While the thunderous roar of the mighty Victoria Falls has been somewhat tamed due to the drought, the sense of wonder remains, and weather experts have predicted that the Falls will be back to their full splendour going into 2020.
Water Resources and Environmental Management Director of the Zambezi River Authority, Chris Chisense, highlighted that the water levels were currently so low because the Zambezi Basin – particularly the Kariba catchment – received below-normal rainfall during the 2018/2019 rainy season.
“This resulted in below-average river flows, including that recorded at Victoria Falls,” he said, pointing out that while they were expected to continue to drop until late November or early December, flows were unlikely to fall below those recorded in 1995.
“In fact, they are expected to remain about 25% higher,” he added “Southern African Development Community (SADC) weather experts and meteorological institutions, such as the Climate Services Centre, have all projected that rains are likely to start early,” said Chisense.
By all accounts, tourism numbers to Victoria Falls have not dropped significantly, with travel agents and tour operators pointing out that, despite the drop in water levels, the Falls remain a strong attraction.
“At this time of the year there will always be more water in the Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side than on the Zambian side, simply because the Falls are slightly lower on the Zimbabwean side,” said Africa Albida Tourism Group Public Relations Manager, Marianne Betts.
“Now, when water is at its scarcest, the Victoria Falls is still splendid, and other activities, such as white-water rafting and game viewing – when wildlife gathers at permanent water sources – are at their best,” she said.
Product Manager at kulula holidays, Wendy Goutier, agreed. “The destination still has a lot to offer, Devil’s Pool being a great example where, during low-water season – approximately from the end of August to December – brave guests, accompanied by a guide, have the opportunity to swim in Devil’s Pool, which is a rock pool right on the lip of the Falls.”
Goutier added that besides the Falls there were many other activities, even day trips into Chobe, Botswana, for those that wish to visit.