German, French tourists arrested after wandering into Victoria Falls rainforest

Closed for business ... Tourists were intercepted by rangers inside the Victoria Falls rainforest which ius currently closed to visitors
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VICTORIA FALLS – Two tourists from Germany and France were arrested for trespassing in the Victoria Falls rainforest on Easter Sunday.

The rainforest and other tourist facilities around the country are closed as part of a 21-day national lockdown which began March 30 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Tinashe Farawo, the spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) said the duo arrived in the country on March 15.

“They were intercepted by our rangers after entering the rainforest illegally. They paid admission or guilt fines of $300 for trespassing and were released,” Farawo told ZimLive.

“We are encouraging tourists to stay at home until the coronavirus pandemic is contained, and we would happily receive them at that time.”

Farawo said the local Covid-19 rapid response teams had been activated to screen and test the tourists for the virus.

Zimbabwe’s tourism industry has slowed to halt after the global coronavirus pandemic, and travel restrictions imposed by countries in response, grounded international airlines.

Farawo said 80 percent of Zimbabwe’s tourists come from Europe, the United States and Asia while 20 percent are from the region – mainly South Africa – and domestic.

“The disruption to  the tourism industry has been unprecedented, and the recovery when all this is over will be slow and painful,” Farawo said. – ZimLive