Cradled between ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, as locals call the roaring Victoria Falls, and Kipling’s great grey-green Limpopo, you’ll find the self-proclaimed adventure capital of Southern Africa - Zimbabwe. One of the seven wonders of the natural world, the mighty Victoria Falls, is a must-see on any Southern African safari.
A World Heritage-Site and one of Africa’s major bucket-list items since Scottish adventurer David Livingstone extolled its virtues back in 1855, Victoria Falls rises to an impressive 108m high and stretches 1.7km between Zambia and Zimbabwe. This impenetrable curtain of water is so strong as it crashes into the gorge that the famous mists - complete with dancing rainbows - can be seen two countries away.
Here, in a country that relies so heavily on the life-giving wet season, climate plays a crucial factor in your experience. At full volume and the height of the tourist season (March through April), the falls take your breath away. In low season, daredevils can swim in the Devil's Pools, a natural infinity pool on the very edge of the falls – just a finger length away from refracted rainbows and the 108m sheer drop to the bottom.
On arrival into Zimbabwe, you’ll slip into Africa time… a slow-paced, no-worries kind of vibe that sets the tempo for the rest of your stay. Your first day is all about acclimatizing and shedding the strains of travel before heading out on the snake-like Zambezi River for a sunset wilderness cruise and your first peek at the local wildlife. Under starry skies you’ll return to your riverside lodge for a night at leisure and, if the mood takes you, an African fusion-inspired feast.
On your second day you’ll immerse yourself in the natural wonders of this most African of countries – Victoria Falls, The Baobab Tree of Life and a night-time wildlife safari through savannahs and teak forests in search of Africa’s infamous Big Five. Your last day is still very much on African time, where you can rise early and watch the abundance of birdlife in the region, or sleep late and indulge in elegant surrounds before enjoying a private transfer back to Victoria Falls International Airport and the next stage of your African adventure.
Spot wildlife in the sunset as you cruise along the Zambezi River.
See what the angels see in a helicopter flip over the Falls.
Savour the sunset with a safari and starlight dinner.
Wander along the rainforest in the mist of the Victoria Falls.
Marvel at one of Africa's oldest trees.
Start with a pick-up from Victoria Falls Airport.
For a small airport, Victoria Falls has a real buzz. Perhaps it’s the multi-million-dollar facelift and high-tech upgrades that will see more than 1.7 million passengers jump off into Africa’s adventure capital each year. Perhaps it’s the burst of dry heat as you exit onto the tarmac or, better yet, the heady sense of anticipation of experiences yet to come. Victoria Falls itself is a pretty little tourist town, situated a short drive from the airport, with vibrant cafes and curio shops all conveniently located within a square kilometre of each other and buffalo that jay-walk with no care for road rules.
With visas in hand, it’s a steady process through Vic Falls airport customs. Once you exit into the arrivals hall, your driver will be waiting with a big smile and a firm handshake to welcome you and whisk you away to your lodge.
A little R&R poolside is the order of the day for the early arrivals or a chance to wander through the town, and as an optional activity (at own expense) you can pre-book the famous Stanley’s Terrance high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel – complete with a goodie-laden cake tower in a magical delightful setting. If food is not your thing, it’s worth it for the views past ivory coloured umbrellas to the Victoria Falls Bridge in the distance and the spray from the Falls below.
And, as the sun throws a cloak of vibrant orange into the night sky, you’ll join a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi where crocodiles lurk and hippopotamuses wallow, while buffalo, zebra and giraffe graze on patches of green along the riverbank. As the last rays of light begin to fade, you’ll return to your Lodge, a home-away-from-home, for a peaceful evening peppered with the grunt from nearby hippos and the croak of a thousand frogs or a feast of mouth-watering African-fusion cuisine (own expense) as you dine beneath star-filled skies.
Overnight accommodation included according to your selected stay package. Subject to availability.
Wake with a morning coffee and the sounds of life on the Zambezi. After a leisurely breakfast, your local guide will collect you for the day’s adventure, so be sure to wear sensible shoes and comfortable clothes and pack a big water bottle. Today is about discovering two natural icons of Africa – the gigantic pre-historic Baobab tree of life and Mosi-oa-Tunya – the Kololo name for The Smoke That Thunders, Victoria Falls. Rainy season (from March to April) affords the absolute best viewing of Mother Nature’s power but, out of season and at their lowest ebb in November, the falls are equally as spectacular.
There’s a real sense of anticipation as you wind your way through the entry gate and along bush-lined tracks whilst antelope graze just metres away in the nearby undergrowth. As you draw close to the viewing platform, there’s an almighty roar of water and a fine mist settles on your face. Rainbows refract and dance in the light as you stand in awe before this impenetrable barrage of water cascading into a gorge. In amongst the drama of the falls, you’ll notice the surrounding green lush cliffs thanks to the true rainforest micro-climate created by the wall of mist, 365-days-a-year. Be prepared to cover some distance as you follow the lines of the cliff-top snapping pictures at every twist and turn.
A short drive away from this World Heritage site and the touristy strip lies another natural wonder… a pre-historic species that, over 2000 years, has grown over 24m high and 25m wide. The Big Tree or Giant Baobab, as it is known, is the symbol of life on the dark continent – a life-giving beacon in the arid landscape – its bark, its fruit, its leaves and trunk all used by the traditional owners of the land. Don’t be fooled by false history, this Big Baobab tree isn’t ‘the tree’ that Victorian Explorer, David Livingstone carved his initials on back in 1855 to claim the region for his Queen, but it’s certainly had its share of historic name-carvers over the years.
The afternoon is as action-packed or as laid back as you choose to make it. Your lodge’s swimming pool offers a welcome respite from the heat, or for those with a sense of adventure, an optional (own expense) ‘Flight of Angels’ helicopter flip over the Devil’s Cataract and wider falls offers the chance to appreciate the sheer power of this place.
An optional evening game drive and traditional feast remind you that you’re in the beating heart of Southern Africa. In the darkness, big predators come out to hunt– it’s a heady feeling as you soak it all in from your perch in an open-air jeep. On this four to five-hour game drive & bush dinner excursion, you’ll skirt the shores of a scenic lake and drive through basalt plains into teak forests in search of the Big Five and Africa’s famous birdlife. The post safari dinner is a truly African affair – in cuisine, in entertainment and in spirit - and is the perfect end to the perfect day.
Then, as the heavens light up with a million twinkling stars, it’s time to reflect on the adventures of the day before turning in for another good night’s sleep along the banks of the Zambezi.
As the sun rises on your last day, dawn is a great time to reflect, to watch the sky colour over the mighty Zambezi and to spot the wildlife that will inevitably forage around your accommodation.
If your flight is only later in the day, ask us to arrange extra adventure activities, as there’s plenty on offer to make the most of your stay. If not, consider extending your stay – it’s not easy to part with this piece of paradise.
As a last goodbye, wander in your accommodation’s natural setting before your driver appears for your transfer back to Victoria Falls International Airport. Pilots in these parts are well aware of the region’s main attraction and will often tip their wings as they fly over the falls to afford travellers one last view of one of Mother Nature’s finest waterfalls.
End with a transfer to catch your outbound flight.
Maximum 13 guests per vehicle or guide.
Led by a local English-speaking professional tour guide.
Transfers to included tour highlights.
A transfer service will collect you from and return you to the airport.
2 nights accommodation according to your Ways 2 Stay package.
2 x Breakfast included
Optional activities can be paid and booked during your journey.
You can purchase meals + drinks either at your accommodation or restaurants and shops during the tour.
Local and international flights are excluded.
You are responsible for your own personal travel insurance.
For a single person in a private room
Based on double occupancy in a private room.
per person sharing
Based on double occupancy in a private room.
per person sharing
Click terms for more details.
Full amount required to confirm a booking. Partial payment is allowed, but 100% payment is required at least 30 days before the tour's departure date.
Children under 10 years are not allowed.
Children between 10 and 17 years must be accompanied by an adult and book a private room tour package.
Children under 18 years are not allowed to book the Cost Saver Backpacker dorm room tour package.
16 Official Languages Spoken
Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa.
Electricity – Volt & plug
The Zimbabwean electricity supply is 240V/50hz.
Wi-Fi can be found at most accommodations and some restaurants and airports, however, the download speed is often slow and many connections limit your data usage. In short, you’ll be able to stay connected with home, but don't expect a high-speed fibre connection.
When To Go
Zimbabwe is blessed with a mostly mild climate, but different areas will yield different temperatures throughout the year.
May-Aug = Winter time bringing dry days and very cold mornings/evenings.
Nov-Apr = The summer rainy season is beautiful, with sporadic rain and dramatic afternoon electrical storms.
Sep-Oct = Very hot and very dry.
The best time to visit would be from March - August as the falls are at their fullest and it is optimal for spectacular views, whitewater rafting and canoeing the Zambezi.
With the possible exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, most tourist services and attractions are open on Zimbabwe's public holidays. In addition, most city shopping centres, restaurants and entertainment venues remain open.
|1 January||New Year's Day|
|21 February||Robert Mugabe National Youth Day (from 2018)|
|Easter Sunday -2d||Good Friday|
|Easter Sunday +1d||Easter Monday|
|18 April||Independence Day|
|6 May (Sunday)||Mothers' Day|
|25 May||Workers Day (Labour Day)|
|Second Monday in August||Africa Day|
|Second Monday in August||Heroes' Day|
|14 August||Defence Forces Day|
|22 December||Unity Day|
|25 December||Christmas Day|
|26 December||Boxing Day|
Generally, most nationalities do not need a visa to enter Zimbabwe, however this changes regularly, so it is best to contact your local embassy for confirmation before departure. Your passport should be valid for at least SIX months from the date you will leave Zimbabwe and should have at least two blank pages.
What To Pack
Zimbabwe is generally pretty laid back, so no need to haul out your best silks when you head to these shores. Here's some clothing advice when in Zimbabwe:
Health & Safety
The standard vaccinations required for the Southern African region are applicable to Zimbabwe. It's important to see your doctor several months in advance, as some vaccinations take time.
It's highly recommended to get vaccinated for both Cholera and Typhoid - both of which had sporadic breakouts in late 2016, as well as Yellow Fever, Typhoid and Hepatitis A & B among others.
Malaria is present in many parts of the country, so it's recommended to take a course of antimalarials such as Doxycycline or Malarone. However, preventing bites is the ideal solution, so wear long-sleeve clothing in the evenings and bring along repellent containing DEET.
The tap water in Zimbabwe is not safe to drink, so ensure you consume bottled mineral water only, which is widely available.
Zimbabwe may have high crime statistics, but if you conduct yourself wisely, most tourists enjoy the country without any incident at all. Ensure that you lock away your passports and travel documents in a safe, which is usually provided by your accommodation. Don't flash around valuables and keep an eye on your belongings at all time. Majority of Zimbabwe’s crime is opportunistic petty crime, so if you are vigilant about your belongings you should not have any problem.
The currency in Zimbabwe is the American Dollar US$. You can easily convert your currency at a bank or Forex Bureau. The airports and larger towns often have many different Forex options. You can also withdraw from an ATM, banks are available in major cities. Be sure to check what international bank charges you will incur for withdrawals before you arrive. Major credit cards are accepted at some hotels or restaurants, however, there may be a surcharge. It is advisable to have small amounts of cash for curios and tipping.
Gratuities are not compulsory but rather a reward for good service. If you are happy with the service received you are welcome (but not expected to) tip guides or staff. The following is a suggestion for tipping: