Post Covid in Zambesia
Edition No. 2 – 15th May 2020
The opening article in Post Covid in Zambesia series was released on the 3rd of May 2020, and we had been in lock down for a little over one month in Victoria Falls (ours began on the 30th of March). Much of the world had already been in lock down prior to this for some time.
Many of us have come to terms with the situation and have gone through some interesting stages/phases of the “lockdown evolution”.
This may have been in the initial form of panic about food and other basics, real fear begging the question, “will we all lose loved ones in this impending wave of sickness”. To a secondary phase of reflection and enjoying the peace, partial boredom and many are now at a phase where they are unsure as to whether this was all necessary.
To so many there is simply fear of how we come to terms with economic recovery and how we begin on the path back to some form of normality.
In the Zambesia region, much like places around the world where economic activity hampers the freedom of wildlife, the animals, the trees, the rivers and the air have seemed fresher and happier. Less traffic on the roads has seen more elephant using them for their own networking, we have seen Lion and Buffalo walking through parts of towns.
We spoke in the first release of Post Covid in Zambesia of the indelible link between successful tourism and the conservation of our wilderness. Just like other industry around the globe, if we in the tourism industry do not wake up from this Covid induced slumber fast and attract some form of tourism to the region, we and nature, may struggle to recover at all.
Many have realised this and are busy conjuring up plans and recovery angles. In the last two weeks we have heard of several initiatives to re awaken the tourism game. Nothing however, can be done if the borders remain shut and airlines grounded. It is now in the hands of our Governments to make some bold decisions based on the science available to them and balance this against the sheer need to restart things.
Some local tourism may be possible, it would be great to see Zambians flocking from Lusaka to the bush or from Harare to enjoy the Victoria Falls. This however is not going to be the shot in the arm that the tourism industry needs to reignite. This will not pay the anti-poaching bills and fill the National Parks coffers.
We are, right now in the worst phase – Limbo – damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
Whilst I do not envy the powers at be making these decisions. It seems though that the number of infected people in our part of Africa is low and thankfully the deaths have been few. Have we dodged the Covid Bullet ? If so, will we now continue to suffer from the economic fall out of this global pandemic ?
For now – Thanks for reading and we will see you on the next release of Post Covid in Zambesia soon.
VF24 Editor 5