The Carnival Cometh

POSTED  03 DECEMBER 2015  /  BY SHEARWATER VICTORIA FALLS  /  IN VICTORIA FALLS   TOURS & TRANSFERS

It is approaching that time of year when thoughts are attuning to Christmas and all the merry festivities it involves. Of course shortly after that the hoof flicking, rug cutting and shapeshifting extravaganza of the New Year Bonanza that is The Jameson Vic Falls Carnival rolls into town, Things to do in Victoria Falls take a bizarre night time twist in what is traditionally a ‘’daytime’’ activity hub.

The annual pilgrimage of the Southern African youth throughout it’s diaspora start heading for the Northwest corner of Zimbabwe shortly after Christmas. On their minds is clearly the burning question – ‘’what to do in Victoria Falls’’ once they get here. Understandably partying hard and the illusive prospect of romance (ok, ok – more likely a dangerous liaison), is uppermost on most febrile minds. However even the siren calls of the likeminded can become muted when arrivistes become aware of the spectacular array of world class activities in Victoria Falls.

Few true hearted folk of Africa could fail to desire to engage in a truly epic Southern African rite of passage: White-water Rafting the spectacular and egregiously mighty Zambezi river: right from the boiling pot at the very foot of the incredible Victoria Falls– deep in the heart of the rent made in the earth’s crust that is known as the Batoka gorge. 20 kms meandering through pristine primeval evolution is reason good enough – but nothing – no video, photo or go pro can ever prepare anyone for the first time their raft slips over the edge of the crease and they are about to hit the foaming rage of a grade 5 rapid in their inflatable dinghy. To have the opportunity to do this with close friends is not only a bonding experience that will last a lifetime, but is also one of the most exciting adrenaline fuelled adventures amidst the beauty of nature at its rawest, that most will ever have the privilege of enjoying.

Then of course – there is the bungee badge of honour. No-one could possibly suggest that this is for the fainthearted , and things to do in Victoria Falls don’t come any more extreme than this. Everything about the bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge is iconic. The back drop behind the jump platform, is the Victoria Falls itself – casting clouds of mist and rainbows all about, ensuring this is a truly exotic adrenaline adventure. The bridge is an African classic – the 110 year old engineering marvel that joins 2 countries Zimbabwe and Zambia, 110meteres above the border of the fast flowing Zambezi below. Being asked to step forward and curl your toes over a platform with absolutely no barrier in front of you and a big void of space below you is a seminal moment.

What to do in Victoria Falls takes on a different dynamic at New Year, but white-water rafting and bungee jumping remain 2 of the bucket list essentials of things to do in Victoria Falls for all revellers and ravers form the corners of the continent.

For more information on the Carnival go to;

http://www.vicfallscarnival.com/

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Multi Day Rafting – The New Pioneering Spirit

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.

Shearwater - Multi Day Rafting Trip

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.

Happelly Birthday

POSTED  02 NOVEMBER 2015  /  BY SHEARWATER VICTORIA FALLS  /  IN VICTORIA FALLS /  TOURS & TRANSFERS

Shearwater is very proud of the 13 elephants it rescued from a grim fate. We are equally delighted when an up close and personal interaction with these iconic animals leaves a lasting impression upon visitors, who subsequently become even more impassioned about the general prospects for Elephants. Contacting clients once a year on ‘’their’’ elephants birthday, with a message giving an update on how things are faring for them and their wild brethren, keeps the bond ongoing and personal.

People get excited by many of the things to do in Victoria Falls, but one activity seems to stir raw emotions more than any other – there are often tears and gushing trip advisors reviews. The one option of what to do in victoria falls that causes this is Elephant Back Safaris.

Everyone who does this thoroughly enjoys the experience, but for many it goes beyond the realms of instant gratification felt with many activities. Having an opportunity to be with these animals for a ride in the bush is a great privilege for anyone to have the opportunity of, but the personal interaction at the end is utterly priceless.

Sitting on a knee of these gigantic animals being able to stare into those big blinking eyes, feel the velvety softness of the ears and the rough hue of their skin, and to have them feed right for your hand with their incredible trunks – is deep bonding an visceral feeling for many.

The elephant is THE iconic animal of Africa and many use their general state of well being as the best barometer of how wildlife is faring in Africa. If the Elephant Back Safari in some small way can enhance people’s appreciation of these noble mammoths, meaning they look out for the general welfare of Elephants in the wild, and support were they can – not necessarily financially, but possibly as an ambassador promoting protection of their environment: that is a fabulous bonus.

The Shearwater Elephants have all had names since the operation started – not least as it assists with training and recognition. We are now indulging in a little more anthropomorphism giving them all official birthdays. It will allow us to send annual birthday messages from our 13 wonderful animals with some general information as to their wellbeing over the year and that of their wild brethren, thereby hoping to maintain a lifelong association – even better if members of the same family come to visit and ride the same animals as their parents or relatives.


Tusker:- male 42yrs August 12       Tatu:- female 38yrs. Sept 6

Doma:– male 42yrs February 18      Moka:- male 43yrs June 22

Kariba:- female 14yrs. August 1      Laduma:- male 15yrs May 14

Detema:-male 15yrs April 26           Minos:- male 17yrs Dec 21

Deka:- male 12yrs August 25          Hwange:- female 16yrs uly 14

Masuwe:- female 15yrs Sept 19 


Choosing an Elephant Back Safari as one of your things to do in Victoria Falls can have a benign and lasting impact in more ways than one, and when considering what to do in Victoria Falls – your decisions some time go beyond the obvious.

SHEARWATER RESTAURANTS REV UP

POSTED  02 NOVEMBER 2015  /  BY SHEARWATER VICTORIA FALLS  /  IN VICTORIA FALLS /  TOURS & TRANSFERS

Shearwater Restaurants are already amongst the most popular places in town to have lunch or dinner, and our Helipad dinners have proved hugely popular, so the addition of 2 new dining experiences this year will enhance customer experiences even further.

  • Lunch with Livingstone.
  • Full Moon dinner

Lunch with LivingstoneLunch with Livingstone

A Tour of the Falls is generally taken by most visitors on their first full day in the town – generally top of their list of things to do in Victoria Falls and certainly the most obvious of what to do in Victoria Falls.

For most a trip to this part of Africa is a once in a lifetime never to be repeated experience. If you are lucky enough to be visiting the greatest of all the 7 natural wonders of the world – don’t rush it, ensure you maximise your opportunity and take full advantage of this spectacular show of nature. Start by making some sensible decisions.

Arrange for a Guided Tour of the Falls. Nature has created this extraordinarily beautiful sight over millennia – don’t demean her by a quick rush around the pathways, with a been there, seen it ticked it off attitude. You can only appreciate its full glory if you have a proper insight into its creation, geology, geography, natural and contemporary history. Your Shearwater Guided Tour of the Falls will provide this, with plenty of colourful and humorous anecdotes besides.

Now that you have learned and understood so much, and most importantly stood and seen, watched and listened to this stupendous spectacle, don’t just let it all become a blur as you rush off to the next activity on your what to do in Victoria Falls priority list that has tried to whittle down the numerous variety of things to do in Victoria Falls.

Not least, a productive walk around the falls will take you an hour and a half, 3km – and in Rainforest steamy heat. DON’T head straight for the exit. Now is the time to sit down relax, have a nice cooling drink and reflect. The Rainforest Café is the absolutely perfect place to do it – right there at the end of your walk near the exit. Think about all you have seen, check your photos and film footage. Log onto the café wifi and facebook location – and get those incredible photos and footage out to all your friends and networks. As you do this in comfort, still within earshot of the pounding falls and with the cooling mists of spray that linger in the atmosphere, enjoy your fabulous lunch. A fitting 3 course delicious lunch prepared by our expert chefs – all part of your Lunch with Livingstone package.

That’s not the end of it though. As you delight in your fantastic lunch at one of the best restaurants in Victoria Falls, you also have a front row seat for the Livingstone presentation that is part of the Lunch with Livingstone activity. Be royally entertained by a theatrical first person presentation of the life and times of his extraordinary individual who did and gave so much for Africa.

The Lunch with Livingstone is truly the very best way on all levels to get the most out of a visit to the Falls, and given that seeing the falls is the number one of all things to do in Victoria Falls, and the star of the show of what to do in Victoria Falls, be sure to take advantage of it.


Full Moon DinnerFull Moon Dinner

Of all the things to do in Victoria Falls some are more obvious than others. A tour around the falls at night might not be on everybodys wish list of what to do in Victoria Falls. However, it becomes an entirely different prospect when you get the unique opportunity to not only do so at full moon, but then enjoy a sumptuous dinner in the rainforest afterwards as well as a splendid Livingstone presentation spoken in the first person.

A full moon in Victoria Falls is a beautiful sight in its own right. With the skies normally totally cloud free, the entire sky is a starlit panoply of beauty and the complete globe of the moon is like a great big neon bulb lighting all below it in silvery tones. With such little light pollution even the simplest forms can look wondrous: a baobab tree, a hilltop etc.

Imagine just how seriously illustrious the Victoria Falls then can look at night, illuminated by the monochrome moon. The Falls look like pure fountains of molten mercury leaping into the gorge below, sending up plumes of ghostly clouds. Vision is hardly impaired at all the moon is so bright – everything is seen through in a totally different perspective. And of course there is exhilerating enigma of seeing an actual Moonbow – a lunar rainbow, a vision of priceless and delicate beauty.

Shearwater offer a world unique experience in this respect. An opportunity not only for a Guided lunar Tour of the Falls conducted with an entirely different aspect to a daytime tour, but also a rare opportunity to have dinner in the Rainforest on this most spellbinding and bewitching of occasions. An area of the Rainforest Café – inarguably one of the best restaurants in Victoria Falls, is dressed and decorated in an evocative style to inspire the thoughts of the life and times of Livingstone: a Rainforest Banquet ensues. A truly 3 course gourmet meal, followed by a captivating and theatrical presentation by ‘’Livingstone’’ himself.

Dinner is always on the list of what to do in Victoria Falls after nightfall, but a banquet at one of the 7 wonders of the world under a full moon is so esoteric that few would think it a possibility as a contender in what to do in Victoria Falls.

JUICE ON THE LOOSE

POSTED – 20 SEPTEMBER 2015 / BY – SHEARWATER VICTORIA FALLS – JUICE ON THE LOOSE


Despite being a frontier town in the middle of the African bush, with a 7th wonder of the natural world as our main water feature, and a ribble of a river running alongside us called the Zambezi, it was juice I said , and not moose, or some other antlered animal.

juice_01

The iconic Shearwater Café, which has set a new benchmark for restaurants in the town – not going down the tried and tested ‘’indigenous’’ look, but adopting a chic cool and urbane theme – has just introduced state of the art juicing machines and designed a mouth-watering menu of freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, and pure fruit smoothies. Given all the strenuous and ‘’fit as a butchers dog’’ activities on offer In Victoria Falls town and the huge array of things to do in Victoria Falls – this fresh energy boost to the day is going to come as a blessed new introduction.

It is a question that strikes most: what to do in Victoria Falls? – you are probably only here for 3 days maximum so how about a suggested itinerary:

Day 1

  • Get a prestige transfer straight from the airport so you can maximise your time and extract the very best of what to do in Victoria Falls.
  • Go on a relaxing and soothing sunset cruise on the glorious and mighty Zambezi.
  • Get the vibe of the town and hit one of the liveliest and best restaurants in Victoria Falls: Shearwater Café, and take a front seat opposite one of the tv screens and watch an unfolding drama of all the things to do in Victoria Falls whilst you are here.

Day 2

  • Be up early and check into Shearwater Café for an Energiser: apple carrot and ginger Juice
  • Go for a Guided Tour of Falls and sit and contemplate their wonder over a signature cappuccino at the Rainforest Café – another of the best restaurants in town
  • In the afternoon whilst the perspective of the of Mosi oa Tunya from ground level is fresh in your mind, take a Flight of angels over the Batoka Gorge and witness first hand why this Helicopter flight is rated as the number 1 thing to do in Victoria Falls
  • You’ve seen the falls from land and air – time to get up close and personal with them – go and book a White-water Rafting trip for the following morning, and understand why it is reckoned to be the very best grade 5 rafting trip on the planet, and the original adrenaline activity and still one of the quintessential things to do in Victoria Falls.
  • Enjoy a fantastic Elephant Back Safari ride through the private Stanley and Livingstone game reserve for a real unique African experience.

DAY 3


Only 3 days and you have covered pretty comprehensively some of the best things to do in Victoria Falls and will be au fait with how to explain to friends what to do in Victoria Falls when their jealousy compels them to visit.


Shearwater Take The Pledge

Shearwater are more use to taking the plunge with new and exciting activities, but in a commitment to excellence the entire Shearwater team are now taking the pledge on Shearwater core values: every division, every department, everybody.

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Any visitor’s trip to Victoria Falls is greatly enhanced by personal interaction with staff, guides, drivers, waiters and managers. We feel the 4 P’s pledge will ensure we always exceed customer expectations.

Shearwater Staff Core Values

  1. To be Professional & Knowledgeable  
  2. To be Polished & Accurate
  3. To be Punctual & Responsive
  4. To be Pro-Active & Innovative

There are so many things to do in Victoria Falls, so many activities to participate in and enjoy. Shearwater as owner operators of so many activities combined with a fully-fledged and highly professional tours and transport operation, is uniquely placed to ensure every visitor to Victoria Falls has the most memorable experiences and truly gets the very best out of this extraordinary destination.

We all know however that everyone will be awed by the magnificent falls and will delight in the insight that comes from an expertly guided tour – it is for good reason that it is the number one thing to do in Victoria Falls, the premier activity in Victoria Falls. Experience has also taught us that the seminal Shearwater ‘’Flight of Angels’’ in a helicopter is the best means of gaining a true perspective of Africa’s 7th wonder.

It’s a given that white-water rafting on the Zambezi is unmatched anywhere in the world as a grade 5 thrill and that the beauty of the gorge itself is unrivalled – this is the Falls and Zambezi up close and personal – a real finger on the pulse of the power and majesty: as a things to do in Victoria Falls list and as an activity in Victoria falls – it is quite simply what brought Shearwater into existence.

Adrenaline rushes hardly come more powerful than a leap from the Shearwater bungee platform on the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge that not only links Zimbabwe and Zambia – but also spans an astonishingly beautiful gorge and has the imperious falls as the backdrop. If you are to do an activity such as this – Victoria Falls has to be the place in which to earn the badge of such an activity.

There is the extreme, there is the daring – but there is also plenty of the sublime. A sunset cruise on the Zambezi is generally one of the mandatory things to do in Victoria Falls following an afternoon arrival. Sighting hippos, elephant, crocs and buffalo are regular serendipitous bonuses – but few regardless, have witnessed anything quite as magical as a glorious African sunset while afloat on such a famous river – only just upstream from the main attraction. A Shearwater sunset cruise is a delicious ‘Hor dourve’ to the smorgasbord of gourmet activities that lay in wait. A cruise brings you close to nature – but it is the Shearwater Elephant back safari that will actually put you in physical contact. No-one who participates in this activity is unmoved by the extraordinary emotion it stirs. Trundling through the bush atop Africa’s essence- made- animal, is wonderful enough – but to finish with close interaction that allows you to feed, stroke, feel the trunk off – your new friend is an irreplaceable memory.

So we have a veritable treasure trove of world class things to do in Victoria Falls and unique activities in Victoria Falls. Meh? – hardly, but we know what will really achieve the tipping point of ensuring visitors leave our frontier town spellbound and enraptured with ambassadorial fervour: simply out of ballpark service and attention to detail. Exceeding people’s expectations on every single occasion and in every single way. It is for that reason every soul in the company has committed to the Shearwater Pledge.

MAY THE PLEDGE BE WITH YOU.