Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
THE tenth edition of the Victoria Falls Carnival is set to be a unique affair, with festivities not only moved to the month of April/May next year but revellers set to attend the three-day extravaganza also required to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Noted as one of the best events of its kind, the Victoria Falls Carnival has not been left untouched by the disruptive Covid-19, with last year’s edition cancelled altogether as organisers adhered to pandemic containment regulations.
With the resort city of Victoria Falls becoming the first in the region to attain herd immunity, many fun-lovers and party-goers were hopeful that Southern Africa’s premier carnival spectacle would again sparkle at the end of 2021, allowing them to party the last days of the of year away beneath the magnificent Falls as had become the norm.
The Zimbabwe government earlier this year went on a vaccination blitz in Vic Falls, with the city attaining herd immunity in April and thus allowing for the return of vaccinated tourists in July.
This week, organisers of the carnival pulled a rabbit out of the hat, announcing that the event would be moving from its usual December dates, with the colourful event set to be held between 29 April and 1 May next year.
“For the past 9 years, the Vic Falls Carnival has always taken place over the New Year period, cementing it as one of Africa’s top New Year events — in 2022, the organisers have looked to reformat the event – Vic Falls Carnival is Africa’s celebration of its diverse culture, food and arts, and as such deserves its own standalone date. They have chosen a long weekend that offers festival-goers more competitive packages, a wider selection of artists from around the continent, and great weather that allows you to see the Victoria Falls in all its glory after the summer rains!” the organisers said in a statement.
However, with the shadow of Covid-19 ever-present, organisers of the carnival are still leaving nothing to chance, specifying that those attending would need to have been vaccinated or produce a certificate outlining that they were negative when they were tested two days prior to the extravaganza.
“All Covid-19 protocols will be strictly adhered to during the festival dates and only fully vaccinated festival-goers will be given entry to the festival. If not fully vaccinated, attendees must have had a negative Covid-19 test within 48 hours of the Carnival to enter. This is an important focus for us event organisers and all steps will be taken to ensure a safe festival environment,” the organisers said.
For its tenth edition, the carnival set to reverse the normal order of things, with festivities set to kick off with the Grand Opening instead of the usual train and bush party. Amapiano superstars, the Scorpion Kings duo of DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small, is set to kick things off before an Electric Safari the next day at the Vic Falls National Park. Jerusalema smash-hit maker Master KG and a host of other acts will provide entertainment on the night.
The carnival with wrap up on 1 May with a secret Picnic Bush Party.