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Wild Times Newsletter – April 2021

Reflecting On A Transformative Year 

When we sat down to write this edition of the Wild Times, we had to stop and double-check that it really is April already! The year seems to be flying by, yet so much has happened in the space of three months. In addition to Travel Updates, this newsletter is also going to cover:

Before we dive in, we would like to share some exciting news regarding vaccinations for Zimbabwe’s Tourism Sector. 

 

Zimbabwe’s Tourism Sector Receives the Vaccines

 

The rolling out of vaccines to Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is a defining moment for the industry and for our Wild Horizons Team. It is a turning point for Victoria Falls, signaling the beginning to the end of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are doing everything in our power to create a safe environment for our guests and employees so we can share and travel the world confidently and safely”, says the Wild Horizons Health & Safety Officer, Leandrah Muza. “As a nation, we need to be proactive in the fight against COVID-19.”

This is an important step on the road to recovery. Adventures are on our horizons and hope is in our hearts as we stand together to overcome the pandemic.

In Partnership With Nature

Operating in such beautiful environments comes with the responsibility to protect our natural resources, enhance conservation efforts and pioneer a greener way to travel.

Our lodges are built and managed in the most eco-friendly way possible, and our activities emphasise the stunning landscapes around us while treading lightly upon them.

While our dedication to sustainable travel is clear to see in the way we operate, there is also important work happening behind the scenes to preserve the wild spaces that we, and our guests, love. One such initiative is our indigenous tree-planting program.

To rehabilitate areas that were once denuded of trees by uncontrolled harvesting, indigenous trees are planted in a nursery at The Elephant Camp, and when well enough established, transferred to sites in need of rehabilitation.

 

Trees Planted Since 2019

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.

 

When considering the impact of climate change on a global scale, it is easy to fall into a ‘drop-in-the-ocean’ way of thinking. But research and experience have taught us that we do have the power to make a difference. The Guardian article, ‘Tree Planting has Mind-Blowing Potential to Tackle Climate Crisis’, highlights the enormous potential that a simple tree-planting strategy could have for our planet.

 

“New research estimates that a worldwide planting programme could remove two-thirds of all the emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere by human activities, a figure the scientists describe as “mind-blowing”.

When we plant trees from our nursery, we do so knowing that we may never sit in their shade or see their beautiful green leaves against a blue sky. But there is enough reward in the feel of soil between our palms, the botanical scent in our lungs, and in the knowledge that together, we will make a difference.

Ross’s Turaco

Location: Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls

Photographer: Charles Brightman

This is THE ONLY photograph of a Ross’s Turaco taken in Zimbabwe!
The image of this rare and beautiful bird was captured by Professional Guide, Charles Brightman
of Discover Victoria Falls.
On the 25th of February, Charles spotted the elusive Ross’s Turaco in Victoria Falls
Twitchers flocked to the town – some were rewarded and others, while waiting for the bird, had a leopard stroll across the road.
That is the beauty of a safari… you never know what to expect!

Intelligent Elephant 

Location: Old Drift Lodge, Victoria Falls

Photographer: Vusa Sibanda

Elephant are incredibly intelligent animals

After investigating the tap for a while, this bull managed to work out how to turn it on and off. After several attempts, he earned a trunkful of freshwater.

We are so privileged to spend time surrounded by incredible wildlife and wilderness at Old Drift Lodge.

Follow the links below to discover more about Old Drift Lodge.

This month we are shining a spotlight on the accommodation and activities that give back to community and conservation.

1). Get Close to Nature On A Bird Watching Safari

After the amazing Ross’s Turaco sighting, it seemed only fitting that our top wildlife activity for April is the Bird Watching Safari. The Safari combines walking and driving to cover as much ground as possible while seeking out different species and habitats. This is an intimate way to connect with nature, exercising all your senses to appreciate life on a smaller scale.

Over 415 species of birds have been recorded in the diverse habitats in and around Victoria Falls. Get in touch to book your safari today.

Pay It Forward: Enrich Your Journey & Empower The Community

 

Victoria Falls will give you life-changing experiences, staggering views and lifelong memories. When you travel with Wild Horizons, you have the opportunity to give something back to the local community in our special town.

 

Our Pay It Forward Initiative inspires positive action and allows guests to enrich their journey while making a positive impact.

 

  • From a list of registered charitable organizations, guests will select a cause they would like to support.
  • Armed with a list of ‘wishes’, the guests will be transported by a driver to various markets in the area. As they explore the stalls and meet the vendors, they will gather the items on the list and connect with local people, discover hidden gems in the less-visited parts of town, and immerse themselves in a different style of grocery shopping.
  • Guests will then visit their selected organization to deliver the goods and meet the people they would have helped.

 

This experience digs beneath Victoria Falls’ surface to give guests a unique insight into the town while empowering those in need. When we travel with purpose, we can make a meaningful difference to our lives and the local communities’ lives.

Guests will take unforgettable memories home with them, while also leaving something good behind.

 

Hospitality With Heart at The Elephant Camp

We chose The Elephant Camp as our top lodge pick this month because it is located on the Wild Horizons Wildlife Sanctuary, adjacent to our indigenous tree nursery.

Resting lightly on 4500 acres of private wilderness, The Elephant Camp has always been synonymous with exclusive experiences. Mindful of the challenges of a transformative year, The Elephant Camp West epitomises the future of safaris under canvas, offering guests a sanctuary that harnesses the healing power of nature.

The Wild Horizons Wildlife Sanctuary is accessible only to our guests, giving travellers a secluded space to reconnect with nature in the company of their loved ones. The Elephant Camp West caters exclusively to groups of friends and families with a secluded main area, dedicated guide, chef, host and private game vehicle.

Discover more on our blog or visit the website to start exploring this intimate and exclusive lodge. 

 

Discover More About The Bird Watching Safari

Discover More About Our Pay It Forward Initiative 

Discover More About The Elephant Camp

Travel Requirements for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana

 As more people receive the vaccine, the world is moving from dreaming to the planning phase of their next safari adventure. Our travel requirements blog post has all the need-to-know information for visiting Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. And the Wild Horizons Team is always ready to assist in planning your holiday-of-a-lifetime.

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Get the latest updates directly in your inbox! From flight and border information to river reports and more, you will have Victoria Falls at your fingertips.

The Intimate And Exclusive Elephant Camp

Southern Africa stirs to life as travellers dream of their next adventure from a new point of view. Mindful of the challenges of a transformative year, The Elephant Camp West epitomises the future of safaris under canvas, offering guests a restorative sanctuary that harnesses the healing power of nature. The design of Camp West harnesses the simple elegance of The Elephant Camp Main. The flagship design has been thoughtfully adapted for exclusive use by family and friends who crave meaningful distancing from the world’s demands and distractions. 

Inspired By Nature

Resting lightly on 4500 acres of private wilderness, The Elephant Camp has always been synonymous with restorative retreats and exclusive experiences.

From the interior spaces’ uncluttered beauty to the careful placement of each suite to capture the best views, the carefully crafted camp is enveloped by stillness and serenity.   

From the outdoor showers to the private plunge pools, the lodge invites continuous engagement with nature’s healing power. 

Reimagined through a modern perspective, the essence of adventure inherent to a tented safari experience is more aligned with how travellers have evolved. Simplicity, sustainability and comfort remain the golden thread of the design, amplified by thoughtful touches that inspire meaningful connections with the environment.

The main deck overlooks the cavernous Batoka Gorge, with the cloud of mist from the Victoria Falls commanding the skyline. 

Activities can be adapted and planned according to preference and private game drives, walking safaris, gorge sundowners, elephant encounters and more allow guests to immerse themselves in every experience. We have now included a luxury cruise on the Zambezi Royal in the inclusive-activities on offer to guests staying at The Elephant Camp. 

Victoria Falls river cruise on the Zambezi

The Zambezi Royal Luxury Sunset Cruise

The luxurious Zambezi Royal is a single level cruise boat and offers a unique and intimate way to view the Zambezi River.

During the premium two hour guided sunset cruise guests can look forward to 5-star service on board, consisting of imported wines and spirits, gourmet hot & cold canapés.

Find out more here. 

 

A Guided Tour of The Victoria Falls Rainforest

Victoria Falls has captivated philosophers and poets. The Natural World Wonder engages all the senses, and vibrates through you. Guests staying at The Elephant Camp can book a morning or afternoon Guided Tour of The Victoria Falls Rainforest (excluding Parks Fees). 

Discover more about Victoria Falls throughout the year here. 

The Victoria Falls Canopy Tour

The Canopy Tour is a great family activity and offers fantastic views of Zambezi rapids, Victoria Falls Bridge & the spray of the Falls.

Observe the riverine forest from a variety of different vantage points – from above, below and within the canopy itself. The Victoria Falls Canopy Tour offers a network of slides, trails and rope bridge walkways within the canopy of the hardwood forest of the Zambezi gorges.

The Canopy Tour is family fun with a unique birds-eye view of one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Find out more here

Wild Horizons elephant encounter

Meet The Elephant 

The Elephant Encounter affords guests the opportunity to unobtrusively observe some of the biggest personalities in Africa, in a pristine wilderness environment overflowing with raw natural beauty. Guests spend time and connect with elephants in the most positive and natural way possible.

Find out more about the Elephant Sanctuary here. 

Other activities include:

The Wild Horizons Wildlife Sanctuary is accessible only to our guests, giving travellers a secluded space to reconnect with nature in the company of their loved ones. The Elephant Camp West is part of The Elephant Camp Collection, but the intimate lodge caters exclusively to groups of friends and families with a secluded main area, dedicated guide, chef, host and private game vehicle. 

 

The exclusive-use itinerary ensures guests can explore the endless space on their terms. TripAdvisor rated The Elephant Camp as the seventh-best hotel in Africa for service. Our dedicated team is intuitive yet discreet, understanding that the experience is a chance to return to life’s simple pleasures and meaningful moments.

Get In Touch

Our products have a purpose. From community empowerment to conservation and culture, we create meaningful and enlightened travel experiences that enrich your experience while giving back to the legacies that make Victoria Falls so spectacular.

Get in touch to book your safari to Victoria Falls today and experience the abundant beauty Victoria Falls promises throughout the year.

Make February Unforgettable With a Valentine’s Month Special | Old Drift Lodge

couple on zambezi river banks romantic picnic

Our Valentine’s Special is an all-inclusive romantic retreat to the award-winning Old Drift Lodge for only $250 per person per night.
The special is valid for bookings throughout the month of February 2021 so you can save now and stay later.

Old Drift Lodge - Victoria Falls

Fall In Love With Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls… the very name of the town is romantic. It brings to mind waterfalls framed by the arch of a rainbow, night skies sequined with stars, the gentle gait of wildlife roaming across the wilderness. Old Drift Lodge is the pearl in the centre of these natural gems, where a bygone era of safari romance and meditative luxury come together in an authentic wilderness experience. It is against this spectacular setting that we launch our first Valentine’s Special to make this occasion is a standout memory in the hearts of all who stay with us.

Soul-Soothing Suites 

Our luxury river-facing suites are an exclusive haven for each couple. Each suite at Old Drift Lodge includes an elegant lounge and a spacious bathroom. The four-poster bed takes pride and centre in front of glass sliding doors, through which natural light streams into the room.

private lounge area in luxury suite
four poster bed overlooking Zambezi River

The outdoor claw-footed bath is the epitome of Valentine’s romance 

With a flute of champagne and a tub full of bubbles, it is an essential Instagram picture for all our guests at Old Drift Lodge. Spacious enough for two and positioned so that you feel the warm sun on your shoulders or see the moon reflected in the ripples of the river, the special spot is in itself the ultimate Valentine’s accessory.

girl drinking champagne in outdoor bubble bath
private plunge pool seating area river view

The bath shares an expansive balcony with a private plunge pool, sitting area, sun loungers and an outdoor shower.

With a stocked mini-fridge, ice machine and opulent finishing touches, it is tempting to spend the weekend cocooned in the sanctuary of the suites.

However, our all-inclusive gourmet meals, Valentine’s Special surprises and activities will ignite a sense of adventure that is impossible to ignore. 

Tailor-Make You Perfect Day At Old Drift Lodge

Couples are invited to be the co-creators of their safari experience, venturing beyond the classic Victoria Falls itinerary to explore indigenous tree planting, champagne sunsets, a guided tour of the rainforest and restorative river safaris.

Cocktails and canapés on the banks of the Zambezi are a highlight for everyone who visits Old Drift Lodge. Our team creates an oasis on the white sandy riverbank, where couples indulge in our chefs spread of snacks while sunset stains fill the sky before melting into the Zambezi. Old Drift Lodge is the perfect place to make sure Valentine’s is a special and exclusive occasion.

couple touring Victoria Falls
cocktails and canape sundowner on Zambezi River
man and women romantic sunset cruise

The Best Safari Retreat In Victoria Falls

TripAdvisor rated Old Drift Lodge as the 7th best small hotel in the whole of Africa, as well as the seventh-best hotel for service in Africa. Our dedicated team is intuitive yet discreet, understanding that the experience is a chance to return to life’s simple pleasures and meaningful moments.

This once-in-a-lifetime romantic retreat has never been more affordable. For only $250 per person per night, couple’s will be treated to:

  • A luxury river-facing suite, including romantic turndowns with complimentary champagne
  • A morning/afternoon game drive in the National Park
  • A morning or afternoon Zambezi River safari 
  • An indigenous tree-planting ceremony 
  • All gourmet meals and drinks (excluding premium brands) 
  • A guided tour of the Victoria Falls rainforest
  • A romantic beach picnic with cocktails and canapés on the banks of the Zambezi River 
  • Airport transfers 

Save Now, Stay Later – The Special is Valid For All February Bookings!

The special is valid for the entire month of February 2021. With only 14 suites strung along the river, Old Drift Lodge is characterized by exclusivity and intimacy. However, bookings do fill up fast, and this weekend of a lifetime in Victoria Falls should not be missed. Please email info@wildhorizons.co.zw to discover more about our Valentine’s Special.

We recommend a minimum two-night stay.

Get in touch to discover more

15 + 2 =

Negative Ions Inspire Positive Vibes | Victoria Falls

The Positive Impact of Negative Ions: Your Wellness Safari In Victoria Falls

When you step into a raw, natural space, something shifts – emotionally, physically and mentally. Nature inspires a sense of empowerment and tranquillity, igniting an electrifying paradox of sensations. Anyone who has done a tour of the Victoria Falls rainforest will understand the intoxicating feeling, but not everyone understands what causes this euphoric state. Beyond the beauty of this Natural Wonder, there is something else at work here – negative ions.

Couple enjoying negative ions Victoria Falls rainforest

What is the Difference Between Positive and Negative Ions? 

Quite simply, positive ions have lost one or more electrons, whereas negative ions have gained electrons. Though we might assume that ‘positive’ is synonymous with ‘better’, the true meaning of these terms have collapsed into their connotations and can cause confusion. Negative ions produce biochemical reactions that increase serotonin levels. This helps to:

  • Alleviate depression
  • Relieve stress
  • Boost our daytime energy

Positive ions, on the other hand, have lost their electrical charge and the benefits that go with it.

Negative ions are created as air molecules break apart due to sunlight, radiation, and moving air and water. This is why we feel uplifted by thunderstorms and inspired by waterfalls.

Woman surrounded by negative ions from Victoria Falls waterfall

Negative Ions Make You More Alert And Energetic

The environment in urban areas disrupts the delicate balance of ions. Artificial lighting and air conditioners deplete negative ions, causing people to feel lethargic and demotivated. Throughout lockdown, people have navigated the world from behind screens that bombard us with positive ions. A safari in Victoria Falls will influence your health measurably and positively. It is more than the roar of rushing water or the beauty of a rainbow on rainless afternoons – a safari in Victoria Falls is health generating as well as breathtaking. Now more than ever, we need to escape toxic environments for the healing power of nature.

Waterfalls and rapids are the hydraulic equivalents of fireworks. Whether you are rafting down white water rapids, or even swimming above the Victoria Falls in Devil’s Pool, negative ions will generate an increased flow of oxygen to the brain to make you more alert and energetic.

Get In Touch

Our products have a purpose. From community empowerment to conservation and culture, we create meaningful and enlightened travel experiences that enrich your experience while giving back to the legacies that make Victoria Falls so spectacular.

Get in touch to book your safari to Victoria Falls today and experience the abundant beauty Victoria Falls promises throughout the year.

Travel Updates | Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana | Wild Horizons

If ever there was a destination that assured travellers of wide-open spaces, it is undeniably Victoria Falls. Over the year, we have had time to dream, and now it is time to move into the planning phase of your safari escape

Victoria Falls is ranked as the safest destination to visit Post COVID-19

The US-based travel and tourism agency, Tourlane, has named Zimbabwe the safest place to visit in the world when countries reopen their borders for international travel post-Covid-19 restrictions. Discover more about our product-specific protocols in the video below.

Travelling to Zimbabwe

Requirements On Arrival In Zimbabwe

  • All passengers arriving at Victoria Falls Airport are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate obtained within 48 hours before departure, in line with WHO Guidelines. If officials believe a traveller to be symptomatic, they may be required to undergo a further PCR test on arrival, regardless of the negative certificate.
  • All passengers are required to complete a COVID-19 contact-tracing document on arrival.
  • An Airport Official will take passengers’ temperatures. Anyone recording a temperature equal to or higher than 38°C will be tested for COVID-19.

Travellers that test positive will then be required to go into local isolation for 10 days. Isolation is at the traveller’s own expense. After quarantine, travellers will need to be retested before they are permitted to travel home or on to their next destination.

Travellers are to adhere to WHO COVID-19 standard practices at all times, such as maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask and practising personal hygiene.

**PLEASE NOTE: Although the Zimbabwe land borders are closed, travellers can transit through the borders to catch flights

Requirements When Departing From Zimbabwe

If travellers require a COVID-19 Clearance Certificate for re-entry to their home country or to board their onward flight, this can be performed 24 hours prior to departure at the Lancet laboratory and the Health Bridge Clinic in Victoria Falls.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements on arrival at VFA?
All passengers are required to complete a COVID-19 contact-tracing document on arrival. An Airport Official will take passengers’ temperatures and anyone recording a temperature equal to or higher than 38°C will be tested for COVID-19. All passengers arriving at Victoria Falls Airport are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate obtained within 48 hours before departure
Are COVID-19 PCR tests available for international travellers?

PCR and Rapid Diagnostic tests are available at all International Airports and most clinics and hospitals throughout the country. Additionally, Old Drift Lodge, Victoria Falls, offers an in-house COVID-19 PCR test that can deliver results within 3 hours.

What is the cost of each test?

PCR test is $60 if the test is conducted on the weekdays, and $70 on the weekends.

 

How long does it take to get the results on departure?
PCR and Rapid Diagnostic tests are available within 3 hours
Can I be tested at a Wild Horizons lodge?
Yes, travellers staying at the Wild Horizons luxury lodges will have the option of an in-house COVID-19 PCR test that can deliver results within 3 hours. Whether they require the test for onward travel or simple peace of mind, travellers can arrange this with the lodge management team for $60 per person.
What will happen if a traveller gets infected while in the country?
They are required to go into an isolation centre for ten days if they have no COVID-19 symptoms or 13 days if they are symptomatic.
Victoria Falls characterized by the scenic grandeur of the waterfall, cultural connections and fascinating history. Together with the kaleidoscope of adventurous activities, Africa’s Adventure Capital makes a lasting impression on all visitors. Get in touch to start planning your Victoria Falls holiday today.

Travelling to Zambia

Requirements on arrival in Zambia

  • All passengers arriving in Zamia are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate obtained within 72 hours before departure, in line with WHO Guidelines. If officials believe a traveller to be symptomatic, they may be required to undergo a further PCR test on arrival, regardless of the negative certificate.
  • All passengers are required to complete a COVID-19 contact-tracing document on arrival.
  • An Airport Official will take passengers’ temperatures. Anyone recording a temperature equal to or higher than 38°C will be tested for COVID-19.

Travellers are to maintain WHO COVID-19 safety measures whilst in Zambia such as maintaining physical distance, wearing a mask and practising personal hygiene.

    Requirements When Departing Zambia

    If travellers require a COVID-19 Clearance Certificate for re-entry to their home country or to board their onward flight, this can be performed 24 hours prior to departure at the Med Prof Clinic in Livingstone.

    Operating hours: 08:00 to 17:00

    IMPORTANT NOTES:

    • We recommend guests conduct the test at least 24 hours before departure.

    • Guests will be responsible for paying the cost of the testing in USD or ZMW in CASH ONLY – no card payments are accepted.

    • Availability of tests cannot be guaranteed by Wild Horizons

    • Test Result times cannot be guaranteed by Wild Horizons

    Swim above Victoria Falls Zambia Devil's Pool
    Are COVID-19 PCR tests available for international travellers?

    Yes.

    The cost of the PCR test is US$120 pp (US$ cash or ZMW equivalent – NO CARD PAYMENTS). This includes taking samples and delivering results to hotels/lodges within the city limits.

    Persons staying outside the City limits will need to present themselves at the clinic for testing and the cost is US$120 pp excluding transfers. Transfers can be booked with Wild Horizons at normal transfer rates.

    What types of tests are available?
    PCR Nasopharynx test
    What is the cost of each test?

    The cost of the test is $120 pp (cash USD or ZMW equivalent – NO CARD PAYMENTS). This includes taking samples and delivering results to Minor Hotels Resort (USD150 for hotels/lodges on the outskirts of the City Limits)

    How long does it take to get the results on departure?

    Please allow 24-48 hours for the results to be issued.

    Can I book a test through Wild Horizons?

    For guests staying in hotels/lodges within the City of Livingstone, Wild Horizons can make the reservation for PCR COVID Testing by the clinic or the client can book this direct (contact details above).

    For those staying outside of the City, Wild Horizons can be booked to transfer guests to the clinic for testing and wait to transfer them back to their accommodation. Once the test results are available, Wild Horizons can be booked to collect the results and deliver them to the guests at their hotel/lodge.

    Please note that testing times are subject to availability. Activities and touring will be scheduled to accommodate testing times.

    What will happen if a traveller gets infected while in the country?
    They are required to go into an isolation center for 10 days. This will be at the traveller’s own expense.
    Botswana-mokoro-sunset

    Requirements On Arrival In Botswana

    • All arriving travellers must present a negative COVID-19 certificate obtained within 72 hours of travel (meaning within 72 hours prior to arriving in Botswana).

    • Travellers will then be screened for COVID-19 and will have to take a Rapid test at the border post. Results take 15 mins and there is no cost.

    • Symptomatic travellers will be subject to mandatory testing on arrival and possible isolation/ quarantine for a minimum of 14 days until a negative status is achieved.

    Requirements On Arrival From Botswana

    When departing from Botswana, travellers must present a PCR negative test result no older than 72 hours.

    Are COVID-19 PCR tests available for international travellers?

    Yes, at a cost of BWP 1000 per test. The results will be available between 24-48 hours.

    How long does it take to get the results on departure?

    We recommend guests conduct the test at least 24 hours before departure.

    Where are the testing facilities?

    There are testing facilities at Diagnofirm Laboratory. Diagnofirm will come to the hotel for testing, depending on the availability of staff. Alternatively, Wild Horizons can be booked to transfer the guests to the Laboratory for the test.

    What will happen if a traveller gets infected while in the country?

    Travellers are required to go into isolation/quarantine for a minimum of 14 days until a negative test result is achieved.

    The quarantine facilities are currently Government approved private facilities and the cost will be at the travellers’ expense. 

    Wild Horizons COVID-19 Protocols

    Over the last few months, we have implemented extensive new health and safety protocols to protect both our staff and our travellers. Our ‘Golden Rules of Prevention’ are measures that have been put in place across the board for our activities and lodges. For a more detailed analysis of product-specific protocols, please view the following documents for Activities, Tour & TransfersAfrican OdysseyOur Lodges and The Wild Horizons Lookout Café.

    Important Update

    Wild Horizons will be facilitating Covid 19 Testing in Victoria Falls, Livingstone and Kasane.

    Herewith are the need to know details:-

    Victoria Falls & Livingstone
    Wild Horizons will make the reservation for Covid Testing at the laboratories.

    Please note that testing times are subject to availability.

    Activities and touring will be scheduled to accommodate testing times. We will then transfer guests to the lab for testing and wait to transfer them back to their hotel.

    Once the test results are available, Wild Horizons will collect the results and deliver them to the guests at their hotels.

    Important notes : 

    • We recommend guests conduct the test at least 24 hours before departure.

    • Availability of tests cannot be guaranteed by Wild Horizons 

    • Test Result times cannot be guaranteed by Wild Horizons

    Dusty Road Victoria Falls

    I started this blog with the words, “The first thing I noticed about Dusty Road..” and then my fingers froze over my keyboard. Because when I stepped through the rusty gate in the Chinotimba township, I was overwhelmed by an eclectic tidal way of colour and craft. There was no one thing to notice- in every corner an eccentrically beautiful feature jostles for your attention.

    Spinach bursts from the ground, stretching its green arms towards the sky as though it is trying to escape from its sandy roots. Flowers pour down the wall from tin cans, looking and smelling like a field you want to get lost in. An old pick up truck, painted vivid blue, stands proudly against the wall. The metal goats and chickens on the roof seem to be patiently waiting for the robot lights to turn green. If you look away for a second, it seems as though another quirky creation organically springs from the earth so that no matter how many times you walk through, there is always something new to catch your attention.

    Autentic Zimbabwean Restaurant

    Every step down ‘Dusty Road’ feels like a walk down memory lane. A small market stall is tucked beneath a sheet of tarpaulin, and a table laden with hessian sacks spill their contents like jewels from a treasure chest. Oprah, a small lady with a big smile, warmly takes your hands in her as she explains how they source and use the traditional nuts and beans. We sat down at our table, and a platter of starters was brought over.

    Indlubu and Indumba bean hummus on toasted Chimhodo bread is Zimbabwe’s superior equivalent to avo toast. The creamy texture of the beans put chickpeas to shame, and I couldn’t believe that it was my first introduction to the dip. It almost makes you want to march into the kitchen and start asking questions, but fortunately, there is a large assortment of spreads and nuts to distract you from any interrogations.

    I have to devote some of this review to Dusty Roads glassware because anything that makes me pause with a glass of wine halfway to my lips is worth writing about. Protea wine and Roses Lime Cordial bottles have been repurposed, and cleverly cut into glasses. Dusty Road is a haven for anything and everything that can be redefined and more often than not, it is more beautiful this way that in its original form.

    As someone who won’t do anything to an egg other than scrambling it for fear of what may happen, I found talking to Sarah Lilford, owner and chef, utterly enthralling. She crumbles a mongongo nut infused biscuit between her hands and explains how they have to experiment to get the textures and flavour balance right continually. She and her team are pioneers, artfully and passionately redefining the way ingredients are used. Their fusion of flavours celebrate local produce, but their ingenious techniques bring a modern twist to every bite.

    The main course is served buffet style. Long before the bell dongs to let you know the food is ready, a deliciously rich and nutty aroma wafts over, embracing you in its warm arms and tugging you towards the grill. Sarah’s sous-chefs confidently pile your plate up, telling you that you will love it because they know without a doubt it is true. And it is. Flames slick up through the grate, licking the pots of peanut butter rice, flame-grilled chicken, kudu stew and crocodile kebabs. Enormous wooden bowls overflow with different salads, from samp coleslaw to minty greens. Lights hang like golden orbs from the tree branches, bathing the tables in a gentle glow and an aura of enchantment settles over diners.

    To make some room for dessert, we took a stroll through the garden, before ducking into the curio shop. It was like we had stepped into an incubator for local artistic talent, with everything from chitenge earrings to homemade peanut butter. Dessert was a delicate assortment of chocolate, orange and mongongo nutballs, followed by baobab amasi cream with masawu and a mnyi berry drizzle.
    With an endless jar of biscuits, pots of tanganda tea, and quirky things to discover while you unbutton your jeans, it is hard to find a reason to leave.

    Zimbabweans will flock here because it feels like home. Tourists will come because Dusty Road epitomises what travelling is all about – experiencing a different culture through great food, people, traditions and décor. I also feel compelled to mention that I spent a lot of the evening fighting the urge to steal the glasses and plates. So book a table at Dusty Road now, before more people find out about this hidden gem and it the waiting list reads like a phone book. And also, don’t steal the plates.

    Autentic Zimbabwean Restaurant in Victoria Falls

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