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.

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

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.