ISSUE 20

Leaving a Legacy In Glorious Zimbabwe

 At the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, on the majestic Zambezi River, you will find one of the planet’s most wondrous sights to behold. Mosi-oa-Tunya or “The Smoke that Thunders”, is more commonly known as Victoria Falls, and it’s an adrenaline seekers’ ultimate playground. 

 
While it’s neither the highest, nor widest waterfall in the world, at Victoria Falls massive amounts of water with a width of 1708 metres pelt 108 metres into the pool below, resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. It is believed that the Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone, was the first European to view the Victoria Falls on 16 November 1855. He named his discovery in honour of Queen Victoria, but the indigenous name, Mosi-oa-Tunya or “The smoke that thunders”, continues in common usage as well.
 
“Well, I think it’s a given that everybody believes Zimbabwe has huge potential and will only continue to accelerate in tourism growth. Political policies are changing and becoming more investor friendly. Tourism is just going to grow. In addition to all that, the Victoria Falls is on the verge of completing a brand new International Airport that will allow any aircraft in production to land closer to Vic Falls than ever before. The new airport and runway will make Zimbabwe the regional hub for tourism, every tourist travelling to the Region be it from Cape Town or The Delta wants to see the Victoria Falls,” says Mark. 
 
 
Why the masses flock
 
By the end of the 1990s the Falls was attracting 300 000 visitors annually, and this was expected to rise to over a million in the next decade. Unlike the game parks in the area, Vic Falls attracts more Zimbabwean and Zambian visitors than international tourists, most likely because it’s accessible by bus and train, making it reasonably inexpensive to reach. 
 
Both countries permit tourist to make day trips from each side and visas can be obtained at both border posts. The number of visitors to the Zimbabwean side of the Victoria Falls has historically been much higher than the number of tourists visiting the Zambian side. Why? Probably due to the greater development of the visitor facilities there. 
 
A famous feature of the falls is the naturally formed “Armchair” (also known as “Devil’s Pool), near the edge of the falls on Livingstone Island on the Zambian side. Most often between September and December a rock barrier forms an eddy with minimal current, allowing adventurous swimmers to splash around in relative safety a few feet from the point where the water cascades over the Falls. 
 
 
The ultimate holiday with Legacy
 
There is such a wide array of choice when it comes to where to stay, what to do and what to see in Zimbabwe, that it’s advisable to plan your itinerary beforehand. The great news is that Legacy has recently partnered with African Sun to co-operate in the development of Tourism in Zimbabwe. The agreement provides for the management, refurbishment and expansion of five of African Sun’s strategic assets: The Kingdom at Victoria Falls, Elephant Hills Hotel, Hwange Safari Lodge, The Monomotapa Hotel and Troutbeck Resort, with future expansion to Caribbea Bay and Fothergill Island. 
 
“We plan to use our Zimbabwe partnerships to bring the international market back to the region. The image portrayed by press hasn’t been positive and we want to change that perception and get the international market back into Zim. Zimbabwe is well and truly open for business. With international flights coming directly into Vic Falls it is an incredible opportunity for Vic Falls and the region as a whole,” says Mark.
 
Through these partnerships, the 100-room Hwange Safari Lodge will be completely upgraded on a phased basis into a 4-5 Star lodge at affordable prices, including a new waterhole.
 
The Monomotapa Hotel is planned for a face-lift to all its 240 rooms, with the addition of a new outdoor pool area and additional restaurant facilities. At the famous Troutbeck, it is the intention to retain the unique Scottish Highlands feel and atmosphere, whilst expanding the leisure activities.
 
Once the above projects have been bedded down, we have agreed to expand our vision on Lake Kariba. Zimbabwe is a complete holiday destination in one country, offering a diversity of experiences, an excellent climate all year round, with easy access to other coastal tourism destinations such as Cape Town and the Indian Ocean Islands.  
 
With the weakening of the South African and most African currencies, re-energising the Southern African and African tourist markets is going to be a key focus in the partnership’s growth plan.
 
“Bringing the Legacy of Africa’s leading Hotel and Lifestyle Groups into Zimbabwe will be a major boost for Tourism in our country,” says Herbert Nkala, the Chairman of African Sun. The two companies have been working together on a masterplan for Tourism in Zimbabwe over the past 18 months, which culminated in this historic agreement.
 
“Zimbabwe has the potential to become one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, particularly upon the opening of the new International Airport. The Victoria Falls, one of the original 7 Wonders of the World, is ideally placed to become Southern Africa’s gateway for Tourism. We have agreed to upgrade on a phased basis the 2 hotels in Victoria Falls, which will include additional conference capacity. The holiday and convention potential of the falls destination is immense,” says Bart Dorrestein, Chairman of the Legacy Group. 
 
 
Decisions, decisions. 
 
 
Take a look at Legacy’s new Partners and discover your ultimate accommodation for your time spent in Zimbabwe. 

The Kingdom at Victoria Falls
 
When you step into The Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, you will be forgiven for thinking that you’ve stepped back in time. The great domes, pillars and bridges over the many water features at the hotel resemble the style of ‘Great Zimbabwe’, the once mighty capital of the ancient Shona Kingdom. It may look like the city of a lost civilisation but the Kingdom Hotel is one of Victoria Falls' best known family hotels. Expect all the comforts of a modern resort geared up in every way for your maximum comfort and enjoyment.
 
The Kingdom Hotel has become a firm favourite with families, groups and individual travellers who are looking for a quality yet affordable Victoria Falls hotel option. The hotel is located close to all the major attractions including the entrance to the Victoria Falls rainforest, which is just a short walk away.

Elephant Hills Hotel 
 
Enjoy a stay at Elephant Hills Hotel where you can play golf where the animals roam, gaze over the Zambezi River from the privacy of your balcony or unwind with a cocktail at the pool. The hotel also offers professional and stylish conferencing facilities.  
Over the years The Elephant Hills Hotel has become a Victoria Falls icon. Generations of tourists have enjoyed the many leisure and conference facilities offerred, most notable of which is the 18-hole golf course which is frequently visited by a variety of wildlife. The resort lies at the top of a hill outside of Victoria Falls affording many of the rooms sweeping views of the Zambezi River across to Zambia.

Hwange Safari Lodge
 
Hwange Safari Lodge provides guests with a unique bush experience that will remain imprinted in their minds for life. The lodge is just an hour from Victoria Falls and offers spectacular sightings of Africa’s famous Big Five. 
 
Camp Hwange is one of the newest camps to be built in the Sinamatella region of the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The construction of Camp Hwange, using locally sourced materials, skills and labour wherever possible, is the culmination of a dream. The vision is a camp that rekindles the spirit of an adventurous bygone era, and that captures the excitement of an authentic safari in Africa.

Troutbeck Resort
 
Troutbeck Resort’s 70 well-appointed rooms are increasingly used by those wishing to combine pleasure with business. It offers outstanding conferencing facilities with the Rainbow Trout Suite capable of hosting up to 400 people, complimented by the resort’s own 9-hole golf course and well-stocked lake. In addition, guests can take advantage of the swimming pool, tennis courts, volleyball courts and squash courts, which provide the perfect pleasures once business has been concluded. 
 
The Monomotapa Hotel 
 
The Monomotapa Hotel is an iconic figure on the Harare skyline that glitters with all the splendour your heart desires. The facilities at Monomotapa are especially designed for the convenience of guests, so that you can relax while the rest is taken care of for you. It’s everything you could need in one building, with a wide selection of food and beverage outlets, restaurants and bars as well as full conferencing and banqueting facilities. You can also indulge in total relaxation at the massage parlour or outdoor swimming pool. Monomotapa is waiting to encapsulate you in the ultimate way to experience Zimbabwe.