Wild Horizons Lookout Cafe – Update

Wild Horizons Lookout Cafe – Update (24 April 2019)

When flames engulfed and devastated the Wild Horizons Lookout Café, it was a searing loss for the town of Victoria Falls. While we have been working tirelessly on the reconstruction of this iconic restaurant, due to circumstances beyond our control, the process has encountered numerous hindrances along the way. For this reason, we have regretfully had to postpone the opening date to 1 December 2019.

 

Herewith please find a brief description of the new café as well as important quick facts:-
Perched on the rim of the Batoka Gorge, Wild Horizons Lookout Café is a fusion of spectacular views and exquisite food. The African Contemporary styled restaurant is designed to emphasise its unique panoramic view of the Victoria Falls Bridge and Batoka Gorges, which form part of the spectacular backdrop. Recycled and eco friendly material has been used throughout the rebuild of The Lookout ensuring it is infused with the Wild Horizons conservation ethos. With a mouthwatering menu, a lively selection of cocktails, and the best view in Victoria Falls, the dining experience promises to be a sensory overload.

AMBIENCE: Casual, Child-Friendly, Classic, Meal with a View
CUISINE: African / Local, Contemporary, International
FACILITIES: We only accept Visa and Mastercard, Bar, Licensed, Parking, Vegetarian, Wheelchair Access
WIFI: Free
SEATING: Outside terrace x 60; Indoor x 140; Lower deck (cocktail and canapé area) x 60
OPENING HOURS: Open daily from 08h00 to 22h00 (freshly baked muffins available daily from 08h00).
BREAKFAST: No breakfast during the week unless prebooked.
Saturday & Sunday 08h00 – 10h00
LUNCH: 10h00 to 16h00
SNACK MENU: 16h00 – 18h30
DINNER: 18h30 – 22h00 (last food orders at 21h00)

Aerial view of the rebuilt Lookout Cafe

Home Hosted Dinner

Last night – the 4th of June – I had the pleasure of experiencing the Home-Hosted Dinners that are available in Victoria Falls for tourists and locals alike. There is a small handful of families and hosts/hostesses that open their homes up to visitors who are looking for an authentic and personal traditional dining experience in one of the two high-density suburbs in Victoria Falls – Chinotimba or Mkhosana.

These families then prepare a traditional spread and treat their visitors to a warm welcoming home cooked meal of sadza (a traditional maize meal similar to polenta), chicken or beef stew, kail (a variety of spinach), carrots, green beans, kapenta (whitebait fish), and last but not least, a traditional favourite dried Mopani worms – known as macimbi in the local Ndebele language. 


There are a handful of these dinners that occur every Wednesday evening across the two townships, and what I found most interesting is the conversation that was shared between the visitors (who are just absolutely fascinated by the traditional cuisine) and the hosts/hostesses – who gladly share, teach and explain the traditional township customs to the visitors – who on this occasion all happened to be from the USA. 

One of the comments which I could not help but giggle at was one that went along the lines of “Goodness! – I can’t believe how well behaved your kids are!” 

Some of the families hosting the dinners have up to around 8 children and grandchildren living with them and indeed their behaviour was something to behold when compared to Western-world standards! It was an evening full of questions, answers, laughter and chit-chat, all of the guests seemed to thoroughly enjoy their traditional meals, and some of them were even brave enough to try out a dried Mopani worm or two!


Some may express concern about the safety aspect of having Westerners wonder through these parts of town – to them I simply say “try it and see!”. All of the visitors who I spoke to were taken hugely by surprise at how relaxed, welcoming and happy the vibe is, unlike other parts of the world. Crime is very minimal in Victoria Falls, probably because of the nature of the people, who seem to have a really laid-back, loving, humorous and friendly approach to life.

A Home-Hosted Dinner (or lunch, they also do lunches) is truly a must-do activity if you are keen to really immerse yourself into local customs, cuisine and culture. The vibe of these suburbs in the early evening really is a unique experience – the sights, sounds and smells of fires, evening church bands, urban chatter and of course the beautiful night-views over Livingstone which can be glimpsed at certain high points in the townships really do make for a fulfilling cultural experience. A huge thanks go out to the welcoming host families for opening up their homes in the name of cross-cultural education, experience, fun and food!