Zimbabwe: Atta Allays Fears of Victoria Fall Drying Up

11 December 2019

The African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) has allayed fears of widespread news that the Victoria Falls is drying up. The association went on to notify people that whatever is happening now is a common occurrence which will come to pass.

There have been reports that the Vic Falls is drying up but authorities have jumped to allay the fears saying it is only a seasonal pattern which has lessened the water flow.

"For those who have been alarmed by the recent reports and somewhat sensationalised headlines, the good news is that the current records from the Zambezi River Authority are showing that water levels are once again on a consistent rise. Already water has started to flow once again over certain points along with the eastern cataract of Victoria Falls (the dry portion or cliff-face of Victoria Falls which has been pictured in all recent media reports).

"We anticipate that given the recent reports of rain in the Zambezi catchment area, and indeed the rainfall being experienced in the immediate region, that these water levels will continue to rise as would be anticipated and consistent with the norm for this time of year and the change in season from mid / end of November, beginning of December," said the association in a statement.

Facts on the ground are that the western side of the falls is lower than the eastern side and therefore carries the most water all year round.

This fluctuation is less noticeable at Devil's cataract and the Main Falls. From Livingstone Islands onwards, this ebb and flow become more apparent and at low water, this portion of the Falls dries up almost completely.

Historical data provided by the Zambezi River Authority, who monitors the water level flows in the region daily, provide evidence that the annual mean water levels of the river have in fact been lower in at least six prior examples of a period spanning 1914 to the current date period.

"Whilst Zimbabwe has indeed experienced an extensive drought over the course of this year, the water levels of the Zambezi and indeed the flow levels over Victoria Falls, have remained above those recorded over the drought period of 95 / 96," ATTA said.

Although the Falls are a spectacular experience at high water, the spray often obscures the waterfall making it difficult to see and photograph.

Each time of the year, throughout the change of seasons and the change in water levels, has its advantages and disadvantages but one thing is consistent: Victoria Falls remains a magnificent sight and natural phenomenon all year round.

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