Photo Credit: It's All Bee
Africa's Victoria Falls Bounces Back After Suffering From A Severe Drought
Victoria Falls is bouncing back, after facing hard times over the past two years due to a severe drought. This amazing tourist destination has recovered, and the immense water spectacle located in Africa’s southeastern region can be seen again.
As the BBC reported in 2019, Victoria Falls dried-up as Zambia experienced its worst drought season in a century. The flow of the Zambezi river was reduced to a relative trickle and the falls ran dry. The reason for this was the current worsening climate change process.
“Observers of weather patterns in the Zambezi Basin believe the changing climate is resulting in a delay to the monsoon season, concentrating the rains into bigger, more intense events. This makes the storage of the water in the region more difficult, and makes the impact of the extended dry season more damaging to people and the environment”, says the BBC article.
But things have changed for the better now, according to spokesman for the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority Tinashe Farawo. In March, Farawo told News Ghana that Victoria Falls is at its peak as a result of the rainy season.
“The falls are crying out to be seen. But due to coronavirus restrictions, the water gushes down without an audience,” said Farawo.
Despite this natural recovery process, local tour operators still worry about reports that the waterfalls dried up as published in Western media sources, as Ghana news reported.
In 2019, the UN’s State of the Climate in Africa in 2019 report painted a weary picture for the continent. As news of the low waters spread, local traders noticed a visible drop in tourist numbers. As one of the region’s biggest attractions for tourists, Victoria Falls is an important source of income for Zimbabwe and Zambia.
For the local tourist sector agencies, the Western media still reports that Victoria Falls has dried-up. This causes trouble for the small but vital tourism industry. Tour operators spoke of a few sporadic bookings over the holidays, but that’s been it so far.
“The sector is virtually at a standstill,” confirms Godfrey Koti, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
Located between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is considered as one of the natural wonders of the world. Standing 5,604 ft at its widest point and with a height of more than 100 m— also known as the smoke that thunders— Victoria Falls ranks as one of the world’s largest waterfalls.
The fall is formed as the Zambezi river plunges into a chasm called the First Gorge. The chasm was carved by the action of water along a natural fracture zone in the volcanic rock that makes up the landscape in this region of Southern Africa.
Victoria Falls is open for tourists. According to Zimbabwe’s government official statement, all passengers arriving at Harare, Bulawayo or Victoria Falls International Airports are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate obtained within 48 hours of boarding. Passengers can then proceed unless the officials believe a traveler to be symptomatic.