In 2012 on my trip to South Africa, we decided to explore a little more, packed our bags and flew to Zambia and crossed over to Zimbabwe to see the Victoria Falls. This crazy short trip, only two days, a little north of South Africa was definitely worth it!
We stayed at the Lokuthula Lodge, which has one main building, but more importantly, there are little huts, which is what we stayed in. Heads up, these huts aren’t closed all the way, they have a wall that is open, that you can close just with a flap door. So make sure you close the mosquito net around your bed, so that at least your bed is bug free. For breakfast we went to the main building, where the restaurant overlooks a watering hole, so during breakfast you might see zebras, giraffes, and even elephants stop for a drink. Since the restaurant is also an open space, watch out for bugs. You might suddenly find you are sharing your glass of orange juice with a grasshopper the size of your hand. Yes this actually happened.
Since we were in Zimbabwe for a very short time, we had lots of activities planned out. First, we went on a boat ride on the Zambezi river during sunset. I definitely recommend this, because it starts late in the afternoon, they take you around to see hippos and even point out birds and lizards on the bank of the river. Then, they serve you dinner as the sun starts setting over the river. It’s very peaceful way to spend the evening, just in the middle of the river enjoying the sunset, listening to the roar of the falls on the distance.
The next day we had a very early morning. We got up when it was still dark for morning elephant rides. On our way there we saw the sunrise over the bush. Once we got to the park, we got breakfast as we waited for the trainers and the elephants. Though elephant rides are very controversial, the parks that offer these rides by the Victoria Falls, rescue orphaned elephants and train them through positive reinforcement. The guides talk about how important the positive reinforcements are, because elephants have a very long memory, so if they use any other methods, the elephants will remember and might attack even several years later. This positive reinforcement creates a bond between the elephant and trainer that found and rescued them. So taking this ride can actually be very educational. The ride takes you through the park and you might even get to see some zebras and impalas. This was definitely fun and I even learned new things about elephants, which is always great!
Next up was the helicopter ride over the Victoria Falls. This was absolutely phenomenal. So beautiful and great way to see the falls. You fly circles around, so you can literally take pictures from every angle!
Lastly, we went to the Victoria Fall park/visitor center, where you walk along the opposite bank of the Victoria Falls so you can take lots of pictures. Although, quick tip, be careful, there is lots of water in the air from the falls, it feels like it’s constantly raining, so be careful with your camera so it doesn’t get ruined! But there are lots of photo opportunities as you walk along the park and even if you are too worried about ruining your camera, it’s a great place to just stop and enjoy the view!
Last tip for Zimbabwe: have an idea of what you want to do! Especially if you are there for a short amount of time. Look around for deals and packages for different activities, it will be cheaper!
After so many activities, we packed up and left for Zambia, spent some time at the tiny Livingstone airport and headed back to Johannesburg. It was a great trip and I definitely recommend going to Zimbabwe. The falls are beautiful and you can do so much around them!