Footsteps Through Time

Footsteps Through Time
A History of Travel and Tourism to the Victoria Falls - www.zambezibookcompany.com

Monday, 16 September 2013

Botswana to Extract Water from Victoria Falls to Meet Growing Demand

The attractiveness of the 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 local consumption.

According to media reports from Zimbabwe, Botswana, a neighbour to both Zambia and Zimbabwe wants to use huge volumes of water to meet the growing demand for the essential commodity in that country.

This would affect foreign currency inflows for both Zimbabwe and Zambia which come from tourists who flock to the falls annually to witness the “smoke that thunders” on both sides.

According to eTurboNews, a global travel industry news source, Botswana has notified other southern African countries of its intentions to abstract some 30 cubic metres from the Chobe River.
The water would be abstracted where Chobe River meets the Zambezi River for a planned irrigation scheme in the Pandamatenga area and for domestic water supply.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Water Resources Development and Management, Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo recently told Parliament in that country that Zimbabwe was considering Botswana’s submission.
He, however, noted 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.

Source: Botswana to Extract Water from Victoria Falls to Meet Growing Demand (14 Sept 2013)







Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe threatened by planned Botswana project

The attractiveness for locals and tourism of the mighty Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe and 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 use in its interior, a cabinet minister has 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."

Botswana has notified other southern African countries of its intentions to abstract some 30 cubic metres from the Chobe River where it meets the Zambezi River for a planned irrigation scheme in the Pandamatenga area and for domestic water supply.

The Minister of Water Resources Development and Management, Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo recently told parliament that Zimbabwe was considering Botswana's submission.

He, however, noted 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," said Sipepa-Nkomo.

"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."Remarkably preserved in its natural state, Victoria Falls inspires visitors as much today as it did to David Livingstone in the 1860s.

Source: Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe threatened by planned Botswana project (10/09/13)




Monday, 9 September 2013

Zim tourist arrivals up 12pc

Zimbabwe recorded a 12 percent increase in tourist arrivals in the first half of 2013, registering 859 995 compared to 767 393 visitors during the same period last year, according to statistics released by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. The first half of 2013 marked the build-up to the harmonised elections which were resoundingly won by President Mugabe and Zanu-PF. Tourist arrivals usually tend to decline towards, during and after an election.

“Surprisingly, the elections had little effect on tourist arrivals with a few exceptions such as Botswana, Argentina, USA, Singapore, Germany, Italy and Israel whose arrivals rose in the first quarter, but, suddenly declined in the second quarter,” said the tourism body.

The ever increasing regional trade and commerce also contributed immensely to this growth in arrivals, through the activities of business tourists, cross-border traders and transiting tourists, mostly drawn from the DRC, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

Asia exhibited an outstanding performance, recording a 60 percent growth in arrivals into Zimbabwe. In Asia, China is rapidly becoming the major engine driving global tourism, having generated 83 million trips to all parts of the world in 2012 and continues to grow.

Arrivals from China grew by about three times as much in 2013 as in 2012, recording a whopping 310 percent growth. Regionally, Africa had an 11 percent increase to 749 301 in the first half in arrivals rising from 675 727 in the same period last year.

South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia shared over 70 percent of the arrivals from the Sadc region. Europe recorded a 26 percent growth in arrivals with the United Kingdom (72 percent) and France (76 percent) being the star performers from this region.

However, the major markets of Germany and Italy registered a decline, which could have otherwise fuelled further growth of European arrivals to Zimbabwe.

Tourist arrivals from the Americas declined by 3 percent, having falling from 24 462 in 2012 to 23 764 on the background of a 6 percent decline in United States of America’s arrivals.

Middle East arrivals also declined by 7 percent, with the major market of Israel tumbling by 9 percent during the period under review.

Australia boosted the tourist arrivals of Oceania by 8 percent which was the only market with positive results from this region, while New Zealand registered a 37 percent decline.

Source: Zim tourist arrivals up 12pc (06/09/13)

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Zimbabwe To Convert Victoria Falls Into Garden of Eden

ZIMBABWE is planning a low-budget entertainment park in the resort town of Victoria Falls to boost local tourism, a cabinet minister said Friday.
“We want to bring the Garden of Eden to Victoria Falls, where flora and fauna can co-exist,” Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi told AFP at the end of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly co-hosted by Zimbabwe and neighbour Zambia.
“We don’t know how big the Garden of Eden was but it will be our model. It’s still a vision. We are at the conceptual stage. What’s in place is the land.”
Some have dubbed the project “a Disneyland for Africa.”
“The main aim is provide a facility in Victoria Falls where locals who cannot afford the high cost of booking in major hotels in the resort can come for holiday.
“Victoria Falls should cease to be the preserve of the rich and foreign visitors,” Mzembi said.
The government has allocated 1,200 hectares (almost 3,000 acres) of land for the project to be built by local and foreign private investors, he added.
“The Government’s only contribution is the land. We will invite investors to come in and build.”
Among the planned facilities will be a zoo, hotels, a skating rink and a garden with a replica of the Victoria Falls waterfall.
Victoria Falls, on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, is a popular destination for foreign holidaymakers.
But high travel and accommodation costs put it beyond the means of the majority of the population.
Along with Livingstone town in Zambia, Victoria Falls hosted the UNWTO general assembly despite objections from some Western countries to Zimbabwe hosting the event.
Zimbabwe has been roundly condemned in the West for the poor human rights record of President Robert Mugabe’s security forces.
But UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said the decision to allow Zimbabwe and Zambia to co-host the event was “the correct and right decision”.
Around 1,200 delegates from UNWTO member states discussed ways to promote tourism. 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Livingstone is in my chiefdom, says Chief Sekute

A wrangle is looming between Chief Sekute of Kazungula District and Senior Chief Mukuni over whose chiefdom between the two the city of Livingstone is located.

This is after Chief Sekute declared that Livingstone City is part of Sekute chiefdom.

Livingstone, which is known to be a city without any attachment to any chiefdom, is largely viewed as an area within Chief Mukuni’s area. This is because his chiefdom is located a few kilometres from the Livingstone town centre although it is in Kazungula District. Chief Sekute staked his claim on Livingstone on Monday when Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo commissioned a number of infrastructure projects around Victoria Falls world heritage site.

The facilities, which included a steel fence as well as a new ablution block and a curio market, were constructed by the National Heritage Conservation Commission (NCC) in readiness for the 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly. Chief Sekute said he was very grateful to see wonderful infrastructure being constructed in his chiefdom in Livingstone.

“Livingstone is in my chiefdom and I am happy that my town has been developed within a few months. I wish to sincerely thank Government and the Ministry of Tourism and Arts for wonderful things done to my town,” he said.

In apparent reference to Mukuni Park in Livingstone town centre, Chief Sekute said the right name for the place should have been Barotse Centre and not what it was currently called.

This was after a representative of Senior Chief Mupotola Siloka spoke at the same function to thank the Government for the infrastructure in the city.

Mr Siloka also thanked Government for upgrading Mukuni Road to bituminous standard.

He said tourists would be able to visit the Mukuni chiefdom easily following the upgrading of the road.

But Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkando Luo observed that chiefdom wrangles were not peculiar in the country. She urged the two chiefdoms to realise that Zambians were one and hence they should put the interest of citizens first.

“What you witnessed here is not peculiar to chiefdoms and what we are trying to do now is to deal with chiefdom boundaries. We will first of all allow chiefdoms to demarcate their own boundaries and where this will fail, we as Government will come in and regulate, then everybody will know how far they can go. Where the elephants fight, it is the grass which suffers,” Prof Luo said.

Source: Times of Zambia (30 August 2013)