Fun and Frolicking in Victoria FallsReading Time: 7 minutes
Nature lovers and adrenalin junkies alike flock the Victoria Falls every year to explore the town and its many offerings. On this occasion, we definitely fell into both camps.
There was so much to see and do, time was our main limiting factor. Below, are the key highlights from our time in the beautiful Town:
The ‘Flight of Angels’ with Shearwater Adventures
My uncle graced us with a gift of a helicopter ride over the Victoria Falls during our stay. Thanks bamukuru!:-).
The ‘Flight of Angels’, coined by David Livingstone as a way to describe his observations of the experience, gives an aerial view of the Victoria Falls and the surrounding terrain allowing you to capture mind-blowing, postcard worthy shots. Part of the ‘floor’ of the helicopter is made of glass allowing different views, from various angles, of the gorges and the bridge as well as the wildlife that ran on what looked like islands on the Zambezi River. I was awestruck by the beauty before me for most of the flight. If there had been a fly in the helicopter, I am certain it could have landed right on my dry tongue.
As it was dry season (October), it was easy to see the gorges, but we were told that in the rainy season the falls are so thunderous they create a cloud like feature, which impedes visibility from the sky. We started to fly over the Zambezi River National Park, spotting some wildlife below, before it was time to turn back. The experience lasted only fifteen minutes.
The ‘Big Three’ Experience with Shearwater Adventures
My inner adrenalin junkie decided to make an appearance in Victoria Falls.
‘I am totally fearless!!! And I can do just about anything!!!’ That is what I thought when I was signing off the indemnity forms at the Shearwater Offices which actually stated ‘I am aware of the risks associated with the activity and Shearwater cannot be held responsible in the event of death’ (creative license used to paraphrase here…but that was the general gist).
The ‘Big Three’ included a zip line across the gorge, swing on and bungee jump off the Victoria Falls bridge. Therefore, I was essentially putting my life at risk not once, not twice but three times in a row. Naturally, I was not going to allow anyone in my party to miss the opportunity to get this rush with me and therefore managed to force convince them all, to at least zipline across the gorge.
We were paired up to do the zipline which was quite slow therefore good to take in the scenic views, as we went across. All my bravado disappeared when I stood on the bridge, about to swing off. I suggested it would be cool for my friend, Tabs, and me to die jump together, and so they tied us up and told us to keep hold of the rope before giving us a nudge(or did I imagine this).
Free falling for what felt like forever was terrifying. When the rope was eventually loose, it bounced back up and down, then up and down, then up and down a few more times before it stopped and we were pulled back. Looking at the pictures is hilarious because I notice that I had completely let go of the rope and was holding onto Tabs for dear life. (don’t judge…it made sense at the time).
For the second time, I stood at the edge of the bridge, alone this time, with no option to attach myself to someone. I was just about to jump 111m off a perfectly stable bridge which I found too overwhelming they had untie me. I was so scared, the blood in my face ran for cover, leaving my naturally glowing dark skin pale as a ghost.
Tabs jumped and I heard him scream as he went down, but he had the biggest smile as they pulled him back to the bridge. He had made it! I then psyched myself up to jump off too.
As I did not have contact lenses, every time I opened my eyes, I could see myself about to crash onto the rocks on the side of the gorge (I was so far away from the edge, it was never going to happen).
My eyes were closed until I stopped free falling and when they opened, a gush of adrenalin flushed through my blood stream. It was such an exhilarating feeling and I was glad I had done it.
Victoria Falls Rainforest
The rainforest visit was definitely on the must-do list, as we had been reliably informed that one could get the best view points of the Falls.
However, on arrival we noted that although the Falls may have been the main act, there were plenty of supporting acts in the form of the rich and variable flora and fauna.
Walking round the park felt like a trek through the jungle as plants had overgrown onto the footpaths.
I imagine there would be even more growth during the rainy season. It was humid, due to the sprays, and the local guides told us that, during the rainy season, the park provided visitors with raincoats to avoid the impact of the unwarranted drenching that the spray from the falls would otherwise provide.
There were multiple viewpoints from which to enjoy the Falls within the park, and more than enough photo opportunities.
On the Zambian side of the falls was Devil’s Pool, where dare devils hung at the edge of the cliff and take pictures. It seemed surreal to watch people risking their lives for a photograph…
Boma Dinner Experience
Prepared for a gastronomic extravaganza, we were welcomed to home of the Boma dinner by performers dancing to drums and other percussion instruments. Each guest received a traditional Zambian cloth to wear, and was given the option to have their face painted. There was also a cash bar serving cocktails, which we obligingly sampled on arrival.
Once sat, each of us was served a starter accompanied by ‘Chibuku’, a traditional beer made of malted sorghum and maize, whose taste can be either a hit or miss (like marmite).
The buffet was a culinary experience, serving most of the foods you can expect to find in Zimbabwe. There was a range of meats including a beautifully presented hog roast, strips of warthog, deer, beef, crocodile and venison either prepared in advance or braaid as you waited. Starches included sadza (mealie meal), rice with peanut butter, potatoes, pasta dishes, in addition to a wide variety of salads and traditional fruits and vegetables.
After ending the meal with tea or coffee, the performers that had welcomed us on arrival sang and guests were encouraged to join in with some drumming and dancing. My friends and I then went to relax in the back garden, where we tried to drop off some of the calories from dinner by jumping on the trampoline.
Walking around town was also a great way to explore the town. We came across wild animals freely roaming, and found local markets selling arts and crafts. It was very difficult to leave after only four amazing days. We had barely scratched the surface of the available activities in Victoria Falls. We would have wanted to also go check out the crocodile farms and go white water rafting. But I guess this gives us genuine reason to return.
What is one activity that you would highly recommend in Vitoria Falls?