Following yesterday’s cyclone Idai article, Tourism Update has received updates from ground operators in both Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Bernie Cragg, Director of Far and Wide Zimbabwe, said strong winds gusting to in excess of 100km/h, and torrential rain pounded the skywalk relentlessly from Thursday night through Friday and into Saturday, causing superficial damage to some of the boards on the longer of the two cable suspended bridges. “The shorter 37m bridge as well as the skyline (Zipline) were unaffected. We are happy to announce that we have since replaced the boards and will reopen the activities to members of the public on Friday, March 22.

In Mozambique, Tourism Update spoke to Natalie Tenzer-Silva, of Dana Tours, who shared the following update:

  • There is hardly any communication with Beira – erratic at best, mainly by SMS; and Movitel works in some suburbs.
  • Power lines are down so there is no power – hence even with limited cellphone reception, charging phones is not possible.
  • Potable water is in scarce supply.
  • Food will be in short supply since some of the major retailers were destroyed.
  • Roads have been cut off to the city.
  • A major bridge was washed away isolating the city.
  • Many areas are submerged under water.
  • Beira is littered with debris and glass. 
  • Although the city is really damaged, local residents have begun cleaning up the debris – the problem is in the surrounding areas which are mostly under water.  
  • Half of the Hotel Tivoli Beira is operating and it is hosting residents and journalists. They have a borehole so they have water and limited food supplies.
  • Few shops are open.
  • It hasn’t stopped raining since Sunday.
  • Most roofs were blown off. 
  • Help is on the way from the International Federation of the Red Cross, the EU, Portuguese Embassy and medical rescue teams, some of which are already on the ground.
  • Air access has been restored, however there is damage to the control tower and runway lights. Small aircraft were severely damaged in the hangar.

“On the other hand, Maputo has blissful weather and we are completely untouched by this disaster in the centre of Mozambique,” added Tenzer-Silva. “We are praying for those affected – some of whom are family members of our team.”

Tourism Update has created a map of affected lodges and areas. If your facility or product has been affected, please let us know so that we can add it to our TU Cyclone Idai Map.