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The Ultimate Guide For Your Safari in Victoria Falls

The Ultimate Guide For Your Safari in Victoria Falls

 

The world is stirring back to life, and Africa is calling. It is time to veer off the beaten track – to leave the confines of narrow walkways, to emerge from the clusters of building blocks and detach from the crowds of people. The nature of a safari in Africa and the defining characteristics of Victoria Falls have not buckled under the weight of the pandemic because exclusivity, space and nature have always been the epitome of a wilderness safari. We are entering an era where people will travel with purpose to places that protect and celebrate cultural and natural legacies. Adventurers are rewriting the adage, “Take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints”. Instead, we will go where we can make a difference and leave something good behind. A safari in Africa will fulfil our desire for meaningful, enriching travel that is authentic and enlightened. 

 

The Restorative Power of Nature 

For months, virtual safaris and digital diaries were our windows to the natural world. Live videos were an innovative answer to the qualms of quarantine, and they inspired an affinity with the wilderness and wildlife across Africa. However, desensitization is an unavoidable consequence of digitization. The purpose of a safari is to break down the barriers between humans and nature by engaging all our senses. The restorative power of a safari is stripped away when it is reduced to pixels that we scroll past.  

 

Victoria Falls is an immersive experience that calls to something deep within us. It will simultaneously calm and reinvigorate, replenish the body and soothe the mind in many different ways. 

 

Negative ions create positive vibes.

Negative ions are created naturally in nature when air molecules break apart due to sunlight, radiation, and moving air and water. If you have ever been to the Victoria Falls rainforest, you will have experienced the power of negative ions. It is an empowering sensation awash with a sense of euphoria and awe. Though the feeling may transcend words, it can be explained by the science behind negative ions. Though the words positive and negative usually collapse into their prescribed connotations, positive ions affect us negatively, while negative ions spark a positive reaction. During the lockdown, we have been plagued by positive ions generated by artificial light, pollution, air conditioners and technology. Now more than ever, we need the positive impact of negative ions and Victoria Falls delivers this powerhouse molecule in a variety of exciting ways:  

 

  • Explore the rainforest on a Tour of the Victoria Falls. The canopy of trees, plumes of mist, cobbled pathways and wild forest flowers harness the beauty of nature and the power of the cascading water. 
  • Victoria Falls is one of the only places in the world where you can see a Lunar Rainbow or Moon Bow. If you visit during the Full Moon, a nighttime trip around the rainforest adds a dimension of enchantment to the experience. 
  • Take a dip in Devils Pool, on the rim of the waterfall. The energy generated by the plummeting water will make you feel on top of the world. 
  • Go on a white water rafting safari on some of the best Grad Five rapids on earth! It is a thrilling and rejuvenating expedition that will have you walking on clouds for the rest of your stay. There is a high and low water rafting season, and each promises a unique adventure. 

Safaris stimulating creativity and reduce stress 

This year has been rife with challenges and demands, all of which have been emotionally and mentally draining. It has been hard to live in the moment when uncertainty lurks in every corner. However, mindfulness comes with little persuasion when the intrinsic tranquillity of the wilderness envelops you. Away from the white noise and daily distractions, we can organize our thoughts while we connect with our creative side. On an Art with the Elephant Safari, the sweeping scenery and stirring presence of elephant will inspire your inner artist and give you the chance to focus on the beautiful aspects of our world. You will feel more in touch with your environment while enjoying the benefits of sunshine and fresh air. 

 

Victoria Falls leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller

Travelling is just one of the ways we write the story of our lives, and it is also one of the best ways to hear stories of other cultures, beliefs and people. Cultures we don’t find at home; cultures that provoke us to think about the lives of others as well as our own. For traditional food and enriching conversation, book a home-hosted meal with a local family. Embark on a village tour, where art, history and architecture have not buckled under the pressure of foreign influence. Explore craft markets where ancient carving, beading and weaving techniques still produce treasures today. Dig beneath the surface of Victoria Falls, celebrate diversity and enable local people to share the benefits of tourism.

 

When you travel with Wild Horizons, know that a portion of the profits pays the school fees for over 100 children, support Old Age homes, clinics and initiatives that empower the local people

 

The freedom of structure creates a continuous adventure

When you leave your lodge on a game drive, you move towards a plethora of possibilities. Monotonous predictability has no place in the wild. Your vehicle will change its direction and pace after one crackle of static on the radio. Imprints on the earth direct the route, and the journey unfolds according to the calls and contours of the bush. 

 

The natural rhythm of life 

Hurried highways disguise the natural rhythm of life, but on safari, you will slow down and look up. A bicycle tour or horseback safari is one of the best ways to discover hidden gems in the National Parks. The feeling of connectedness you get from making yourself tune in to the environment is a vital source of health and happiness. 

 

Victoria Falls: Leave nothing to compromise

There are few places in the world where you will find such an eclectic array of natural wonder, adventure, culture and conservation in one place, but Victoria Falls delivers everything in abundance. 

 

Natural wonder

Victoria Falls has captivated philosophers and poets, and yet the Natural Wonder transcends the limitations of language. It engages all the senses, vibrates through you, and swirls in the currents of your mind long after you have emerged from the emerald canopy that frames the rainforest. There are a few things you need to know to make sure your experience is as spectacular as you have imagined. 

 

The Victoria Falls straddles two countries, Zimbabwe and Zambia. A 114-year-old bridge connects the countries across the chasm of the Batoka Gorge. The Victoria Falls is 1.7 kilometres long, and there are 20 viewpoints altogether, 16 of which are on the Zimbabwean side. During our low water season, the thunderous roar of the waterfall is slightly tamed, and the Eastern Cataract does expose more rock face; therefore, Zimbabwe does offer more dramatic views. Victoria Falls is spectacular throughout the year and on a guided tour, you will not only see the natural wonder but also learn about the fascinating geology and history. 

 

A different perspective 

  • Take to the skies in a helicopter to view the waterfall as the angels do. A Flight of Angels will give you a bird’s eye view of the waterfall and the zig zagging gorge. Time and nature have carved a massive crack into the crust of the earth, and from a helicopter, you can see how the landscape has transformed over centuries. 
  • Swim to the edge of Devil’s Pool on Livingstone Island and let the roar of cascading water engulf you! This activity is in Zambia, but a short transfer from Zimbabwe is easy and hassle-free to arrange. Be sure to check if you need a KAZA Uni-Visa to cross the border. 
  • Cruise along the Zambezi River as the sun sinks beneath its surface and the ripples reflect a golden sunset. The Smoke That Thunders stretches high above the waterfall, competing with clouds in the sky. It can be seen for up to 50 kilometres away! On a Zambezi Sunset Cruise, you will have an uninterrupted view of the mist while enjoying all-inclusive drinks, snacks and an introduction to the river. 

Take your body and mind to extraordinary places and let them humble, excite and awe you. It is easy to create a perfect day in Vitoria Falls.

 

Africa’s Adventure Capital 

There seems to be no limit to the adrenaline-inducing activities you can do in Victoria Falls, but that is not the only reason the town deserves the title of Africa’s Adventure Capital. Victoria Falls will transform every moment of the day into an adventure.

 

Every meal is memorable

Instead of a quick sandwich at a street-side, carbon copy café, have dinner on the Zambezi River, silently slicing across the smooth surface while sipping gin and tonic and dining on grilled Zambezi bream. The Malachite Dinner Cruise is one of the most popular activities for travellers in Victoria Falls.

 

Visit the Wild Horizons Lookout Café for a sensory overload like no other. The restaurant promises an iconic dining experience. Perched on the edge of the 100-meter gorge, this is undoubtedly the best view in Victoria Falls. This is also where the high wire activities unfold, so you can watch as adrenaline enthusiasts go on the Flying Fox, Zip Line and Gorge Swing! After one of their creative cocktails, you may be tempted to do the same. During the Full Moon, the mist from the waterfall drifts eerily through the lips of the gorge while the roar of the Zambezi rapids fills the atmosphere. 

 

 

 

Pay it forward at a local crafts market

Victoria Falls is dotted with curio markets filled with bright chitenge and beautiful beadwork. The Matabele sculptures are world-renown, and these are made in different shapes and sizes. Malachite bowls are dotted along the mat-covered ground, like stunning green flowers bursting through the earth. Roaming among these are intricate woodcarvings of rhino, hippo, elephant and antelope. Everything is hand made and unique, and when you pay it forward and purchase an artefact, you support the livelihood of the local community so that they can share the benefits of tourism

 

Ecotourism is about savouring the natural world to save it

Tourism is the life-giving force for the conservation of iconic areas. Ecotourism provides vital revenue to keep wilderness areas going, so guests leave Africa having made a lasting contribution to its legacy. 

 

Our lodges exist in harmony with the environment

Our lodges are built and managed in the most eco-friendly way possible, from solar heating to organic vegetable gardens, recycling plants and plastic-free philosophies. There is enlightened self-interest to tourism in Victoria Falls because without the wild, there would be no Wild Horizons and we go above and beyond to ensure that our presence enhances and protects the landscapes that have shaped our lives and careers. Our Environmental Officer monitors soil erosion and vegetation at all our properties, rehabilitating areas with indigenous trees from our nursery and eradicating harmful alien plant species. Annually, we bring over 1000 children to the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust where they learn about conservation, wildlife and sustainability. With the revenue generated from tourism, we invest in conservation and provide support for organizations such as the Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit and the Wildlife Trust

 

Safaris remind us that there is more to life than the view from your window

There is a feeling you get when you wake up in the wilderness that we can’t quite put our finger on—a sense of being wonderfully lost in a foreign place and yet totally at home. There are no crowds of people, just herds of impala, prides of lion, dazzles of zebra and journeys of giraffe. There are no city lights to distract from the scatterlings of stars and no traffic jams on the elephant trodden paths. 

 

The world is bigger than our computer screens and suburbs. It is craft markets and culture, rivers and rainforests, the ripple of a new language and the taste of adrenaline. In Africa, the true meaning of travel has not been buried under technology and tenacity. A safari in Victoria Falls will be the tonic we need to reengage with life. Get in touch to book your safari retreat today.

Zambezi River Report January 2020

Welcome to our first River Report of the new year, designed to give you regular updates on the Zambezi River levels and how this may impact various activities in Victoria Falls. We are happy to report the water levels are rising steadily and the following seasonal product changes should be noted.

 

Zambezi River Levels

The past few months have been a strife with alarmist reporting alleging that the Victoria Falls is drying up. Year after year, we see a natural fluctuation in the volume of water going over the waterfall; it is a normal and expected phenomenon that exposes a different yet equally beautiful perspective of this geological masterpiece. The only thing that has been unprecedented about the drop in water levels this year is the amount of negative media coverage it has received. As always, we remain at your disposal to dispel any queries or concerns.

 

Aerial view of Victoria Falls in January 2020

 

According to data captured by the Zambezi River Authority on 27 December 2019, 323 000 litres of water was going over the Victoria Falls per second. On the same date last year, this figure was 267 000 litres per second. To put this into perspective, we have drawn on Peter Jones’ example of the water supply to London and adapted it to accommodate the increase in water since his interview.

In a typical year, London uses around 30,092 litres of water per second.

Therefore, on 27 December, the 323, 000 litres of water going over the Victoria Falls could supply 10.7 cities the size of London.

High Water Rafting Season Begins

The high water run started on 10 January 2020 in line with the rising water levels of the Zambezi River. The expeditions will begin 10km downstream of the Falls, starting at the Overland Truck-eater (Rapid 11) through to The End (Rapid 24). This exciting section includes the Mother (Rapid 13) at its brooding best.

 

Hanging over Victoria Falls edge

 

Livingstone Island Update

Devil’s Pool will be closing shortly due to the rising water levels above the Victoria Falls.
However, Livingstone Island tours will remain open until the end of April/May. Angel’s Pool will close at a similar time to the Island.

 

Your Experts On The Ground

Wild Horizons endeavours to be your Victoria Falls experts on the ground and in some cases, from the sky too. Below is a series of aerial images taken on 7 January 2020. The video clip of Devil’s Cataract was taken on the same day. The water levels are on the rise and we look forward to sharing these beautiful views with our agents and guests when they visit Victoria Falls.
Please rest assured that even when the thunderous nature of the waterfall is somewhat tamed during the drier months, the Victoria Falls is a spectacular sight. It is, and always will be, a natural wonder.

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

 

Kind Regards,
The Wild Horizons Team

For Fun, Just Add Water

For Fun, Just Add Water (Low water vs High water rafting)

Richard Bangs once wrote that wild rivers are the earth’s renegades, defying gravity and dancing to their own tunes. Your first glimpse at the raging rapids that roll and churn down the Zambezi awaken the adventurer inside you, taunting you and seducing you. They beckon with their tremulous arms, teasing with their spurts of white water and daring you with their coiling waves.

The Zambezi is a moving, breathing part of the earth. It is the vein through which life flows and thrusts. Every stroke of your paddle takes you further than a vehicle on the road ever could. They say the first river you raft runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in you, the memories swirling like eddies in the pit of your stomach each time you remember it. The Zambezi morphs in shape and stature when the water levels drop or rise, yet each experience is exhilarating in its own way because life is simple- For fun, just add water.

When water levels drop, thrill levels soar. Between August and December, the river seems to be racing itself, plunging furiously between the lips of the gorge, cascading dramatically around very boulder and corner. It toys with the rafts with such precision, that every flip seems pre-meditated. During this time, expeditions begin at rapid number 1, the “Boiling Pot”. You take off from the white water rafting factory- the base of the Victoria Falls. The roar of the river diving down 100 meters of black basalt rock creates an ambience of adventure, purring at your inner adrenaline junkie. If you are after a heart racing, eye widening, and mind blowing rafting trip, then low water is what you need, and you have between August and December to get it.

During the high water seasons (January, February, March, May, June, July), gallons of water crash down the Victoria Falls, streaming into the thirsty gorge, and flooding the rocks and outcrops that form the rapids. When you dip your fingertips in to rippling water, you touch the last of what has gone before, and the first of what is still to come. At these times of the year, the river is more subdued, relaxing after a thunderous low water race. However, the sheer volume of water makes the first ten rapids unrunnable, and thus rafters will only tackle rapid 11 (The Over lander Eater) through to number 23 (The Morning Shave). As the water levels continue to creep higher and higher around March, rafters respectfully leave the Zambezi to her own devices, until they drop again around June.

Taking a tumble down the Zambezi

The Zambezi was designed by the dare devil in Mother Nature, and there is no theme park in the world that could ever compete. Contrary to popular belief, the river is not one long, frothing rapid. The “Devils Toilet Bowl”, “The Stairway to Heaven” and “Mothers Revenge” (just to name a few) spring before you in short, dramatic bursts.

The stretch of water between them is gentle and smooth- the calm before the storm. They are just long enough to allow you to drink in the incredible scenery and let the sun soak up the water on your skin. The soft slosh of water against the rafts is accompanied by exhilarated shouts and laughs that bounce off the walls of the gorge, as euphoric rafters share their stories and psych up for the next roller coaster. Cruising down this channel of water feels like cruising through a postcard. The most experienced photo editor in the world couldn’t enhance the beauty of the looming gorge stretching to meet the brilliant blue sky. Paddling through an exquisite crevice in the earth, flanked by indigenous flora and passing by inquisitive fauna, is humbling and breath taking in the same moment.
The Zambezi Low Water Rafting Season is finally here! LOW WATER rafting commenced 3 August 2017. Take on the Zambezi with Wild Horizons and the finest crew on the river – Africa’s Greatest Adventures!

6 Reasons to go on a multi-day rafting trip on the Mighty Zambezi

Multi-day Rafting on the Mighty Zambezi

Wild Horizons Launches Multi-day Rafting Set Itineraries in 2016.

Victoria Falls is the adrenalin capital of Southern Africa. There are a range of exciting and scenic activities on offer and the most famed of the adrenaline activities is Zambezi white water rafting. The Zambezi River offers what many consider the best one day white water rafting run in the world.
Even better than the one day rafting, are multi-day rafting trips, which offer not only thrills and spills but also the chance  to see incredible scenery, camp on sparkling white beaches and enjoy hearty meals under starlight with friends. In 2016 Wild Horizons has added set departures to our multi day rafting trips- perfect for solo travellers and small groups.
* These trips will remain on a provisional basis until we have 6 confirmed guests per departure.

27th to 29th August 2016. 2 day, 2 night.

U$572.00 per person


12th to 16th September 2016. 5 day, 4 night.

U$1188.00 per person


These unique experiences let you experience roaring rapids in the midst of narrow canyons and broad valleys with white sandy beaches. Camp is set up on these untouched beaches and hearty dinners are enjoyed around roaring campfires with new friends. Our team of world class guides will safely guide you through the rapids on our self supported expedition and explain the geology and fascinating history of this area.

Between September and November rafting is at its best with lots of grade 4 and 5 rapids.  These adventures are between two and five days long. The journey snakes through the Songwe and Batoka gorges. Sheer rock walls arise hundreds of meters above the river. It is here where one may catch a glimpse of the threatened Taita falcon as its soars above you.

On the longer journeys basalt rocks give way to grassy banks and the grunts of vocal hippopotamus carry across the water. Rapids are interceded by calm stretches of crystal clear water where you can take a relaxing swim and watch the spectacular gorges, thick with vegetation.

If you want to escape on a “real holiday” where there are no phones, computers or stress, this is the perfect vacation for you.

7 Wonders of Victoria Falls: #2 Raft the Mighty Zambezi!

The one-day low water trip is considered to be the best one-day white water experience available in the world.

This will be one of those days that you will remember for the rest of your life. The intensity of rafting varies due to the fluctuating levels of water plunging through the gorges. On the whole, lower water levels means higher thrill levels and more rapids. As the water level drops, so the river follows the contours of the river bed more closely and the white water starts to really boil and crash through the gorge. Low water is generally from about August through to late December. However Rafting these grade of rapids at any time of the year is a thrilling experience and definitely not to be missed. It can also be a physically taxing activity so ensure you are prepared by eating before hand and taking the long walk out at the end slowly; take as many breaks as you need.

Right now Wild Horizons is offering a fantastic Low Water special.

‘White Water Madness’
Insanely Low Price- A full day of White Water Rafting with Wild Horizons for US$120 p/p

*excludes US$10 p/p River usage fee. *Valid for 2015

Why Travel with us?

Wild Horizons offers one-day rafting trips and take their safety seriously:

  • Wild Horizons is the largest rafting operator in Victoria Falls, carrying the highest number of guests and to go with this they have an exemplary safety record.
  • Each trip runs with a guide per boat and a trip leader for the group of boats. Each Trip Leader has 18 years or more of experience rafting. 18 years! That’s an amazing amount of experience and all of the guides under him have at least 6 years of rafting experience, basically all this adds up to you being in the best of care with guides who know how to have fun and keep you safe!
  • Wild Horizons offers a hearty and healthy meal, as well as a great selection of cold drinks at the top of the gorge something you’ll appreciate after a day of rafting and the admittedly tough walk out at the end. Sit back enjoy the meal and enjoy the massive sense of accomplishment after the adrenaline high of rafting the mighty Zambezi.

Email info@wildhorizons.co.zw to book or visit the website to book.

What to Bring:

  • Swimsuit and shorts but nothing that water will suck away
  • A way to secure glasses to yourself or they will be lost
  • T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt for sun protection
  • Sunscreen and lip balm (guides will have dry bag for this)
  • Sturdy shoes or sandals. Your shoes must be securely fitted to your feet (ie no flip-flops) or they will be lost!
  • A sense of Adventure and the desire for fun!

See our previous posts on the 7 Wonders of Victoria Falls #1 Seeing the Falls & #2 A Highwire Activity