The last three days of December last year were epic in Victoria Falls as thousands trooped in from various countries for the carnival. All their events were oversubscribed though the organisers need to work on improvements to make the carnival bigger and better. The ‘Train and Bush Party’ was the first to roll and several merrymakers were on board. However it could have been a better one if they had hired passenger trains to give merrymakers value for their money. The train was shaky and also some of the compartments had no speakers and therefore no music in the train as had been advertised.
During the peak period, when the final train dropped off its passengers, the queues for local card holders at the top-up tent became longer and service was slow to the extent that one could spend as much as 30 minutes before being served.
DJs In The Bush were not up to the task forcing merrymakers to go and redeem their night at various spots in town. Electric Safari Concert which was held at the Victoria Falls Farm School, the next day was a major success as all the lined up acts lived to their billing.
Performers of the night Freshlyground, Lady Zamar and Black Motion among others were up to the task.
All the performers on the night had high levels of energy on stage making some serious interactions with the overwhelmed merrymakers making it a boisterous affair.
Afro-fusion group Mokoomba proved why it is celebrated globally with a magnificent performance on New Year’s Eve. Their stellar performance left many fans wondering why they had not been given a prime slot as they got to play while people were still trickling in.
The DJ picked up the tempo just seconds into the New Year, dropping hit after hit with the tunes being fused with mesmeric sound effects.
Jason Le Roux, The Lazurasman and Bhana kept the music playing way into the wee hours of the first day of 2019.
One of the organisers, Wayne Boardman, said the carnival was growing and there were plans to make it bigger and better.
“This was definitely the largest crowd we have ever had and while we still need to finalise the numbers, I believe we had around 6500 on New Year’s Eve, a little less than that on the 30th and a sell-out crowd for the train party on the 29th. It was really an amazing feeling watching the New Year’s countdown,” Boardman said.
“The energy was unbelievable. We truly have what we believe is an international standard festival in Africa and we will be looking to make the 2019 edition of Zambezi Lager Vic Falls carnival bigger and better.”
The Zambezi Victoria Falls Carnival has not only brought merrymaking but has become one of the biggest cash cows for the resort town.
This has ignited calls to have the Carnival replicated in all the provinces as a way of marketing some of the historical sites and monuments as well as tourist attractions.
For instance a carnival in Manicaland gives both local and international tourists an appreciation of flora and fauna that compliments the mountains of Vumba and Nyanga areas.
The same model can also be used to market Great Zimbabwe ruins in Masvingo