Vic Falls - Wonder of the World

Out of nowhere, the enormous spume from the falls envelopes everything in its proximity, creating a mini-oasis in the otherwise arid desert. Despite the poverty endured, the hospitality extended to us was fantastic. Our only regret was that we didn't explore more of this fantastic country.

Vic Falls - Wonder of the World

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by raycarstairs on September 30, 2003

Vic Falls has earned itself the reputation as one of the adrenalin sports capitals of the world and the variety of death defying activities available is phenomenal ranging from white water rafting, bungee jumping and flights over the falls in a microlite to name but a few. Off course, the namesake of the falls is undoubtedly the highlight of any trip and the scale and force of its frothy temper is an awesome sight.${QuickSuggestions} Be careful! Don't, under any circumstances change money on the street . . . it's highly illegal. On the street, the black market is everywhere you look and everyone is after dollars as local currency is not worth the paper it's printed on. Inflation rises daily so you'll need to get used to carrying around enormous wads of cash just to pay for the basics. Best to carry US dollars in small denominations if you can.${BestWay} The town of Vic Falls is fairly small and compact and easy to get around on foot. At first it can be a little un-nerving wandering about as locals will approach from all angles, usually to flog you curios or exchange money, but generally speaking, although it can feel a little unsafe, in reality, we had no problems.

Club Shoestring

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by raycarstairs on September 30, 2003

Shoestring's has a fantastic location which is 5 mins walk from the town centre and no more than 15 mins from the actual falls.

We stayed here for our first few nights in Africa so we were rather uninitiated to African standards of cleanliness. However, after a few days of joining the realms of the great unwashed (and by that I mean our fellow travellers rather than the locals), you become used to the grime and dust which penetrates everything.

Whilst hygiene standards are somewhat different to those in the West, they were more or less adequate. Whilst most of our fellow travellers reported that their rooms and dorms were fresh and clean, we were accomodated in a member of staff's room which was a touch peeling around the edges and inhabited by some large cockroaches. However, as we quickly became assimilated, we tended not to notice such minor foibles.

Facilities at Shoestrings include a pool, lockers and a busy but not noisy bar. Frequently, the bar runs out of water but don't worry. There always seems to be an unlimited stock of local beer to keep you from getting parched.

Club Shoestring
12 West Drive
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
(011) 800-731

The Boma

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by raycarstairs on September 30, 2003

If you have no conscience and fancy eating the creatures you came to Africa to see in the wild, then The Boma is the culinary experience for you. The restaurant is at the top end of local cuisine and offers succulent game cooked to order on enormous open grills and spits with starters and side orders served up buffet style. We tucked in to eland, springbok, kudu, warthog, crocodile, ostrich. . .and worms.

Yup, if you can brave it, you have the chance to eat a local delicacy, mopani worms. Whilst they're not very tasty and look a bit like large, fat maggots, it seems to be looked upon as a manly pursuit to be able to chomp through a big juicy grub, even if it's as appetising as eating offal. However, it is a great talking point or even ice breaker!

But don't let this put you off. The Boma is well worth a visit and combined with good local entertainment and liquor, promises a fantastic night out.

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Microlite Flight

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by raycarstairs on October 6, 2003

Over the past few years, Vic Falls has turned into the adrenaline capital of Africa and seems to have cornered the market in all things crazy and dangerous.

If you fancy trying something different then make time for a flight over the falls. For about $175 US, you can fly over the falls, up the Zambezi, over the meandering gorge before returning to the strip via the Zambezi National Park.

As well as the opportunity to get an aerial view of the Fall's smoking plume, the microlite flight is a fantastic chance to view game. In the course of a 30 minutes flight I saw zebra, hippo, giraffe, baboons and many varieties of antelope, crocodile and both black and white rhino. Wow!!

Despite the flimsy looking appearance of the microlite, the flight felt incredibly safe and the landing was amongst the most gentle I've ever had. Enjoy.

Microlite Flight
Vic Falls
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Sunset Cruise

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by raycarstairs on October 6, 2003

An obligatory part of any stay at Victoria Falls is the celebrated 'Sunset Cruise'. However, rest assured this is not a cruise for the faint hearted. Despite being billed as an opportunity to view river wildlife under a setting sun, this is not really a cruise for animal lovers . . . at least not lovers of the 4 legged kind.

Instead, the Sunset Cruise is really just an opportunity to let your hair down and party and the likelihood of seeing even a glimpse of any animals is slim as the rowdy boats drifting along the river scare everything out of its wits.

For your US$20, you get as much tasty food and booze as you can manage. We did attempt to drink the bar dry as it was my birthday, but our hosts still managed to keep the beer coming with smiles all round.

Remember, if you fancy a wild night on the tiles, this is the cruise for you. If you're a teetotaler and want to be at one with nature, forget it!!

Zambezi River Sunset Cruise
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
+263 13 4 4424

Victoria Falls

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by raycarstairs on October 1, 2003

A few minutes walk from the town centre you enter the Victoria Falls Park and apart from one or two vendors renting out waterproofs, it is surprisingly tat free. However, ignore all the guide book advice about wrapping up in waterproofs--part of the experience of Vic Falls is about getting soaked through to your shreddies. . .and enjoying it.

Before you see the falls, you already get a feel for their scale from both the volume of spray and the roar of the thunderous torrent which spews into the impressive gorge.

We visited at the start of July, which is allegedly the dry season. But don't worry--you will not be disappointed as the volume of water in the falls is still spectacularly high. Indeed, if you visit when the Zambezi is in spate, it is apparently much more difficult to see the falls if at all because of the dense spray which envelopes the entire park.

We spent most of a day in the park which although small, offers many different aspects of the falls. Also, the falls seem to create their own little localised weather systems capable of arousing gusting winds and clouds of spray amidst blasts of brilliant sunshine which create the most vivid rainbows imaginable. This truly is a natural wonder of the world--well worth the $10 entrance fee.

As well as the falls, the park is home to a considerable variety of creatures all of which are wild but used to visitors. During our visit we saw many solitary warthog and mobs of vervet monkeys (which are apparently rabid so be careful when they come up to touch you) and plentiful birdlife including white egrets.

Victoria Falls (Mosi-O-Tunya)
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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