Upon our inception Zambezi Africa Tours engaged the Tourism Industry including Hotels and lodges, Activity centers, the Telecoms companies, Community leaders, schools and community members of the broad Victoria Falls rural areas of Hwange West District of Matebeland North province. In partnership with the Environmental Buddies Trust Zimbabwe, a non-governmental organisation in Zimbabwe which aims to promote sustainable forests resources and waste management systems in Zimbabwe and The Forestry Commission , a parastatal with a mandate to manage and conserve forest resources we came up with an ‘Action Plan’ .We aimed for inclusiveness in taking care for the Environment together with all stakeholders that benefit directly or indirectly from Tourism.
Trees for Tourism
We take cognisant of the fact that Victoria Falls communities are the custodians of the World’s heritage site the ‘Victoria Falls’. Both travelers from across the globe and the local communities benefit from the environment. In taking a position in tackling the global challenge of carbon footprints, we as Zambezi Africa Tours play our role in conserving the environment.
In recent years the region has been hit by a series of droughts that have threatened to dry the Zambezi River on which the Victoria Falls lies. In 2019 the mighty waterfalls almost dried up witnessing the lowest flow of the river in over 35 years. That was a big scare to the Tourism industry and the community that solely depends on Tourism eg hotels, lodges, activity centers, artists and so forth. Wildlife was not spared by this drought either as many elephants and other animals died of starvation.
What we did
- In Chief Mvuthu and his sub-heads, the communal lands of Hwange West District in Matebeland North province, we organised and facilitated tree-planting events.
A total of 200 trees were planted at Chief’s homestead and 130 trees at Sub-head Mlisa’s home. At all events the local people got 200 trees to plant on there homes.
- On International Tree planting Day commemorated in Zimbabwe annually, we planted 400 trees at Sizinda Secondary school. The event held at Sizinda was attended by representatives from the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe members including hotels and lodges management, Parks and wildlife of Zimbabwe and other non-governmental organizations like the Painted-dogs and Green-Africa.
In 2019 again we converged at Sizinda for further planting of 102 trees on International Day of Forests
- In March of 2020 we organised and planted 100 trees at Monde primary school. A further 100 trees were donated to communities to plant on their homes.
How did it help?
The events for tree planting we organised helped communities in the following ways;
- Having attended the Tree-planting event The Victoria Falls Hotel pledged and repainted Sizinda Secondary school and repaired the school furniture. Thank you Victoria Falls Hotel.
- Zambezi Africa Tours and our Brazilian friends Bruno and Luciana:
- Funded the installation of solar system at Sizinda Secondary school. The project is half way now but already electricity is available for use for the school
- We sponsored three learners with school fees and examination fees as well as school uniforms for the learners of 2019. One learner has since proceeded to ‘A’ level studies.
- We Donated Text books for all 4 learning levels for each of the 8 learning Areas. A total of 400 text-books and stationery including office stationery at Sizinda Secondary School.
- At Monde Primary school we donated text books and exercise books for the new curriculum.
- We acknowledge the assistance and donations that we received from all companies in all the events. Without such help the events would not have been as successful.
With the realisation of global warming it takes all of us to have a concerted effort to save the environment. Part of the effort starts with us in our small space to take action and responsibility for our environment.
Zambezi Africa Tours as a Tour Operating Company we created a platform to have Tourists interact with our grassroots efforts on the fight for climate change.
Zambezi Africa Tours was inspired by three fundamental concerns
- The love of Guiding
- The passion to take care of the environment
- The need to empower communities through Tourism
Our campaign for re-afforestation, environmental conservation and protection of existing forests and wetlands has to take to new heights. With the EBZtrust fully established and having achieved so much in the past years through local communities engagement and awareness on environmental concerns up to national level, we hope to scale up our international participation through off-setting our carbon footpints.