A central hub for the KAZA region the Victoria Falls Airport has become a critical link to the wildlife areas such as Hwange and Chobe – the airport is beginning to receive more regular flights as a Post Covid mood sets in.
From Wild Zambezi and We Area Victoria Falls – Airlines are gradually resuming flights into the tourism hub of Victoria Falls. Airlink have reintroduced Cape Town-Vic Falls flights twice a week (to be increased later this year). BA Comair (pictured) have resumed Johannesburg-Vic Falls flights twice a week. These will increase to daily from June. Fastjet has daily flights Johannesburg- Vic Falls and Vic-Falls-Harare. Ethiopian Airlines now fly Addis Ababa-Vic Falls three times a week. Kenya Airways will recommence Nairobi-Vic Falls flights on Fridays from 4th June, and MackAir now run a daily Kasane-Vic Falls flight schedule.
The resort town has achieved herd immunity recently in a bold move by the Ministry of Health and that of Tourism in the country to vaccinate the entire population of the town. Zimbabwe as a whole, much like Botswana and Zambia, has been able to avoid severely high numbers of cases and fatalities from Covid 19.
International tourism numbers into the destination have remained low, however local tourism has been booming. Recent events including a Motor Cross event and a Cross Country collectors car Raleigh have been fully subscribed. Apparently a mountain bike event planned for July 2021 has also been fully booked, with over seventy cyclists signing up. The introduction of the above flights into the destination means Vic Falls is also on the target list for regional or intra – African travel out of North, East and South Africa.
Ethiopian Airlines have been travelling consistently into the destination ensuring that a sprinkling of international tourists have been able to travel and see the Victoria Falls as well as take advantage of prime safari season when few other travellers are around.
“You can book a safari to some of the most popular areas and literally be the only game drive vehicle there!” a comment from a recent traveller from the USA who took the chance and was rewarded with a safari of a life time.
As South Africa remains on the UK’s red list it seems that travellers from further afield are having to find other ways to access the destination than through SA, with the flights from Addis and Nairobi this is possible. However until the market is able to connect through South Africa again it is unlikely that substantial tourism arrivals will materialise. This is a problem for the region as the conservation efforts of the many organisations depend on the income generated by tourism. To make matters worse many of the people themselves have lost their jobs and so this results in them turning to subsistence poaching of fire wood and wildlife.
Travellers arriving in Victoria Falls simply require a negative Covid 19 test certificate issued within 72 hours of arrival in Victoria Falls.
VF24 – Editor 5