Natures Talk

Vulture Restaurant Won’t Win a Beauty Contest

Vultures play a critical role in keeping the environment from crashing. However, these vital birds are under siege in Zimbabwe as poachers are killing elephants using poisons which are also killing vultures which fed on the poisoned carcasses.

Though elephant poisonings are well documented in Zimbabwe, many people in the country are oblivious to the threats poachers pose to vultures, or just how important these birds are to the environment. Even though efforts to save the country’s vultures are underway, experts are worried about the growing carnage and fear that these vultures face extinction not only in Zimbabwe but across southern Africa.

Against this backdrop, the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge has come up with an innovative way of protecting vultures. It has developed a ‘vulture restaurant’, providing leftover meat as safe food and attracting as many as 200 vultures at a time.

Visitors who come to see the spectacle of these birds swooping down to feed also learn about the threats vultures face and about their ecological importance. The tourists are encouraged to make a donation towards vulture conservation and research.

“Vultures are sentinels of the skies with eyesight to 100km, and therefore poachers have identified them as a threat or tell-tale for Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit scouts and National Parks scouts to know where poachers are operating, as they are attracted to the kill. Thus, poachers will kill an impala or kudu 5km away from their target elephant or rhino to distract surveillance.”

Whilst in Victoria Falls why not Visit the Vulture Restaurant at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.

Victoria Falls back on tourist trail

Victoria Falls back on tourist trail after Mugabe ousted from power in Zimbabwe

It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the stupendous roar of its cascades synonymous with the raw beauty of the African landscape.

But for nearly two decades, Victoria Falls was a little-visited gem, as the political violence and mismanagement of Robert Mugabe’s regime kept tourists away from Zimbabwe.

Now, six months after Mugabe’s 37-year rule ended in a soft coup, the Falls are once again seeing a surge in visitors from Britain – and locals say they are hoping for a return to the glory days when it was one of the most important destinations in Africa.

For more information on this article click here

Hiding in plain site ­– Elephant Walk

The off-beat Rastafarian welcomes all comers to his United African Villages.

He’s not talking about Victoria Falls it’s an artwork found material reinvented. The story of life in Zimbabwe of charging elephants and lions attacking a zebra, a replica of the bridge over the Zambezi and women in a village pounding millet in their large wooden mortars.

In the centre is a popular spot which hosts many a local gossip session who’s got the contract for the Victoria Falls hotel revamp the latest on the monetary car – is all discussed over cappuccinos and a light lunch, tables set in the courtyard under the palm trees, with eave droppers in the shape of life-size wooden hippos and crocs peering through the foliage

The seamstress who sits in the corridor the with her 1902s Singer sewing machine churning out backpacks, wallets and bags fashioned from Zambian Fabrics. You will find a treasure trove of unusual curiosities, old trunks, African masks and items of jewellery from faraway places. The small traditional museum is a feast for historians. Traditional trinkets of intricate beadwork are delicately displayed next to ancient spearheads, clay pots pipes knobkerries and handmade axes belonging to the Batonga Trible the lives of the local villagers are intertwined with the arrival of settlers who began construction of railways, hotels and the parabolic arch bridge across the Zambezi River. Completed in 1905, the bridge was the brainchild of Cecil Rhodes as part of his grand vision of a Cape to Cairo railway line.

Outside the artist paints batik table runners, mats and handbags.  Massive wooden carvings draw you towards a small shop at the rear of the courtyard, where all sorts of unusual objects are for sale – including animal skulls and bones.

For more information on where to shop click here

 

PHOTO OF THE DAY – FLAMINGOS AT THE KABELJOUS RIVER

The Kabeljous Nature Reserve is a 180 ha area surrounding the Kabeljous River estuary.

It is a very important habitat for water birds, many of which are migratory. Colonies of seagulls and the endangered African black oystercatcher breed in the dunes.

The coastal vegetation provides habitat for bushbuck duiker and greysbok as well.

With golden beaches and the best waves in the world as our back garden, its easy to forget that we enclosed by nature reserves as well.

The Kabeljous River is a magical place and still relatively undiscovered.

Jeffreys Bay photographer Joey Nel rates the Kabeljous Nature Reserve as one of her favourite places to take pictures in nature.

This picture captures flamingos enjoying the Kabeljous River.