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/

Advertisements

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.

SHEARWATER LAUNCH PRESTIGE AND PRESTIGE PACKAGE

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.

PRESTIGE TRANSFERS

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.

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.

LUNAR LAUNCH

POSTED  28 SEPTEMBER 2015  /  BY SHEARWATER VICTORIA FALLS  /  IN VICTORIA FALLS
/ THINGS TO DO IN VICTORIA FALLS  /  ACTIVITIES IN VICTORIA FALLS  /  TOURS & TRANSFERS

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.

LUNAR RB 0016

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

SHEARWATER PRESTIGE TRANSFERS


POSTED  28 SEPTEMBER 2015  /  BY SHEARWATER VICTORIA FALLS  /  IN VICTORIA FALLS/  TOURS & TRANSFERS

It’s a once in a lifetime trip to Africa, the fulfillment of a long held dream, and most glorious of all you are traveling right into the interior to visit Africa’s 7th wonder of the world: Victoria Falls. Ahh Victoria Falls, it is the quintessential Africa of Livingstone, exploration and the mighty Zambezi.


Shearwater Prestige TransferYou are excited not least as you have heard there are just so many things to do in Victoria Falls that your real challenge is going to be deciding on exactly what to do in Victoria Falls. You only plan on staying a couple of nights – but there is so much you want to do: a romantic sunset cruise, a guided tour of the falls, a flight of angels helicopter ride, the bridge tour (where you can watch the crazy adrenaline junkies doing the Bungee Jump or Swing off the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge), Elephant Back Safaris – you’ve even been tempted by the White Water Rafting on the grade 5 rapids of the Zambezi (right through the stunning Batoka gorge), and of course a Chobe day trip promises be a game safari of unparalled excellence.

You quickly begin to realize that in order to achieve even half of your growing wish list of what to do in Victoria Falls, means precise planning in military and minute detail as time will be at an absolute premium. What time do all the activities in Victoria Falls start, what time do they finish, how do we get from one to the other – and ensure we do it in good time – will we get ripped off by taxis – what if all the taxis are booked and we miss an activity we have paid for??????

You absolutely do not want to leave town feeling you haven’t got the best out of all the things to do in Victoria Falls – oh and my god what if we have delays at airports, at borders and just get things wrong despite all our efforts at planning the minutiae.

Relax, Stay calm, and take a deep breath, it’s all going to be fine. Firstly you have come to the right company: Shearwater. We are not only the original and longest running activity provider in Victoria Falls (since 1982), we also own and operate our activities. AND we also have the most professional and extensive tours and transfers operation in town, which completes the circle and reassures you that you are in the best hands, and that we will obviously curate an itinerary for you that achieves maximum fulfillment in the most time efficient manner. So much so that you can take your time and enjoy lunch and dinner at our signature restaurants: Rainforest Café (in the heart of the Rainforest and perfect after a guided tour of the falls) or Shearwater Café (in the heart of town).

It is our experience and wisdom gleaned over 3 decades that has led to the launch of Shearwater Prestige. There are so many great things to do in Victoria Falls, and most people are so time poor, that getting you on the fast track right from touchdown at the airport is a highly wise investment. Don’t wait for the last person to board the transfer bus, as inevitably someone gets delayed at immigration for not filling in a form correctly, or somebody else is subject to the inquisition by customs, curious about this latest hair rolling gadget! Jump straight on the red carpet after clearing immigration and into your own privately driven air conditioned vehicle. Cool down with refreshing towels and drink, as your private escort professionally drives you the 20km to town whilst giving you the low down on the town and all you need to know about your arranged (or planned itinerary). If you have opted for the prestige package, then you couldn’t be in better hands to enjoy 2 of the mandatory things to do in Victoria Falls: a sunset cruise and guided tour of the falls.

CHARM OF THE CHOBE

POSTED  22 SEPTEMBER 2015  /  BY SHEARWATER VICTORIA FALLS  /  IN VICTORIA FALLS  /  TOURS & TRANSFERS

You have planned your possible once in a lifetime trip to Southern Africa and have ensured you are going to your desired locations, having had to narrow them down from so many worthy contenders. Understandably the African natural wonder of the world: The Victoria Falls has made the list. Now you have agreed your actual route itinerary, it is time to fill in the details. So the question arises: what to do in Victoria Falls and you start to research all the many things to do in Victoria Falls.

You begin to realise there is such a vast array of activities that all sound so appealing: Elephant Back Safaris, Zambezi sunset cruise, Guided Tour of the Falls, Flight of Angels Helicopter Flight, Historic Bridge Tour – you even get tempted by the action packed adrenaline fueled prospect of white-water rafting and bungee jumping.

Then on closer inspection of the considerable spectrum of things to do in Victoria Falls you become aware of a Chobe Day Trip. On further reading you realise that Chobe is a river in Botswana that runs along the Caprivi Strip and is a tributary of the Zambezi. It meets the Zambezi in a unique area in which the borders of 5 countries are in close proximity: Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. So much for the geography which sounds intriguing enough. But what is really unique about this area is the flood plain and what that means for game.

A Chobe Day Trips starts early – leaving Victoria Falls town around 7am, before traveling 50 odd kms to the Botswana border down the Kazangula road. You now pass through immigration and get another country’s stamp in your passport – all coordinated efficiently by the Shearwater Tours and Transfers team – the Kaza visa you purchased at the airport comes in handy here, excusing you from anymore visa fees.

Chobe Day Trip - Sunset Cruise

The Chobe Day Trip starts with an exquisite boat safari along the Chobe where you will see huge herd of elephant, buffalo and all variety of antelope. What is so unique is that they are grazing on ‘’islands’’ which are generally flooded with water, and in order to reach them most have to swim. You may have seen elephant on previous game drives – but not swimming with trunks aloft like snorkels – and whenever have you seen so many enormous crocodiles or hippos. Game is absolutely teeming. There are also beautiful varieties of bird-life: fish eagles, kingfishers, waders, bee eaters, kites – a birders paradise.

Having had a filling lunch, you then have a game drive (on land this time) through the astonishing Chobe game reserve, and no doubt you will see herds of Elephant again – charging down to the water’s edge, but also the prospect of big cats as well: Lion, Leopard, and Cheetah.

Making final choices on what to do in Victoria Falls and deciding on the all important things to do in Victoria falls is a difficult one, but a Chobe Day Trip stands out as one of the number one things 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.


The Raft of the Zambesa

When Livingstone first viewed the Victoria Falls in November 1855, he commented ‘’scenes so lovely they must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight’’. He may have also thought to himself ‘’my God I have never seen such turbulent rapids – they are completely impassable’’. He would never have guessed that 130 years later a man named Paul Connolly (with wife Marie, the Shearwater founders) would start promoting commercial trips down the lower river and over these very same rapids in inflatable rubber boats – and that more amazingly people would eagerly pay for the privilege. Of course what we know of Livingstone – he would have been one of the first to do it, and in the scheme of his level of derring do, it would have all been matter of fact.

slide-image-6

Nothing in the way of things to do in Victoria Falls quite compares with white water rafting, none of the exceptional activities in Victoria Falls is nearly as fundamentally elemental. There are legions of veterans who have taken part in this incredible adventure years ago, who would still rate it as the most exciting activity in which they have ever participated.

At low level times, the day starts early with a muster at the Shearwater town office, and then a short open truck ride out to the top of the gorge by the Rainforest. Having gathered paddles, life vests and helmets, new recruits listen in on a safety talk by guides: Titanic, Kamikaze etc – you know this is going to be a little hair raising to say the least. Then begins the steep, steep descent down into the depths of pre history of the beautiful Batoka gorge. Having reached the bottom of the gorge, you instinctively look up and let out an involuntary ‘’wow’’ – the sheer sides of the gorge bathing in morning sunlight, and then the complete madness of the iconic Victoria Falls bridge spanning an impossibly vertiginous ravine so high above you – notwithstanding the insanity of bungee jumpers flying off the bridge and hurtling towards you (another of the not – for – cissies things to do in Victoria Falls, yet another of the red blooded activities in Victoria Falls).

Cambering over massive basalt boulders dislodged way before Livingstone ever visited, you embark your raft. It begins to be utterly surreal – here you are at the bottom of the worlds most exotic waterfall. You paddle out and peer around the corner of the Falls themselves – there they are from the bottom up – a reverse perspective you just were not counting on when you decided this might be one of the things to do in Victoria Falls you would participate in – the view and feeling is spellbinding. You haven’t even started your chosen activity yet!

Then it starts, you are paddling your way to your first rapid, heart pumping, nerves jangling and brow perspiring. It looks so big, it seems so angry, my god there’s like a steep drop (the crease) – a quick gulp as you are involuntarily pulled into the watery Wurlitzer. The boat buckles and bumps, water flies up and in, the raft tilts one way and then the other every one squeals and yelps. That was incredible. You then learn you have just traversed a grade 3.5 rapid, and today is mostly about grade 5’s.

You spend the next 4 hours either gliding serenely along this majestic mind blowing river feeling you are really connecting with raw mysterious Africa, or in pitched battle with each of the eponymously named rapids: highway to hell, the mother, overland truck eater. It is imperious as a combination of adventure and exploration. The exertion required to climb out of the gorge at trip end, only serves to remphasise the scale of achievement.

You could write a separate account of each of the 20 odd rapids describing each one as worthwhile in terms of things to do in Victoria Falls, each one in its own right as one of the most awesome activities in Victoria Falls. There is not a soul who will have completed the White-water Rafting who won’t rate it amongst the most exciting experiences of their lives

Hi Ho Hi Ho…..

IT’S OFF TO A GORGE HIKE WE GO

The demographic of visitors to the falls has changed over the years. 25 years ago the adrenaline buzz of White Water Rafting was the main lure for a younger generation. Now most visitors to the falls somewhat older and have put adrenaline rushes behind them. However customer feedback tells us they still want to be active and do not want weeks of indulgence and a sedentary state of near permanence.

blog_slide

A GORGE HIKE IS THE PREFECT BLEND OF EXCITEMENT, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND WONDER.

  • Climb down through evolution itself 110m into the depths of the breath-taking Batoka gorge.
  • Be expertly guided over the enormous basalt boulders thrown down millennia ago.
  • Uniquely stand on dry ground with rapids swirling nearby and gaze up at the falls from below.
  • Truly encounter what it is like to be in the belly of this naturally phenomena.
  • Feel a sense of satisfaction having climbed (steep walk) back out and up to the edge of the Gorge – and behold your endeavours.

There is such a bountiful list of things to do in Victoria Falls, so many activities to take advantage of in Victoria Falls that making as selection can be challenging.

Originally people only came to gaze in wonder at the eponymous falls themselves and marvel at one of nature’s seven natural wonders, and a guided tour of the falls still remains the main attraction – the no1 thing to do in Victoria Falls. Of course the abundance of game and wildlife has also meant for a long time that this has been a major destination for those on Safari or seeking to witness first hand Africa’s astonishing range of animals, flora and fauna.

It was only a matter of time though before a mixture of curiosity and taste for adventure meant people looked into the broiling, spoiling waters of the mighty Zambezi in the gorge below the falls, and began to wonder…? Shearwater in 1985 was the original founder of commercial White Water Rafting trips over the grade 5 rapids of the Batoka gorge – and thus kick-started Victoria Falls as a new adventure destination in Africa.

Adding to the list of exciting things to do in Victoria Falls became a regular occurrence as Bungee Jumping, Canoeing, and Gorge swinging all started to gain huge popularity as new activities in Victoria Falls and making it the adventure capital of Africa.

Then in the 90’s even more activities in Victoria Falls were initiated and the list of things to do grew aver greater – and now not just a destination for adrenaline junkies keen on white knuckle white-water rafting trips or leaping head first off the iconic Victoria Falls bridge tied to a bungee rope – there were alternative less active attractions too: romantic Sunset Cruises, ballooning, Helicopter Rides and leisurely Elephant Back Safaris. The demographic started to change.

With the less adventurously inclined and generally older groups that started arriving in significant numbers to visit the falls – there was inevitably some crossovers and rubbing shoulders with the adrenaline addicts who had been coming for the last couple of decades. Inevitably this has led to the development of a hybrid activity that provides physical exertion, excitement and adventure – without the heart pumping fear of the high octane pursuits.

The Gorge Hikes allow people of all ages and abilities to have a day of fulfilling physical activity – which requires exertion without being punishing, and also a unique opportunity to do something extremely rewarding. Make your way down a very deep descent 110m into the pre historic Batoka gorge, and then be safely and expertly guided over the massive basalt boulders that the forces of nature carved out millennia ago. Stand at the foot of Falls and gaze in awe upwards at the spectacle. Feel hear and see the extraordinary, the incredible and the mighty forces of nature at work as the spray from the turbulence of the Falls rains all around you, and the roar of millions of cubic metres of Zambezi fly over the lip of the falls creating the boiling rapids ahead of you. This is really getting into the engine room of the Victoria Falls – really getting up close and personal with its might and majesty.

This is a truly exciting activity. Having been thrilled at by all the power and raw energy of the falls, you can now use some of your own, as like so many of the intrepid and famous explorers of yesteryear you use your own strength to climb (steep walk) back out of this breath taking gorge. Once back at the top, you will look back down and be overcome with a great sense of wellbeing, achievement and enthralment.

A Gorge Hike is a relative newcomer to the man things to do in Victoria Falls, but thoroughly deserves its place amongst the pantheon of great activities in Victoria Falls.