Adelaide Moyo Features Reporter
THE Big Tree, one of the best known trees in the world, found in the resort town of Victoria Falls is attracting more fornicating lovers than tourists lately.
Unusually for a Baobab Adonsonia digitata, the tree has both an impressive girth and is very tall at 22,40 metres in 2004 and 24 metres tall in 1985, according to Wikipedia. But neither the girth nor the height are of interest to lovers in the resort town. Rather they have interest in it only as a love nest.
They drive their flashy cars to the Big Tree and start exploiting each other’s bodies, giving little care to curio vendors who sell their wares to foreign tourists.
Brighton Ndlovu, a curio vendor operating near the Big Tree witnesses close to a dozen cars almost daily parked in the bush close to the iconic tree.
“Our vending zone has been invaded. It has been turned into a lovers’ nest. They openly engage in sex. We operate from this place because it’s popular with tourists who come to view the Big Tree. To our surprise we’re getting more of the sex maniacs than tourists of late. These people end up having sex in the bushy area near the Big Tree,” Ndlovu said.
His colleagues are baffled too by the motorists’ choice of a “quick sex” venue.
Business for the informal traders, has gone down lately. Ndlovu blames the sex crazy lot for repelling tourists from the Big Tree.
“Tourists have bumped into these lovers indulging in sex in their cars on so many occasions. I think the motorists prefer doing ‘it’ in the car for fear of being attacked by wild animals. They also can’t drive into secluded areas deep in the bush because there are more wild animals there. We witness most of these sex escapades when hiding from tourism police and rangers in the bush at times,” he said.
Sex in the bush or car and the decaying of morals in the resort town is giving senior citizens sleepless nights.
It has been turned into a fashion statement that is threatening to diminish Victoria Falls as a tourist destination.
Three weeks ago, residents of Victoria Falls were treated to free drama when a married man, Simba Shoko, was caught, red handed with a married woman, Faith Mathe. The two were having sex in a car parked in a bushy area near Masue Bridge.
Shoko and Mathe were arrested in exactly the same area where a Zimra boss, Jambo Nyongo, was caught naked having sex in a car with a married woman some months back.
Last month, a human resources boss from a local hotel was caught by his wife while also having a nice time with his lover at Mkhosana turn-off in the car. This followed a sad incident which cost the life of a 16-year-old Mosi-oa-Tunya High School girl two months ago. The girl’s body was found floating in the Zambezi River and her boyfriend, Brian Dube, was attacked by two assailants, Augustine Ncube and Nhlanganiso Luphahla. Dube and the girl were found picnicking near the Big Tree. The boyfriend was also beaten and left for dead and only managed to make a report to the police with the help of some tourists who later picked him up.
Ncube and Luphahla have since been arrested and are awaiting trial in Hwange.
Victoria Falls is well known to the world as a majestic tourist destination because of its scenic environs and state of the art hotel and lodge facilities as well as tour services. The mighty Victoria Falls, known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (The smoke that thunders) in local language, is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Its waters fall 108 metres down while the Rainforest presents visitors with a rare treat of a natural equatorial habitat far away from the equator itself.
Most locals, it seems, have little appreciation of the scenic environs of their town.
They have turned sex into some form of recreation.
“Having sex in the bush doesn’t help give our town a good image. If these people were genuine couples they would make love in their houses. The fact that they prefer the bush shows how wrong the whole thing is. I think it’s best we respect our town as a tourist attraction. People come here from all over the world to view the beauty of the town, not a defiled resort,” said Musa Moyo of Mkhosana suburb.
Nkosilathi Dube, a resident, said people preferred the “safe haven” of the bush because of lack of privacy at most lodges in the resort town.
He noted that most people in Victoria Falls knew each other, hence their preference for the bush.
“I’m against such immoral behaviour but if people have to do it, they should book in lodges for their romping,” said Dube.
Residents want every person to work towards sprucing up the image of Victoria Falls.
They said “sex in the bush” frustrated efforts to market the town as a tourist destination of choice.
Tourism is the mainstay of the resort town’s economy.
Those who indulge in adulterous relationships fear the walls of hotels and lodges which they feel offer little or no privacy.
Khanondo Safaris and Tours manager, Ben Tessa, said people valued safety above everything else.
“It’s not that people can’t afford to book in a lodge. Some lodges charge ridiculously low prices for a room but people feel comfortable using the bush because they feel it’s safer there.
“This happens in almost all towns. Lovers drive to secluded places for sex but in the case of Victoria Falls, it’s different because it’s a small town as every incident gets to be known. If you book into a certain lodge with your lover, by the end of the day it will be known not because there is no more confidentiality by hotel staff but because everyone’s face is familiar and word spreads fast,” Tessa said.
The headmaster of Mosi-oa-Tunya High School, Rowland Sibanda, blamed such behaviour partly on the lack of mainstream entertainment for youths in the resort town.
He described such behaviour as disgusting to the community.
“I’m worried by an increase in the number of pupils who unashamedly engage in premarital sex especially with men older than them. As a leader who works with children I really don’t tolerate such behaviour. It’s our duty and responsibility as parents and teachers to come up with strategies to control such behaviour.
“The problem is there are no leisure centres like parks, play centres, libraries or community projects for youths in this town. As a result, youths end up visiting adult places of entertainment resulting in them partaking in activities meant for adults,” observed Sibanda.
He implored the local authority to come up with child-friendly budgets that promote the development of entertainment areas for children.
“This will help keep juveniles away from crime and other vices as well as enhance their chances to have a bright future,” said Sibanda.
Residents also blame long distance truck drivers who camp in the resort town’s Truck Stop for days waiting to be cleared at the border.
They suspect the truck drivers are one of the key contributors to the rise of HIV and Aids.
Victoria Falls Residents Association chairman, Morgan Dube, said casual sex in the bush was causing the disintegration of families.
“The culprits should be ashamed of such behaviour. Residents who engage in such activities should stop because many marriages are falling apart. We condemn such practices in the community and we call upon law enforcement agents to help us end such acts,” Dube said.
He recommended the enforcement of stringent laws by authorities forbidding sex in places of interest like the Big Tree.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management area manager in charge of Zambezi National Park, Edmore Ngosi, said they work hand in hand with the police in enforcing laws.
“We don’t allow people to stray into the forest and if we find anyone doing such things we don’t hesitate to arrest them and hand them over to the police,” he said.
Zambezi National Park encompasses Victoria Falls town.