Visiting the Victoria Falls – discovered by explorer Dr David Livingstone in 1855, and now a UNESCO Natural Wonder of the World, is a truly awe-inspiring experience for all the senses. No photograph can begin to capture the awesome reality of when you are standing there looking at such huge volumes of water cascading down to the gorges below. When the Falls are at their peak, normally between February and May, no raincoat will do, just accept that you’ll be soaked to the skin, but enjoying every minute of this momentous occasion. This is a place that everyone should visit once in their lifetime! Whether you are adventurous or not so, Victoria Falls, also known as the ‘adventure capital’, offers both high adrenalin activities like white water rafting, flying fox ride over the Falls and canopy tours, as well as more relaxed pastimes such as river cruises, helicopter trips, canoeing, fishing or elephant back safaris. With many activities to choose from, here are some must-do’s!
Zambezi River Cruising
For those looking for a ‘step back in time’ on the river, the Ra-Ikane is a small luxury cruise boat, exquisite in detail with an ambience of a bygone era. The vessel was built to replicate the ‘Ma-Robert’ – Dr David Livingstone’s boat. This exclusive cruise boat accommodates a maximum of just 14 guests on a two-hour cruise, and with its personalised – period decor, historic memorabilia, fine cuisine and refreshments, it characterises a level of comfort and grace unsurpassed on the Zambezi River. Drift along the Zambezi River in a wonderfully relaxed way and enjoy breakfast, lunch or drinks and snacks at sunset! The other alternative for a sunset cruise is the luxurious and spacious Zambezi Royal, a 28-seater cruise boat offering a unique and intimate way to view the Zambezi River. The contemporary boat is the first of its kind here, custom built to maximize comfort, style, practicality and service. Relax in the lush furnishings of this modern vessel, enjoying delicious snacks, wines and cocktails, as you coast up-river taking in the stunning scenery and surrounds.
Elephant Back Safari
For this exciting excursion, you are transferred to a Wildlife Sanctuary, situated within the Victoria Falls National Park. You will find that a strong emphasis is placed on an Elephant experience rather than just an Elephant ride, and you are encouraged to interact with the Elephants and gain a better insight into the history and the long term objectives of these elephant back safaris. This recognized elephant sanctuary began with just four young orphaned elephants, who were translocated in 1997 as a result of culling operations in the National Parks. The herd has now grown to 23 animals, all of which are either orphaned or have been born within the herd. After a thorough introductory briefing, you mount up and ride the elephant for 45mins to an hour, as they follow ancient game trails along the banks of the Masuwe River and head toward the magnificent Batoka Gorge. From this elevated vantage point, you may be fortunate enough to see a variety of resident wildlife. The morning safari is concluded with breakfast while the afternoon safari offers drinks and snacks.
Full Moon Dining
If you happen to be in Victoria Falls during a full moon, the Lookout Cafe is the place to be for dinner. Watch the moon rise over a truly special scene. The lookout clings to the edge of the Zambezi Gorge just downstream of the Victoria Falls. Below lies the mighty Zambezi, a force you are aware of before you even catch a glimpse of it, as its low rumble emanates upwards from the river below. The dining area faces the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge and you are surrounded by wonderful natural surroundings – the gorge and the canyon. As the sun sets, the full moon rises over this mesmerising scene.
Game Drives & Walks in Zambezi National Park
Starting a safari in Victoria Falls? Then time permitting consider a half or full day in the relatively unknown Zambezi National Park right on the doorstep, with a variety of habitats including riverine woodland along the Zambezi River, rocks and rapids and vast open grasslands. Stunning scenery, a variety of animals and superb birding can be seen here.
Historical Bridge Tour
This interesting tour takes you on a hundred year journey under the Victoria Falls Bridge. Discover Cecil John Rhodes’ plans for his Cape to Cairo Railway, and see how the bridge was constructed. Learn the intriguing story of how and why a full locomotive was transported across the gorge before the actual completion of the bridge, and enjoy the camaraderie involved in checking your buddy’s safety systems. Highly trained and experienced guides will ensure a safe and informative tour of and around the bridge, and enjoy the magnificent views of the Falls and Batoka Gorge.