The following is a circular we have received from Botswana Tourism introducing a $30 tourism levy for entries into Botswana from June 1st 2017.
TOURISM DEVELOPMENT LEVY
The Levy Background
The Ministry of Environment Natural Resources’ Conservation and Tourism through the Botswana Tourism Organisation wishes to announce the introduction of an obligatory Tourism Development Levy (TDL)
Purpose of the Levy
The objective of the Levy is to raise funds for conservation and national tourism development in order to support the growth of the industry and broaden the tourism base, resultantly improving the lives of the people of Botswana.
Who is eligible to pay?
All visitors to Botswana in exception of residents and citizens of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states
Where is the levy collected?
The Levy is payable at all ports of entry including airports and border posts, starting 1st June 2017
How is the payment done?
Payments are done at the ports of entry through electronic payment machines through cash (US Dollars), debit and credit card. After the payment, a unique receipt corresponding to the passport will be automatically generated. The receipt should then be presented to Immigration Officials. The passport and the receipt will be stamped and handed back to the traveller. The receipt will valid for a 30 day period and can be used for multiple entry.
How much is the levy
Travellers to Botswana will pay USD30.00.
The Botswana Government remains committed to growing the contribution of tourism to the national economy as well as economic diversification and employment creation.
For further information please visit the BTO website
For enquiries please email: email@example.com or call +267 391 3111
The new Victoria Falls Airport, which now has the capacity to handle 1.5 million passengers per annum, tripling its previous volume, and is capable of landing some of the world’s largest aircraft, was officially opened on Friday 18th November 2016.
The airport features a four kilometer runway, state of the art control tower, which is one of the most advanced in Africa, and a fire station, equipped to respond to fire and medical emergencies.
Facilities at the international terminal include 14 check-in counters, 9 boarding gates, three baggage carousels, a dozen shops, two restaurants, 28 aircraft parking bays and parking facilities for roughly 400 vehicles.
The domestic terminal features six check-in counters, two passenger security screening facilities, one restaurant and three coffee shops, eight other shops and a business class lounge.
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe confirmed that the authority is excited about the launch of Ethiopian Airlines’ services in 2017. Ethiopian Airlines will introduce flights into Victoria Falls International Airport from its hub in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from March 2017. The route is expected to be serviced by either an Airbus 350 or a Boeing 787.
The travel industry is very excited by the opening of the new Victoria Falls International Airport as well as the newly secured airline as this opens many new possibilities not only for tour operators through new markets, but also for travelers wishing to visit Southern Africa as a destination.
Please note that as of the 1st October 2016, the Botswana Government updated their laws concerning traveling with minors. The Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs informs the general public and travel industry that it has imposed requirements for minors (children under 18) traveling through the country’s ports of entry.
Minors traveling through Botswana’s borders will be required to produce certified copies of unabridged birth certificates in addition to their valid passports. In the event that one parent is not traveling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be presented. However, an affidavit will not be required if the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate.
One of our suppliers has spoken directly with the Director of Immigration and Citizenship, Mr. Mabuse Pule, and whilst there is yet to be updates to various government websites, it has been communicated in an official letter they received from the Botswana Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, it was stated the decision is due to an enactment of the United Nations Anti Human Trafficking Protocol:
The following documents will be required when traveling to Botswana with minors (18 years and below):
• Valid Passport
• Valid VISA, if required
• Unabridged Birth Certificate (Birth Certificate containing the particulars of a minor and those of the parents)
• A letter of consent from the other parent should the minor be traveling with one parent
These requirements are similar to the ones introduced by South Africa in June 2015, and as such, should not affect guests traveling through South Africa to a great extent as most of them should already have the correct documentation. If you are unsure of the requirements, please get in touch with your home country Embassy to discuss in further detail.
Vultures, also known as scavengers are integral to the ecosystem, as they are the rubbish collectors and cleaners of the bush – without them there would be more disease in our immediate environment, adversely affecting wildlife, domestic animals and humans. Vulture stomach acid is exceptionally corrosive; allowing them to safely digest putrid carcasses infected with botulinum toxin, hog cholera bacteria and even anthrax bacteria that would be lethal to other scavengers.
Vulture Culture Experience
Every day from 13:00/13:30 Victoria Falls Safari Lodge have the Vulture Culture Experience complimentary to all visitors, which is a conservation project that strives to protect endangered vultures, whilst educating visitors about these remarkable birds. It’s a safe feeding site where animal carcasses are provided as an artificial, safe food source for vultures on a regular basis. This practice not only serves to assist in the continued survival of vultures, but also increases awareness of vultures.
Briefing With Moses At Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
It’s actually quite remarkable to see. Visitors gather outside for a short briefing before walking down to the vulture feeding hide, where a well-educated member of the team informs spectators of his actions, as he prepares the animal carcasses for a lunchtime feed. Within moments a committee of vultures gather in great numbers from above, waiting for their cue – the feeder knows he needs to be quick. He gives the signal and dashes to the feeding hide. Without a second to lose, the vultures converge in absolute pandemonium swooping in and pouncing on their prey.
Vultures Converge in Absolute Pandemonium
Bystanders watch in fascination as the wake of vultures rip and tear chunks of meat off the animal carcasses all around the hide. The sound, smell and feeling of the unsettled dust from the mammoth attack is unforgettable.
Some of the species commonly seen at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge include, but are not limited to:
1. White Headed Vultures
2. Hooded Vultures
3. Lappet Faced Vultures
4. Cape Vultures
5. White-backed Vultures
6. Yellow Billed Kites
7. Tawny Eagles
8. Marabou Storks
Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, together with Victoria Falls Safari Lodge are conducting the following research:
Nesting sites and vulture counts.
Fitting satellite tracking devices and tags to monitor movement and habitat regionally. Occasionally tagged vultures appear at their site providing valuable information, which is submitted to VulPro (Vulture Protection in Southern Africa).
The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance and promote environmental conservation in Southern Africa through active wildlife research; management of wildlife veterinary diagnostic laboratory and rehabilitation facility; the education and empowerment of local people in the sustainable utilization of indigenous resources through active involvement in conservation training and community outreach programs.
So what can we do to help this great initiative? Beware of the potential use of vulture body parts in traditional medicine. Educate friends and family regarding the importance of vultures as guardians of the ecosystem. Actively encourage the use of ‘green’ medicines for livestock. Lobby for the banning of toxic substances, such as Furadan and Aldicarb. Lastly, any donations to the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust will contribute enormously.
Read more about the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust here.
• Two of the most common vultures at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge are listed as endangered species. The Hooded Vulture and the White-backed Vulture.
• Globally, vultures are the most endangered group of all bird species.
• Eight of Africa’s eleven vulture species have declined at an average of 62% across all regions over the past 30 years, so conservation efforts are crucial.
• Vultures are ultimate recyclers – able to strip a carcass in just a few hours, they keep our natural environment clean and disease free.
• By consuming dead animals, scavengers play a key role in the environment by preventing disease outbreaks and recycling nutrients.
THREATS TO THE SPECIES
Due to the width of vultures wingspan, they are unable to change direction easily at short notice, so power lines are a constant hazard.
Loss of food supply:
As humans encroach on wildlife areas, vultures’ food diminishes.
Poachers poison vultures to avoid alerting rangers of the location of a poached animal.
Farmers may use poisoned bait for predators that prey on their herds of livestock.
Livestock treated with diclofenac will kill vultures if the animal dies and is consumed.
Traditional healers believe different body parts of a vulture can cure diseases and provide foresight through dreams.
Vultures are mistakenly perceived as pests by certain cultures.
Steven Chikosi is a Harare-based photographer and videographer. Over time he noticed he had an eye for photography and began taking snapshots of city scenes and faces until he built Steven Chikosi Photography. Today Steven is a top Instagrammer, on a mission to tell positive stories of daily life in Zimbabwe. His portfolio covers anything from wildlife, landscapes, communities, music, and city life to agriculture.
WHEN JACARANDAS BLOOM IN HARARE
“My father once said, we come from a background of storytelling and we should always remember that”, says Steven. His work not only captures the amazing unrefined and naturally beautiful Zimbabwe, but also tells a powerful and positive story about the country, it’s people and their daily living, enticing you along the way. Each and every image has an inspiring angle and makes you appreciate the true beauty and simplicity everyday life has to offer.
AMAZING HANDBALL GAME IN RURAL ZIMBABWE
Steven has been named one of the top 5 African photographers you should follow on Instagram. “Everyone is constantly telling a story, even if they’re not talking or don’t actually have anything to say”. Have patience and capture your subject in their true form, sometimes it’s best they don’t see you”, says Steven.
NAKED FLAMES OF AFRICA
For more about the talented photographer, and to hear what he has to say on African Voices, watch the video below.
Alternatively, check out Steven’s portfolio on any of the below links, and let’s help him tell his story:
Follow Steven on Instagram: @stevenchikosi
Follow Steven on Facebook: Steven Chikosi Photography
Follow Steven on Twitter: @stevenchikosi
For those who are new to high tea, and for those who are frequent acquaintances, high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel will not disappoint.
The British tradition of ‘high tea’ stretches back to the mid-1700s as an afternoon meal, usually served between 3 and 4 o’clock and served at the dining room table. Opposed to the ‘afternoon tea’, often served in comfort, around chairs or sofas. Over the years the term ‘high tea’ was developed and to this day is still formally known in a wide selection of hotels around the world.
HIGH TEA VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL
One hotel, which stands out in particular, is the grand Victoria Falls Hotel, enriched in history and quite possibly one of the oldest hotels in Africa. Built in 1904, the hotel was originally utilized as the accommodation for the workers constructing the railway from Cape to Cairo. To date, the hotel is visited by travelers from across the globe, including a number of influential visitors and has accommodated members of the royal family, on several occasions. The view of the remarkable Victoria Falls Bridge can be seen from the hotel, as well as the spray of the magnificent Falls.
Another familiar tradition of high tea is to be fabulously formal. Although this is not a set requirement, it’s usually favored to dress up for the occasion. Yes ladies, that means your summer dresses & exquisite hats. And gentleman those well-polished shoes, chinos & buttoned up tops. You are sitting where royalty once sat after all!
The stunning Stanley Terrace holds a capacity of 80 guests. Victoria Falls Hotel high tea is served daily between 15:00 – 18:00. Bookings are not required, although we advise you enquire availability beforehand. And no, you don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy the delectable treats and captivating view. At a price of US$30, a couple can enjoy a range of mouth-watering treats, served on an array of silverware, bone china, and vintage cutlery & crockery. Whilst relaxing and enjoying the exceptional service from the friendly hotel staff.
HIGH TEA WITH A VIEW
Amongst these treats you’ll find homemade cucumber sandwiches, warm scones with jam & cream, miniature bite-size savory treats and a variety of delicious pastries. Including the most amazing chocolate slice that will tease your taste buds and keep you coming back for more.
To stay at Victoria Falls Hotel or enjoy their famous high tea with a high view, enquire here
Situated 5-kilometers from the magnificent Victoria Falls is The Boma, a restaurant renowned for giving it’s customers a truly unforgettable African Experience. Below are just a few points on why The Boma is a must, whilst visiting the Falls.
1. TRADITIONAL ATTIRE:
As you enter The Boma, friendly staff eagerly welcome you with customary face-painting and colorful garments, making you feel like a true local ready for a night of entertainment.
2. THE ATMOSPHERE:
As you’re escorted to your table, you’re instantly hit with the warm-heartedness of Zimbabwe, it’s people and it’s smell. Walking through the warmly lit Boma is certainly the unique experience of it all. There’s not one detail left out of place, and you’re overwhelmed with what to look at first, almost as if you’re walking through a food market or village.
There’s a blazing fire in the middle which looks up to the African sky, as the thatched roof is partially open and held up by tall gum poles, marked with tribal patterns. There are different cooking stations situated at various sections of the restaurant, appropriately themed for each delicacy. Indoor trees surround different levels of decked seating areas, laid with hand-made African print tablecloths and tableware. It really does take your breath away.
3. AUTHENTIC ZIMBABWEAN CUISINE:
As you’re seated, your first African experience is a cup of Chibuku [an African beer made out of sorghum and maize] served in an enamel cup [Africa’s version of bone china]. Although The Boma caters for everyone’s tastes, it also specializes in a wide variety of traditional Zimbabwean dishes for the more adventurous foodie.
• Smoked crocodile tail
• Deep-fried Kapenta [little fish]
• Sadza [thick maize meal served as starch]
• Tender warthog fillet [highly recommended]
• Kudu steak
• Impala kebabs
• Zambezi bream [fish]
• Nyimo beans
• Potjie [stew cooked in a cast iron pot on the fire]
• Guinea Fowl
A Boma is traditionally known as ‘The Place of Eating’ and that’s exactly what you do. The delicious three-course meal is served buffet style, so you’re able to choose your favorite dishes, try a little bit of everything or simply keep going back for more!
4. THE MUSIC:
After dinner, the real fun begins. Traditionally dressed performers gather around the middle of the restaurant and begin to entertain you with their talented, powerful yet effortless drum show. There’s something truly special about it. It almost leaves you feeling a little emotional as if you’re giving a piece of your heart to Africa right there and then.
Once the show is over, they walk around the restaurant handing every guest a drum and together in unison, they teach you to pound the drum to harmonious beats. The noise can be heard from a few kilometers away, tempting all ears to join in the fun. Your foot will still be tapping to the beat a few days later – guaranteed.
5. THE MOPANE WORMS:
In Zimbabwe, mopane worms are a staple part of the diet in rural areas and are considered a delicacy. They can be eaten dry, as crunchy as potato chips, or cooked and drenched in sauce. Daring to give one a go, The Boma will offer a certificate of proof, in case your friends and family don’t quite believe you.
6. THE CURIOS:
Talented craftsman gather in and around The Boma, tempting guests with their impressive hand-made sculptures as a little reminder of Africa. You’ll be seriously blown away by the craftsmanship that goes into these pieces of art.
Book your Boma experience with Pure Africa Experiences.
Book online Enquire Now