Leonard Ncube/Harare Bureau, Victoria Falls Reporter
HOLLYWOOD stars and couple Mr Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are in Victoria Falls for a festive season holiday as the resort town continues to attract world personalities.
Local tour guide Mr Clive Wakefield posted the couple’s photos on his Facebook page Clive Wakefield Guiding after the Titanic and Traffic stars visited the Victoria Falls Rainforest on Christmas Day drawing much excitement from both locals and foreigners who took to social media to talk about the couple’s visit.
Mr Wakefield who is into tour guiding and also runs a bed and breakfast in the resort town posted, “How fantastic was this today, to be able to spend such special time with this amazing family. Thank you, Catherine Zeta Jones, Michael Douglas and your two wonderful children.”
Mr Douglas and Ms Zeta-Jones are accompanied by their two children Dylan and Carys, according to pictures trending on social media.
Efforts to link up with the couple or their handler Mr Wakefield were fruitless yesterday as Mr Wakefield was not picking his mobile which was later not reachable.
The couple which is believed to be staying at one of the high-end private lodges in Victoria Falls reportedly sampled a number of tour activities besides touring the Rainforest where they took several pictures with the background of the mighty waterfall.
They had an interaction with elephants before going on a game viewing on the Zambezi River where they posed for pictures viewing jumbos and hippos literally bathing in the Zambezi River.
The couple and their two children posted on Catherine Zeta-Jones Facebook page confirming their presence in the country.
“Happy holidays from Africa,” shouted the quartet in a short video.
Tourism executive Mr Clement Mukwasi said while arrivals have been a bit subdued in the last few days with numbers expected to rise in the build up to the Vic Falls Carnival due this Sunday, the visit by the Hollywood power couple was a confidence booster to the tourism industry.
He said usually celebrities prefer safari activities as well as high adrenalin ones such as boat cruise, bungee jumping and helicopter flights.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) spokesperson Mr Godfrey Koti confirmed engaging the couple and family.
He said their coming dispels all negative publicity about Zimbabwe adding that Mr Douglas and Ms Zeta-Jones would be the country’s ambassadors.
“As ZTA we are extremely excited that we get such calibre of visitors into the country as it can only mean that the destination is getting much confidence out there as a destination of choice,” said Mr Koti.
“Celebrities and mega stars have their requirements and if you see them preferring to go to a destination it means that it matches the standards that they expect and we are forever grateful to them for bringing their families here to spend time with us. They have vibes about Zimbabwe and the conversation I had with them they were promising to tell the world the Zimbabwe story. “
Mr Koti said Zimbabwe will always find a way to rise to the occasion despite negative publicity.
“As you are aware, we have been facing a lot of bad press lately internationally as media chose to spin the climate story,” he said.
Mr Koti was referring to the recent BBC story which claimed the Victoria Falls had dried up.
“We are making a statement through them that Victoria Falls is not dry and that we are a destination of choice and a must visit. Through them the world will view us differently from how we have been portrayed, “ said Mr Koti.
Uefa president who is also Fifa vice president Aleksander Ceferin, is set to be accompanied by his family on a tour that will see them visit some of the country’s major resort areas.
He will be hosted by COSAFA president, Philip Chiyangwa, during his stay in the country with the family’s first port of call being Victoria Falls where they are scheduled to arrive today.
“Looking forward to meet you on Friday and thank you in advance,” Ceferin texted the COSAFA boss yesterday.
“See you soon.”
Chiyangwa then responded, with another text in which he said: “I’m honoured to receive you and will be at your service.
“I’m already in Victoria Falls and all systems are set for your easy entry and stay.”
Other celebrities that were in Victoria Falls recently include South African television presenter and socialite Maps Mamponyane who confirmed his visit too.
Mamponyane, who spent a day in the resort town, spoke glowingly about the falls saying the story of them drying up was not true.
Three months ago, renowned American comedian and television host Steve Harvey and wife Marjorie sneaked into Victoria Falls where they also toured the Rainforest.
Last week Honorary Commander of the British Navy, Mrs Durdana Ansari visited Victoria Falls and spent three days.
Ms Zeta-Jones is a Welsh actress born in 1969 and started acting as a small girl.
Her role in the French-Italian fantasy feature 1001 Nights in 1990 marked her breakthrough as she landed a role in the British television series The Darling Buds of May between 1991 and 1993.
She starred in the epic romance movie Titanic in 1997.
Ms Zeta-Jones was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to drama.
Her husband is an American actor and producer who has won numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the AFI Life Achievement Award.
One of his movies is Traffic released in [email protected]