Spending time in Victoria Falls
Author: Brodie Deverell "Aussie in Wanderlust"
I recently got the chance to finish an african safari in Victoria Falls and took an extra 2 nights there to have a good look around. For a small place there is certainly lots to do and it would come as no surprise to hear that most features around the Victoria Falls themselves and the Zambezi River.
Adventurous Activities at Victoria Falls
When we first arrived at our accommodation for our last few official nights on safari we were greeted by the very friendly staff at Shearwater Explorer Village. They provided us with information and a video on all the different activities available to do while we were in Victoria Falls. The list included bungy jumping, cable gliding, bridge swing, whitewater rafting, devil’s pool visit, cruise/dinner on the river, animal safari, rhino conservation visit, Victoria Falls visits and the list goes on. All activities were reasonably priced and you had the chance to sign up as a group or individual for some activities. You also could have a think about things and come back to them later on so were certainly not pushy with sales.
I decided to have a go at the whitewater rafting (which I’ve wrote a separate blog about, check it out), visit the Falls which was actually included in our safari and compete the cable gliding across the Zambezi River. I thought this was more than enough to keep me busy for a few days. That first afternoon a group of us that had been travelling together decided it was the perfect time to check out the Falls. We got taken down to the entry gate by our guide as he had to purchase the tickets for us, luckily it was literally a 10 minute walk from our accommodation.
Once there you could immediately hear the roar from the water gushing over the famous waterfalls. We were visiting in early December and it turns out that this is one of the best times of the year to be able to enjoy the waterfalls and take pictures as the water flow was not at its highest. Other times of the year during and after wet season is almost impossible to take pictures as the mist from the falls is so strong you literally end up soaking wet and can hardly see the waterfalls at all. The low water also ment the waterfall was broken up into a collection of smaller waterfalls rather than one large one. During the wet season it is best to observe the falls from the air via a chartered helicopter flight. I had actually already seen the Falls from the air as when flying to Cape Town to start my safari we made a stopover in Victoria Falls and the pilot was kind enough to do a fly over the Falls for both sides of the plane to enjoy. You don’t often get that with commercial flights these days and I was very pleased indeed.
You can wander along and admire the Falls at your own pace and there are viewing platforms strategically placed along the way so you can take those beautiful photos and selfies to prove that you have ticked off one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. The sheer size of the falls and the amount of water (even in low season) that is falling over continuously is absolutely amazing. It really is a special place and one you need to remember to enjoy and fully take in while visiting. That evening we had a group dinner as a kind of send off to end the tour as some people were leaving the next day. We ate at the accommodation we were staying at Shearwater Explorer Village. The meals were all very tasty and everyone left full and satisfied. We enjoyed a few beers around the bar and shared a few of our highlights and special memories from the previous few weeks.
The next morning was the day to tackle the mighty Zambezi River by raft. It did’t sound the smartest thing to do after we had witnessed the day before how much and fast the water was following. Nonetheless we got picked up from our accommodation, had an introduction of what to expect and safety procedures then went to just below the Falls where the rafting began. I’m not going to go into too much detail here about the day but please check out my blog Zambezi River - White water rafting to find out more. I will just end by saying it was a great day out.
That evening I had dinner at a local Thai restaurant called Nam Took that had been recommended to us. It was very affordable and the food tasted fresh and full of flavour.
The next day was a chance to sleep in, well as much as possible when sleeping in a tent in the Zimbabwean heat. I then had the cable gliding from one side of the river to the other booked in for 10am. I know this is the softest of the options to complete but my confidence in heights or lack thereof didn’t allow me to consider jumping from a bridge. It was a very calm and easy experience to be honest and nowhere near the frightening experience I was half dreading. As soon as my feet left the safety of land I felt relaxed and was able to enjoy the view while sliding from the Zambezia side of the river to the Zimbabwean side. It was really a cool moment and something I think I’ll remember for a long of time. It gave you a real appreciation of just how high the falls actually are and the sheer drop off of the cliffs on either side of the river. After completing my slide I had the option to purchase some gopro footage of it but I decided it was better to just keep it in the memory bank. I then watched some of the braver men and women jump off the bridge doing the bungy jumping and bridge swing. It looked very cool if I was to be honest but something I just couldn’t bring myself to complete. I then caught the supplied bus back to the accommodation and spent the afternoon enjoying the pool in the 40 degree heat. A really nice way to unwind and reflect on my time in Africa.
That night I caught up with a couple that had completed the trip with me from Cape Town to Victoria Falls. Would you believe they were big asian fans and had heard that Nam Took was a nice place to dine. We went there again as I told them of the nice meal I had enjoyed the night before. We said our goodbyes and I had my last sleep in the tent I had called home for over 20 nights previously before packing it up for the last time the next morning and heading off to the Zimbabwean airport and therefore ending my time in Africa and Victoria Falls. I can’t wait to return to visit other areas of Africa as I had a great month exploring this beautiful continent.
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