“Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social well-being, and exercise environmental stewardship”BAN KI MOON
Employment Through Tourism
As a town predominantly focused on tourism, Victoria Falls has historically provided growth in terms of job creation and income for local communities. Pre COVID-19 employment through tourism in and around Victoria Falls accounted for an estimated 85% direct tourism employment with a balance of 15% in downstream tourism support or related sectors.
Tourism in the region plays a vital a role in facilitating community development through infrastructural development, business mentoring and educational opportunities, all of which contribute to local communities in increasing skill and knowledge as well as improving the socio-economic status of the community.
During crisis situations such as drought, and the current COVID-19 pandemic, key tourism businesses and partners play a vital role in offering essential support to the surrounding communities, such as food security, health and safety awareness, providing access to clean water etc.
The Victoria Falls area is rich in stone age artifacts; weapons, ornaments and other tools from the era suggesting that there were healthy populations of the Homo habilis in the area dating as far back as three million years although the majority of the artifacts are from approximately 50,000 years ago.
Arab slave traders, who operated throughout the interior of Southern-Africa from the 1200's referred to the waterfall as the "end of the world". Centuries later in 1715 a map produced by French cartogrpaher Nicolas de Fer, indicated the presence of cataracts at the point where the Victoria Falls are located although they only rose to fame once David Livingstone 'discovered' them a century later, even though he was already aware of their existence.
The first Bantu inhabitants of the region were the ancestors of the Tonga people, believed to have migrated from the equatorial forests of the Congo Basin, probably reaching the Zambezi Valley via Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa sometime around the fifteenth or sixteenth century. Despite their de-centralised and less warlike society, making them easy targets for more aggressive tribes, their descendants still live along the banks of the Zambezi above and below the Victoria Falls.
Towards the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries other Bantu peoples migrated south from their original homelands in the southern Congo Basin. The earliest of these tribes to arrive, following the Batonga, was the Toka-Leya, under Chief Mukuni. The word ‘Leya’ means ‘to keep out of troubles’ and the explanation is given that Mukuni led off a number of his followers and settled in the country on both banks of the river above and below the Victoria Falls.
The political organisation of the Lozi Tribe has long centred on a monarchy, whose reigning head, the Paramount King, is known as 'Litunga' which means 'keeper of the earth. Early Lozi oral tradition states that they have always inhabited the area along the Zambezi River from the Victoria Falls upstream, eastwards up the Chobe river floodplain in Botswana, to the Barotse Floodplain in North-western Zambia.
After the fall of Great Zimbabwe Empire in the 15th century, a sub-chief by the name Sahwanga left for present day Hwange National Park with a small group of followers where they established their new home made of stone structures, similar to those found at Great Zimbabwe. By the 1800's their numbers had grown and they occupied land along all the major rivers in the arid area between Hwange and Victoria Falls.
In the 1830's an army that originated in the Tswana-speaking Bafokeng region of South Africa, known as the Makololo, led by a warrior called Sebetwane, invaded Barotseland and conquered the Lozi. Sebetwane and David Livingstone forged a strong friendship and it was the Makololo people that led Livingstone to the Victoria Falls in 1855. In 1864 a Lozi revolt resulted in the Makololo being overthrown and scattering.
The Ndebele, a branch of the Zulu who rebelled against King Shaka in the early 1820's and moved North through present day Botswana and into Zimbabwe. Led by Mzilikazi, the Ndebele swiftly overpowered the Nambya tribe and while exploring their new domain, which included the lands dropping down from the northern edge of the present-day Hwange National Park, down into the Zambezi valley, had their first sight of the Zambezi River and the falls which they named aManza Thunqayo - ‘the water which rises like smoke’.
Latest Community News
Braille for Tourism launched in Victoria Falls
In a historic milestone, and through an impressive collaboration between government and private sector, in continued efforts to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals of 2030, the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, together with Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Vic Falls City Council, and Airports Company of Zimbabwe, and partnered…
Africa’s Eden In-Destination Travel Show begins in Victoria Falls today
The inaugural Africa’s Eden In-Destination Travel Show began in Victoria Falls today to showcase the expansive and unparalleled biodiversity and world-class wilderness, wildlife and outdoor adventure offering of the region incorporating Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. As a membership association focused on collaborative efforts to promote the region, Africa’s Eden together with 75 exhibitors from…
Fastjet introduces Victoria Falls to Maun flights
Fastjet Zimbabwe, the award-winning value-based airline, has today announced that effective Thursday, 30 June 2022, the airline will introduce a new service between Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Maun in Botswana. The new route is scheduled to operate four (4) times a week on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Fastjet will operate the route…
“Sustainable development is the pathway to tThe value of biodiversity is that it makes our ecosystems more resilient, which is a prerequisite for stable societies; its wanton destruction is akin to setting fire to our lifeboat”JOHAN ROCKSTROM
Ecological Law Enforcement
The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, The Forestry Commission and a number of private organisations continue to work collaboratively on measures designed to eradicate poaching and the illegal harvesting of natural resources, ensure effective legal frameworks and deterrents against wildlife crime, strengthen law enforcement, and support sustainable livelihoods.
Human Wildlife Conflict Management
With the current human population growth rate, the increasing demand for natural resources and the growing pressure for access to land, conflicts over human–wildlife interactions are present. However, there are ongoing collaborative efforts by a number of organisations to find diverse and inclusive solutions to reduce and offset conflict, turning challenges into opportunities to increase public support for professional management.
Research and Biological Monitoring
Long-term biological monitoring is key to effective, evidence-based conservation management. In and around Victoria Falls there is ongoing research, disease testing, wildlife and biological monitoring with a strong focus on fostering community-based conservation methods.
As the mandated government body, Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority play a vital role in maintaining the pristine ecology and wildlife within the Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Parks.
With so much of the naturally forested areas surrounding Victoria Falls falling under the mandate of the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe they play an integral part in preserving the buffer zones around the National Parks and maintaining the wildlife corridors between these parks.
The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of our local wildlife and natural resources. Working in close conjunction with Zimparks and Forestry Commission, the VFAPU scouts carry out daily patrols in and around Victoria Falls removing deadly wire snares, preventing wood poaching and assisting with the immobilisation and treated of any injured wildlife.
For over a decade The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust has carried out a diversity of projects in the region which include community participation, and visionary and practical management in wildlife conservation, rescue and rehabilitation, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, and research to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases. Working together with Zimparks, Forestry and other conservation organisations, VFWT is synergistically stewarding a culture of coexistence with wildlife throughout the region.
Bhejane Trust is a Zimbabwe registered non profit trust, established in 2010 to assist Zimparks with infrastructural support by managing boreholes, solar pumps, restoring pans, fire management and road network maintenance.
Latest Conservation News
Africa’s Eden release Press Statement on recently announced travel bans
Africa’s Eden Tourism Association, a private sector, membership based organisation representing the tourism ecosystem in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, issued a Press Statement today imploring World Leader’s to ‘consider the science regarding the new variant and to understand the cost of travel bans on the communities, conservation and economic recovery’ of the region, before…
Zambesia Conservation Alliance to host Conservation Games Awards event in Victoria Falls
On the 27th November 2021, Zambesia Conservation Alliance will host the Conservation Games Awards event for the winners of the various categories of the first ever Conservation Games held online in 2020. The Conservation Games, a set of quiz matches played via ZOOM, was held over a series of recorded matches and then released on…
Victoria Falls stakeholders mourn the loss of conservation hero
Victoria Falls stakeholders have this past weekend, been mourning the loss of one of their conservation heroes and wildlife warriors who was killed in a tragic wildlife incident on Friday 8th October 2021. A statement issued by Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit today confirmed the following:- “On Friday 8th October, following a report of a possible…