POSTED 03 NOVEMBER 2015 / BY SHEARWATER VICTORIA FALLS / IN VICTORIA FALLS / TOURS & TRANSFERS
It is no secret that Shearwater was the first company to offer and operate white-water rafting in Zimbabwe. Ever since, every year it has announced low or high water season to ‘’open’’. Shearwater has always maintained its pioneering spirit, which is explanation enough as to why it has been one of the forerunners of so many other activities and things to do in Victoria Falls: Bungee, Sunset Cruises, Elephant Back Safaris, Flight of Angels Helicopter Rides. Yet throughout the falls, the cornerstone activity that first put Vic Falls on the map as the adventure centre of Africa, has seen declining numbers for years. That looks set to change.
Back in the 90’s Shearwater alone reached a record of 300 rafters in one day, and average days would see at least 70. In the last few years average numbers have dropped to as low as 16 (2 rafts). The much considered analysis on this mainly focuses on a changing demograph. Visitors to the falls are generally older than they used to be and there are less student gap year overlanders. So those in the market for a ‘’best on the planet’’ 1 day White Water Rafting Trip are less numerous, and of course since the early days: what to do in Victoria Falls is now a choice of so many world class activities that committing to a full day when time is at a premium is too much for some.
Few who work in the industry here don’t find this a regret. The Falls will always score highly on the ‘’oh wow’’ barometer, but nothing seriously compares with the heart racing water pounding thrill of being deep in the Batoka gorge actually riding the immense waves of the world famous mighty Zambezi. It is a vicarious pleasure to see how much delight – genuine life enhancing, endorphin flooding delight, people take from this adventure. You know they will never forget it, and will eagerly seek opportunites the rest of their lives to allude to it – word of mouth at its best. Personal endorsement at its greatest. But few, if any, will simply pop of to Zimbabwe to do a days rafting.
Shearwater is now pioneering a focus which says: rafting is not one of the things to do in Victoria Falls once you get here, it is THE reason you come here. There has been an upsurge in large social groups – 30 at a time (lads and dads (and mums and sisters too)) from schools, colleges, neighbourhoods or churches that have decided they want to come to Victoria Falls specifically to raft, and enjoy the unique experience of a multi day Rafting Trip.
Little could be more exhileraing, rafting on the timeless world renowned mighty Zambezi by day, and then camping on the sandy banks of the river, deep in the gorge by night. Sitting around a driftwood fire by night in extraordinary solitude gazing at the never ending flowing of water lit by a star strewn sky, you will never ever forget. If this is something you have the privilege of doing with friends and family – you will rarely equal it. Currently the main interest is coming from social groups in South Africa, opting for a week long trip to the falls with 5 days rafting the main focus, and a couple of nights at the Rest camp in town, also allowing them to partake in some of the other wonderful opportunities afforded by what to do in Victoria Falls. Developing this for the European and American markets is an easy ask based on 10-14 day round trips, with 3 or 4 nights additional canoe trips on the upper Zambezi an obvious companion.
Shearwater and many others here feel almost evangelical about rafting the Zambezi, we feel the dynamic is about to change as groups decide a White-water Rafting expedition to Zimbabwe is spectacular holiday worth planning for.
POSTED 03 NOVEMBER 2015 / BY SHEARWATER VICTORIA FALLS / IN VICTORIA FALLS / TOURS & TRANSFERS
With experiences rich and time poor for most visitors to the falls, it can become essential to have punctual, reliable and swift transfers from the airport, and even between activities. Even with a relatively short stay, you don’t want an experience of feeling rushed or a little harassed. To provide a service accessible to all visitors, that will maximise your pleasure and fulfilment, Shearwater has lunched:
All of us that work here can see that with the completion of the new airport, tourism at Victoria Falls and in Zimbabwe are set for unprecedented times. Shortly visitors will be committing to the area as their main destination, enjoying to the fullest all the incredible things to do in Victoria Falls and also enjoying some of the best safari experiences in Hwange and nearby Chobe that are possible – anywhere in the world. Then of course they can hub down to Capetown from the fantastic new airport bypassing Johannesburg altogether. That is the future we look forward to.
Meantime we realise that the dynamics at the moment are such that visitors hub to the falls, and as such invariably have little more than a couple of days in which to get the very best from what to do in Victoria Falls. This makes time even more precious than it already is. You do not want valuable time at the source of Africa’s only natural wonder of the world, to ebb away in queues, in booking offices, on slow moving buses – or the irksome prospect of waiting for other passengers who are dallying and taking all the time in the world over some minutiae.
Ensure you have a flawless and smooth experience that maximises your time in the most efficient and productive manner. It starts with arrival at the airport. Take the bus by all means, but wait in often stifling heat for the very last person to clear what can be a slow moving immigration line, who then decides on some last minute shopping, visiting the loo or to take pictures and selfies outside the airport. It all conspires to clip what may prove that all important bit of time that made the difference between you being relaxed and enjoying a trip or excursion – or, feeling harrassed hassled, in a rush and possibly missing it altogether.
A Shearwater Prestige Transfer starts paying dividends from the moment it is booked. Take some inside advice on how to ensure you clear immigration swiftly. Once through immigration your Shearwater private escort will be waiting for you with a beaming smile and ready hand to relieve you of the weight of your luggage. Follow him straight to your immaculate prestige vehicle, and after a sweaty flight and general discomfort of disembarking, immigration etc have an ‘’ahhhh’’ moment and freshen up with a clean cooling towel, as you take your seat in the car and sip a nice cold mineral water. We know exactly where you are going and will have you at the hotel, calm relaxed and ready to enjoy your stay. Better still Shearwater drivers are peoplesmiths and can provide you with all the information you need, on how to seamlessly get the most pleasure from all the things to do in Victoria Falls, and educate you on what to do in Victoria Falls depending on your length of stay, budget, age and fitness. Given that Shearwater own and operate most activities in Victoria Falls- you could not be in better hands.
If you have taken advantage of the Prestige Package, then relax in the safe knowledge you are in for the very best welcome to the Victoria falls you could wish for, don’t trouble yourself for a moment trying to readjust or think about tomorrows activities, safaris or excursions. Your private escort will arrive on schedule to transfer you to the jetty site of the Zambezi’s most luxury boat: The Zambezi Explorer. You are about to enjoy a luxuriant and beautiful cruise on the fabulous signature whilst drinking impossibly delicious cocktails and eating the most wonderful canapés. This is the time to chat in comfort and fully relaxed about tomorrow and what to do in Victoria Falls and start thinking about which of all the things to do in Victoria Falls are the ones that appeal to you most.
POSTED 28 SEPTEMBER 2015 / BY SHEARWATER VICTORIA FALLS / IN VICTORIA FALLS
The portents were all good – lunar eclipse, full moon – supermoon. Not that we are normally superstitious but Monday 28 September proved to be a great date for us to test run our new Full Moon dinners.
Victoria Falls is home to the greatest of the 7 natural wonders of the world (and naturally we are biased). The Rainforest Café is right in the heart of Rainforest where the magnificent falls are situated – so the prospect of hosting dinners here was always an extremely exciting one, particularly at Full Moon. Of course the challenge is always trying to find a place for such an activity when there are already so many things to do in Victoria Falls.
A full moon enables a visitor to see the falls in spellbinding silvery moon shadows, as well as witnessing the unique enigma of a lunar moonbow.
The Shearwater Full Moon dinner allows visitors to experience the magic of the falls at full moon, and also get an alternative guided tour of the falls, where they will learn more about local history and legend as well as contemporary events and occurrences associated with the falls – a different perspective to the standard daytime tour. Following this they will enjoy an exceptional 3 course dinner at the Rainforest Café, dressed and decorated especially to be evocative to all senses for this beguiling event. Following the main course, there is then a highly impressive 20 minute theatrical presentation on David Livingstone, spoken in the first person. When trialled on local agents here in the falls, all were unanimous in their verdict: excellent in all respects.
Activities in Victoria Falls cover such a wide spectrum of choices – designed to suit all levels of adventure, interest and excitement. Never would any visitor to Victoria Falls be stuck with a conundrum of what to do in Victoria Falls. There is the general welcome to the Falls which most indulge in having arrived mid-afternoon at VF airport: a soothing sunset cruise on the beautiful Zambezi with complimentary drinks and snacks to enjoy throughout the voyage. It is generally on the morning of day 2 that the majority of people do their tour of the falls, and Shearwater offer the very best and experienced guides for a guided tour of the falls. This is the number one reason as to why people visit Victoria Falls and naturally the number one of things to do in Victoria Falls. Having marvelled at the spectacle though – most decide they really want different perspectives in look feel and texture to this natural phenomenon. This inevitably leads them to some of the other great choices of what to do in Victoira Falls: The flight of angels helicopter ride providing a spectacular aerial vire, a gorge hike getting right into the belly of the beast as you clamber basalt rock to get right at the foot of the falls – and of course the daddy of all activities : White Water Rafting on the mighty Zambezi, the best grade 5 rafting experience on the planet.
Other activities in Victoria Falls will take your attention and interest: the serenity of an elephant back safaris, an informative insight into the building of the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge on the Historic Bridge Tour – when you will also get to watch adrenaline junkies taking advantage of the big air combo doing a zipline from Zambia to Zimbabwe, performing a lovers leap perhaps in a tandem Bridge Swing, or the ultimate: a Bungee Jump.
However all the marvellous distractions of things to do in Victoria Falls, can’t really compare with the ultimate attraction. One of only 7 natural wonders of the world, the only one in Africa, full of mystery intrigue and romance – and not even appearing on a European map until after 1855: The Victoria Falls. Don’t squander one solitary moment here, take every opportunity you can to reflect on their magnificence. The Full Moon Dinner allows you to fully contemplate, reflect and inwardly digest this awe inspiring frontier part of Africa – beside its greatest natural jewel. Things to do in Victoria Falls just got a whole lot better with what should be an automatic selection of what to do in Victoria Falls