Our final destination, Zimbabwe, and specifically Victoria Falls. A huge bucket list tick was about to happen. We travelled the short journey to Victoria falls by coach and before getting to our hotel we were taken to a local viewpoint and restaurant. We looked at the menu and decided as a group to eat there that night. The views were terrific over the gorges and it was the base for the zip wire, two of our group decided to give the zip wire a go.
We had the afternoon at our hotel, managing a quick swim before rain showers and some lunch in the hotel bar.
Again, our hotel, A’Zambezi River Lodge, was right on the banks of the river and our room had a lovely view out over the hotel grounds. Sadly the weather was not in our favour and the rain just fell and fell. Our scheduled sunset cruise ended up being more of a booze cruise, there was a terrific thunderstorm and it just pelted it down non stop. We did some hippos along the way, but it wasn’t as pleasant as I’m sure it would have been in drier weather.
After our cruise, some of us made use of our driver/guide, Michael who kindly drove us back to the lookout cafe restaurant. Whilst it was dark now, the lack of views were made up by great food and local drinks. Keith enjoyed the Zimbabwe lager, I loved the Victoria falls gin. We both had some amazing steaks and we therefore enjoyed a merry evening indeed.
The next day, and our last full day of the trip, dawned wet with us all crossing our fingers for the rain to stop! We started the day with a visit to Victoria Falls.
Anticipation was high, we’ve both wanted to visit this natural wonder for years. The walk through the national park was pleasant and our first glimpse of the thundering falls was impressive. We were pleased to have some full length ponchos. The mist from the falls was unbelievable. In fact at times it meant the visibility was difficult, but it was lots of fun getting immersed into the mist of the falls.
Sadly Keith’s camera became a victim of the drenching we received – but happily, the conditions outside of the mist were good, so good that we could go for our planned helicopter flight over the falls.
Our guide organised it for us and it couldn’t have been any better. The whole time that we were with Mike, from crossing the border at Botswana into Zimbabwe, he kept an eye on the helicopters for us, and he was in constant communications with the office about it. As soon we got the good to go, he whisked us back to get dry clothes then we got transferred a short distance to the helipad. Our pilot was keen to rush us on board, he had a feeling air traffic control would stop flights soon, so we had no time to panic (I’m a terrible flier!). We were up, up and away before we could change our minds.
The view of Victoria falls from helicopter is simply astonishing. In our opinion, it really is the best way to experience this magnificent natural wonder. From the chopper you get the sense of size that is impossible to grasp from the ground, our pilot took us round several times in figure of eights so we all got a great view.
It was simply outstanding. And on our route back, he took us on a quick detour to see some giraffes from the air. As we landed, air traffic control indeed closed down flights due to bad weather and thunderstorms. We were SO lucky. That was truly an experience that we would never forget.
That evening the rain stopped and we were treated to a beautiful sunset.
We went to a farewell dinner at a Brora dinner. This was a traditional dinner with dancing and African drumming.
The food was great..
and we really enjoyed the music..
We even had a little dance!
It was the perfect end to a brilliant trip. A trip filled with highs despite disappointment with the train being curtailed.
Our trip was with Great Rail Journeys- see here for the exact trip we did. Yes we had disappointment with Rovas, but GRJ made it right for us in the end when we got home. we would still have no hesitation recommending this itinerary. We loved it and can’t wait for our next GRJ adventure!
Until next time
One thought on “Adventures in Zimbabwe.”
Just had my lunch reading your posts. Wow and double wow. Animals and scenery. Thank you for sharing.