In June of this year, I packed up my possessions for Livingstone, Zambia. With cat, girlfriend, and bedding in tow, we made the 7-hour journey from Lusaka (formerly home) to our new little house on a farm not 10km as the crow flies from one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World - Victoria Falls. Why would we decide to move from home to the hottest town on the planet (ok slight exaggeration…or is it?!) and start a new adventure? Not because of what is, but because of what can be.
The ‘Zambezi Region’ as we now call it, encompasses Victoria Falls town, Zimbabwe, Kasane, Botswana and Livingstone, Zambia. We believe that the success of this amazing region is much like the education we provide on wine and food pairing: symbiotic. Whilst one can be enjoyed without the other and one can succeed without the other, the truth is that they’re both better when paired with a counterpoint.
Victoria Falls oozes new African chic and indomitable spirit - with craft breweries, trendy restaurants, vibrant game viewing and old African romance. Livingstone acts more energetic - with gorge swings, bungee jumps, helicopter rides, micro lighting, white water rafting, backpacker bars and loud booze cruises. Kasane, the true African experience, with access to one of the world’s most robustly protected wildernesses left, encompassing Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve, the Okavango Wilderness and smaller pockets such as Linyanti and trust me, the list goes on rather extensively.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Zambia and Zimbabwe, ever the brother and sister separated by river, are both in extraordinary economic decline, which coupled with rampant deforestation has led to the destabilisation of the rain structures, leading to the worst drought in a generation. The flow rate of Victoria Falls - said to be the largest sheet of falling water on the planet, has reduced from an all-year average of 2,000 cubic metres per second to less than 1,200 for 2019. It’s not a problem we can rely on public works and policy to fix, which is why I’m so proud of our decision to create the ‘Treebate’ and provide a quantifiable rebate on all purchases made by our customers in the region which we will use to plant trees and show that anyone, in any business has the ability to fight back and effect change. Gandhi told us to “be the change we want to see in the world” and as of 2020, we’re going to start putting some trees where our mouths are.
So what can we do to support this exciting region? We can provide support to the people who believe in its future as we do. By providing our proprietary training and support to the staff who make everything happen, we ensure that there is more to experience than just the falls. We wish to support the growth of exceptional service in the food and beverage arena and help make this region a poster for fine wines and great service. Younger generations are experiential tourists, snubbing material possessions for new, exciting moments to capture.
We want to help make this region become a place of more than just one iconic landmark, we wish to make it a place of experience. Cheers to that!