In my winter break in June/July (of last year, this post has taken over a year to type up!), I went on a 3 day trip to one of the majestic sites in the world – Victoria Falls. The trip was booked on a whim, when a airline had a package deal inclusive of accommodation. Below is a short breakdown of what I did in those few days.
We landed at the Livingstone Airport but had to make our way across the border to the Zimbabwe side as our Hotel – The Kingdom- was located on that side. All together, it took about an hour to get from the airport, across the border, through customs and checked into the hotel.
Crossing borders is a relatively straightforward process, if you’re in possession of a SADC passport, you do not need a visa and can just get a stamp and move through. If you have another passport that requires a visa , you can purchase a 3-day “pass” that allows you to move back and forth. This process is usually quite quick except sometimes there is nobody at the counter windows and you have no choice but to wait it out.
We didn’t have anything planned for the first day but had initially wanted to walk to the Big Tree to check it out but was advised against doing so from the hotel staff. They warned of wild animals roaming the roads, so we decided to take a cab that he helped us flag as taxis don’t have signs. Once at the giant Baobab, there were vendors that came out of nowhere to try sell you their crafts or Zimbabwe currency!
We only spent about half an hour there as there isn’t much to see except for the tree and there are actually hundreds of trees like it in the area. We just took some pictures and left to go relax by the pool before having dinner.
We woke up early for our transfer over to the Zambia side of the falls. First activity of the day was going to the Angel’s Armchair. This is less intense than the Devil’s pool journey offered later in the year but was still exhilarating!
We arrived at the Royal Livingstone and had a drink while we waited for the boat to transfer us to the Livingstone Island. From here you can see the “smoke” of the falls.
Once we got there, we stripped down to our swimwear and followed our guides out to the edge of the falls. We had to wait as he led us in small groups to the edge and dutifully took pictures for us.
We then went for a walk in the marshes into a natural pool on the edges of the falls. There were ropes to help keep you in the pool but the rush of the water was quite strong and I felt a bit worried a few times!
Overall it was a really cool experience and I am glad I convinced myself to do it! The Devil’s pool requires actual swimming and I don’t think I would have been able to do it!
We then had brunch at around 11am with some hot drinks before going to the loo with a view (basically a bathroom that looks out over the river). And with that we headed back to mainland and as soon as we reached the bridge, we opted to take a walk across to the hotel to get ready for our sunset cruise on the Zambezi.
The cruise was about 2hrs long and is what is usually considered a booze cruise. They didn’t have food though, just beer and wine or soft-drinks. It was a beautiful cruise and we saw many crocodiles, hippos and even a herd of elephants with their calves.
We saw other cruises and there seems to be fancier cruises that you can do with dinner if you fancy 🙂
We wanted to catch sunrise over the falls and had to wake up extra early. We got to the gates as it opened and made our way in the dark to the view points to pick out one that would be good for photos. After waiting patiently in the cold and wet conditions, we got to witness the spectacular falls being lit up.
We headed back to the hotel for breakfast before heading out for our activities of the day – big swing, zipline and canopy tour over the gorge!
I did the canopy tour while Darren did the swing and the zipline. Both were good and although you don’t have views of the falls, the views of the gorge are still good!
You can also do the bungee jump at the bridge which we skipped! After all the adrenaline of the morning, we headed into town for some lunch before getting ready to be whisked away on another unforgettable adventure – microlighting!
This was definitely one of the best experiences in my life! It’s a short ride (15min!) but I enjoyed every second of it. There were 2 pilots tirelessly taking people up and bringing them down. You first go over the Victoria Falls where the pilot will give you information about the town, the falls. You are in constand communication with the pilot so you can ask questions! Then you go upstream for some game watching. I saw hippos, elephants, and crocodiles.
I was too scared in the beginning to take my hands off the bars :’) but I did for a brief moment towards the end for a picture! The cameras are mounted on the wings and the pilot presses a button to take photos continuously during the trip.
After a tiring day, we headed back to the Kingdom to take part in their nightly dinner with dancing. The food wasn’t impressive but it’s one of the limited dining choices in the area so it was a good experience.
That concluded our little getaway to the Victoria Falls! All we could do the next morning was walk around the shops and market before heading to the airport for our flight home. The falls look different throughout the year and I would definitely like to go back one day!