VICTORIA FALLS: THE SMOKE THAT THUNDERS
Victoria Falls was the highlight of our Zimbabwe trip. We were lodged at Elephant Hill Hotel. The President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, also lounged there a few days after as there was an international conference holding there. Our time in Victoria Falls was jam packed with activities, which was quite stressful but also very educative and so much fun.
DAY 4: EXPLORING VICTORIA FALLS
By 6am, we were picked for a Game Drive with Stanley & Livingstone. Our guide, Africa took us around the safari to look for the Big 5…or should I say Big 7. The search was really a hide and seek adventure. We drove for about two and a half hours plus looking for wildlife. We got to see deer, zebras, chimpanzees, rhinoceros, warthog and giraffes. We later enjoyed a hearty ‘bush breakfast’ at Stanley & Livingstone hut before we headed back to our hotel. Next on the agenda was hotel inspections. We got to visit some 3, 4 and 5 star hotels in Victoria Falls.
Later in the day, my travel buddy, Funmi and I went for a helicopter ride over the falls with Flight of Angels. It lasted for about 15 minutes. The experience? Magical. I actually cried after seeing it. The view was unexplainable. I call it “God’s Magnificent Work”.
After the ride, we joined our other travel crew for a tour of the Majestic Victoria Falls courtesy Zimparks. Now this was an up close and personal experience with the falls. Magnificent view, I tell you! Funmi and I could not help but sing “You are the awesome wonder“ to the God who made this beauty! I have never been to the famous Niagara Falls in Canada but I was told by those who have that Victoria Falls beats it hands down! I would advise anyone visiting the falls to take the helicopter ride first then take a walk through the falls…both experiences truly compliment one another.
PICTURES ON THE HELICOPTER RIDE OVER VICTORIA FALL
PICTURES AT THE MAGNIFICENT VICTORIA FALLS
The day ended with dinner at The Boma Dinner & Drum Show. This was so much fun! Imagine a restaurant with over 100 people sitting on different table sections eating, drinking, chatting and drumming away. It was like a village square restaurant with a communal setting. At the entrance, you are greeted and dressed with a colorful traditional wrapper and if you want you can get a tribal facial painting to get the Wakanda vibes! *shines teeth* As you enter, you will see a welcome performance by Ndebele dancers. There are also traditional medicine men siting by the walkway, hair stylists ready to give you a traditional hair do, fortune tellers going round asking you to come know your destiny and music and food everywhere! There are different buffet stations where you can chop till you drop! Some of my travel crew and I got adventurous and tried some Mopane Worms, a spotted caterpillar of a southern African moths which feeds on mopane leaves and is a source of local food, and we got certified! It tasted like fried fish *grins* About an two hours later, everyone was given a personal drum and the lead drummer directed everyone as we beat to the rhythm and danced away for the rest of the night. By the time we were done, our hands were soar but our hearts were merry.
DAY 5: DARING VICTORIA FALLS ACTIVITIES
This day was dedicated to trying some daring activities. I mean that’s one of the things we were looking forward to!
Early in the morning, while some of us went for more hotel inspections, some went for the Lion Encounter. Lion Encounter offers people the chance to walk with lions. The funds are used to protect and conserve the African Lions.
As it is my normal practice when I travel, I always try to visit the local post office 📬 I did a quick stop over at Victoria Falls Post Office to send a Zim post card to my long time pen pal.
One of the hotels we inspected, Shearwater Victoria Falls, gave us complimentary high wire activities at the Victoria Falls Bridge. Funmi and I did the Zip Lining while only she did the Gorge Swing. One word: Thrilling! High wire activities should be in your bucket list *wink*.
NOTE: To get to the bridge, we had to go through Victoria Falls Boarder Post. The bridge connects Zimbabwe to Zambia. Therefore your passport must be stamped when you enter and exit the bridge. Make sure you carry your passport if not you will be denied access to the bridge.
Next stop was at the Wild Horizons Lookout Cafe. They too gave us complimentary high wire activities. Funmi and I did the Flying fox while some of our crew did tandem zip lining, that is when two people do it together. After the activities, we had lunch at Lookout Cafe and headed straight to Victoria Falls airport for our Kenya Airways flight to Nairobi.
Our visit to Nairobi, Kenya was really short. We spent less than 72 hours before heading back to Lagos, Nigeria. I did a write up on our short visit in Nairobi.
FACTS ABOUT VICTORIA FALLS
(1) Did you know that Victoria Falls was believed to have been discovered by a Scottish Missionary called David Livingstone? He named it in honor of the British Queen Victoria. Livingstone was so blown away by the falls that he was quoted to have said “the angels must have gazed upon the falls in their flight.”
(2) Did you know that the indigenous name for Victoria Falls is “Mosi-oa-Tunya” meaning “The Smoke That Thunders”? Victoria Falls is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
(3) Did you know that the best time to visit Victoria Falls is between February to August? These periods are rainy season and the Zambezi River flood and the falls are at their most powerful. Low seasons are between September to January because this is dry season with low rain and the falls are at their lowest level.
(4) Did you know that Victoria falls stretches across two countries? Zimbabwe and Zambia.
(5) Did you know that over taking is prohibited in Victoria Falls? Yep. You will be fined, so be warned!
(6) Did you know that you can find the Big 5 or should I say the Big 7 in Victoria Falls? Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Elephant and Cape Buffalo. The extra two are the Whale and the Shark.
(7) Did you know that “Boma” is the Bantu word for “enclosure”, “hut”, “settlement” or “homestead”? Boma dinners can be found in Southern and Eastern Africa.
Have you been to Victoria Falls before? Do let us know at the comment section.
NOTE: This trip was organized by Tour Brokers International and sponsored by The Zimbabwe Tourism Board in conjunction with Kenya Airways. All opinions are based on my own personal experiences.