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Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Mozambique -  As far as I am aware there are no problems on the road. Since the signing of the Peace Accord in August 2014 there has been no incident in Mozambique.

The election in October passed peacefully and the new President, Filipe Nyusi, was sworn in last week. At the moment there is heavy rain in the northern provinces of Mozambique and some areas are cut off due to bridges collapsing and being washed away. Best regards, Martin.


Dear Mike, At this present moment all perfectly fine travelling from Mutare to Vilanculos, only  a few potholes will get in your way!



Hi Mike, My husband, was this afternoon, (19/1/2015 at approx 3pm) at the Mount Pleasant Post Office near the Swimming Pools. He was coming out of the post office, and just as he was approaching his car he was hit in the back and held round the neck, he felt a sharp point in his back. He was asked to empty his pockets, they took the $70 he had on him and threw his phone on the ground.

The guy then ran off - wearing a beanie - pulled down low and jumped in the passenger door of a White Madza 323 with blacked out windows and the car speed out of the parking area.

Thank goodness my husband walked away, he is bruised and has a small cut from were they pushed the knife, or sharp object into his side.

Please do everyone take care when you are going back to your cars. Thanks Emily


On Friday night (16th) my office was broken into in Highlands and the complete 3-drawer white unit on wheels was stolen which had contents, such as stationery, receipt books, cash deposit books, stickers, photos, etc.  These 'thugs' are looking for cash and if anyone happens to come across the drawers/contents that they would have discarded, please contact Trudy Gravett on 0772414822. Be aware that these thugs are moving in groups of 3 to 4 (woman and men), they purchase with fake notes and they are using different vehicles - lilac/purple Nissan March and a blue Honda Fit. Thank you. Trudy


F Y I . , I am told that  Kalula is having a 24 Hour Sale of airline tickets starting early tomorrow morning (Wed. 21st.). So if you are intending travelling in the south of Africa  sometime soon , get onto their website tomorrow morning and see if you can get a good a good deal . Remember , it’s only for 24 Hours .


ZBC inspectors as well as ZESA officials are going from door to door asking to see licences or payment slips.  DON’T let them in, ask for identification, most times they leave muttering to themselves as they are not who they say they are. 


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Information on Radio licences: Radio licences for vehicles now only at Zimpost or Zinara and no longer at the shops in the car park.   You must take your vehicle log book. Home TV and radio licences no change still at Zimpost or ZBC Pockets Hill.

Help needed

From: therese paterson []
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2015 12:26 PM
To: Rose Stead-Sawpower Blades
Cc: Sherryl
Subject: Seeking a 4x4 lift please


Dear Rose,


As I said on the phone, Bruce needs to have an op done at Karanda. The doctors have told him and Sherryl that it will be done as an outpatient procedure and that for whatever reason, it needs to take place on a Thursday. Please can you send the following message to your contact in the 4x4 club to put out to the members?

I/we appreciate your help with this,

love and light,



Is there anybody amongst your members who is available and prepared to help Bruce Freel by offering their 4x4 transport and driving skills to take him, 3 carers and his wheelchair (which is NOT collapsible and will need to be secured) from Greendale, Harare to Karanda Mission Hospital near Mt Darwin as a day trip on the 22nd January?

Bruce, who is paraplegic, needs to have an op which will be done as an outpatient procedure. The intention would be to leave very early in the morning and return the same day. The return journey may require some dusk/night driving. Nevertheless, just in case, it would be wise to take a change of clothes if something unforeseen happens which requires an overnight stay. For this reason, if there is a lady who is able to offer her driving skills, this would be preferred as this would simplify the sleeping arrangements should they prove necessary.

Your vehicle would need to have comfortable seats which recline so that Bruce will be able to be as comfortable as possible for the post-op return journey. Your costs will be gratefully refunded.

If you are not already familiar with the area, there are two routes to Karanda. The shorter one using the causeway across the river is impassable at this time of year. The alternative route which is 16kms longer (total journey about 200kms one way) is a rough dirt road which does not usually require 4x4 vehicles. However, the recent rains have flooded the area and we understand that the high bridge was submerged and that the road has deteriorated. Currently access is restricted to 4x4 vehicles.

If you require more information, please phone Sherryl Freel on 0772304129 or  (04) 494139 or email her on

thank you so much, in anticipation that someone wants an adventure!

Death notices

Death Notice: Wormald – Athol passed away on 9th January 2015 in Cape Town. Widower of Elizabeth (“Dookie”), beloved father of Jane and Stephen, precious “Affoo” of Rebecca and Lauren, dear brother-in-law of Marion, Mike an Lenora. He will be greatly missed. Details of Memorial service in Harare to be announced.

Memorial Service: For the late Magdalena Marano: will be held on Thursday, 15th January,2015 at 2pm  at All Souls Church in Mount Pleasant in thanksgiving for the life of Magdalena Marano, wife of Giovanni Marano, who died on 17th December 2014.   Please accept this as an invitation to join us there.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Customs Scam

Please can you pass this on to your readers to avoid anyone being ripped off by this scam.


My husband and I came back through the Beitbridge border (which we travel through often) on Saturday morning (3rd Jan 2015).


On the Zimbabwean side a man wearing a yellow UNMARKED high visibility vest was standing at the customs area watching the few of us that were returning into Zim – as there were several people in high-vis vests there (as per normal) we thought nothing of it and entered the building.


As we were filling in our customs documents this same man from the customs area approached us and began advising us how to fill the form in.  We have NEVER had this happen before but given the new facility of an official department of people helping tourists that we have heard of, we assumed he was just doing his job.


But as with Zimbabwe if it seems too good to be true it probably is: once all the documents had been completed and we had police clearance all that was left was customs – the vest guy and another gentleman in a very smart blue and white checkered shirt approached us and told us we must wait in our car OUTSIDE the customs area, and that the $300.00 rebate had been revoked as at 1st January 2015 and we were required to pay duty on EVERYTHING in the vehicle, BUT if we put $100.00 in with our customs document then they would ensure that we would bypass the que and avoid the huge duty charges.


My husband sniffed a big fat rat and after asking them a few questions which made them visibly nervous, he got out of the car and said he was going to ask the customs official – with that, both of the guys vanished and my husband was informed by the GENUINE customs official that the rebate has definitely NOT been cancelled and the two guys are just con-men.


Please be cautious and keep your wits about you – we always find that the Zimbabwe side (unlike the SA side) is always so quick and easy and pleasant that you never need any “help you” guys.

Jariba Boat Licences

A recent Kariba Info notice warning visitors of the requirement for all boat drivers to have a valid Boat Drivers Licence while using the lake and the necessity for all person in small craft to wear a life jacket while underway resulted in a number of enquiries regarding licensing requirements etc. The notes below hopefully clarify the various issues.


In terms of the Inland Waters Shipping Act and Regulations all persons in control (driving) of any boat on Kariba or any other designated inland water must be in possession of the relevant Launch Masters Certificate. Any person caught driving a boat without a licence are liable to be arrested. It should be noted that unlicensed persons, such as children, caught driving even in the company of a licensed driver may cause the responsible person to be arrested.

Statutory Instrument 41 of 1997.  Inland Waters Shipping (amendment) regulations 1997 (no12)

Competent masters required for certain vessels

67. No vessel shall be used upon inland waters unless it is under the command of a master who is a holder of a valid certificate of competence issued in his name and in respect of the vessel concerned.

Any boat may legally stopped by Police, National Parks officials, the Lake Captain or any member of his staff to check for licences and life jackets.

Application forms for a Certificate of Competency (testing) can be obtained from Lake Navigation control stations at Kariba, Lake Chivero, Vic Falls. and   The current charge for both the tests and the licence is $40.

Launch Masters Certificates require applicants to complete both oral test and practical tests. The oral test is conducted in Harare and the practical test on Lake Chivero. The tests are based on the Manual of River and Lakemanship obtainable from Printflow (Pvt) Ltd – Government Printers.


The regulations state that life jackets must be worn at all times by all passengers on a boat whilst it is underway. When stopped for fishing, tied up or not moving life jackets may be removed but must be present in the boat, one for the driver and every passenger on board.

See inland waters shipping regulations: Use of life jackets on open vessels


All boats used on designated Inland Waters are required to be registered by the Ministry of Transport, carry designated safety equipment and undergo periodic inspections. Ministry of Transport Staff (Lake Captain and his subordinates) have the authority to fully check out any boat for safety, sea worthiness etc any at any time.

Applications for Boat Registration are done through Lake Navigation Control Stations.

The applications can be facilitated through Malcolm Atwell  of Sportz Marine who hold necessary documents and manuals.    Contact  0712604432.


Victoria falls Anti-poaching

Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit

PO Box CT 544

Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe

Tel: + 263 13 45821

Cell: + 263 772 177 324




To start off, we would like to wish each and every one of our supporters the very best for 2015 and let’s hope that the New Year will bring many successes in fighting poaching in our region.


Many thanks, as always, go to our supporters who keep VFAPU in operation – we are very grateful for your commitment towards wildlife conservation.


Thanks go to National Parks and Wildlife Management and the Zimbabwe Republic Police for the opportunity to join forces and fight crime collectively, thus illustrating what can be achieved when we all work together.

The Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit, through private funding from our supporters, has proven to be an effective presence on the ground with anti poaching operations. There are currently seventeen scouts working with the unit and these men often face great adversity, as they actively patrol the bush surrounding Victoria Falls. Our operations expand further afield too, as we offer logistics, manpower and equipment to assist in joint operations with the appropriate authorities. We commend 2014 successes achieved by Rangers from NPWMA, ZRP Support Unit and Forestry Rangers in dealing with ivory poachers in the Zambezi National Park and surrounds.


We experienced our first case of cyanide poisoning, where poachers placed this poison in a mineral lick and sadly, five elephants lost their lives to this ghastly method of poaching for ivory. It was, however, good to see the positive reaction by all stakeholders concerned in dealing with this situation and collective investigations lead to some arrests being made.


To reflect on 2014 and our operations in brief, please refer to the statistics below:


SNARES RECOVERED: 158 (remember that when VFAPU was first established in 1999, just over 4000 snares were recovered at that time).

PERSONS APPREHENDED: 398 = 358 wood poachers, 11 fish poachers, 13 mammal poachers (including ivory poachers), 1 thief, 8 illegal miners, 2 bush meat dealers and 5 persons entering the parks estate illegally.

INJURED MAMMALS DARTED, TREATED AND RETURNED TO THE WILD: 4 – 2 warthogs, 1 kudu and 1 buffalo. Thank you to the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust for the assistance in this field.

MAMMALS DISCOVERED POACHED: 19 = 1 kudu, 7 elephants, 6 warthogs, 5 buffalo.


We have to that note of some very distressing statistics emerging from the recent elephant population aerial survey funded through The Paul Allen Foundation. For example, the elephant population in the Sebungwe region has decreased by a staggering 75% and in the lower Zambezi Valley there has been a population decrease of 8000 elephants. There have, however, been population increases in Matabeleland North and in Gona-re-Zhou National Park.

As we reflect on these statistics, both positive and negative, the realisation of how we must all take a stand against all forms of poaching comes to the fore, and we must not let poaching take place unabated. We look forward to your support throughout 2015. Thank you.


“Working together for wildlife conservation”


Treating a kudu cow, who was injured from a poacher’s snare.


An elephant cow with a wire snare around her trunk. VFAPU Scouts are active ‘boots on the ground’ searching for and removing these snares from the bush.



VFAPU Scouts on patrol – Victoria Falls.





and Winner of the 2013 Green Globe 21 Award as voted by the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism.


DISCLAIMER - The information in this message is confidential and is legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. Access to this message by anyone else is unauthorized. If received in error please accept our apologies and notify the sender immediately. You must also delete the original message from your machine. If you are not the intended recipient, any use, disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken in reliance of it, is prohibited and may be unlawful. Therefore the Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit accepts no liability for claims, losses, or damages arising from the inaccuracy, incorrectness, or lack of integrity of such information.