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Zimbabwe: Australian tourist missing for more than 9 days

Zimbabwe: Australian tourist missing for more than 9 days
Tourists wearing masks at the entrance to Victoria Falls on 6 August 2021   -  
Copyright © africanews
Tichaona Muketiwa/TOOTALL Productions


An Australian tourist who went missing late last week in Zimbabwe, near Victoria Falls, had already been missing for almost a week, according to the latest information released Monday by national park officials.

The 67-year-old tourist, whose name has not been released, was reported missing from the area near Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls National Park on Friday, and authorities said at the time that a search using dogs sniffing was underway.

Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said on Monday that the missing tourist was male and that the last time he had heard from him was It was February 17.

The tourist, who was traveling alone, was staying at a luxury hotel located about 3 kilometers from the rainforest park. On Feb. 17, he told hotel management he was going to the park, Mr. Farawo said.

However, the man was not seen entering the park in CCTV footage subsequently viewed, nor was he among those recorded as entering the park, as is normally the case for reasons accountability and security, Mr. Farawo said.

“We have reviewed the footage, the physical records at the entrance to the falls have no record of him entering and our research team has checked the rainforest. There is no trace of him ,” Mr. Farawo. “We are looking at other avenues because it appears he never entered the rainforest,” he added.

Such incidents are rare at Victoria Falls, a destination that attracts thousands of tourists from around the world for its majestic curtain of water that tumbles more than 108 meters from the mighty Zambezi River to a gorge below, casting up a mist visible for miles around.

The parks agency deployed a team of police and rangers, sniffer dogs, professional ground trackers and drones to track down the Australian tourist on Friday, Mr Farawo said.

A few cases have been recorded in other parks. A German tourist who went missing last October in wildlife-rich Matusadona National Park in northern Zimbabwe was found alive and well three days later.

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