This was Giltedge Sales Consultant Amina Brandt’s first trip to the Victoria Falls. Travelling in late June, she spent a weekend exploring this iconic destination. And what a weekend it was! Here’s a taste of what she experienced in just 48 hours in Africa’s Adventure Capital.
“The whole trip was beyond my expectations! We travelled shortly after the end of the wet season, so the Zambezi River was in full flood and the falls were looking spectacular. I visited some great lodges and tried a handful of the many activities on offer. As for the weather, the early mornings were chilly but by about 110 amit had warmed up nicely and we could walk around in t-shirts.”
“We landed at the new international airport on the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls. Our arrival was smooth and efficient and, after an enthusiastic welcome by a group of Shona dancers, we hopped into our waiting transfer vehicle. We used Wild Horizons for our transfers and they’re great: interesting guide, comfortable vehicle and free bottled water!”
The Elephant Camp
“Our first stop was The Elephant Cam which lies more or less 20 minutes from the airport (and about 15 minutes from Victoria Falls Town). There’s just one road leading from the airport to town, so it’s impossible to get lost. Main camp has 12 tented suites, then to the west lies a new, smaller camp where we spent the night.”
“Elephant Camp West has just four tents, making it ideal for families or a small group travelling together. I use the word ‘tents’ but the suites have solid walls, and glass sliding doors that lead onto a private deck with a plunge pool. Each suite is set well apart so there’s plenty of privacy, and the overall feel is modern, sleek and luxurious.”
Guided Tour of Victoria Falls
“An amazing 3-course lunch out on the lodge deck set us up for our afternoon tour of Victoria Falls. Our guide gave us a brief history of the falls, then offered us raincoats. I’d also recommend wearing flip-flops or trainers as you will get soaked. There are 10 viewpoints on the Zimbabwe side of the falls, and the further we went the wetter we got. The whole experience was phenomenal!”
“After an hour or so at the falls, we were driven back for sundowners overlooking the gorge. The Elephant Camp lies in a private wildlife concession, so staying here puts you within easy reach of town while still giving that feeling of being out in the wild. As the sun set we sipped our favourite drinks, nibbled on tasty snacks and were even offered a shoulder massage. How could I say no?”
Sylvester, the Ambassador Cheetah
“I woke early the next day and was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise over the African bush. But the real highlight of my morning was at breakfast when I burst of excited chatter made me turn in my chair, and there was Sylvester the cheetah! Orphaned as a 2-day old cub, Sylvester now has his home at the Wild Horizons Wildlife Sanctuary. Meeting him was the most amazing experience.”
“After breakfast we went down to Main Camp to see The Elephant Camp herd. The Wild Horizons Sanctuary takes in elephants that have been orphaned, hurt or are in danger. After hearing their stories we were given the chance to hand-feed the elephants. You can also go on an elephant-back safari (although that’s not included in the nightly rate).
“Leaving The Elephant Camp we went to have a look at Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge. The journey takes about an hour through the Zambezi National Park, driving along a tar road with a good chance of spotting wildlife on either side. Imbabala is a small riverside lodge on the border of Zimbabwe and Botswana, so it’s well positioned for travellers who want to visit both Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park.”
Flying Fox & Sunset Cruise
“Our lunch stop was The Lookout Café. This place is a must-do: delicious food matched by incredible views over the gorge! Next door you can take your pick from a number of high wire activities. The Flying Fox felt like soaring high over the Zambezi River. Then I tried the Gorge Swing and saw my life flash before my eyes! Stepping off the edge is a huge adrenaline rush, but completely safe. The team looking after you is great, and they cater for people of all ages.
“We rounded off the day with a sunset cruise on the Zambezi Royal. After all that adrenaline, this was the perfect way to relax and take in the sunset. The cruise lasted about two hours and included drinks and tasty snacks. We saw a couple of elephant on the riverbank, pods of plump hippo and an amazing variety of birds.”
Stanley & Livingstone Safari Lodge
“Our last night was spent at The Stanley & Livingstone Safari Lodge, which sits in its own private reserve. This hotel has a colonial feel with beautiful gardens and 16 spacious suites each with a separate lounge, bedroom and elegant Victorian-style bathroom. The location is great too: around 20 minutes from the airport and a free shuttle ride from nearby Victoria Falls.
“The 3-course dinner was amazing, and included desert around a bonfire accompanied by live music. Then our morning started with a game drive although even guests who don’t go on a drive are likely to see wildlife, as the lodge terrace overlooks a waterhole where elephant, antelope and giraffe are often seen.”
Interested in travelling to this incredible destination? Browse our hand-picked selection of Victoria Falls lodges. Or get in touch with a Giltedge consultant for more first-hand tips and travel advice.