Municipality of Victoria Falls

Established in 1999

Status: Municipality

Wards: 11

Population

  • Has a population estimate of ±35 000 people
  • AREA (total surface area) is 70 square kilometers
  • ALTITUDE of 900 meter

 

Province

It is situated in Matebeleland North province in the North West corner of Zimbabwe.

 Geographical Location

  • The local authority is situated in IV Natural Region.
  • It rests comfortable in the Zambezi Valley just a few hundred meters from the south bank of one of Southern Africa’s great rivers, the Zambezi which meanders through Mozambique right into the Indian Ocean.

 

Infrastructure

  • Number of Schools [Public and Private ]
    • SECONDARY                        :                                                         6
    • PRIMARY              :                                          9
    • VOCATIONAL              :                                                       1
  • Number of Hospitals       :                                                     1
  • Number of Clinics                                             :                                                   2
  • Number of Private Medical Facilities    :                                                             5
  • Housing Units;
    • LOW DENSITY                  :                                                       488
    • MEDIUM DENSITY               :                                                         432
    • HIGH DENSITY                   :                                                       4633
    • RESIDENTIAL FLATS    :                                                         28

 

  • Road Network

Tarred                                          :                                           94.07 km

Earth and Gravel                           :                                        61.43 km

 

There are 14 hotels and 62 lodges, below is information about some of them;

 

Name of the hotel Room Capacity Conference capacity Distance from town
Elephant Hills resort centre 276 rooms overlooking the Zambezi river Approx 820pax <4km
The Kingdom hotel 294 rooms, 5minute walk away from the roar and thunder of the Mighty Victoria Falls 135pax Within town
The Victoria Falls hotel 161rooms overlooking the gorge and the bridge 70pax Within town
A’ Zambezi River Lodge 83 rooms under thatch along the Zambezi river 50pax <5km
Rainbow Hotel 88 rooms with enclosed balconies and view of the “spray” 100pax Within town
Ilala lodge 56 spacious rooms with railway sleeper and teak furnishings 105pax Within town
Safari Lodge 92 bedrooms plus 14 family suits, lavishly decorated with ethnic fabrics and fittings 126pax <2km
Crestar Spray View 65 air conditioned rooms with beautify surrounding gardens 50pax <1km
Stanley and Livingstone 15 uniquely decorated suites 12pax <15km

 

Lodges

They are more than 50, below are some of the leading lodges in Victoria Falls:

  • Gorges lodge
  • Teak lodge
  • Pamusha lodge
  • Guest Paradise
  • Sunshine Guest

 

Restaurants and eating houses

Chicken Inn, Mama Africa, Lola’s Tapas, Panarotis, Spur, Boma, Shearwater Café, Palm, Walk n Roll, In Da Belly etc

Industries

  • The tourism industry dominates the life of the town of Victoria Falls. This is now also being supported by a fairly growing retail and light industrial sector that contributes to numbers of formal employment statistics. There is also a significant fraction of the town that thrives on cross boarder trading (plying Botswana, Zambia and Namibia route) and informal trading for livelihood.  Most of those engaged in informal trade are mainly in home industry, producing wares and works of art that support the main economic activity of the town and that finds a ready market.

Transport and Communications

  • Local languages: Ndebele, Tonga, Nambia, Dombolo, Shona and Nyanja
  • Business language: English
  • Currency:                 US$ Dollar [multi-currency economy].
  • Climate:               Generally warm to hot throughout the year.
  • Night life:                Casinos [fruit and slot machines] and night clubs and pubs.
  • Road:                              Through Zim-Zam boarder post [Zambia], through Kasane border post [Botswana] and also the town is linked to other towns and cities nationally through a good all weather road network.
  • Air: 24 international flights every week, 21 from Johannesburg and three from Namibia. These are complimented by daily flights from Harare by Air Zimbabwe. Additional Air Botswana flies into Kasane, Chobe-a 90minute road transfer to the Falls. BA Comair and SAA all fly into Livingstone, from Zambia it is just a 30 minutes transfer across the bridge into Victoria Falls.
  • Rail : Access through overnight passenger train from Bulawayo and Safari train, Shongololo from South  Africa [Green Route].
  • Sea : only through Namibia and South Africa    
  • Communications: Accessible through broadband internet, fax, telex and other means [mobile networks (3) and telephone]

 

Tourism and Heritage

Victoria Falls is endowed with a majestic river that draws tourist from all over the world. At this point of the river are the mighty, world famous Victoria Falls, on the Zimbabwe-Zambia boarder.  The Victoria Falls or Mosi-Oa-Tunya (The smoke that thunders) is where the mighty Zambezi river suddenly plunges into a narrow gorge of  over 100 meters deep, forming one of the world’s largest and most beautiful waterfalls with millions of gallons of water plunging over a 1,7  km-wide cliff.  This is the reason why in 1980  UNESCO declared the waterfall, the rainforest and surrounding  mist vegetation created by the perpetual spray, and part of the riparian system adjacent to the Falls, a World Heritage Site, at the request of both the Zimbabwean and  Zambian governments.  The Falls are about twice as broad and two and half times as high as the Niagara Falls (between Canada and the United States of America).  They are over a mile and the greatest waterpower in the world (25000 horse power).  It is because of this that Victoria Falls boasts of a number of tourist activities.

Tourism Activities

Wildlife and sanctuaries

The world’s biggest elephants herds are found within this area and a sensational safari experience is ensured:

  • Zambezi National Park,
  • Hwange National Park and
  • other three private wildlife animal sanctuaries are the home of the big five

 

Adventure activities

Air activities: helicopter, ultra light, float plane, parasailing, foofie slide, gorge swing, abseil, rap jump, and the flying fox.

Land activities : bush walks, crocodile farm nature sanctuary, elephant back trails and interaction, lion walk, game drives, golf, horse riding, Hwange full day, bridge tour, night drives, spa and wellness, shopping, hide sits, steam train trips, traditional dancing, the Boma experience, Victoria Falls Tour and quad biking.

Water activities: boogie boarding, white water rafting, jet boat, wine route, upper Zambezi canoeing river cruises, dinner cruise, Zambezi jet boat safari and fishing.

Animal interaction: walk with the lions, crocodile farm, and elephant interaction.

Scenic activities: The Big Tree, traditional African Village, curios and craft market.

Tours

Captivating village tours

Game drives

Horseback trails

Bush tours and dinners

 

Sourveneas and curio markets

There are numerous small shops within the town that offer a wide variety of sourveneas and small gifts.

There are four curio markets that the municipality created as a pro-poor strategy for the locals. These markets sale a wide array of curios i.e. ranging from curved wooden sculptures, stone words, beards, necklaces, bone and horn pieces, wire wares, scrap metal, pottery, batiks, paintings.

Sports

18 hole-golf course

Boat club

Quad bikes

 

Investment Prospects

  • Explore areas of commonality and seek others of mutual benefit among partners.
  • Work hand in glove to provide appropriate high quality professional services and contribute to social economic development whilst at the same time protecting and being cognizant of the environmental issues.
  • Initiation of projects that are community based and that will help the town develop and fund projects.
  • Other broad areas of concern:
  • Human resources issues: collaboration on staff development and training, designing schemes that will counter high turn-over among professionals due to lean financial resources, having attaches coming into the organization and our own going out for exposure.
  • Equipment: funding, sourcing and maintenance
  • Joint ventures: in trade, exhibitions and other areas yet to be explored
  • Exchange arrangements for students: primary and secondary schools
  • Helping facilitate trade missions: between locals from both countries (towns/cities), to other countries to learn business strategies and project under takings
  • Sharing skills and knowledge on best practices
  • Cultural exchanges involving: employees, cultural groups, and families, participating in annual events and festivals, tournaments and other activities that encourage cross pollination of cultural ideas.

Challenges

The main challenges facing the Municipality stem from core business in that there are not enough resources to deliver services.  The major areas of concern being:

  • Financial situation is very poor which makes procurement of equipment to maintain high level services difficult for instances in the fire and ambulance section (the current fleet is old and out dated cannot sustain the growth of the town).
  • Skills: there is always an exodus of professionals going to other organizations due to limited incentive schemes.
  • The town gets its water from the Zambezi therefore it does not have the problem of water shortage. However, the current challenge is the pumping and carrying capacity, due to the gradual population growth.
  • The sewage system needs upgrading to cope with the urban development growth.
  • There is need for a land bank for future development of the town.
  • Limited revenue base has seen the Municipality shelving many capital projects.
  • Completing the Draft Master plan [funding].

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