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Travel Updates | Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana | Wild Horizons

If ever there was a destination that assured travellers of wide-open spaces, it is undeniably Victoria Falls. Over the year, we have had time to dream, and now it is time to move into the planning phase of your safari escape

Victoria Falls is ranked as the safest destination to visit Post COVID-19

The US-based travel and tourism agency, Tourlane, has named Zimbabwe the safest place to visit in the world when countries reopen their borders for international travel post-Covid-19 restrictions. Discover more about our product-specific protocols in the video below.

Travelling to Zimbabwe

Requirements On Arrival In Zimbabwe

  • All passengers arriving at Victoria Falls Airport are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate obtained within 48 hours before departure, in line with WHO Guidelines. If officials believe a traveller to be symptomatic, they may be required to undergo a further PCR test on arrival, regardless of the negative certificate.
  • All passengers are required to complete a COVID-19 contact-tracing document on arrival.
  • An Airport Official will take passengers’ temperatures. Anyone recording a temperature equal to or higher than 38°C will be tested for COVID-19.

Travellers that test positive will then be required to go into local isolation for 10 days. Isolation is at the traveller’s own expense. After quarantine, travellers will need to be retested before they are permitted to travel home or on to their next destination.

Travellers are to adhere to WHO COVID-19 standard practices at all times, such as maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask and practising personal hygiene.

**PLEASE NOTE: Although the Zimbabwe land borders are closed, travellers can transit through the borders to catch flights

Requirements When Departing From Zimbabwe

If travellers require a COVID-19 Clearance Certificate for re-entry to their home country or to board their onward flight, this can be performed 24 hours prior to departure at the Lancet laboratory and the Health Bridge Clinic in Victoria Falls.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements on arrival at VFA?
All passengers are required to complete a COVID-19 contact-tracing document on arrival. An Airport Official will take passengers’ temperatures and anyone recording a temperature equal to or higher than 38°C will be tested for COVID-19. All passengers arriving at Victoria Falls Airport are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate obtained within 48 hours before departure
Are COVID-19 PCR tests available for international travellers?

PCR and Rapid Diagnostic tests are available at all International Airports and most clinics and hospitals throughout the country. Additionally, Old Drift Lodge, Victoria Falls, offers an in-house COVID-19 PCR test that can deliver results within 3 hours.

What is the cost of each test?

PCR test is $60 if the test is conducted on the weekdays, and $70 on the weekends.

 

How long does it take to get the results on departure?
PCR and Rapid Diagnostic tests are available within 3 hours
Can I be tested at a Wild Horizons lodge?
Yes, travellers staying at the Wild Horizons luxury lodges will have the option of an in-house COVID-19 PCR test that can deliver results within 3 hours. Whether they require the test for onward travel or simple peace of mind, travellers can arrange this with the lodge management team for $60 per person.
What will happen if a traveller gets infected while in the country?
They are required to go into an isolation centre for ten days if they have no COVID-19 symptoms or 13 days if they are symptomatic.
Victoria Falls characterized by the scenic grandeur of the waterfall, cultural connections and fascinating history. Together with the kaleidoscope of adventurous activities, Africa’s Adventure Capital makes a lasting impression on all visitors. Get in touch to start planning your Victoria Falls holiday today.

Travelling to Zambia

Requirements on arrival in Zambia

  • All passengers arriving in Zamia are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate obtained within 72 hours before departure, in line with WHO Guidelines. If officials believe a traveller to be symptomatic, they may be required to undergo a further PCR test on arrival, regardless of the negative certificate.
  • All passengers are required to complete a COVID-19 contact-tracing document on arrival.
  • An Airport Official will take passengers’ temperatures. Anyone recording a temperature equal to or higher than 38°C will be tested for COVID-19.

Travellers are to maintain WHO COVID-19 safety measures whilst in Zambia such as maintaining physical distance, wearing a mask and practising personal hygiene.

    Requirements When Departing Zambia

    If travellers require a COVID-19 Clearance Certificate for re-entry to their home country or to board their onward flight, this can be performed 24 hours prior to departure at the Med Prof Clinic in Livingstone.

    Operating hours: 08:00 to 17:00

    IMPORTANT NOTES:

    • We recommend guests conduct the test at least 24 hours before departure.

    • Guests will be responsible for paying the cost of the testing in USD or ZMW in CASH ONLY – no card payments are accepted.

    • Availability of tests cannot be guaranteed by Wild Horizons

    • Test Result times cannot be guaranteed by Wild Horizons

    Swim above Victoria Falls Zambia Devil's Pool
    Are COVID-19 PCR tests available for international travellers?

    Yes.

    The cost of the PCR test is US$120 pp (US$ cash or ZMW equivalent – NO CARD PAYMENTS). This includes taking samples and delivering results to hotels/lodges within the city limits.

    Persons staying outside the City limits will need to present themselves at the clinic for testing and the cost is US$120 pp excluding transfers. Transfers can be booked with Wild Horizons at normal transfer rates.

    What types of tests are available?
    PCR Nasopharynx test
    What is the cost of each test?

    The cost of the test is $120 pp (cash USD or ZMW equivalent – NO CARD PAYMENTS). This includes taking samples and delivering results to Minor Hotels Resort (USD150 for hotels/lodges on the outskirts of the City Limits)

    How long does it take to get the results on departure?

    Please allow 24-48 hours for the results to be issued.

    Can I book a test through Wild Horizons?

    For guests staying in hotels/lodges within the City of Livingstone, Wild Horizons can make the reservation for PCR COVID Testing by the clinic or the client can book this direct (contact details above).

    For those staying outside of the City, Wild Horizons can be booked to transfer guests to the clinic for testing and wait to transfer them back to their accommodation. Once the test results are available, Wild Horizons can be booked to collect the results and deliver them to the guests at their hotel/lodge.

    Please note that testing times are subject to availability. Activities and touring will be scheduled to accommodate testing times.

    What will happen if a traveller gets infected while in the country?
    They are required to go into an isolation center for 10 days. This will be at the traveller’s own expense.
    Botswana-mokoro-sunset

    Requirements On Arrival In Botswana

    • All arriving travellers must present a negative COVID-19 certificate obtained within 72 hours of travel (meaning within 72 hours prior to arriving in Botswana).

    • Travellers will then be screened for COVID-19 and will have to take a Rapid test at the border post. Results take 15 mins and there is no cost.

    • Symptomatic travellers will be subject to mandatory testing on arrival and possible isolation/ quarantine for a minimum of 14 days until a negative status is achieved.

    Requirements On Arrival From Botswana

    When departing from Botswana, travellers must present a PCR negative test result no older than 72 hours.

    Are COVID-19 PCR tests available for international travellers?

    Yes, at a cost of BWP 1000 per test. The results will be available between 24-48 hours.

    How long does it take to get the results on departure?

    We recommend guests conduct the test at least 24 hours before departure.

    Where are the testing facilities?

    There are testing facilities at Diagnofirm Laboratory. Diagnofirm will come to the hotel for testing, depending on the availability of staff. Alternatively, Wild Horizons can be booked to transfer the guests to the Laboratory for the test.

    What will happen if a traveller gets infected while in the country?

    Travellers are required to go into isolation/quarantine for a minimum of 14 days until a negative test result is achieved.

    The quarantine facilities are currently Government approved private facilities and the cost will be at the travellers’ expense. 

    Wild Horizons COVID-19 Protocols

    Over the last few months, we have implemented extensive new health and safety protocols to protect both our staff and our travellers. Our ‘Golden Rules of Prevention’ are measures that have been put in place across the board for our activities and lodges. For a more detailed analysis of product-specific protocols, please view the following documents for Activities, Tour & TransfersAfrican OdysseyOur Lodges and The Wild Horizons Lookout Café.

    Important Update

    Wild Horizons will be facilitating Covid 19 Testing in Victoria Falls, Livingstone and Kasane.

    Herewith are the need to know details:-

    Victoria Falls & Livingstone
    Wild Horizons will make the reservation for Covid Testing at the laboratories.

    Please note that testing times are subject to availability.

    Activities and touring will be scheduled to accommodate testing times. We will then transfer guests to the lab for testing and wait to transfer them back to their hotel.

    Once the test results are available, Wild Horizons will collect the results and deliver them to the guests at their hotels.

    Important notes : 

    • We recommend guests conduct the test at least 24 hours before departure.

    • Availability of tests cannot be guaranteed by Wild Horizons 

    • Test Result times cannot be guaranteed by Wild Horizons

    Zambezi River Report January 2020

    Welcome to our first River Report of the new year, designed to give you regular updates on the Zambezi River levels and how this may impact various activities in Victoria Falls. We are happy to report the water levels are rising steadily and the following seasonal product changes should be noted.

     

    Zambezi River Levels

    The past few months have been a strife with alarmist reporting alleging that the Victoria Falls is drying up. Year after year, we see a natural fluctuation in the volume of water going over the waterfall; it is a normal and expected phenomenon that exposes a different yet equally beautiful perspective of this geological masterpiece. The only thing that has been unprecedented about the drop in water levels this year is the amount of negative media coverage it has received. As always, we remain at your disposal to dispel any queries or concerns.

     

    Aerial view of Victoria Falls in January 2020

     

    According to data captured by the Zambezi River Authority on 27 December 2019, 323 000 litres of water was going over the Victoria Falls per second. On the same date last year, this figure was 267 000 litres per second. To put this into perspective, we have drawn on Peter Jones’ example of the water supply to London and adapted it to accommodate the increase in water since his interview.

    In a typical year, London uses around 30,092 litres of water per second.

    Therefore, on 27 December, the 323, 000 litres of water going over the Victoria Falls could supply 10.7 cities the size of London.

    High Water Rafting Season Begins

    The high water run started on 10 January 2020 in line with the rising water levels of the Zambezi River. The expeditions will begin 10km downstream of the Falls, starting at the Overland Truck-eater (Rapid 11) through to The End (Rapid 24). This exciting section includes the Mother (Rapid 13) at its brooding best.

     

    Hanging over Victoria Falls edge

     

    Livingstone Island Update

    Devil’s Pool will be closing shortly due to the rising water levels above the Victoria Falls.
    However, Livingstone Island tours will remain open until the end of April/May. Angel’s Pool will close at a similar time to the Island.

     

    Your Experts On The Ground

    Wild Horizons endeavours to be your Victoria Falls experts on the ground and in some cases, from the sky too. Below is a series of aerial images taken on 7 January 2020. The video clip of Devil’s Cataract was taken on the same day. The water levels are on the rise and we look forward to sharing these beautiful views with our agents and guests when they visit Victoria Falls.
    Please rest assured that even when the thunderous nature of the waterfall is somewhat tamed during the drier months, the Victoria Falls is a spectacular sight. It is, and always will be, a natural wonder.

    If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

     

    Kind Regards,
    The Wild Horizons Team

    Victoria Falls throughout the year

    From the relentless waves of mist that shoot up from the depths of the gorge, to the rugged rock face that breaks through a gentler flow, the Victoria Falls is magnificent in all her forms. Cloaked in chaotic white water or revealing the basalt that has been moulded by the elements over centuries, the raw power of this natural wonder will consume your imagination and leave you humbled and in awe. This is Victoria Falls throughout the year.

     

    January

    The height of the rainy season and the Victoria Falls is reaching towards peak flow, with a massive volume of water cascading into the lips of the gorge. You will undoubtedly get drenched and the thick, green vegetation is decorated with bursts of colour as rainforest flowers bloom.

    February

    The Smoke that Thunders reaches amazing heights during February, joining the clouds that languish above the rainforest. Almost every section of the rainforest is caught in a constant shower of vapour that swells up from the bottom of the gorge.

    March

    The dramatic rainy season starts to teeter out but the river levels remain high and the Victoria Falls continues to furiously pump the Zambezi into the gorge.

    April

    It is the end of the rainy season, but catchment areas upstream in the Zambezi continue to nourish the Victoria Falls. The waterfall reaches its highest flow with an average of 500 million liters of water crashing over every minute. The highest ever recorded was 700 million liters in 1958.

    May

    Autumn settles in, casting golden hues onto the trees. While the leaves slowly fall, Zambezi continues a strong and steady flow despite the advent of the dry season.

     

    June

    As autumn gives way to a crisp winter, the water levels begin to drop exposing the grass cover, creating great game viewing opportunities.

     

    July

    In the absence of rain, the Mopane leaves take on their distinct winter hue of burnt orange. The waterfall still boasts an impressive flow of water, and due to the diminished water sources in the bush, game viewing is excellent as wildlife begin to congregate around the river and larger water sources. The bush may be dry but the Victoria Falls still creates rain on these cloudless days.

    August

    A chill creeps into the night, but the days remain warm. Gradually, the rock face emerges as the water trickles to a gentle ebb on the Eastern Cataract on the Zambian side of the waterfall. However, Main Falls maintains an impressive curtain of falling water, and as the mist dies down, photo opportunities within the rainforest are exceptional. As the seasons shift, more elephant migrate to the islands, which are the feeding ground in the drier months.

     

    September

    The temperatures start to climb and the days get hotter, but white water rafting is excellent this time of year due to the low water levels, so you can escape the heat and spend the day racing through the gorge on a white water adventure.

     

    October

    This is the hottest month of the year as we build up to the rainy season. Occasionally, the sky cracks open with in a torrential African thunderstorm bringing some relief to the landscape in a short, dramatic burst. The Eastern Cataract is usually dry this time of year, but the view of the Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side is as beautiful as ever.

     

    November

    The water levels are their lowest this time of the year, and while the thunderous roar of the waterfall has been tamed, the natural wonder still inspires a sense of awe and incredulity.

    Victoria Falls in November

     

    December

    The rainy season is approaching, and storm clouds loom ominously over Victoria Falls. The cloud cover brings some respite from the hot and humid days, and the waterfall begins to rise rapidly with rains from catchment areas. By now the Eastern cataract will no longer be exposed and there is a sense of anticipation and excitement as the promise of rainfall rumbles overhead.

    Victoria Falls in December

    Wild Horizons Lookout Cafe – Update

    Wild Horizons Lookout Cafe – Update (24 April 2019)

    When flames engulfed and devastated the Wild Horizons Lookout Café, it was a searing loss for the town of Victoria Falls. While we have been working tirelessly on the reconstruction of this iconic restaurant, due to circumstances beyond our control, the process has encountered numerous hindrances along the way. For this reason, we have regretfully had to postpone the opening date to 1 December 2019.

     

    Herewith please find a brief description of the new café as well as important quick facts:-
    Perched on the rim of the Batoka Gorge, Wild Horizons Lookout Café is a fusion of spectacular views and exquisite food. The African Contemporary styled restaurant is designed to emphasise its unique panoramic view of the Victoria Falls Bridge and Batoka Gorges, which form part of the spectacular backdrop. Recycled and eco friendly material has been used throughout the rebuild of The Lookout ensuring it is infused with the Wild Horizons conservation ethos. With a mouthwatering menu, a lively selection of cocktails, and the best view in Victoria Falls, the dining experience promises to be a sensory overload.

    AMBIENCE: Casual, Child-Friendly, Classic, Meal with a View
    CUISINE: African / Local, Contemporary, International
    FACILITIES: We only accept Visa and Mastercard, Bar, Licensed, Parking, Vegetarian, Wheelchair Access
    WIFI: Free
    SEATING: Outside terrace x 60; Indoor x 140; Lower deck (cocktail and canapé area) x 60
    OPENING HOURS: Open daily from 08h00 to 22h00 (freshly baked muffins available daily from 08h00).
    BREAKFAST: No breakfast during the week unless prebooked.
    Saturday & Sunday 08h00 – 10h00
    LUNCH: 10h00 to 16h00
    SNACK MENU: 16h00 – 18h30
    DINNER: 18h30 – 22h00 (last food orders at 21h00)

    Aerial view of the rebuilt Lookout Cafe

    Mi Casa – Victoria Falls Carnival 2017

    Five Minutes with Mi Casa – Victoria Falls Carnival 2017

    From the 29th of December until well into the early hours of the 31st, the atmosphere in Victoria Falls is electric, as though the very air with breathe is quivering with the excitement Carnival goers feel. Music vibrates through crowds of dancing bodies, the bar teems with thrilled partiers, and the entire sky is awash with colors as stage lights flood the night. Amist the craziness the carnival is famous for, Mi Casa could not look more comfortable. Dr. Duda, J’Something, and Mo-T have a platinum selling debut album, 3 South African Music Awards (SAMAs) and thousands of fans and followers, yet this dynamic trio could not be more humble and down to earth. As I pushed through the throngs of euphoric people and made my way towards the backstage area, my heart thumped as the questions I had prepared raced through my mind like a flurry of birds. However, when I reached the group, their humble, positive and introspective energy washed away any nerves that still jittered through my veins. Mi Casa did not behave as three big shot celebrities that people can’t interact with- their wit and good nature holds a mirror up to the quintessential feel good music that they produce. The name of their group is another reflection of their appreciation of their fans and the media who they believe are key in getting them to where they are today. Mi Casa su casa means my house is your house, and J-Something explains that they want their listeners to feel that this group is your group as much as it is theirs- my house is your house, my music is yours too.

    The chemistry between J-Something, Mo-T and Dr Duda is as evident off stage as it is on. They bounce off each other, laugh and tease the way a trio of friends who have grown up together would. When asked what their first thought was when driving into Victoria Falls, they answered “Beautiful” in unison. I had always imagined that they had been an incredibly talented group of friends growing up, but their union was actually a musical twist of fate. One evening, Dr Duda was djaying an event in  Sandton when Mo-T’s brother called him to come and play with the DJ. J-Something joined the two on stage and the rest is history. Dreams were realised, lives were transformed and life long friends were made. With Mo-T’s jazz background, Dr. Duda’s gospel background and J-Something’s soulful background, the world was introduced to a fusion of music that everyone wants to sing along to and has to dance along to.

    When Mi Casa took to the stage, people were not just watching the performance, they were involved in it. Each song sent the crowd further into a frenzy, and even the few that were not familiar with the group were losing their minds to the sounds pouring through the speakers. As each new track began, I was determined that it was my new favorite song. That is, until the next one. When they played Your Body and Jika, it felt as though a flash mob had erupted on the dance floor. Thousands of feet pounded onto the soft grass while hands were flung into the air and bodies danced to the music. They could have played their set on repeat for the entire carnival, and I doubt a single person would have left the dance floor.

    So, there are two things to add to your bucket list now- watch MiCasa perform live, and come to the Victoria Falls Carnival. It is the best way to guarantee an incredible New Year. Happy 2018 everyone!

    Written by Jess White

    Wild Horizons Featured in Vanity Fair, March 2018

    Vanity Fair, March 2018.

    We are proud to be featured in this progressive, positive article in Vanity Fair, March 2018.

    The story features the Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary at The Elephant Camp and highlights the positive impact the Tourism Industry and Responsible Travel can have on conservation.

    vanity-fair-featured-article.png

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