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Friday 28 February 2020

Truck kills two rhinos in Zambian national park

Two white rhinos were killed when a truck hit them in the Mosi-oa-Tunya national park in Livingstone, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation reported.
It said the truck with Namibian registration numbers hit the animals on the Livingstone-Kazungula road which passes through the national park.
Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale told the broadcaster that he had instructed the department of national parks and wildlife, the road development agency and the road transport and safety agency to put up speed humps on the road within the park to avoid similar accidents.
He said it was also important to place visible warning signs indicating that wild animals often crossed the road within the park, to alert motorists.

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Three Feared Dead, Several Injured In Bus Accident

By Matabeleland North Correspondent
THREE people are feared dead after a CAG bus travelling from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo hit a Lion Encounter truck from the back Tuesday morning.
The truck, which was carrying Lion Encounter employees, was travelling in the same direction with the bus when it was hit from the back as the truck driver attempted to turn right near the Victoria Falls Airport. 
Lion Encounter is a tour operating company.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese confirmed the incident, but said she was yet to get more details.
Some passengers interviewed said an unconfirmed number of Lion Encounter workers who were in the Hyundai pick-up truck were seriously injured and rushed to Victoria Falls Hospital where they were admitted.
Two died on the spot while the third is said to have died in hospital.
“The driver of the Lion Encounter truck delayed to indicate his intentions to turn right and the driver of the bus was trying to overtake.
“When the truck suddenly turned right, it got hit from the back and overturned, killing people. The bus veered off the road but stopped without anyone getting injured,” said a passenger who was in the bus.
No one was injured in the CAG bus.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident, a bus belonging to Kakono Bus Service fell into Shangani River in Nkayi on Monday after the driver lost control.
This was after the bus hit three cows and it fell into the river after the driver had missed the bridge.
There have always been concerns about the narrow Tshangani River bridge as several buses have in the past also fallen into the river bed.
Nkayi District Development Coordinator Matilda Muhaso said six people were seriously injured while several others escaped with minor injuries.
She said the bus which was heading for Gokwe, from Bulawayo via Nkayi had 65 passengers on board, five of them children.
“Six passengers were seriously injured and taken to Loreto Hospital while two were later transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo,” she said.
The injured were ferried to Loreto in neighbouring Silobela because Nkayi District Hospital is incapacitated as it has no x-ray equipment.

Wednesday 5 February 2020

ZimParks Hikes Vic Falls Entry Fees

THE ZIMBABWE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has reviewed the Victoria Falls rainforest conservation fees to improve the authority's operations. The adjustment will see domestic tourists now paying $60 per person, up from $30, while the entry fee to the Zambezi National Park is now pegged at $50 with effect from the 1st of February. Regional and international fees remain unchanged. The locals who constitute around 25% of the total annual visitors to the rainforest expressed mixed reactions to the adjustment with some describing the revised fees as reasonable while others bemoaned the short notice.

"With everything going up we certainly cannot expect the entry fees to remain constant. When you compare to what the international tourists are paying, the $60 is still reasonable in my opinion," said one local tourist.

Victoria Falls tourism industry players say the adjustment is reasonable compared to the 30 United States dollars being paid by foreigners and are optimistic the funds will go a long way in enhancing the authority's operations.

"An adjustment of ZW$30 is somehow justified, considering that a few years ago locals were being asked to pay seven United States dollars. One also has to take into account the fact that the authority has to fund conservation works," said Fungai Nhau, Director of Afro Honey Guide.

Clement Mukwasi President of the Employers Association for Tourism and Safari Operators also echoed the same sentiments arguing that the rates are reasonable and competitive.

The legendary and breathtaking Mosi-oa-Tunya remains a major drawcard and the most-visited gem in the country, with a total of 357 552 tourists having visited the waterfall in 2019, representing a 5.6% increase compared to 338 472 recorded in 2018. ZBC