Victoria Falls Rainforest Park opens its gates today after a 100-day hiatus due to Covid-19 lockdowns. Tourist operators are delighted with the move, seen as a positive step toward re-opening the tourist town to domestic travel and hopefully international visitors in the not-too-distant future.
In a Statutory Instrument released by the Government last week, National Parks, restaurants and tourism operators were the given the green light to open, provided they met certain safety protocols.
This has since sparked much interest in domestic travel, with accommodation providers starting to receive inquiries for the coming months.
“This year is the best opportunity for locals to see their own country,” says Bradley Barrett of the recently refurbished Livingstone Lodge.
“Not only are the Falls at their best in years, there are incredible discounts on accommodation and activities for local travelers.”
During the lockdown, the Falls reached their highest flow in ten years, a thundering 4500 cubic metres per second.
While the peak has since past, the Falls are still roaring at 1500 cubic metres per second, twice the flow of this time last year. The falls are clearly audible during the quiet of the night up to two kilometres away.
One of the first guests back in the falls, Somien van der Westhuizen, was in utter awe of the spectacle:
“I have never seen it so wet, I’m soaked, it was just magnificent!”
Locals have also been hard at work in the rainforest removing Lantana weed during the lockdown, ensuring that the world wonder is looking its best for the return of tourists.
With private schools set to take early holidays from the 13th of July, lodges and hotels are opening their doors to welcome local guests. Several of Victoria Falls’ well-known restaurants are also re-opening for dine-in guests.
Zambezi National Park is also now open for game drives, camping and fishing.
VF24 Editor JH