Vic Falls is ours, not yours: Zim tells SA

SOUTH Africa must stop advertising Victoria Falls as its own destination, as Zimbabwe is losing out in terms of tourism revenues, deputy chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Ray Ndhlukula, has said.

Source: Vic Falls is ours, not yours: Zim tells SA – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 9, 2016


Speaking at an All Stakeholders Zimbabwe Image Management workshop in Harare yesterday, Ndhlukula said it was disturbing that tourists were now flying in and out of Zimbabwe on the same day.

“Do you know South Africa advertises Victoria Falls as if it belongs to South Africa? That is what they do. A lot of people (tourists) get the impression that Victoria Falls is part of South Africa. So, for example, they get to the Victoria Falls at 10am, view the falls, they have lunch there and then at 4pm, they are flying out,” he said.

“There are some people, who have asked if Victoria Falls is in South Africa, but South Africans do not tell them it is in Zimbabwe, which is very unfair for us. It is an issue we need to discuss with South Africa. Now, that we have got a bilateral agreement, they must stop advertising Victoria Falls as theirs.”

The workshop was aimed at improving the Zimbabwean brand.

Victoria Falls is the country’s premier tourist destination and has the second highest tourist occupancy rate after Harare.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority first quarter report shows that Victoria Falls had an occupancy rate of 35% from 450 572 tourists, who visited the country during that period.

The threat of neighbouring countries, mainly, South Africa and Zambia, was seen when occupancy levels declined by 2% from the first quarter of 2015.

Zimbabwe Council of Tourism (ZCT) president, Francis Ngwenya said “something” needed to be done, as the competition from neighbouring countries had become a major challenge facing the tourism sector.

“The reason why South Africa started marketing the country as theirs was because during the 2008/9 crisis, Zimbabwe could only market the country with South Africa and Zambia. This led to our brand (Zimbabwe) being overtaken. So something needs to be done,” he said.

Ngwenya said the country had to use Zambia and South Africa because of the negative perception that came from the 2008/9 period.

An analyst said that from his previous experience, the only way to market Victoria Falls and stop other countries from elbowing out Zimbabwe was to offer a very attractive package that would lure tourists to explore the country beyond Victoria Falls.

In 2015, ZCT polled 145 tourists staying at Victoria Falls, and discovered 74% to be using international agents in making their trip, with only 10% preferring local agents. The average budget for tourists was $1 900 per visit.

However, ZCT found that 52% of them underestimated the costs and ended up spending more than their budget.

The average stay for a tourist is two to three nights.


  • comment-avatar
    Homo Erectus 6 years ago

    This stupid govt and ZTA can do 4 things to encourage more tourists through Vic Falls: a) open the skies to more airlines to enable them to fly DIRECT into and out of Vic Falls (don’t they have a recently built brand new airport with a long runway that currently only has 5 commercial regional flights a day?); b) get rid of the Zimra induced 15% bed levy, c) either abolish visa fees or halve the cost of them, and d) get rid of the 3 tier pricing structure on accommodation/parks entry fee/entry to see the Falls.

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      Tendayi Rugarbe 6 years ago

      What an ill-informed story from a deputy Chief Secretary. There are no flights arriving at Vic Falls around 10 am bringing in all these imagined tourists. No flights are departing around 4pm – apart from Air Namibia’s 20 seater plane 4 times a week !!!
      Zero rate Visa fees like Botswana, Namibia, South Africa. Reduce entrance fees to the Victoria Falls, abolish 15% VAT on tourist accommodation, abolish 2% Tourism levy and instead introduce a $1 bed levy for Municipality to keep the place clean and mosquito free, remove the corrupt police from the roadblocks. Enable local operators by reducing all the red tape and charges they have to pay in order to operate a small business.
      There are some people who should not be talking to stakeholders::))

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    Morty Smith 6 years ago

    Well said Mr Erectus. This beggar thy neighbour attitude is part of the ZANU disease that is destroying us

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    Mukanya 6 years ago

    Politically and geographically it belongs to Zimbabwe, but business wise its South African.
    Zimbabwe are mere caretakers/groundsmen.

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    Diasporan 6 years ago

    What a first class stupid idiot this guy is. Proper ZanuPF mentality, “It’s all ours, you can’t have any of it”. The South Africans will never market Vic Falls as theres, it’s just business, just accept it & stop whining about ownership. If his party would run the country better & not try to squeeze more money out of businesses I’m sure tourists would want to stay longer & businesses would thrive. You can’t blame South Africa for offering the tour, Zims has 3 quarters of Vic Falls, Zambia has 1 quarter & Zambia gets more tourists, reason been Zims is a not a safe place to go because of ZanuPF.

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    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    Its a World Heritage site, so as long as they pay their entry fee to see it and their tourism levy, why not shut up or try to offer something constructive, paranoic imbicile.

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    Mazano Rewayi 6 years ago

    I suppose they want to indigenise the Vic. Falls same way as the farms! Anyway, the South Africans have been marketing the Falls this way for almost a decade now – why is this “wiseman” only realizing it now?

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    Harper 6 years ago

    All the UK travel brochures for 2017 Victoria Falls tours that I have seen involve a Livingstone stay with a brief visit to the Zimbabwe side.Your prices and fees are killing the golden goose.

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    I just can’t understand Zanu if they put it on their tours good for them. You always have to blame someone, always fighting. Brother the war is over put that energy in creating your own tours, make them better. Hard work pays in the end. Fighting and hatefullness is distruction.

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    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    We soon won’t need the Falls to attract tourists when we become internationally recognised as the world’s most historically retarded nation. We have the hyperinflation record, we have the land grabs, we have the indigenisation laws, we have the soon-to be-released Mickey Mouse bond notes, we have world-record roadblocks and, last but not least, we have Bob – a black supremo struggling with the obsessive mind-crippling affliction of a white man’s name.

    Yes, its all here, so advertise it, ZTA.

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    Zimbo 6 years ago

    Surely it should be a requirement to have some form of tertiary (legitimate and genuine) education to be a member of parliament…..? Even my 10yr old daughter has a more mature mentality than this prime idiot!!!!!

    How embarrasing for Zimbabwe!!!!

    What a disgrace!!!

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    What a idiot.I bet you he will be saying the same thing in the next 100years as Zimbabweans dont think or change for the better.

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    ZimLover 6 years ago

    The best way to experience Vic Falls, is from Zimbabwe, and if there’s any idiot who is not sure where this lies, give them a map… Its far from SA and you have to be VERY stupid to think its part of SA.
    The problem is not SA or Zambia, the problem lies in your tourism sector. The accommodation rates is four times what you would pay in SA. A person in SA would pay less for travelling to Europe or Tailand, than travelling to Zimbabwe. The other problem is your police who harass tourists. If this happens once, the chances of that person ever returning to Zim is very small.
    Go to any of the other great falls like Equazue in Brazil or Niagra in Canada, and you will see hundreds of buses parked, with lots of activities, shops, restaurants and other activities.
    At Vic Falls, you will find a deplored office with an unfriendly staff charging you the maximum rate because you don’t have your passport, and once youre in, you will not even be able to buy food or cold rink.
    You are forced to leave the park in 30 minutes, and then… what can you do for the rest of the day in Vic Falls?
    Not much!

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    Nyembi 6 years ago

    I thought this Ndlukula guy was a real Dr hence sensible unlike most guys in government and ZPF. For starters who would want to spend money and visit a country run by known looters and perceived murderers in their right senses. SA had to market the Falls as such to give tourists a sense of security and avoid the word Zimbabwe as it is synonymous with all wrong things in terms of real tourism. So Dr Ndlukula or whatever you call yourself, the first thing to do is deal with ZPF and the image of the country and how it’s perceived outside Zim boarders. The perception about Zim out there is very bad and worrying to say the least. We need a complete overhaul of government and ideology to be regarded as a safe tourism destination. Minister Mzembi is aware of this unfortunate position in our tourism sector, but he can’t do anything as he is not in control of the politics of the country.