financial resources because they are already engaged in other power projects” Mangwende said.

He said Zambia’s finances were being drained by on-going projects like the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-electric Power Station (Kafue).

Zambia commissioned construction of the $2 billion Kafue in July this year.

The venture is set to add 750 megawatts to Zambia’s national grid upon completion in 2017.

Mangwende said although Zimbabwe could find ways to individually complete the project, it would be more strategic for government to partner neighboring Zambia to share the huge finance costs estimated at over $4, 2 billion.

“Construction of Batoka was estimated at $2, 2 billion at the last feasibility study in 1993 and I would expect that the cost has more than doubled by now. As such, the best is to do it as a joint venture because the project is too big in terms of finance requirements and the production output compared to the size of our economy.”

Construction of the Batoka plant together with construction of another 1 400 megawatt station at Gokwe North is the country’s long term power initiative.

The two projects are set for completion in 2017.

Batoka is situated 50 kilometers down stream of Victoria Falls and would provide 800 Megawatts of hydro power, generation capacity for each of the two countries.

Research has shown that construction of the power station would enhance generating capacity of the Kariba Power Station, adding a further 300 megawatts to its current 600-megawatt capacity.

The Kariba north extension is amongst the country’s medium term power generation plans.

In the short term, Zimbabwe plans to refurbish Hwange thermal power station and focus on bridging import gaps.

The country currently imports 35 percent of its electricity requirements from Mozambique, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Meanwhile, Zesa business development and planning manager Patrick Chivaura said the widely contested 31 percent hike in tariffs would result in a viable business model for the utility company.

“The new tariffs will also be able to attract private players into power production because they are businesses who need to make profit,” he said, adding that part of the money collected from tariffs will be channeled towards the proposed power plant construction and expansion plans.

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Shoestrings Holding Bob Marley Party

This week is about remembering Bob Marley. 11 May was the 30th anniversary of his death. Festivals and parties are being thrown throughout the country in his honor.

Shoestrings is paying their respects to this legendary musician on Friday night from 18:00 with a fantastic LIVE BAND and Bob Marley Shooters on special for $1 all night.

$5 cover charge, includes a free drink, and don’t forget tot take advantage of pour Happy Hours between 18:00 & 20:00 ($2 for 2 local beers, $3 for 2 savannahs, $2 for 2 butlers shooters)

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Giant Okavango-Zambezi conservation zone launched in Africa

LUANDA — Five southern African countries signed an agreement Thursday to create a giant conservation zone in the Okavango and Zambezi river basins that stretches over an area half the size of France.

The "conservation and tourism area" will cover parts of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, linking 14 national parks and nature reserves, including world-famous Victoria Falls and the Okavango River delta.

Leaders said they hoped the agreement would protect the region's rich biodiversity and give root to a thriving ecotourism industry.

"It's the largest protected tourism zone in the world," an official from the 15-nation Southern African Development Community said in announcing the deal at the regional bloc's summit in Angola.

The region is known for rare species including cheetahs, African wild dogs, black sable and rhinos. It is also home to some 250,000 elephants.

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Comments for Giant Okavango-Zambezi conservation zone launched in Africa

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Apr 29, 2013
Giant Okavango-Zambeze
by: Filomena Coelho

Good day, Giants!

this is great news.

This initiative is a GIANT thinking of human being.

I would like to be part of this project.
My passion for nature and wildlife can contribute to the sucess of this GIANT thing. Please let's be honest on using the funds and have this GIANT thing happen.

filomena coelho (Angola)

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Victoria Falls Cricket Club is hosting a cricket tournament (The Vic Falls Slogout) in August over the Heroes weekend 5th 6th 7th of August.
We have teams travelling from Harare, Mutare and the Midlands. Each of these teams is travelling with supporters. There are three local and regional teams taking part, in all there will be over 80 players and 40 packaged supporters. The costs for the event per person include for a players shirt each and an evening shirt. These are color coded for each team.
We are looking for a sponsor to cover some of the cost of the clothing ( 2000.00 ) and in return we will include the sponsors logo on the shirts breast. (all funds raised from this event will be go towards the development of the club, school cricket facilities, further cricket development in the town, future fixtures travel and tours)
Please contact Robin Brown on robin@cansaf.com or Garth Pritchard on garth@african-journeys.com if you are interested. The cutoff date will be Wednesday 27th July.

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David Livingstone and the ‘discovery’ of the Victoria Falls

by Pete Roberts

Dr David Livingstone (etching, from Missionary Travels)

Dr David Livingstone (etching, from Missionary Travels)

Livingstone's Anniversary

November marks the anniversary of the ‘discovery’ of the Victoria Falls by Dr David Livingstone. Travelling downstream by dugout canoe paddled by skilled local paddlers and guided by Chief Sekelutu, chief of the Makalolo, Livingstone first arrived at the island on the lip of the Falls which now bears his name, Livingstone Island on the 16th November 1855.

For an event of such apparent simplicity there is much debate over Livingstone’s ‘discovery’ of the Falls.

Victorian concepts of ‘discovery’

Victorian explorers such as Livingstone saw their endeavours in scientific terms, and upheld the widely accepted convention that the title of ‘discoverer’ is given to the first to observe and describe, and most essentially, to publish in print, the details of their new discovery. Explorers and geographers had mapped most of the world, however the heart of central Africa remained a mystery.

Being the ‘discoverer’ of something new to science came with huge kudos, and with it the right to name your new discovery. This applies equally to new species in biology, part of the body in anatomy or geographical features in the landscape. Thus, when Livingstone published his ‘Missionary Travels’ in 1857, describing in detail his observations of the waterfall, he was describing a geographical feature previously unknown to not only his contemporary Victorian explorers and scientists, but indeed the wider world. He acknowledged their local name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, but renamed them, as we all know, the Victoria Falls after his British Queen, Victoria.

The contrary argument asks how Livingstone can be the ‘discoverer’ of the Victoria Falls when local African people had been living alongside them for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It is argued that to dismiss the local knowledge of these people in favour of a foreigner is an inherently racist perspective. Certainly the Victorian perspective is biased, not only by Imperial delusions of superiority, but also by relegating all other forms of knowledge and communication in favour of one - the printing press.

The issue here probably lies more within the changing perspectives and fashions of cultures and language, and the use and meaning of specific words, such as ‘discover’ but for this writer to dismiss Livingstone’s role in the ‘discovery’ of the Victoria Falls is to do a disservice to a man who dedicated his life to the cause of exposing the horrors slavery and campaigning for its abolition.

A parallel example here is Livingstone’s discovery of the upper Zambezi. Although other traders had perhaps reached as far as Linyanti, and even the further upper reaches of the Zambezi, it was Livingstone, when he first visited the Makalolo at Linyanti on the banks of the Zambezi with the hunter, William Oswell, who first concluded that this must be the same river known as the Zambezi and which flowed to the east coast and into the Indian Ocean. Livingstone’s conclusions were disputed by many, and it was not until he later explored the length of the Zambezi to the coast and published his account in 1857 that the matter was clarified once and for all.

Livingstone’s claim

Livingstone had heard of the Falls on this first visit in 1851, being told of a great waterfall downstream, but did not visit it on this occasion. Oswell marked the position of the Falls on a map, recording "Waterfall, spray seen 10 miles off" and also refers to them by their local name of ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ (it is unlikely they saw the spray but that he was recording information given to him, and his map was not published until 1900). As a result of this information, London mapmaker W D Cooley first marked the position of the Falls on a map published in 1852, three years before Livingstone actually first set sight on them.

Over the years there has also been much debate over Livingstone’s claim to have been the first European, or white man, to see them - although probably not helping perceptions of such claims being based on racial superiority, and which were undoubtedly prevalent at the time.

Other European’s, including the Portuguese, had been travelling in the African interior for some time. One, Silva Pinto, was exploring the region at the same time as Livingstone, and when the two met in 1853 Livingstone satisfied himself that Pinto’s knowledge of the Zambezi did not precede his. Neither man had at this stage seen the Falls for themselves.

Another hunter and explorer, James Chapman, had also visited the Makalolo at Linyanti, and was also told of the Falls, but had no time for local sightseeing, a fact he regretted:

“I could not avoid the reflection that, could I but have known of the magnificent sight I lost in August, 1853, after being very near it, and how nearly I had forestalled Dr Livingstone's discovery, I should certainly have made another effort at that time to accomplish the object."

Several other Boer hunters have also been named as candidates for visiting the Falls before Livingstone, however on inspection all their claims have proved unsubstantiated.

It was not until late in 1855 when Livingstone returned to the Zambezi, that he travelled downstream and witnessed the natural wonder of the Falls for the first time. Even then he had taken the time to first explore the river upstream and across to the west coast before returning to Linyanti and then setting off again on an epic mission to reach the east coast and prove the course of his Zambezi river. Along the way he claimed another explorers landmark, the first to walk the width of the continent. Whether any individual achieved this before is again unknown, but as the first to achieve, describe and publish the accounts of this undertaking he was rightly heralded for his achievement.

The debate on the date

The final debate relating to Livingstone’s discovery of the Victoria Falls relates to the date of discovery. Livingstone records in his ‘Missionary Travels’ leaving the Victoria Falls on the 20th November, having spent two days exploring the Falls and making the date of his arrival the 18th. However, on arrival at the east coast he found he was four days out in his calculations, drawing doubt on the dates of his journey. Some sources record the 17th as the date of discovery, but it was not until research carried out in the build up to the 100th anniversary of the event that later documents by Livingstone were discovered which recorded that he was certain that the date he first set eyes upon the Falls was in fact the 16th November 1855.

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by Carol Downs
(Prospect Hts. Il. USA)

#54 Rhino

#54 Rhino

We just visited Zimbabwe and went on a jeep safari ride and dinner in the Vic Falls game reserve. Our guide "Papa Joesph" was knowlegable and patient. We viewed the 5 black rhinos. They stayed right around us for about half an hour. Their horns had been cut down. I missed the explanation for this and was wondering why? The whole safari was an amazing experience. You will want to donate to the anti-poaching unit after you experience these magnificent creatures at such close range. Carol Downs


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May 09, 2012
rhino horns cut off
by: Liesl

The Rhino horns are cut off to deter poachers. They will kill a rhino for the horn. Often they will still kill a rhino for the stump of the horn. My family ran a game farm in Zimbabwe for years, and they had to hire armed guards 24 hours a day to babysit the rare Rhino and protect them from slaughter

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Air Zimbabwe launches Jo’burg to Vic Falls Flight

AIR Zimbabwe says it is re-launching the Johannesburg-Victoria Falls route and company executives have also urged locals and non-resident Zimbabweans to use the national carrier and help efforts to turn-around the country’s economy.

Air Zimbabwe general manager Moses Mapanda said in Harare that the air line was resuming direct flights between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg to help support the recovery of the country’s primary tourist destination.

“The most critical thing we have done in terms of supporting tourism is to re-establish a direct link between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls beginning the first of June this year. This service will initially be offered three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

“We are doing this in conjunction with local tourism groups such as RTG, African Sun as well as Meikles Holdings and we will also be holding road shows in South Africa to promote the service,” Mapanda said.

Most hotels in the resort town have reported an uptick bookings as political concerns about the country continue to ease following the establishment of the coalition government and executives at national air line are keen to benefit from the improvement in tourist traffic.

Mapanda also urged locals and non-resident Zimbabweans to travel with the national airline and support efforts to turnaround the country’s economy.

“People should support their own national asset because Air Zimbabwe belongs to Zimbabweans and by travelling with us customers would also be helping rebuild their own nation,” he said.

The Air Zim boss said the air line was the only carrier to offer direct daylight flights to the United Kingdom as well as direct links to Far East destinations which meant passengers would not have to endure long lay-overs as they wait for connecting flights.
Air Zimbabwe offers direct flights to Singapore, Malaysia and the Chinese capital, Beijing.

“We are also the first airline out of Harare to Johannesburg and the last one back into the country on a daily basis. This means travellers have a lot of time to conduct their business in South Africa,” Mapanda said.

He added that efforts to acquire more aircraft were ongoing but declined to give details saying ‘this is a matter for the shareholder’.

Travel agents have also urged the company to consider entering into code share agreements with other airlines for customer convenience in cases of disruptions such as the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland which led to the closure of airspaces across Europe.

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Africa Albida Doubles Funding for Vic Falls Anti Poaching Unit

Africa Albida Tourism has doubled its funding to the Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit (VFAPU).
Chief executive of Africa Albida Tourism, Ross Kennedy says the organisation is now supporting six scouts to the value of R126 000 per year in acknowledgment of the significant impact the unit has had on the area.

"The unit's work is outstanding and everyone living in the area would suffer should the unit stop operations. It is a worthwhile cause that we must continue to support and we encourage others to do the same," said Kennedy.

The unit has been in operation since 1999 in partnership with hospitality establishments, relevant authorities and the community of Victoria falls. Recently the Victoria Falls Wildlife Protection Trust was formed to oversee the running and operations of the unit.

The unit has proved its worth and presence by saving over 120 mammals from painful and slow death caused through injuries from wire snares, apprehending hundreds of poachers and recovering over 20 000 snares from the bush surrounding Victoria falls.

Between January and March alone the unit has located 51 snares, apprehended 51 wood poachers, 18 curio vebdors - three in the national park in possession of sable and buffalo horns. It has also apprehended 14 illegal miners, two illegal entries in the Zambezi national park and one drug dealer. Furthermore, the unit has darted a warthog male with a wire snare around its snout and one elephant bull with a three-strand wire on the rear right leg. Both animals are once again mobile and healthy.

In total, 17 scouts work with the unit, protecting wildlife under dangerous circumstances, patrolling the national park 24/7.

Spokesperson and founder of the unit, Charles Brightman, says these efforts are an illustration of what can be achieved by everyone working together for the benefit of not just the unit, but also Zimbabwe's wildlife being preserved for future generations and foreign visitors.

Africa Albida Tourism has been managing the unit along with their several award-winning tourist establishments and attractions in the area. Its flagship establishment, Victoria falls safari lodge, is Zimbabwe's best safari lodge for the 15th year running and is the most coveted among non-tented safari lodges in the country. The Hide Safari Lodge at Hwange National Park is certified as being the top tented safari camp in Zimbabwe for the 12th consecutive year. These two prime tourist attractions benefit from the efforts of the anti-poaching units in their areas.

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Dr Livingstone's Collection Discovered


LONDON: The curator of the Natural History Museum has stumbled upon an unparalleled treasure - a unique collection of insects gathered by Dr David Livingstone, one of Britain's legendary explorers of Africa, which has remained hidden for over 150 years.

It is the only known collection of beetle specimens belonging to the explorer which he brought back from Africa. The 20 specimens date back to Dr Livingstone's expedition along Africa's Zambezi River, which ran from 1858 to 1864.
Experts were unaware that the renowned British explorer had collected beetles until now. The specimens were unearthed by curators cataloguing and photographing the Museum's collection for its online database. They came across an unusual box and when they opened it they discovered that Dr Livingstone's name and the name of the Zambezi expedition were written on the specimens' labels.

Max Barclay, the museum's beetle curator, found the box among thousands of others containing uncategorised material as he sought to catalogue parts of the collection online. Inside was a label that said "Zambezi coll. by Dr. Livingstone". The insects were donated to the Museum by a private collector, Edward Young Western, in 1924. He is thought to have bought them directly from a member of the Zambezi expedition. In the days before digital records, they got lost among the Museum's 10 million beetle specimens and sat unnoticed for 90 years.

Museum beetle curator Max Barclay, who made the discovery, said it was a complete surprise and one of great historical and scientific importance. "We have 22,000 drawers of beetles and every drawer is like a treasure chest waiting to be opened. You can never imagine what you will find inside," he said. "Historically, it is very exciting that these specimens have been preserved. No biographers mention Dr Livingstone collecting beetles - it is an aspect of the well-known explorer that was previously unknown".

There are 12 different beetle species in the box including the giant predatory ground beetle, Termophilum alternatum, the variegated golden longhorn beetle, Tragocephala variegata, and the flightless spiny longhorn beetle, Phantasis avernica.

Barclay said that the specimens are already shedding light on the effects of environmental change in the Zambezi region.

Museum entomologist Hitoshi Takano recently led a number of expeditions retracing Dr Livingstone's footsteps across Africa's interior. During his travels he came across many of the same beetle species that Dr Livingstone spotted 150 years before. Barclay said "The fact that most of the same species can still be found in Zambezi today means that the environments in the area might have changed less than we expected. Or, against all odds, many species from Dr Livingstone's day still remain despite 150 years of habitat destruction and deforestation".

But one species of beetle collected from Zambezi by Dr Livingstone was not found in the region during Takano's expeditions. This could be evidence of the effect of environmental changes, said Barclay: "It is possible that this species has declined or been lost from the region. Insects are often like the canary in the mine - their decline warns us about environmental changes that we may not have easily noticed". Barclay said that before digital records were introduced knowledge was often lost between generations, but Dr Livingstone's beetles will be valuable sources of information for scientists for years to come.

"We can learn so much from them. Old specimens are a little bit like a fossil record of the environment at a past time. We are discovering things that our great-grandparents' generation may have known, but the information was never passed down. Nowadays we record this information on databases and online, so it will be preserved for future generations".

Dr Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and one of the first European explorers of Africa, died in Zambia in 1873, aged 60.

(Times of India)

Comments for Dr Livingstone's Collection Discovered

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Oct 17, 2014
by: Shiela

After so many years...its like something totally brand new.

Dec 12, 2014
Looks familiar
by: Rick Froese

After spending years down in that area as medical missionary,this one looks so familiar. I'd love to know the names of the remaining beetles in that precious box.

Sep 18, 2015
Dr. Livingstone's work continues yet today
by: Anonymous

"He being dead yet speaketh." It is fantastic that David's work continues today! Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

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Victoria Falls Bridge Turns 106

by The Herald
(Tuesday 20th September 2011)

THE historical Victoria Falls bridge has turned 106 years old amid reports that it has become the second most visited tourist attractions behind the mighty Victoria Falls rainforest.

The bridge links the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia.

The bridge took 14 months to build and was completed in 1905.

At the weekend, the two neighbouring countries tour and adventure operators and tourists came together to commemorate the 106th anniversary The event was marked with fanfare.

To celebrate the historic structure that has been used to catapult economic development between the two countries and the south and north of the Sadc region, the Victoria Falls Bridge Company (VFBC) invited tour and adventure agents from Livingstone and Victoria Falls and members of the public.

At the same time, the celebration came at a time when the tourism sector is commemorating the tourism month.

In an interview at the bridge on the sidelines of the commemorations recently, VFBC marketing manager, Mrs Sonja Clay, said while they were celebrating the 106th anniversary, she was happy to note that they were receiving over 10 000 clients for bridge tours every month.

"The bridge is becoming popular with local, regional and international tourists as we receive over 10 000 clients every month.

"The tourists will be keen on learning how the structure came to being in the first place and how it became a link of the region," she said.

She said the figure resembled an upsurge in tourist's arrivals especially in the resort town of Victoria Falls. "The monthly figure of over 10 000 clients is a 25 percent increase from last year's figures.

Zimbabwean numbers are increasing, as compared to the situation from Zambia side as the numbers have remained the same."

Mrs Clay said the bridge was truly a wonder of Victorian engineering and provided striking views of the Falls, Batoka Gorge and Zambezi River.

"Our historic Bridge Tour includes a special presentation on the history of the Bridge and the men who built it, a guided tour of the bridge visitor centre and a rare opportunity to walk on the catwalks used in the original construction of the bridge."

Victoria Falls bridge was part of Cecil Rhodes' dream of a railway line linking the Cape to Cairo, which was fuelled by investment and speculation about the potential of central Africa.

It was built at a cost of GBP72 000 and was the highest amount of that time in the world.

There are also steam trains from Zimbabwe and Zambia that also offeres special price rides as they were on show on the bridge.

The bridge crosses the Zambezi River just behind the Victoria Falls and is built over the Second Gorge of the falls.

Today the Victoria Falls Bridge is the location for the popular adrenalin - a 111 metres - bungee jump, bridge swing and slide.

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Victoria Falls Bridge Festival

Sunday 11th September, Victoria Falls Bridge

Official Launch of Sun, Steel & Spray (Book on the History of the Victoria Falls Bridge)

• Braai
• FREE slides for kids all day
• FREE Bridge Tours all day
• FREE entry to Visitors Centre all day
• Exhibition Jumps
• Lots of fun and games for kids – face painting, jumping castle, etc
• LIVE Band from 10am – 5pm

Steam Train to the Victoria Falls Bridge
Adults $10 per person each way
Kids for FREE
• Steam Train ride to / from Victoria Falls Bridge
• Free Bridge Tours upon arrival at Victoria Falls Bridge
• Join in other fun activities at the Bridge
• Departs VF Station at 10.15 am, returning at 1pm
To book Steam Train Excursion please call Stembile on 0712 750 228

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Vic Falls restaurant remains shut

by Nelson Chenga,
(Financial Gazette)

STILL mired in controversy, a Victoria Falls rainforest restaurant remains shut and deserted after environmentalists raised alarm over its location inside the World Heritage Site citing possible negative environmental effects on the relatively unspoilt natural environs.

The rainforest area, bordering the Zimbabwe side of the Victoria Falls, has also become a heated subject in an ownership wrangle between the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZNPWMA) and the country's National Museums and Monuments.

The restaurant, constructed by one of the Victoria Falls town's biggest companies, Shearwater, in partnership with ZNPWMA, was meant to offer refreshments and rest for visitors to one of the world's largest waterfalls.

Although the restaurant reportedly received thumbs up from foreign tourists and the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality soon after its completion, effectively overriding the environmentalists' concerns, the ownership wrangle between ZNPWMA and National Museums forced it to close down.

The structure is now fast turning into a white elephant.
Observers have pointed out that while the former sought to maximise on tourist visits to the Victoria Falls, the latter was also right to challenge the construction of a restaurant there because the rainforest area is a World Heritage site which should be kept as natural as possible and a restaurant in there would set a bad precedent.
It would be difficult to stop other players from seeking to construct structures there.

The Victoria Falls was in 1989 designated a World Heritage Site because it offers an "inescapable closeness to the natural elements" according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organi-sation (UNESCO), the organisation with the mandate to make such declarations.

The road to Victoria Falls, otherwise previously named Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke that Thunders) by the local indigenous inhabitants before the British explorer David Livingstone renamed them, being declared a World Heritage Site began in the 1930s.

According to UNESCO, the Victoria Falls Reserve Preservation Ordinance of 1934 established the Victoria Falls executive committee, which was responsible for the preservation of the falls area. In 1948, the National Monuments Commission established a Victoria Falls Conservancy Committee, and extended the protected area downstream to Songwe Gorge (confirmed in legislation in 1949).

In 1953, the colonial governor formed the Victoria Falls Trust, which had responsibility for the area until the national park was declared on February 25 1972 by Statutory Instrument No. 44 (when the area came under the jurisdiction of the National Parks and Wildlife Service).
There are six national monuments within the park, including the falls.

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Victoria Falls bridge set to last another 100 years

by Ntando Sibanda

THE Victoria Falls Bridge, situated close to one of the country’s world-renowned tourist attractions, is in a position to last a hundred more years if its custodians stick to maintenance recommendations, an official has said.
In an interview with Sunday Business on Wednesday last week, the Emerged Railway Properties’ engineer, Mr Herbert Dvinotyiwei, noted that when the bridge turned a hundred years old a few years back, they sought services of consultants who made recommendations which if followed it can last for 100 more years.
“A few years back when the bridge turned 100 years old, we made consultations with our consultants and they gave us recommendations and said if we follow them well, it can last for the next 100 years,” he said.
Mr Dvinotyiwei said the recommendations include surface treatment of the steel, replacement of the footway, the roadway and the railway decks, the installation of concrete barriers, traffic lights, the drainage system and the foundation of the maintenance walkway.
He said they have, however, managed to go through some of the recommendations except for the replacement of the three decks that will cost more than US$1,9 million.
“So far we have installed the concrete barriers and done the other recommendations but we are left with the replacement of the railway deck which will cost close to US$800 000, that of the footway deck costing US$300 000 and the roadway deck which will also cost US$800 000,” he said.
Mr Dvinotyiwei said as from September until March next year, they will surface treat the steel on the bridge. They are painting the bridge to fight corrosion.
“As from September this year, we have been busy with the surface treatment of the steel whereby we are painting them so as to fend off corrosion. This will take up to March next year when the showers intensify making it impossible to paint and then we will resume again around July,” he said.
Mr Dvinotyiwei said they are appealing to all stakeholders to come forward and assist in the maintenance of the bridge as it benefits all of them.
“This is an appeal to say look, this is an asset that helps both you and us so if there is a way you can assist please come forward and do so,” he said.

Comments for Victoria Falls bridge set to last another 100 years

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Nov 15, 2010
by: zarina

is there a cost seperate to the falls entrance fee to walk across this bridge?

Nov 16, 2010
Bridge tour
by: Tony

There is no cost to walk onto the bridge. The walk from the customs and immigration post to the bridge is about 800 meters, or there are taxis for about $2.

There is a bridge tour which costs about $55 and this will pick you up from you hotel and drop you off again, and is an excellent tour that lasts about 2.5hrs and is really really informative. There is more to this bridge than meets the eye and this tour is excellent which starts off with a theatrical presentation by an actor impersonating George Imbault the chief engineer who built the bridge.

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Victoria Falls residents want youth centres

by The Zimbabwean.co.uk
(Paul Ndlovu, 9th September 2011)

The Combined Victoria Falls Residents Association is lobbying the local authority to set aside money in next year’s budget for youth centres that will equip young people with life skills.

The association’s Morgan Dube said the idea of building youth centres was meant to provide long term solutions to high unemployment levels in the town.

“We have started preparations for the budget meetings that will be facilitated by our municipality soon. The main aim of the consultative meetings would be to gather the views of the residents on what projects to implement next year. So far the main issue is the construction of youth centres, which we feel will assist us in curbing unemployment woes.

“We will, through our budget contributions, lobby council to develop youth centres where locals can be equipped with skills to sustain themselves instead of roaming the streets in search of elusive employment opportunities,” he said.

Dube said the youth training centres were critical in reducing the abuse of alcohol by youths that was now linked to increased crime. He also said it was important for the local authority to provide life opportunities for the young people instead of blaming them without any practical support.

Meanwhile, the residents have also engaged Victoria Falls municipality with the view of pushing for the establishment of employment bureau. He said such an office would help people seeking employment.

“There are a lot of companies that are starting businesses in Victoria Falls, but unfortunately such opportunities are not advertised and as a result local people don’t get to know about job opportunities,” he said.

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Baboon Causes Man to Fall to His Death

by Pete Roberts
(Victoria Falls)

ZAMBIAN TRAGEDY - Date: 10th June 2011 - Early in June a tragic incident occurred on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls. Following a stand-off with a baboon, which had taken an interest in a plastic carrier bag a tourist was carrying (which we understand to have only held a camera and no food), an American tourist slipped and fell to his death from the edge of the gorge.

The baboons on the Zambian side have long been far more troublesome than their relatives on the Zimbabwe side, often hi-jacking food stuffs from local people crossing the bridge near the border post and causing problems for tourists walking between the Falls and the Hotels located very close by.

Care should be taken when encountering baboons, even in Victoria Falls town and surrounds, especially if you are walking on your own and carrying food in plastic shopping bags. A sudden snatch-and-grab attack can leave you shaken and holding a torn plastic bag with a few less items of shopping. A backpack is probably safer (and reduces the plastic rubbish created by the town) and often locals are around who will be more than happy to walk with you if you are unsure. If re-using plastic bags for carrying non-food items, ensure the bag is clean and has not recently carried fruit or other fresh food stuffs which may leave behind an inviting smell to baboons. Certainly never feed baboons or any other wild animal.

Large male baboons can be extremely powerful and intimidating, especially if running straight towards you, with obvious intent in their eyes. If you find yourself in this situation, drop the shopping bag and step away. Do not attempt to wrestle with baboons for the ownership of your bag.

Residents of Victoria Falls walk past baboons every day, often within a few metres, without event. Knowing your baboon behaviour helps, and if you can’t observe baboons in the wild, watch a few wildlife documentaries to help you read their behaviour and reactions. Animals also read our behaviour, and it is important not to show fear or panic and to walk with confidence, purpose and direction. Keep an eye on all the baboons around you but avoid prolonged direct eye contact with individuals as this can be seen as a challenge or threat.

The key thing to remember in all animal close encounters is respect. Wild animals can be dangerous. However many animals will react with calm acceptance of your presence if you do not push their boundaries of tolerance. Whilst this varies with species and individuals, learning to read animal behaviour and react accordingly is a key requirement of any bush guide or ranger, or indeed anyone living in close proximity to wild animals – such as the residents of Victoria Falls.

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Comments for Baboon Causes Man to Fall to His Death

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Jun 10, 2011
Vic Falls is very dangerous!
by: Anonymous

I was staying at the same hostel with the man who fell. We were all devastated. No one warns you how dangerous the path is at Victoria Falls. We were on the Zambian side and the path was wet and mossy (slippery) and there are often no railings and you find yourself about a foot from the edge. There were no signs warning anyone about the baboons or to even be careful on the path. I heard that 1 or 2 people die every year there. There are baboons everywhere.
Yes it was beautiful and we enjoyed being there but you should be very careful if you go!!!!

Jun 11, 2011
by: Anonymous

Anonymous, I don't think you need to be told that it is dangerous to walk close to the edge at the Falls - that should be evident and self-explanatory!

Oct 19, 2011
by: Anonymous2

This is crazy!

Sep 07, 2014
by: Alex

Which hostel was the man that died staying at?

Nov 23, 2014
by: trevor

i hang with baboons all the time, i also visit the victoria falls every year for the 3 day music festival carnival, yes show respect and not too much eye contact with the same baboon, female baboons like us human males, so no problem.
just watch the males..see you all again my friends at victoria falls rest camp comming up..december2014 january 2015.party time.

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AAT Golf Tournament Results

(Victoria Falls)


THE war on poaching has been given a record $14,750 boost by a fundraising golf tournament, coordinated by Africa Albida Tourism, in which an all female team took out the top prize for the first time. The 14th annual fundraising Golf Day for the Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit (VFAPU), was won by Fi Ranby and Linda O’Toole, who narrowly beat runners-up Ian De Grandehomme and Sally-Anne McDonald.

A total of 136 players, making up 34 teams, teed off for charity at the Borrowdale Brooke Golf Club on September 5, before taking part in a prize-giving function and auction. Teams included the Zimbabwe Special Olympics Golf team, and the African Belles, who took the best dressed team prize in matching leopard print outfits.

VFAPU was established by local safari operator and conservationist Charles Brightman and the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, the flagship property of the Africa Albida Tourism group, in 1999, in an effort to fight the alarming levels of poaching.

Africa Albida Tourism chief executive Ross Kennedy said he was proud of VFAPU’s achievements, which included removing 22,000 wire snares in the area in which they patrol, arresting 580 serious poachers and saving 175 mammals injured by poachers.

Mr Kennedy said Africa Albida Tourism would continue to support their efforts, and all proceeds from the Golf Day would go directly to VFAPU, with the costs of more than $5,000 to be covered by Africa Albida Tourism.

“In our 14th year, in a tough economic environment for most Zimbabweans, just short of $15,000 was raised, which is a record and we applaud all supporters for this magnificent effort.”

“The positive difference that Mr Brightman and his dedicated scouts make 365 days of the year are invaluable and should be recognised by all involved in tourism around Victoria Falls,” he said. “Bush meat poaching is probably the commonest form of poaching in our operational area, and this is not people starving, but gangs and syndicates operating and selling bush meat for profit,” Brightman said.

Mr Brightman said the funds would go towards the operational costs of the unit, which included salaries, fuel and vehicle maintenance. Brightman thanked past and present supporters and appealed to the public to support the unit by donating money or equipment, such as uniforms, flashlights, sleeping bags, tents, two-way radios or new tyres for the vehicles.

“One of the stresses of running the unit is making sure there is enough money to keep it in operation, and this fundraiser is a huge help,” Mr Brightman said.

VFAPU, which operates in a 50 kmsq area around Victoria Falls, and has 17 scouts, tackled everything from wood to ivory poaching, Mr Brightman said.

“VFAPU is very grateful for the opportunity to work together with the National Parks and Wildlife Authority of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

“It just shows what can be done when you join forces and work together for a common goal in saving Zimbabwe’s wildlife heritage.”

For more information visit VFAPU or to donate contact Charles Brightman on cat@yoafrica.com
Press release by : Marianne Betts
Africa Albida Tourism Group PR Officer
Email: pr@africaabida.co.zw
Skype: pr4africaalbida
Phone: +263 4 885200
Cell: +263 778 386 202
Fax:+263 4 860106
Website: www.africaalbidatourism.com

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Oct 17, 2014
Well Done!
by: Graace

Good effort from AAT. It really is important and sustainable for the hospitality sector to assist with organisations such as the VFAPU. Not only for them, but the community needs to get in on the action too!

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Zambezi Airlines to operate direct flights between Cape Town and Livingstone

by Issued by: Mortimer Harvey

Zambezi Airlines, Zambia's leading domestic and regional carrier has announced plans to expand its operations with three weekly flights between Cape Town and Livingstone in July this year.
A launch to celebrate the introduction of the new flight route was held in Cape Town last week and included a well attended media briefing and Gala Dinner held at the Table Bay Hotel.

The Gala Dinner, publicity and all protocol arrangements for the launch event were handled by Mortimer Harvey Events (LM&P) and Mortimer Harvey Public Relations and Communications.

Speaking from Cape Town Mr. Sidney Siwabamundi, Commercial Director of Zambezi Airlines says the new flights once launched would make a significant contribution to Zambia's ongoing drive to increase the number of tourist arrivals into the country. "Cape Town is a major tourist centre which hosts thousands of tourists from around the world who would now find it convenient to include a visit to the world famous Victoria Falls in Livingstone when they fly on the new Zambezi Airlines' non-stop flights from Cape Town to Livingstone."

Siwabamundi says the new flights would also offer Zambian business and leisure travelers an opportunity of flying direct to Cape Town with just a brief stop-over in Livingstone where they would not be required to disembark from the aircraft. "Another benefit to tourism would be the offer of weekend excursions to the tourist capital by flying the airline's modern Boeing 737-500 jet aircraft which will cover the distance between Lusaka and Livingstone in a mere 35 minutes while also providing business class service."

According Siwabamundi Zambezi Airlines is also preparing to sign an interline agreement with Zambia's domestic carrier, Proflight Commuter Services which will allow connections to be sold to other Zambian tourist destinations such as the South Luangwa National park and Lower Zambezi.

In keeping with modern aviation trends, Zambezi Airlines utilises modern information technology systems and is fully e-ticketable. Customers can book on line and also choose a convenient payment option from the comfort of their homes or offices.

Zambezi Airlines launched its operations in July 2008. "During its short but eventful existence the airline has built a reputation for excellent in-flight service as a full service airline which is underscored by renowned Zambian hospitality. Its vision is to operate a world class airline based on international standards and connecting all major cities in Southern Africa" says Siwabamundi.

About Mortimer Harvey
Mortimer Harvey is a Johannesburg-based full service and results driven integrated communications agency that delivers hard-working advertising and communication solutions. Services include classical above, below the line, brand development and consulting, strategic marketing development, promotions, interactive web services, public relations as well as events and sponsorships. For further details, visit www.mortimer-harvey.co.za

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Lunar Eclipse Safari and Zambezi Dinner Cruise

by Tony

A total lunar eclipse will take place on June 15, 2011. It is the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2011, the second occurring on December 10.

It is a relatively rare central eclipse where the moon passes in front of the center of the Earth's shadow. The last lunar eclipse closer to the center of the earth's shadow was on July 16, 2000. The next central total lunar eclipse will be on July 27, 2018.

What better way for you to experience this event than on a Discover Safaris - Night Eyes Safari, followed by a Zambezi River Cruise dinner @ only US$110 per person. ONLY EIGHT PLACES AVAILABLE!

Contact Us should you wish to book your place.

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Low water rafting season kicks off again 9th August 2012

by Tony
(6th August 2012)

Low water rafting season is back as of the 9th August 2012. Starting from Rapid 1 through to 19 this run is considered to be the most exciting one day white water rafting in the world.

Pick up is at 06h30 and drop off in town is at 14h30 to 15h00, which means if you have the energy you can get another activity in that afternoon.

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Two New Ways to Travel the Johannesburg-Victoria Falls Route

by Faniso Zimunya
(Victoria Falls)

By Air
The month of August has seen the introduction of a new service by low cost air carrier FlyAfrica (www.flyafrica.com). The airline launched its maiden flight from Johannesburg (South Africa) to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) on August 1st 2014. The flight did experience some delays as they were supposed to have their first flight in late July, but on the launch date everything went without a hitch.

FlyAfrica started with three flights a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. They are now adding Mondays to their schedule. Currently, they are only offering the Victoria Falls-Johannesburg flights, but plans are in the works to add Harare, Bulawayo, Lusaka, and Maputo to their list of destinations. To book your ticket, visit www.flyafrica.co.za.

By Bus
Intercape Coaches introduced their Livingstone/VF - Johannesburg bus ride on August 3rd of 2014. The weekly service does a Johannesburg to Victoria Falls (and on to Livingstone) run on Sundays at 9am, and goes from Johannesburg to Livingstone via Victoria Falls on Fridays at 9am. The 1300km trip up to Victoria Falls (then another 15km to Livingstone town, Zambia) takes about a day as the bus also goes through Hwange and Bulawayo.

To book your seat in Victoria Falls, visit Ecotrek Travel at Total service station or call Farai on Tel- 013 46263, Cel- 0776 877 668. To book in South Africa you can book online on www.intercape.co.za, email info@intercape.co.za or call +27 21 380 4400.

For more informnation on other ways to get to Victoria Falls click here

Comments for Two New Ways to Travel the Johannesburg-Victoria Falls Route

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Sep 16, 2014
That's great
by: Trish

Wow, its great that folks have a more straight-forward way to get the Vic Falls

Sep 19, 2014
Fly africa
by: Pamela

We recently used flyafrica for our trip to and from Victoria Falls and were more than satisfied with all aspects of our flight. Price wise we saved a huge amount which we used toward our Elephant Safari! This airline really deserves everyone's support.

Mar 05, 2016
Vic falls-jhb
by: Riaan

What about Vic Falls to Johannesburg?
If so,which day/s and how much?

Mar 08, 2016
Not Operational
by: Tony

Since these posts, FlyAfrica went bust and let down a lot of passengers, they are obviously no longer in operation. Fastjet another low cost carrier are talking of introducing flights, but at the moment 8th March 2016, SAA, BA and Air Zimbabwe are the only airlines flying into Victoria Falls Zimbabwe.

Sep 05, 2016
Intercape Coaches introduced their Livingstone/VF- Johannesburg bus ride
by: Jassy Cheam

Is the Intercape Coaches introduced their Livingstone/VF - Johannesburg bus ride still in service?

Sep 06, 2016
Intercape service
by: Tony

Yes, this service is still in operation and you can book it online on the intercape.co.za website. Book JHB to Bulawayo and then Byo to VF

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Dear All.
Victoria Falls is an extraordinary place..... A place where wilderness and the natural world intersect and merge with homes, businesses and hotels. At our doorstep the mighty Zambezi flows out of our national park and cascades into possibly the greatest waterfall on earth. We are enriched, everyday, by what surrounds us. At times a sense of wonder pervades the day that it is possible to live here, amongst all this.
After some bad years, a growing sense of confidence is slowly leading to increasing interest and investment in our town. Ideas, shelved for years, are being put forward and much is beginning to happen. At the same time there is a growing realization, that much of what we know, love and rely on, is vulnerable. Urgent thought, open debate and action by the community is required. Various discussions have yielded a number of points of concern and ideas.
Foremost is the suggestion that an initiative, a support group, be formed to help protect and conserve this special place. This group should be open to all commercial operators, residents, developers, investors, school children..... Basically anyone in the community committed to this area. Such a forum could do much to bring to light, and assist with, issues of concern to the community.
It is a given that such a broad group will not agree on all policies. However, it is felt that wide debate will help to create an exchange of views, transparency and also help to inform the authorities on the level of consensus on certain issues. This could assist enormously in decision making. (For example, a percentage vote for and against certain issues could be relayed from quarterly meetings of the association).
Many of us in this town are commercial operators. We seek new opportunities to utilize what is here to make profitable businesses. At the same time the wild spaces in Victoria Falls are finite and have got to be preserved. Wilderness is an intangible resource, once it is lost or built over, it can never be brought back. This remarkable resource threads its way from the Zambezi National park, through our game corridors, around the Zambezi Drive, around the Big Tree, through the Rainforest and across the breadth of the Falls itself into the gorge beyond.
It is the life blood of our business. It is the very thing which brings people here.
If we lose it, we destroy the one essential element that will sustain our future and that of our children. It is our nation’s heritage and we who live here are the keepers of it. Unrestricted, unplanned and uncoordinated development will threaten this. It is essential that we as a community act soon and act together to preserve what we have here.
An initial meeting will take place to explore and outline, structure and function of the group.
Suggestions have been made that this group be called The Friends of Victoria Falls but this would be open to debate. Obviously, the area of focus includes the park, the town and surrounds.
It is suggested that:-
1. The immediate tragic conflict between people and elephant be explored and constructive solutions be sought.
2. The Municipality Town Planning department should be requested to release to the public, a map of our town, which includes all current and future developments. It should also designate red line areas beyond which no further developments can take place e.g. game corridors, recreational parks, buffer zones.
3. That National Parks be requested to advise the community of all current and proposed leases in the Zambezi National Park. There is growing concern that large segments of the park are being allocated to private operators and the impact that this will have on public access to the river, camp sites etc.
4. That National Parks be asked to clarify and define red line areas e.g. at the Victoria Falls itself, beyond which no development or activity whatsoever, can take place. That clearly defined limits be placed on these areas to preserve pristine views of the Falls from our side.
5. An overall development strategy and environmental impact plan needs to be adhered to in view of all current developments. It is understood that there is a plan from a few years back but it appears not to be in force. That all planning and development must be determined by this plan which should be made known to the public.
6. It is necessary that we as developers or commercial operators, be our own conscience. It is possible that projects that we may be involved in, have been given the go ahead. We need to reassess what we are doing and consider the overall impact of these enterprises. If it is clear that these projects will compromise some natural element of the Falls and its surrounds, it is critical that we reduce in scale or drop entirely, such an idea. Bad publicity from ignoring such issues and proceeding, regardless, must also be considered.
It is understood that Peace Parks have committed to funding an update of the environmental plan for Victoria Falls, if requested by the authorities.
The Green Fund. (See attachment)
Whilst not wishing to reinvent the wheel, elements of what is proposed here already exist in the form of the Green Fund.
Much work has been done over many years, in create a coherent and a well administrated organization of this nature.
It would be open to debate as to whether Friends of Victoria Falls:
1. Falls under the Green Fund
2. Is affiliated to the Green Fund
3. Has no relation to the Green Fund
Respondents are asked to forward issues of concern.
It is felt that the Friends of Victoria Falls will provide a coherent community response to issues of concern.
Input is required as to the formation of this much needed support group for Victoria Falls. It's name, purpose, affiliations and operation is entirely open to debate and suggestion.
In no way should this organization be anti-development or anti-business. Victoria Falls needs growth and the creation of employment opportunities.
It is essential though that a clear and sustainable development plan be forthcoming for the protection of Victoria Falls and it's surrounds.

Thank you for your patience in considering these ideas. A response form is included below.
We hope that you can attend the inaugural meeting on Thursday 16th, 3pm, Ilala Lodge conference room.
Please forward this message to any who may be interested.


Please read the letter below and then complete the response form:
I would like to join, yes/no
I would like attend quarterly meetings, yes/no
I would be happy to assist with volunteer projects (e.g. helping resuscitate park facilities (roads), yes/no
If you would like to be a part of the Friends Of Victoria Falls please would you fill in your contact details below:
Email Address:
Mobile Number:
Land Line Number:
I suggest the following issues for debate:-........................................
Please email response to: friendsofvictoriafalls@yahoo.com

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1time signs agreement to launch Zim LCC

by SA Tourism news
(6th August 2012)

1time Airline has confirmed that it has concluded a joint venture agreement with Nu-Aero (Pvt) Ltd, trading as Fresh Air, a registered Zimbabwean company. Fresh Air is jointly owned by Zimbabwe’s Nu.Com (Pvt) Ltd and 1time holdings. The strategic partnership has resulted in the launch of Zimbabwe’s first low-cost airline, Fresh Air, which will offer flights initially from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, beginning in September.

As part of the initial agreement, 1time will cease its current Livingstone service in favour of a Johannesburg-Victoria Falls service, which will subsequently become a Fresh Air operation. Under the joint venture, 1time will use its aircraft to serve the route and Fresh Air will provide the licences to operate in Zimbabwe.

Both airlines will initially co-operate in a wide range of operational and commercial facets, including provision of aircraft and crew as well as administrative functions such as revenue management and revenue accounting.

Fresh Air and 1time have completed the Civil Aviation Authority’s regulatory demonstration flight from OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, to Harare International Airport, before flying to Victoria Falls and then back to Johannesburg.

Blacky Komani, 1time ceo, says the new agreement with Fresh Air gives both companies an opportunity to take advantage of the fact that Africa is the only continent where the low-cost carrier model is yet to take off regionally.

“Our partnership with Fresh Air is simple. We share our experience and infrastructure in the aviation industry while Fresh Air launches Zimbabwe’s first low-cost carrier, with licences to operate the underserviced domestic market and various regional routes to be announced in the near future. In doing so, Fresh Air is creating jobs and building a foundation for a sustainable business.”

Chakanyuka Karase, Fresh Air ceo, says the airline’s entry into the market and strategic partnership with 1time will provide Zimbabwe with a real opportunity to stimulate domestic and regional air travel ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation conference.

“The entry of a low-cost carrier in Zimbabwe has great potential and we are proud to have launched this partnership with 1time, which already has palpable successes in the no-frills market. We have absolutely no doubt that this business model will succeed, as it is exactly what our emerging economy needs to maintain sustainability and is an efficient way to connect families, businesses and tourist destinations.”

1time will have a short-term dispensation to operate aircraft on the ZS register, while executing a migration to a Zimbabwean registered and crewed operation. This process will be carried out within a year.

“Our joint venture not only demonstrates that we foster successful cross-border partnerships but that together we contribute to regional growth in Africa by providing people with additional travel options at affordable prices,” concludes Blacky.

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The New A Zambezi River Lodge Opens its Doors

by Tony

The 18th of May 2011 saw the official opening of the completely refurbished A Zambezi River Lodge in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe. Local, regional and international travel agents, members of the press and dignitaries gathered in these unique and wonderful surroundings, to be part of this momentous occasion.

US$ 4.5 million has been spent on this enormous refurbishment, which incidentally is the only large scale investment undertaken in Victoria Falls during the past 10 years. Investments such as this are a clear indication that confidence is returning, rebounding from the dramatic decline in recent years.

The A Zambezi River Lodge was originally opened in 1972 and despite it beautiful and unique location, it was in need of updating to keep it abreast with other hotels in the area. The rooms are now spectacularly modern. Italian tiles and granite counter tops. Brand new linen and the most comfortable beds ever… in fact such opulence feels slightly misplaced in this rural setting, although it makes for a truly enjoyable experience.

A magnificent waterfall has been built to greet guests as they arrive, and as one is lead through to the new reception, ones eyes are immediately drawn to the beauty of the Zambezi River flowing by in its full glory.
Conference facilities have been updated and upgraded, the buffet style Amulonga restaurant has been extended to included an outside deck area, even closer to the Zambezi River, and a new a la carte restaurant is soon to be opened.

On the Zimbabwean bank of the Zambezi River, within close proximity of Victoria Falls this is the only hotel that boasts a true river frontage, a distinct advantage over any of the other hotels in the area. It is also positioned closest the Zambezi National Park so therefore game viewing to and from the hotel is often rewarding.

All in all this now 4 star hotel with its unique location and setting, fine gardens and classy accommodation is one of the best choice hotels in Victoria Falls. It will attract and delight many travellers in the years to come.

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the bigger the better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by danisa amonde

the biiger the better

the biiger the better

new vic falls airport.............

Comments for the bigger the better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Aug 28, 2012
Vic Falls Airport
by: www.harareairport.blogspot.com

Hi, firstly thank you for always updating us on developments in and around Vic Falls. I would like to ask a few questions; has the expansion off Vic Falls airport started yet and what exactly is being expanded? From what i read it sounds like the terminal and runway. Also i notice BA/Comair is operating several additional flights to Vic Falls now, up to 10 a week sometimes. Is this scheduled to continue or its just due to current demand? Thanks again....

Mla from http://harareairport.blogspot.com/

Jun 15, 2015
Airport upgrade
by: Edie Ralph

The airport constraution is progressing and fast.what a world class airport coming to Africa.

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New Shopping Mall for Victoria Falls

Developers of a shopping mall in Victoria Falls (pictured and the wildlife in the area) have invited businesses to forward their input into the building of the structure which they say would take shopping to a new level in Zimbabwe’s premier resort town. The Mosi-oa-Tunya Gateway Shopping Mall, that will accommodate shops of all sizes, is being developed by Calwood Investments Private Limited, through their project managers, Knight Frank, who have invited prospective tenants to indicate their interest.

Knight Frank managing partner in Bulawayo, Oswald Nyakunika, said the shopping mall would be located at the intersection of Livingstone Way and Kazungula Road at the entrance to Victoria Falls town.

“The development will be highly visible and abutting these major roads from Kazungula, Bulawayo and the
airport into town,” Nyakunika said. He said with store sizes ranging from 40 square metres to 1 800 square metres, the shopping mall would accommodate a full complement of shops from pharmacies to banks, to restaurants, clothing stores, hardware and electrical appliances shops.

“Customers will also have access to curio and art wares, medical suites, tour operators and travel agents, as well as an Internet café,” he said.The largest shop will be approximately 1 800 square metres and can accommodate a large retail warehouse, a wholesale cash and carry, superstore or large supermarket.The mall is expected to service Victoria Falls and the nearby towns of Hwange and Lupane, as well as Livingstone in Zambia, Kasane in Botswana and Kazungula at the borders of Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.

The estate agent expert said amenities would include ample parking in a secure environment, tastefully designed street furniture, vendor stalls and shopping benches.“The shopping mall is expected to be a blue tooth and Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing patrons to be in touch with the centre events and surf the web free of charge,” said Nyakunika. He said what makes the town attractive is that it is the centre of attraction in a vast tourist region that straddles across the borders of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.

“Victoria Falls has a local population of 65 000 inhabitants complemented by tourist arrivals estimated at 300 000 per year and forecast to reach 1 million per year by 2015,” he said.The development by Calwood Investments is a giant step as the property market lumbers on a recovery path after a decade of struggling.

On the state of the property market in the country, Nyakunika said development had been affected by the liquidity crunch.“Even though development costs have stabilised there is a severe liquidity crisis and as such there are very few development projects going on.“This huge development that we are undertaking is one of the few in the country,” he said. Nyakunika said they were hoping to marry the staying power of the property market with the allure of the tourism sector.

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Victoria Falls Marathon Attracts Thousands

by The Zimbabwean.co.uk

VICTORIA FALLS - The Victoria Falls Marathon, which combines athletics with tourism, entertainment, and charitable causes, has continued to gain popularity worldwide according to a tour operator and organiser of the race.

The organiser, Wild Frontiers, this week told The Zimbabwean that it expected thousands of entrants and spectators to partake in this year’s cross-border race on August 29.

It blends the contest with a range of activities that include sunset cruises on the famous Zambezi River, a white water rafting challenge, a cycling event and helicopter flights over the water falls, to cater for athletes and non-runners

“This race is a must! We had about 500 people participating in the 2009 event from all over the world, and we hope to receive more people this year,” said Linda Willemse, a spokesperson for Wild Frontiers.

Now into its fourth year, and directed by a team of experienced logistics personnel, its promoters say they are upbeat the race across Zimbabwe and Zambia would in no time rival major international and South African events such as the Comrades and Two Oceans Marathons.

Willemse said one could either run the 42.2km Full Marathon, 21.1km Half Marathon or the 5km Fun Run.

Persons older than 21 years may participate in the 42.2km and those older than 18 years may participate in the 21.1km race. The 5km fun run is open to all ages.

The race starts at the Kingdom Hotel and heads across the Victoria Falls Bridge. It continues along parts of the Zambezi River and the edge of the Zimbabwean mainland, and into the Zambezi National Park. The route passes the border into parts of Zambia, and then takes runners back into Zimbabwe, to the finishing point at Victoria Falls Primary School along the Kazungula Road .

Willemse said the annual race was an International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF)-registered event, with official marshalling, refreshment points and standard time-keeping.

In the past it has attracted runners from over 24 countries and will be televised on the Supersport channels Africa-wide and in the USA.

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Victoria Falls Bridge Turns 106

by The Herald
(Tuesday 20th September 2011)

THE historical Victoria Falls bridge has turned 106 years old amid reports that it has become the second most visited tourist attractions behind the mighty Victoria Falls rainforest.

The bridge links the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia.

The bridge took 14 months to build and was completed in 1905.

At the weekend, the two neighbouring countries tour and adventure operators and tourists came together to commemorate the 106th anniversary The event was marked with fanfare.

To celebrate the historic structure that has been used to catapult economic development between the two countries and the south and north of the Sadc region, the Victoria Falls Bridge Company (VFBC) invited tour and adventure agents from Livingstone and Victoria Falls and members of the public.

At the same time, the celebration came at a time when the tourism sector is commemorating the tourism month.

In an interview at the bridge on the sidelines of the commemorations recently, VFBC marketing manager, Mrs Sonja Clay, said while they were celebrating the 106th anniversary, she was happy to note that they were receiving over 10 000 clients for bridge tours every month.

"The bridge is becoming popular with local, regional and international tourists as we receive over 10 000 clients every month.

"The tourists will be keen on learning how the structure came to being in the first place and how it became a link of the region," she said.

She said the figure resembled an upsurge in tourist's arrivals especially in the resort town of Victoria Falls. "The monthly figure of over 10 000 clients is a 25 percent increase from last year's figures.

Zimbabwean numbers are increasing, as compared to the situation from Zambia side as the numbers have remained the same."

Mrs Clay said the bridge was truly a wonder of Victorian engineering and provided striking views of the Falls, Batoka Gorge and Zambezi River.

"Our historic Bridge Tour includes a special presentation on the history of the Bridge and the men who built it, a guided tour of the bridge visitor centre and a rare opportunity to walk on the catwalks used in the original construction of the bridge."

Victoria Falls bridge was part of Cecil Rhodes' dream of a railway line linking the Cape to Cairo, which was fuelled by investment and speculation about the potential of central Africa.

It was built at a cost of GBP72 000 and was the highest amount of that time in the world.

There are also steam trains from Zimbabwe and Zambia that also offeres special price rides as they were on show on the bridge.

The bridge crosses the Zambezi River just behind the Victoria Falls and is built over the Second Gorge of the falls.

Today the Victoria Falls Bridge is the location for the popular adrenalin - a 111 metres - bungee jump, bridge swing and slide.

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Star Gazing at Victoria Falls Safari Club

by Faniso
(Victoria Falls)

4 December 2014

As if the perks at Victoria Falls Safari Club weren’t enough to satisfy anyone's enjoyment, the folks at this exclusive establishment have introduced the Star-Talk Experience for their guests. Members of the Club can now watch the African night sky while listening to an expert guide enlightening them on “how big the universe is, enthralling and captivating all of the guests”, as iterated by the Africa Albida Tourism group manager, Brian Gardiner.

“We are continually searching for ways to enhance our premium guest offer and our Star-Talk Experience certainly echoes this objective.”

The Star-Talk Experience is a complementary activity only for Victoria Falls Safari Lodge guests. Other perks which they can take advantage of are 15 minute head, shoulder or foot massage which they can enjoy on the Club deck with a view of the vast African bush. Guests are pampered with tea and pastries while on the deck. While watching the sun go down, savoury snacks and cocktails are served to Club guests.

Victoria Falls Safari Club guests so far have given positive feedback about the new Star-Talk Experience which is offered every Wednesday and Saturday.

For more information about Victoria Falls Safari Club, click here.

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The Zambezi International Regatta returns to Livingstone!

by Nambeye Katebe

Zambezi Regatta 1905

Zambezi Regatta 1905

If you are a boat lover and would like to see some real water sporting action, then you had better put a red mark in your diary for the 19th through to the 26th of September because the Zambezi International Regatta returns to Livingstone for the running of the fourth Oxford v Cambridge v South African Universities boat races at the Zambezi Boat Club!

The event has a rich, exciting history. It was held previously in 1904, 1905 and 1907, way before most of us were around. The last occasion in 2004 included Brown University from the USA. This year is especially interesting in that it is the Centenary of the World Professional Sculling Championships held on the Zambezi River. The event in 1910, exactly a 100 years ago, was hosted by the British South Africa Company to ensure that the development of Central Africa included the sports world as well. They put up a purse of £1,000 to the winner.

In 1910, Richard Arnst from New Zealand and England’s Ernest Barry, two top professional rowers of their day, competed in the race which was won by the New Zealander. In the 2004 regatta Ernest Barry’s nephew rowed an exhibition race on the Zambezi, and his great-nephew rowed for the Cambridge crew. It is planned to bring the crews back again on 19 – 26 September 2010 – that’s this coming weekend! – to compete for various trophies on Saturday 25 September between 0900 hours and 1500 hours.

The rafting event will be held in the gorges between rapids 1 and 7 on Tuesday 21 September. Viewing of the races will be done from the comfort of the Zambezi Boat Club, and VIPs and sponsors will be entertained on board the luxurious African Queen, African Princess and Lady Livingstone launches. The crews have already been put together and are looking forward to the competition which has gained international recognition.

Past races have included Olympic Gold Medallists Luka Grubor, Andrew Lindsay in Sydney, Ed Coode in Athens for Great Britain and Jake Wetzel in Beijing for Canada and reigning World Champions and Gold Medallists in Beijing Peter Reed, Andrew Triggs-Hodge GB). This year is no exception and includes Kieran West (gold in Sydney) amongst others coming along to row.

If you’re feeling a little overshadowed and intimidated by this star studded group, worry not! There will be a number of events which welcome local competitors, such as the Mukoro race, the single kayak race, the double kayak race, the men’s double kayak race, the ladies’ double kayak race, the mixed doubles and the raft race-sprint. So if you are sitting back on that couch doing nothing it’s about time to work on the muscles to raft your way through a fun-filled 8 days!

NOTE: If you would like to assist in helping to run the event on a voluntary basis, especially if you have a safety boat, we will be happy to forward your details to the organisers. Likewise for any sponsors to help with running costs to ensure that the centenary happens in style. Best of Zambia Blog

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SAA introduces business class to Victoria Falls and Livingstone

by SA Toursim update
(3rd October 2011)

SAA will introduce a business-class cabin on flights between South Africa and Livingstone and Victoria Falls, effective November 1 and December 1, respectively.

As a result of this announcement the airline has introduced a business-class fare and certain economy-class fares have been adjusted.

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Albida Tourism in $12m expansion drive

by Gilbert Nyambabvu

Vic Falls Safari Lodge

Vic Falls Safari Lodge

AFRICA Albida Tourism (AAT) which owns the world famous Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is investing up to US$16 million in a robust expansion drive as the group positions itself to optimise benefits from the recovery of the country’s tourism industry.

AAT chief executive Ross Kennedy told NewZimbabwe.com at the firm’s Harare head office that the country’s tourism sector is fast recovering from the worst effects of a decade-long economic recession and adverse international publicity.

He said occupancy levels at his firm’s properties had averaged 46 percent during the “difficult years” but have since recovered remarkably, with the Victoria Falls Safari lodge now averaging about 82 percent.

“Even the United States and United Kingdom markets have bounced back with the US alone making up to 23 percent of my business in the first quarter of this year while 26 percent of our visitors came from the UK.

“Occupancies for the whole of the Victoria Falls region have spiked to 76 percent from lows of about 40 percent in the last decade,” Kennedy said.

AAT has also reopened the Bumi Hills Safari lodge in Kariba which had been closed over the last ten years and is investing up to US$16 million to expand local operations as well as venture into the region.

The investment will see the addition of 24 rooms at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge to increase capacity to 96 as well as the development of a new18-bed luxury lodge in neighbouring Bostwana.

However the main project is the US$12 million development of Santonga eco-tourism park in Victoria Falls which Kennedy described as a ‘major drawcard’ for the destination.

“Santonga will bring to the Vic Falls something that is missing at the moment, which is a genuine family oriented activity. It will absolutely please everyone from 2 year-olds to those who are a hundred years old.

“The project is a good example of what, in industry-speak, we call edutainment and encompasses wildlife, conservation and experiential activities,” Kennedy added.

Santonga is a multi-faceted eco-park that is designed to deepen visitors’ appreciation of local culture and the history of the Victoria Falls.

Key features of the project which will be located in a wildlife area include a replica of the Great Zimbabwe monuments, a reptile park, a 600-seater drumbeat amphitheatre as well as an African-themed restaurant which will seat up to 300 diners.

Kennedy said the Santonga is expected to help lengthen visitor stay in the Falls and thereby boost the country’s benefits from its prime resort.

“The average stay in the Falls is presently two-and-a-half nights. If we can get existing visitors to stay one more night - even without adding another pair of legs - that alone would boost business by up to 25 percent,” Kennedy said.

The new projects AAT is carrying out are expected to create another 140 jobs bringing the group’s overall employee numbers to 249.

“There will also be huge downstream benefits because of what will be consumed in the park, raw material supplies as well as general retail spend,” the AAT chief said.

The group also operates the Hide Lodge in Hwange National Park as well as the successful African-themed Boma restaurant located next to the Vic Falls Safari lodge.
Kennedy said there are plans to take the Boma concept to Livingstone town in Zambia and South Africa’s Cape Town.

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Steam Trains Back in Zimbabwe

Steam locomotives are back in Zimbabwe (pictured) after being upset for so many decades, desiels and electric trains are being used and a few steam trains running are used in tourist resorts like Victoria Falls and they are owned by private companies like the Victoria Falls Steam train which does trips to the amazing victoriafalls and across the border to Zambia.

Steam locomotives have proved very popular with tourists and this has prompted the National Railways of Zimbabwe to refurbish seven additional locomotives to bring the fleet of steam locomotives to 10, the parastatal’s public relations manager, Mr Fanuel Masikati, said yesterday.

In an interview, Mr Masikati said the locomotives were being used for rail leisure safari, targeting mainly tourists. Mr Masikati said the recent steam locomotive trial run from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls proved very popular with tourists.

“Our target was to have 200 passengers for the maiden trip from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls but we ended up with more than 300 as the trip was over subscribed. In response, we decided to refurbish additional locomotives to meet demand,” he said.

Mr Masikati said the rail leisure steam safari trains will be running on the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls, Bulawayo-Plumtree and Bulawayo-Mbalabala routes. “These trains will run on special days such as the Mother’s, Father’s, Valentine’s and family fun days,” he said.

Mr Masikati said introduction of the rail leisure steam safari trains was expected to generate additional business for the parastatal which in turn was going to increase revenue inflow. “Tourists and the general members of the public enjoy steam locomotives as evidenced by the overwhelming response we got for the maiden Bulawayo-Victoria Falls trip. We are receiving a lot of inquiries locally and internationally from individuals and families that want to take a ride on the trains.

Mr Masikati said the launch of the facility was yet to be confirmed. “Right now we are going to exhibit the rail leisure safari train at the Sanganai-Hlanganani travel expo which this year is going to be held in Harare. It is only after this that we will decide on the launch date,” he said.


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Oct 05, 2015
Zimbabwe: NRZ Infrastructure Now Dilapidated

NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) infrastructure in Bulawayo is now in dilapidated state following years of neglect and mismanagement.

NRZ which used to be one of the biggest companies in the country has fallen on hard times with workers going for more than a year without salaries.

Apart from affecting workers, the crisis at NRZ has also clearly taken its toll on the company's assets, now virtually derelict.

The parastatal's buildings such as the famous Raylton Sports Club and the marshalling yard and the company's clinic in Sizinda are now an eyesore.

The clinic which used to serve injured workers ceased operating several years ago and workers are now forced to fork out their own money to seek medication in private and government hospitals.

"We used to have one of the best health facilities in Sizinda where every worker could seek free medical care. Now that clinic has been vandalized and we are now being forced to seek medical help in private hospitals despite the fact that we are not being paid any money," said a worker who refused to be named for fear of victimization.

Workers said their plight has been worsened by the fact that the company has also been failing to remit their medical contributions to Railmed, the company's medical aid society.

The company's marshalling yard has diminished into a shadow of its former self as a result of reduced numbers of passengers and goods trains.

The Bulawayo marshalling yard used to be the nerve Centre of the country's rail network linking the country with Botswana and Zambia.

Most of the company's locomotives are now a heap of scrap metal while some of the disused wagons have been occupied by tramps.

Oct 05, 2015
What a tragedy
by: Anthony

It is so sad to read reports like this of how far the country has slipped. With proper governence and investement, it can be built up once again.

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A Lion is on the Prowl

by Catrina
(Victoria Falls)


Hi there, I have been asked to let the community know that there has been lion spoor sighted between the old Kazungula Road and the main Kazungula road, as well as around the bush between these roads and Safari Lodge Fence (main bush).

The anti poaching unit have measured it and believe it to be a large old male lion, on his own. This lion has been heard from Jacaranda Crescent.

Please be careful when running and cycling in these areas. Please let your children know especially if they walk around these areas.

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Vic Falls may lose World Wonder Status

by Tangai Chipangura

Victoria Falls is in danger of losing its official rank as one of the world’s natural wonders.

If by Monday Zimbabwe and Zambia have not sent a comprehensive report to Unesco (the UN's educational, scientific and cultural organisation) regarding the conditions at the waterfall, this popular tourist destination's world heritage status could be downgraded.

The report is already eight years overdue.

A senior official in the Zimbabwean department of tourism told Beeld that the two governments are in a "mad rush" to finish the report in time.

"Technical teams in both countries are working overtime and we hope to complete it within two weeks. It is, however, quite clear that neither Zimbabwe nor Zambia has paid the matter the necessary attention, despite repeated requests from Unesco."

Economic damage

The official, who asked to remain anonymous "due to the bureaucratic sensitivity of the matter", said the Zimbabwean government is "panicking".

"One can only imagine what the economic damage to Zimbabwe would be if this mighty waterfall were to lose its status, especially with the 2010 World Cup just around the corner.

Over the past eight years, Unesco has given large amounts of money to both the Zimbabwean and the Zambian governments and offered technical help to complete the project.

The report is supposed to address issues including threats to the natural beauty of the area, for instance development on both sides of the border.

Private tourism enterprises on both sides of the border are very worried about the fact that both governments are now rushing through the process without any input from the industry.

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Mar 04, 2010
African time?
by: Inge Skliros

Eight years to do a report and now they are 'panicking' to meet the deadline? I guess this just proves that governments in Zambia and Zimbabwe definitely work on 'African Time'. The mind boggles...

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Victoria Falls reports good occupancies

by Susan Reynard www.hotelandrestaurant.co.za
(August 23rd, 2011 by )

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Feedback from Go To Victoria Falls members reveals that arrivals into Victoria Falls have seen a turnaround. The monthly fair market share statistics at the end of July show a substantial increase from last year as well as previous years. This is in direct contrast to the current tourism arrival figures in other Southern African destinations.

According to occupancy records at seven different hotels, covering a total of 1 008 rooms, arrivals into the destination were up by 20%, based on the same seven-month period last year (January to July). This translates into 13 193 extra rooms occupied (63 per night) over the same period in 2010.

Several hotels reported their best July since 2000, at 70%+ occupancies, and in some cases, July was among the best three or four months ever experienced at these hotels.

Forecasts for August to November look promising for the destination, with even greater occupancies predicted according to the in system occupancies for these hotels. There are reports of 80%+ and perhaps even the possibility of a few at 90%+. In addition, average room rates and Revenue Per Available Room (Revpar) are rising in tandem.

The economic and downstream benefits of this arrival trend are obvious as international and regional tourists, along with Zimbabwean visitors, spend ever increasing amounts of disposable income on their holidays. All areas of tourism, which include hotels, transfers, activities, restaurants, national parks, curio sellers, fuel stations, supermarkets and suppliers of goods, should see an upswing in revenue as a result of these increased arrivals.

According to Ross Kennedy, CEO of Africa Albida, “Victoria Falls Safari Lodge had the best July occupancy in 10 years at 70%. The Boma Place of Eating had its second best July ever. Only July 2007 saw more covers per night at an average of 183, while 2011 had on average 163 per night.”

Ilala Lodge Hotel GM, Roddy Meiring, says: “The hotel saw a massive 87% occupancy in July 2011, which is up 15% on last year.”

GM of The Victoria Falls Hotel, Karl Snater, adds: “We have seen an increase in occupancies from 2010 for all months except March, with July showing a massive 21% increase in occupancy from last year.”

These statistics show that while many destinations in Southern Africa might be seeing a decline in visitors, Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side is on the up and once again being recognised as a world-class destination.

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Drums of Peace: INTWASA FULL MOON 12th & 13th August 2011

by Shoestrings Backpackers Lodge
(1st August 2011)


Friday 12th August will be a little teaser for Saturdays festivities, introducing all the drummers, dancers, musicians & artists as well as an interactive drum circle to get everyone is the mood. The entertainment will kick off with quick show from the Tin Can Kids @ 18:30 followed by: a performance from the Zimbabwe Academy of Music, a big interactive drumming circle involving everybody and then performances from various drum, dance & Fire Poi/Fire Staves groups through out the evening too. Please bring along a drum of any kind if you can (pots pans buckets tins etc are welcome) so you can get involved in the drumming circle and Drum For Peace J PLEASE NOTE: There will be no cover charge on the gate on Friday Night, everything shall be on a donation basis.

Saturday 13th August Starting around 09:00am various Ethnic and Classic clothes & jewelry designers and artists from around Vic Falls and Bulawayo shall have stalls showcasing their beautiful products. Anyone interested in having their own stall this year please call Kelly on 0777434636 to make arrangements. Pottery, books, beauty products, pickles etc Anything is welcome!! (except alcohol J) There will be plenty of food an drink available all day long for everyone. Through out the afternoon the drummers, dancers and musicians will be ?jamming? together preparing for the evenings festivities.
Drums lessons will be on offer for those wishing to get more into the rhythm with the other drummers. Again the nights entertainment will kick off with the Tin Can Kids at 17:00 pm. The moon rises around 18:00pm, the BIG interactive drumming circle will begin around 17:45 so we can be warmed up and get a rhythm going by the time the full moon appears. Again please bring along a drum of any kind (pots pans buckets tins etc are welcome) so you can get involved in the drumming circle. Throughout the evening various musicians, dancers & fire dancers shall be performing for ? with the main performance being our very own Vic Falls band ?The Chikenbus? starting at 20:00 and playing through till 12:00 Midnight!!

PLEASE NOTE: There will be a $2 cover charge from 09:00am and $5 after 18:00pm to keep out riff raff, pay the band & cover basic costs (water, toilet paper, extra cleaners etc). KIDS are FREE!! Donations to the Tin Cans Kids and Traditional Dancers etc are welcome J

For any queries please call Kelly on 0777434636. Other wise? see you there to Drum for Peace!!

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Oar-inspiring Row Down the Zambezi

by Henley Standard

A HENLEY ROWER is to take part in a 1,000-km charity row down the Upper Zambezi, a feat never before accomplished in a rowing boat.

Antonia Van Deventer, who rows for Upper Thames, is going to Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, with a team of 20.

The expedition route will begin at the Angolan border and finish at Victoria Falls.

The challenge, which is being funded solely by those taking part, starts at the end of July and will last about two weeks. The team hopes to row between 60 and 70km a day.

Antonia said: “I’m massively excited on many levels. It is the most amazing opportunity and has never been done before.”

“I grew up in Zambia. For me, I’m going home. I used to go camping where you have no water and you have to hunt for food. You sleep under the stars.”

“There is a diverse group of people going. We’ll see how they cope with the physical tiredness, the mental tiredness, tolerance levels, sore bodies, dust, mosquitos, snakes, and being scared.”

The team will have to negotiate several rapids, wild animals and sleeping on the banks of the river throughout the challenge.

The objective is to raise �50,000 for Village Water, a charity which will provide clean water and sanitation facilities for villages in Zambia, as well as raising awareness of rowing in schools across the country.

The group will be “actively involved in the digging of loos and building of wells”.

Antonia said: “There will be opportunities for the team to go into villages at various stages. This isn’t one of those charities where we’ll be throwing money at them. It is an ongoing community-led contract. They will involve themselves in it when they see the dysentery, the diarrhoea the worms and the benefits of having sanitary facilities.”

Antonia is hoping to qualify for the 2012 Olympics and will be heading to Egypt later this year to take part in the African Qualification Regatta. She will be the first person to represent Zambia for rowing on an international level. She said: “My heart is still in Zambia. I am very proud to wear the flag on my kit.”

To sponsor the team, you can donate online at www.rowzambezi.com

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85 Year Old Swinger off the Victoria Falls Bridge

by Tony

Mr Banks

Mr Banks

On 11th June 2011 Mr Kevin Banks made some inquiries with us regarding various activities in Victoria Falls for himself, his family and parents. We proceeded as usual to assist him with these bookings and his itinerary was arranged for a whole variety of activities, but as the correspondence flowed back and forth Boo Peel (Victoria Falls Guide) found out that this wasn't just your average family... below are a few snippets from the various emails.

Boo:- "Just also thought I would ask if everyone is over 11yrs – as some activities do offer Half price for under 11yrs."
Kevin:- "Everyone in our party is over 11 yrs and Dennis and Lesley are both over 75. Is there a pensioners discount for any of the activities?"
Boo:- "I'm afraid we don’t have any pensioners discounts – I would politely ask if Dennis is a fit pensioner – just thinking about the bridge swing – quite hectic."
Kevin:- "In answer to your question, yes Dennis is a fit pensioner. Spent most of his working life climbing up and down rope ladders hanging over the side of ships anchored out at sea."
Boo:- "That is great – we would love to put a feature up on the site of Dennis bridge swinging – not many people of that age are fit enough to do it."
Kevin:- "In your email below this one you mentioned putting up a feature for Dennis on the swing. What did you mean by that? By the way he is 85!!"

Well on the 29th June, Dennis Banks aged 85 years old braved what many people half his age just would not have the courage to do. He did the Bridge swing jumping off the Victoria Falls bridge with nothing but a rope between him and the Zambezi river 111 meters below. It's the ultimate adrenaline rush!
You can see the photos as well this this report from the Victoria Falls Bridge company below...

The Victoria Falls Bride Company is proud to announce that in June 2011, 85 year old Dennis Banks is the new record holder for the oldest person to do the Bridge Swing off the famous Victoria Falls Bridge! What a day.

Dennis started off with a Zipline across the top of the Batoka Gorge, to get the adrenaline flowing, but once he started he didn’t want to stop! Having watched his son Kevin and daughter in-law do the Gorge Swing, he decided to take the plunge (literally) and took the leap of faith resulting in freefalling for over 70 metres before flying out over the raging rapids of the Zambezi River with the mighty waterfalls rumbling by his side… what a thrill!

His was quoted saying that it “was fantastic, exhilarating & thoroughly enjoyable and being 85yrs old wouldn’t stop me doing it again”!

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Upswing for Zimbabwe Tourism

by SA Tourism news
(23rd February 2011)

According to influential tourism body, World Travel & Tourism Council, Zimbabwe’s tourism economy is set to grow 9.2% this year, making it the third fastest growing tourism economy in the world.

According to Ross Kennedy, Chief Executive of Africa Albida Tourism (AAT), “This is one of many positive indicators that Zimbabwe tourism is on a steady revival path after a faltering past decade. There was a perceptible momentum in changing fortunes in 2011, backed by hard statistics, and 2012 has seen that pace quicken with ‘good news’ stories coming in a steady stream.”

Africa Albida Tourism has embarked on a US$2.7 million construction of an exclusive 20-room wing, the Induna Club, and will also spend $300,000 on refashioning the public areas of the award-winning Victoria Falls Safari lodge.

A number of industry players in Victoria Falls are also showing their confidence in the industry by undertaking similar projects to cope with the international upswing. The Victoria Falls Airport is being modernised and enlarged, Emirates has commenced its five-times-a-week schedule from Dubai to Harare via Lusaka to open up the Middle East to Zimbabwe, a modern conference centre and tourism ‘plaza’ will be constructed at the Victoria Falls and will be completed by August 2013 and South African Airways has dramatically increased its capacity to Zimbabwe by 66% by introducing a daily A330-200 flight (222-seats) from Johannesburg to Harare and more seats to Victoria Falls.

In 2011, tourism earnings increased by almost 50% to 2.3 million visitors, and most hotels in the Victoria Falls region recorded increased occupancies. Arrivals into Victoria Falls grew by 19.6% in 2011 versus 2010, with growth from existing markets, plus increased interest and arrivals from new markets such as Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Tourism in other parts of Zimbabwe is also growing. Sharon Stead, Marketing Director and co-owner of The Amalinda Collection, reported that Camp Amalinda had a record year in 2011 achieving 75% occupancy and Ivory Lodge, Hwange, recorded its best month ever in August last year with 87% occupancy.

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Restaurant and Curio Shop opening within the Victoria Falls National Park

Environment Africa has been receiving calls in the past one month over the construction of a restaurant and setting up of a curio and T Shirt shop in the core zone of the Victoria Falls National and World Heritage Site.

It is believed that a local tour operator was granted permission by the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to construct a restaurant and start selling curios right in the core of the Victoria Falls rainforest.

The residents, curio vendors and companies that have been calling Environment Africa are very much concerned about the impact that this development is going to have on the conservation status of the mighty Victoria Falls and the livelihoods of more than 100 poor curio vendors and their families who were earning a living by selling curios outside the Victoria Falls Rainforest.

The vendors from “Ema Doyilini”, Busy Island, Sinathankawu and Rainforest are complaining that they have been robbed of a living.

Members of the community are wondering how and why the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority decided to allow such a new operation to take place. “Are we as a nation on the road to commercialising and taking away the natural beauty of the site”? “At what point is the Parks Authority going to stop this precedence that has been set?”.

These are the difficult questions that are being asked as residents struggle to come to terms with what is unfolding in broad day light.

The beautiful angels that David Livingstone talked about when he first saw the falls must be weeping in their flight as they see this beautiful national asset taking its first step towards its demise.

Imagine a restaurant in the great enclosure of the Great Zimbabwe Monument. Yes you can’t believe it. But it’s happening in Victoria Falls. The Lozi, Toka Leya, Tonga
and Nambya speaking people handed it down to our generation undisturbed. Is this the legacy that we want to handover to our children?

If you are among the residents, curio vendors or companies that are concerned or happy about this development please share your views with us by contacting Namo Chuma on eafrica@mweb.co.zw.

The issues that you will raise will be used to plan for a stakeholder forum to discuss the issue and map the way forward so that we reach a win-win situation and maintain a balance between tourism development, sustainable livelihoods and conservation.

You can also have access to the EIA document by requesting it from the Environmental Management Agency and the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. Call Mr Banda of EMA on 0913666855. Namo Chuma eafrica@mweb.co.zw

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The story of the baboon

There was one a stunning female baboon. All the male fought for her to be their wife. One day she came across two males as she was trying to find some food. They started to fight over her for which one got to be her husband. In a few hours of watching them fight she got so annoyed she went to the egge of Victoria Falls and jumped off. We will always remember her.

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Zambezi Airlines Grounded

by Daniel Tonga
(7th November 2011)

Zambia’s aviation industry is in its worst tailspin after the country’s only airline, Zambezi airlines was grounded to a halt on deteriorating safety standards and erratic flight schedules.

The airline which has been operating locally is also battling to settle its huge debt amounting to US $20 million it owes to creditors both public and private institutions in the country.

The Zambian authorities has since suspended its operating license and is yet to constitute a tribunal to gather more facts on the airline’s problems before deciding to lift the suspension.

“The operating license was suspended due to the airlines failure to run schedules as approved by aeronautics authorities in Zambia,” said Kenneth Silavwe Director for civil aviation.

The airline also owes Air Zimababwe about US $ 950,000 in arrears which at one time also suffered a setback after Zambezi Airline withdrew a plane it had hired from it.

Aviation Industry Analysts said airlines have been operating under harsh conditions in Zambia which affected the country’s potential for investment and this continued to signal aviation business as less profitable.

Zambia has no national airline of its own and mostly depends on international airlines for access to international destinations and other parts of the world.

The country is one of the most preferred international destinations and a major connection point of international airlines like British Airways, South African airways and Kenya Airways.

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Stanley and Livingstone voted Zim's Best Hotel

THE Stanley & Livingstone resort was again this year voted Zimbabwe’s leading hotel for 2010 by World Travel Awards Africa and Indian Ocean.

The five star hotel, owned by Rani Resorts and a local business consortium beat five other star hotels, including four time winners, The Victoria Falls Hotel who were the winners between 2004 and 2008.

Rani Resorts owns seven other tourism resorts across the African continent.

Nominees for the 2010 award included Imba Matombo Hotel, Leopard Rock owned by investment group, LonZim, Matesti Game Reserve, Meikles Hotel, The Victoria Falls Hotel and Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.

The small luxury hotel is an all suite hotel with 16 suites — 10 double suites, of which one is a honeymoon suite, 6 twins including 2 inter-leading rooms consisting of 1 double and 1 twin.

The recognition of the country’s tourism sector comes at a time when the private sector and Government are making frantic efforts to boost the country’s tourism sector, which has potential to turnaround the economy.

Tourism is a key sector in the country’s economic growth and plays an important role in rebranding Zimbabwe’s image.

Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is projected to register a positive growth of 10 percent.

The sector used to contribute an average 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product, 6 percent of formal employment and 10 percent of foreign exchange.

Since 1999, the sector was hard hit by a plethora of challenges that besieged the economy, including negative publicity from the international community and a decade-long economic sanctions regime.

In 2009, while global tourism suffered from the vagaries of the financial turmoil, contracting by 4 percent, Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is estimated to have grown by about 6.,5 percent.

Currently, the country’s hotel room capacity for 3 to 5-star hotel range is estimated to be about 10 000 rooms.

Over the past decade, Zimbabwe has not been able to add any new room capacity in its mainline hotels. Out of the 1.9 million international tourist arrivals in 2009, the country realised US$294 million in tourism receipts.

Of these arrivals, 1,7 million were from Africa, with the leading source markets being South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique.

The bulk of these international tourist arrivals from African source markets consist of returning Zimba-bweans who are working in neighbouring countries.

As the political and economic situation continues to improve, Zimbabwe is expected to attract an increasing number of high-spending tourists from the US, Europe, Asia and the Oceania region, with the attendant benefits of realising significantly higher tourism receipts.

The removal of negative travel advisories last year by the US, Germany, UK and the European Union at large further improved Zimbabwe’s position to tap into these niche markets.

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King's Club at Kingdom Hotel

(Victoria Falls)


The Kingdom Hotel at Victoria Falls (https://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/kingdom-hotel-victoria-falls.html) refurbished some of their rooms into a new wing of suites with exclusive service offering guests that extra personal touch with a hostess on call for you during your stay, and “A royal welcome from the King & Queen”.

The Kings Club wing has a total of 52 rooms with king size beds, a complimentary minibar, a private balcony. Booking with the King’s Club also means that you get return airport transfers, express check-in, a complimentary hand massage, sundowners and snacks in the bar, a fruit basket, a bottle of wine, and a guided tour of The Kingdom accompanied by your hostess.

“Enter the legendary world of The Kingdom at Victoria Falls, a modern tribute to Africa’s ancient allure and enjoy the royal treat of The Kings Club”

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Tourists Hail New Parks' Rainforest Café

by Patrick Chitumba

Victoria Falls — The opening of a National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority-run Café in the Victoria Falls Rainforest has been welcomed by tourists, who feel it has added value to their experience of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The Rainforest Café opened its doors last week and becomes the first place to offer food and beverages in the area.

Previously, day-trippers would be dropped at the entrance, pay entry fees, tour one of the Seven Wonders of the World and then drive back to Kasane in Botswana or Livingstone, Zambia, soon afterwards without really enjoying the best that Zimbabwe has to offer.

However, the new café has seen tourists spending longer periods in the rainforest. The café manager, Mr Chris Brown, said nothing was brought down in building the facility as the thatched structure was constructed within the trees.

Yesterday, The Herald caught up with some American, German, Australian and English tourists enjoying a meal at the café.

They commended the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority for coming up with the facility.

Mrs Hannes Greenwell from Germany said the last time she and her husband visited they had left early because they got hungry and crossed back into Zambia where they were staying.

"This is just marvellous," she remarked.

Mr Mark Henceforth from England said he had been to Iguacu Falls in Brazil and Table Mountain in South Africa where he saw big, world class restaurants near the sites.

"This allows us time to sit back and relax. We also get to meet other people from other countries."

In an interview in the rainforest recently, Tourism and Hospita-lity Industry Minister Walter Mzembi said controlled development should be allowed to take place in the area. He said other tourist attractions with World Heritage Site status, like Iguacu Falls, were open for 24 hours and this meant greater revenue inflow.

"In Victoria Falls, gates are closed after 6pm. Tourists want to visit even at night to see the rainforest. We want to see lights here and other activities so that revenue increases," he said.

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Victoria Falls Council Approves New Cricket Ground

Construction work will begin at Victoria Falls early next year on what promises to be a spectacular new Zimbabwe Test and ODI cricket ground after the local council granted planning approval.

It will be the third Test arena in the country after Harare Sports Club and Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

These are due to stage matches against Bangladesh in August, including one Test in Harare, following Zimbabwe's return after six years absence to the game at top level.

The new ground is designed to attract additional local and international visitors on top of those already drawn to one of Africa's premier tourist destinations.

It will also be a second home ground after Queens for the Matabeleland "Tuskers," one of five first class provincial sides recently established into a first class league.

The new ground is to be sited close to the Gorges, deep ravines gouged through millions of years, which take massive volumes of water from the 100 metres high Falls down into Lake Kariba, formed in 1958 by a hyrdro-electric dam across the Zambezi River.

These are regarded by many white-water enthusiasts as providing among the best rafting in the world.

In addition to staging Tests and ODI's, the expectation is that other cricket teams will be attracted, in particular English representative and county sides, who were occasional tourists in previous years.

Before Zimbabwe's demise as a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2005, these included MCC, Yorkshire and Northamptonshire.

"A" sides from Australia and South Africa are presently in Zimbabwe for a triangular tournament and more than one such match would be staged there from a similar tour three years from now.

Zimbabwe Cricket CEO Ozias Bvute and former captain Alistar Campbell confirmed the council approval.

Bvute commented: "This is one of the great natural wonders of the world and playing international and first class cricket there will cause a lot of excitement among potentially visiting players and fans. Tourism is on the up in this country and sporting tourism especially so."

Campbell said: "We had eight or nine thousand for a recent Twenty-20 tournament in Harare and that has given us additional confidence to go ahead, apart from other factors. People now go to Dubai for cricket. We will soon be an alternative to that. There is a lot of vision here at the moment."

Bvute claims there will be facilities for 12,000 spectators while Campbell opts for a lower figure of 4,000.

Architects are drawing up plans for a clubhouse, but no cost estimates are so far available.

The Victoria Falls are directly opposite the Zambia city of Livingstone, named after the 19th century Scottish explorer and missionery Dr. David Livingstone. And it is only a 90 minutes flight or so from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Livingstone and Victoria Falls are connected by a rail and road bridge which once formed part of diamond magnate Cecil John Rhodes's vision of a link all the way from Cape Town to Cairo at opposite ends of the continent.

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Airlink increases Kruger-Livingstone flights

by SA Toursim update
(24 Wed, Aug 2011)

AIRLINK will be increasing the frequency of flights operating between Nelspruit Kruger and Livingstone.

Initially launched in August 2009 with three flights per week, the route has started to mature and gain traction in the international market, with tour operators and their clients experiencing the benefits of a direct same day connection between these two premier leisure travel destinations.

Airlink in conjunction with the trade will now increase the number of departure days in order to increase travel flexibility and choice for this service.

As the service is subject to very long booking lead times of six months and more, the new flights are being introduced now for 2012 so that operators may include these new options in their brochures soon to be offered at World Travel Market in London and the other premier trade shows. The one additional flight, operating on Saturdays, will commence March 10, 2012 with Tuesday flights being added from August 7, 2012. The schedule will then operate Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The flights depart Nelspruit Kruger at 11h55, arriving Livingstone at 13h50 and departing Livingstone at 14h20 arriving Nelspruit Kruger at 16h45

The direct flights between Kruger and Livingstone allow travellers to enjoy a game drive and breakfast at their bush lodge in Kruger before travelling to Livingstone to enjoy, on the same day, an evening sunset cruise on the Zambezi. Returning travellers, from Livingstone to Kruger, can enjoy a walk to the Victoria Falls in the morning followed by breakfast and midmorning activities, before travelling to Kruger to enjoy dinner and their first night in the bush.

Tour operators have enthusiastically supported Airlink’s unique combination of flights which allow them to market combination fly-in packages which include Cape Town, JHB or Durban, to Kruger and then onwards to Livingstone ensuring travellers are able to experience the best that South Africa has to offer with minimal time spent transiting and unnecessary overnight stays thereby maximising their leisure experience.

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Victoria Falls Bush Telegraph

by Tony
(16th November 2012)

We have just sent out November issue No 9 of our Victoria Falls Bush Telegraph you can have a look at it here Victoria Falls Bush Telegraph

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Victoria Falls Spectacular

The Victoria Falls Spectacular – a golfing fundraiser for Victoria Falls Primary School! Bring the family, there’s something on the go for all ages.


Venue – Elephant Hills Golf Club, Victoria Falls

Date – 24 September 2011

Entrance for non- golfers $5


Start of Tee off for “3 Ball Mexican Hat”

Start of “BMX races”


Start of Tee off for “4 Ball Better Ball Stableford Competition”

Start of “Kids games”


Opening of stalls by Halfway House.

Opening of the “Cowboy Bar”

“World Cup rugby” viewing from the Halfway House

Start of the chipping and putting competition


Prize giving for golf competitions and awarding of Traders’ Cup\


Start of Dinner Dance (Cover charge $25)

Contacts :

Dave Cooper – dave@wildhorizons.co.zw

Sara Norton – snorton@yoafrica.com

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Good Times for Victoria Falls Again

by Charlotte Musarurwa

GOOD times are rolling again for Victoria falls, the country’s most popular tourist resort.

After a decade-long slump in business, the World Heritage Site is now showing signs of recovery.
Those who operate in the town kept their fingers crossed during the hard times and their patience is slowly being rewarded.

Many tourists in the past 10 years were shunning the Zimbabwean side of the waterfalls, preferring the Zambian view.
Yet the number of visitors to the Zimbabwean side had traditionally been much higher due to improved infrastructure and a fantastic vantage point.
As a result, hotel occupancy declined to an average of 30 percent.
But Victoria Falls is witnessing a transformation despite the belief by some that the country’s political situation is hindering the arrival of tourists.
The town is now wearing a new look, with a hive of activity as tourists arrive on a daily basis.

A visit to the resort town last week revealed that most of the tourists come from as faraway as the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom and France.
Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Walter Mzembi said the country had witnessed tremendous growth in the tourism sector, with Victoria Falls being the most improved.
“There is a universal acknowledgment that tourism has bounced back, especially the Victoria Falls,” he said.

“The Americans are on our number one list of arrivals. We are beginning to benefit because we are a peaceful and crime-free destination. We also offer unique products that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. (These include) the Victoria Falls, Kariba and the Eastern Highlands.”
Minister Mzembi said that most tourists had also changed their perception towards Zimbabwe.

The improvement in tourism has been acknowledged by different tourism bodies worldwide.
“The growth in tourism was acknowledged by the Executive Council at United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly in September last year, of which Zimbabwe is a member,” said Minister Mzembi.

In preparation for the 2010 Fifa World Cup held in South Africa, most hotels in Victoria Falls were upgraded to benefit from the largest event held in Africa.
A visit to the five-star trio of Kingdom at Victoria Falls, Elephant Hills Resort and The Victoria Falls Hotel revealed that they are now equipped with modern facilities, latest technologies and activities which favour the tourists.

Leisure, business, conferencing and other activities were spruced up with a classic international touch.
The general manager of Elephant Hills Resort, Mr Trythings Mutyandasvika, said hotel occupancy was improving with each passing day.
“We had really upgraded our facilities for the Fifa World Cup, but the turn-up of the visitors was not as expected, although we managed to host the Mexicans and the Argentinians who wanted to view the falls,” he said.

“Since that time tourists have been coming and the hotel occupancy has also increased.”
According to a recent report titled “Tourism Trends and Statistics Report 2010”, the effects of last year’s world soccer jamboree held in Africa for the first time largely contributed to the significant rise in tourist arrivals and hotel occupancy levels in Zimbabwe.

The report indicates that tourist arrivals in 2010 were 2 239 165, representing an 11 percent increase from the 2009 figure of 2 017 264.
Tourism receipts were pushed up to US$634 million from US$523 million recorded in 2009, representing a 21 percent increase from the comparative period.
Of the 2 239 165 arrivals received by Zimbabwe in 2010, Africa contributed 87 percent followed by Europe (6 percent), the Americas (3 percent) and Asia (2 percent).

Oceania and the Middle East contributed less than 2 percent.
Average hotel room occupancy levels also increased from 46 percent to 52 percent, while average bed occupancy levels rose from 35 percent to 36 percent last year compared to 2009. Almost all of the country’s regions experienced increases in room occupancy levels except for Harare and the Midlands. The border town of Beitbridge had the highest room occupancy (62 percent) and bed occupancy (59 percent), while

Victoria Falls remained with the highest foreign clientele composition at 63 percent.
This was probably because almost all foreign tourists want to catch a glimpse of the majestic Victoria Falls.
But observers note that inasmuch as most tourists are now visiting the Victoria Falls, the troubled Air Zimbabwe has disadvantaged a number of local tourists as they are forced to travel to South Africa to connect flights directly to the resort area.

Air Zimbabwe is facing multiple challenges with its debt soaring to US$100 million as a result of non-payment of service providers.
“The situation at Air Zimbabwe seems to be worsening; we call upon the Government to urgently review the situation,” said a player in the tourism industry.
“At least they should allow other airlines to come on board for our domestic, regional and international flights.”

The increase in the number of tourists visiting the Victoria Falls has come with the increase of legal and illegal vendors in the town.
Most of the local people earn a living through selling sculptures and wooden carvings to the tourists.
Mr Jameson Matava, who has been a vendor for the past four years at a market near the falls, said business picked up from last year.

“I can safely say business has really improved comparing with the previous years,” he said. “The increase in the number of tourists has forced some vendors to operate illegally because there is money to be realised.

“There were days when you would go home without any money, but now, on a good day I can take home US$340 a day, which is not bad.”
Zimbabwe dollar notes have proved to be a “money-maker” for the vendors who sell them to tourists as curious souvenirs.

But Mr Mutyandasvika said hotels had deployed tourism police for the safety of visitors.
It is hoped that Victoria Falls would continue to recover and attract more tourists.
There is no doubt that the recovery of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s tourist gem, signifies the change in fortunes for the hospitality sector.

Comments for Good Times for Victoria Falls Again

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Oct 01, 2013
Kindly provide actual stastics for the number of tourists visiting The Victoria Falls each year with supported evidence not hear say.
by: Anonymous

Kindly provide actual stastics with supported evidence of the number of tourists who visit Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe each year?

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