And so our beautiful, unforgettable and laughter filled Zimbabwean dream trip was starting to come to an end. As our host (and my favourite Zimbabwean), Felicia, from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority said they saved the best for last.
After our Hwange National Park adventure, we were in for another treat. One night in the Elephant Hills Resort followed by three nights in the Victoria Falls Hotel.
Talking things slow in Victoria Falls:
The pace in Victoria Falls was a little different and we all started to slow down and go with the flow. If there is one thing that my time in Zimbabwe has taught me it is that ‘it’s only time’. A lesson that I was in desperate need of learning after two years in London where everything is go, go, go and then it’s still too slow. Where waiting 2 minutes on a train platform and 5 minutes for a coffee makes you sigh, loudly. Here it’s about being present and not always knowing what is around the corner. Another life lesson from our wise driver, Ernest. You don’t always need to know everything.
Activities in Victoria Falls:
Naturally, the first thing you’ll do once getting to Victoria Falls is to visit the actual falls. Having been to Niagra Falls I can say, without a doubt, that this is going to be your favourite falls. The spray, the scenery and even the monkeys all come together to create a magical world that far exceeded my expectations.
I’ll be writing more about the Victoria Falls soon, but I wanted to say that outside of the falls there are so many activities to choose from in this tiny town.
Sunset river cruises, helicopter rides, cocktails with a view, walking with elephants and shopping are only a few. Thanks to the lovely folks of Wild Horizons we were treated to a sunset river cruise on the Zambezi. It’s hard to say whether this or the falls was the highlight of my trip. On the one hand you stare at rainbows while standing in waterfall spray, but on the other hand, you can see elephants going for a dip!
If you have the time you have to just treat yourself and do both excursions. The river cruise will cost about $40 pp, but that includes all your drinks and snacks while you cruise into the sunset for about 2 hours. Buy tickets here.
Our accommodation in Victoria Falls
We had a short, but very sweet stay at the well-known Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls. Upon arrival, we were warned by more than one person to not leave our room doors open because #baboons! So not to worry, just because we left Hwange National Park didn’t mean that our wildlife adventure was over!
As I opened my bedroom door I was immediately giddy because look who I found waiting for me:
The hotel is large, so it’s perfect if you are a big group or are hoping to meet other travellers. They have two shops, a big dining area and just check out the pool and that view.
Rooms start from £260 for two people (including warthog spotting).
From Elephant Hills we spent three incredible nights in one of the best hotels in the world, the Victoria Falls Hotel. I have to do a dedicated post on this hotel because it really deserves it. But for now here is why I loved it:
- The views: Sitting on the hotel veranda you’ll have a view of the spray from Victoria Falls, warthogs and monkeys, all while sipping on a world-class cocktail.
- The staff: Even though this hotel is predominantly known for its luxurious rooms and amenities the staff is a big part of why your stay will be memorable. The friendliest staff with the best sense of humour will make your stay a 6* experience!
- The pool: I’ll just show you a picture and you’ll get it. No words needed.
Rooms in the Victoria Falls Hotel start from £300 with a variety of meal options. The hotel has three restaurants to choose from, and after a morning exploring the falls you can enjoy their luxury spa.
If this is not within your budget (it’s more a ‘special occasion’ kind of hotel), then you can still visit the hotel for a cocktail or a meal.
Reality (shopping) check:
Take cash! Victoria Falls has wonderful shopping opportunities, you can even have a customise leather bag made and collect in 24hours, but ideally, you’ll need cash.
By shopping with cash you are also giving the community access to a commodity that is so desperately needed. At the time of our visit, there was no cash available anywhere.
To get a leather bag made for you head to M.J.Creations, 273 Adam Stander Drive, Elephant’s Walk Village. This guy knows what he’s doing and for less than £80 you can head back home with a handmade, one of a kind leather bag.
Getting to Victoria Falls:
It’s easy to travel to Victoria Falls by car after or before seeing more of Zimbabwe, but if you are short on time and just eager to visit the falls then you are in luck. Zimbabwe opened the Victoria Falls Airport in November 2016. This brand spanking new airport is perfect to use as your base whether your visit to Zimbabwe is short, or long. SAA flights from Johannesburg will get you there in under two hours!
In Victoria Falls I felt at home, present and certainly at peace. The positivity, sun and spray of the falls is nothing but life-changing. So was my entire visit to Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has really stolen my heart. Despite what you think you might know about this country, you will only be pleasantly surprised. If you are looking to unwind, laugh all day, see an elephant or 20 then there is no other place for you. And if you can’t possibly go on vacation without going to the beach then don’t fear. Another short flight from Johannesburg can get you to Cape Town where you can have the ideal beach and bush holiday. Whatever you do, just make sure that Zimbabwe is on your soon to visit list.
I’m happy to answer any questions that you have about Zimbabwe so feel free to send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org