Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Elephant kills Vic Falls head guide

Elephant kills Vic Falls head guide

Saturday, 18 June 2011 21:59

By Dusty Miller

TRAGEDY struck at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge June 8, when the head guide at 
the award-winning Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Tendekai Madzivanzira was 
killed by a bull elephant in full musth (ready for breeding.)

Madzivanzira, who was armed with a rifle and had years of experience, had 
escorted an international guest from the hotel to the nearby Siduli Hide at 
4pm. The hide is close to a waterhole frequented by a variety of game and 
while the guest was inside the hide, a number of animals visited the water 
hole, including the bull elephant.

The bull chased off another four elephants that were drinking and, after 
some time, the bull started to move off. It was about 6pm, while 
Madzivanzira was escorting his guest back to the lodge, that the bull 
spotted them and began to charge.

According to the unnamed guest, Madzivanzira grabbed her arm and told her to 
run but by this stage the elephant was too close. Madzivanzira then told her 
to climb a nearby tree and stumbled as he turned to face the elephant as he 
fired his weapon. The elephant hit the guide tossing him to the ground.

Efforts by observers and staff whistling and shouting from the lodge’s 
balcony to try to distract the charging bull were fruitless. The elephant 
eventually ran off and staff members and a medical team were on site to 
rescue the guest from the tree and attend to Madzivanzira, who was fatally 

Senior management from Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and experienced wildlife 
experts, in co-ordination with National Parks and Wildlife and ZRP, were 
called to secure the area and conduct further investigations.

“This is the first time in the 17 years of the lodge being open that 
something like this has happened and as much as we train our staff for a 
worst case scenario when living in the bush with wild animals, you still 
never think an incident like this is ever going to take place.

“Tendekai was a skilled professional who had the respect of his wildlife 
peers and conservation colleagues, along with all clients, staff, and the 
community as a whole” Ross Kennedy, Africa Albida Tourism’s chief executive 

Counselling for guide’s family
Once news of the incident had reached the hotel owners, Africa Albida 
Tourism’s head office by 6:30pm, various management staff were deployed to 
assist with contacting family and immediate grief counselling of the guide’s 
family and shocked guests.
While in transit to Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Ross Kennedy, Africa Albida 
Tourism’s chief executive, said: “It is a very sad and shocking thing to 
have happened and we will do everything we can do to provide support for 
Tendekai’s family. I’ve been told the staff at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge 
have been amazing in dealing with the situation and I have to say a big 
thank you to all of them.


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