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.
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