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Victoria Falls | Travel Resumes | Wild Horizons

If ever there was a destination that assured travellers of wide-open spaces, it is undeniably Victoria Falls. The reopening of International Airports is a defining moment for the travel industry, and as borders open, we have the thrilling opportunity to escape to vast wilderness areas.

Over the year, we have had time to dream, and now it is time to move into the planning phase of your safari escape. Here is what you need to know about travelling to Victoria Falls.

International Flights to VFA per week

Domestic Flights to VFA per week

Airlines Flying to VFA

Although land borders remain closed for the time being, Zimbabwe’s domestic flights resumed on September 10, and International Airports reopened on October 1. This information is updated as the situation evolves, and schedules change regularly. Please contact Wild Horizons directly to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.

 

International Flights to Victoria Falls 

  • Ethiopian Airlines  flies Addis Ababa to Victoria Falls via Ndola on Wednesdays and Saturdays

Domestic Flights to Victoria Falls 

  • Air Zimbabwe – flies Harare to Victoria Falls return every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • FastJet – flies Harare to Victoria Falls return every Thursday and Sunday
  • FastJet – flies Harare to Bulawayo return every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

International Flights to Harare 

  • Emirates  flies Dubai to Harare return twice a week
  • Ethiopian Airlines – flies Addis to Harare return daily
  • SA Airlink – flies Johannesburg to Harare return daily
  • SA Airlink – will commence return flights between Johannesburg and Bulawayo on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays effective on October 13

Coming Soon!

Kenya Airways will fly Nairobi to Victoria Falls return on Mondays and Thursdays – effective from December 14.

Fastjet will reintroduce flights between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg from December 3, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays

According to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, land borders may be opening soon, and these are currently being assessed for preparedness. 

 

FastJet JHB - VFA

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Kenya Airways Nairobi to Victoria Falls

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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.

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 Rapid test is $15
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.

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Victoria falls bridge zambia

Zambia was one of the first countries in Southern Africa to open international borders, and air access resumed in June. Please note schedules change on a regular basis so we urge you to check with the relevant airlines for the most up to date flight details.

International Flights to Livingstone 

  • Kenya Airways  flies from Nairobi to Livingstone twice a week on Sunday and Tuesday.
  • Kenya Airways  flies from Cape Town to Livingstone return twice a week on Sunday and Tuesday

Domestic Flights to Livingstone

  • Proflight – flies from Lusaka to Livingstone on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday

International Flights to Lusaka

  • Ethiopian – flies via Addis Ababa to Lusaka daily
  • Emirates – return flights to Lusaka from Dubai will operate on Fridays and Saturdays
  • Proflight – flies from Lusaka to Johannesburg six times a week, every day excluding Saturday 

Rwandair – flies Lusaka to London (Heathrow) twice a week (via Kigale and Brussels) on Monday and Friday

Victoria Falls sunrise rainbow

Requirements on arrival in Zambia

Upon arrival, an airport official will take each traveller’s temperature, which should not be equal to or above 38°C. Each passenger needs to be carrying the following: 

  • A Negative COVID-19 PCR test, written in English and taken within 14 days before arrival in Zambia. 
  • A face mask.
  • A health questionnaire, filled in onboard to be presented to health staff at the airport.
  • Passengers showing symptoms, such as coughing or high temperature, may be isolated for further screening and testing.
  • Tourists are to maintain WHO COVID-19 safety measures whilst in Zambia such as maintaining physical distance, wearing a mask and practicing personal hygiene. 
  • Tourists are to monitor themselves for 14 days post-arrival and report any symptoms immediately. 

Requirements when departing Zambia

From 20 October, all travellers wishing to leave Zambia are required to have a medical certificate stating that they have tested negatively for COVID-19 in Zambia in the previous 14 days. To obtain such a certificate, travellers must take their negative test result to UTH Hospital, the Zambia National Health Public Institute, the District Health Office or the Public Health Office and pay a 200 Kwacha fee. COVID-19 tests must have been taken in Zambia. Holders of tests taken outside Zambia are not exempt from this requirement, even if the test was taken within the previous 14 days

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

Yes

What types of tests are available?

PCR Nasopharynx test

What is the cost of each test?

USD 150 per COVID-19 PCR test 

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

Approximately 5 days

Can the test be taken at LVI Airport?

The airport will only take and record temperatures. COVID-19 PCR testing is done at the Livingstone Teaching Central Hospital and then sent to Lusaka for verification.

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. 

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.

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.

The Best Time to Visit Victoria Falls

The BestTime to Visit Victoria Falls.

When it comes to travel, there is no one size fits all way to explore the world. Some people disappear into mountain ranges with just a backpack and book for company, while others choose to lose themselves in bustling towns filled with foreign languages and unfamiliar faces. Some will chase sunsets on tropical beaches while others retreat to snow-capped cabins with crackling fireplaces. We are often asked when the best time to visit Victoria Falls is, and the answer varies for every unique traveller. Each month offers something different, and every season unravels new panels of colour, the presence of different forms of life and a different, yet ever enthralling, rainforest experience. This means that you’ll have to visit us more than once, and preferably at different times of the year, to truly get a sense of your favourite season in Victoria Falls.

We love that every month of the year transforms the beautiful town and landscapes, revealing a new set of adventures for the different types of travellers. In burnt orange or glossy green, Victoria Falls wears each season exquisitely and we have compiled a calendar to tell you the best of each month.

View of Victoria Falls throughout the year.

January

Weather:

It’s the height of summer during January and it’s at this time that you can expect hot days, often resulting in spectacular thunderstorms. The smell of rain on dry earth signals the beginning of the summer months.

In the rainforest:

Victoria Falls becomes more intense with increased river flow. Visitors are awestruck by the Smoke That Thunders and plumes of mist swell above the rainforest.

Wilderness and wildlife:

The land comes alive in variegated greens from the lush grasses to leafy treetops that provide a delicious feast for tall browsers such as elephants and giraffes. There is a lot of birding activity in January as many nestlings are raised, but the wildlife is dispersed as there are many water sources throughout the bush from the rainfall, so it is not the best time for game viewing.

Activities:

The white water rafting generally changes to the high water run in January. Find out more about the difference between high and low water rafting here.

February

February is the month of love and with stunning, secluded luxury lodges, spectacular sunsets and the intrinsic feeling of connectedness that comes from time spent in nature, Victoria Falls is the ideal place to spend this romantic month. Old Drift Lodge and The Elephant Camp are stunning lodges in the heart of the wilderness with tranquil spas, outdoor fireplaces, and beautiful views. Romantic highlights at Old Drift Lodge include a private dinner on the jetty and a sunset beach picnic on the banks of the Zambezi. At The Elephant Camp, cocktails and Canapes on the edge of the Batoka Gorge bring drama and excitement to the evening, followed by a private dinner on the suspended deck.

Weather:

The rainy season is characterised by hot and humid weather with dramatic bursts of thunderstorms.

In the rainforest:

The waterfall is a thunderous roar with the Smoke that Thunders rising higher in the sky. Many rainforest flowers start to bloom and the grass is at its most luscious and nutritious.

Wilderness and wildlife:

There is thick vegetation growth in the National Parks and animals such as zebra look exquisite against the vivid green backdrop. African ebony trees come into fruit and the waterbuck breeding season begins. The National Park is dotted with many nursing herds.

Activities:

The high water rafting run continues. This is a great time for the Flight of Angels as the wilderness is a beautiful mosaic in every shade of green and the waterfall flows so furiously.

March

Weather:

The days are sunny and the nights are warm as the rainy season comes to an end.

In the rainforest:

Although the rainy season comes to an end the Victoria Falls is reaching peak flow as the river levels are so high. The mist can be very dense in the rainforest.

Wilderness and wildlife:

The summer rains mostly fall between November to February each year, however, the bush remains alive with flowering plants as the progression towards Autumn begins. It is not uncommon to see many beautiful blooms attracting antelopes that take advantage of the plentiful food sources. Kudu and buffalo breeding peaks and the migrant birds begin to depart. The grasslands are in seed and Baobab trees hang heavily under the weight of their Cream of Tartar pods.

Activities:

The rafting season usually closes in March due to the high volume of water rushing through the gorge.

April

Weather:

April is a wonderful time with warm, sunny days and crisp evenings. The beginning of Autumn’s chill starts to creep in so evenings spent around the campfire are magical.

In the rainforest:

The water from our catchment area in Zambia arrives and the Victoria Falls reaches its highest flow with an average of 500 million litres of water flowing over the edge every minute! The highest ever recorded was 700 million litres in 1958, but this year we expect to come close! On the 23rd of April, the Zambezi River flow was 4,086m3/s at the Big Tree River station. To put that into context, last year on the same date the flow was 1,034m3/s. The Victoria Falls will undoubtedly be incredibly breathtaking, and it is incredibly unfortunate that so few people will see it due to the travel restrictions. However, we will be posting regular video clips and photographs onto our Facebook and Instagram pages so you can appreciate the majesty of Victoria Falls from wherever you may be.

Wilderness and wildlife:

During this time, the landscape is still wonderfully lush owing to summer rains. April is also the month of the impala rut and many interesting sightings of these animals interacting, fighting and mating with each other are possible.

Activities:

The rafting is closed but this is a fantastic time for a meal at the Lookout Café, where the mist from the Falls can be seen curling through the black basalt gorge. You can still chase that adrenaline rush on the gorge swing, zip line and flying fox which are located next to the Café.

May

Weather:

May marks the advent of autumn with warm days and a slight chill creeping into the evening air.

In the rainforest:

The Zambezi continues to flow strongly despite the start of the dry season, creating incredible experiences within the rainforest.

Wilderness and wildlife:

Deciduous trees begin to lose their leaves leave a crunchy golden carpet on the rugged terrain within the National Park. This is the white-backed vulture and wild dog breeding season.

Activities:

This is a fantastic time to visit Victoria Falls as the mist is not so dense that it obscures photographic opportunities.

June

Weather:

Autumn gives way to winter and we experience warm days and chilly nights. Winter skies are clearest during May, June and July so this is a wonderful time for stargazing.

In the rainforest:

The water levels begin to drop slightly but the flow over the Victoria Falls is still very impressive.

Wilderness and wildlife:

Raptor courtship displays become more evident and the game starts to become concentrated near the river and watering holes and the grass cover recedes.

Activities:

Consider staying at Imbabala Safari Lodge as game driving and fishing is great during May. The rafting season begins in May/June with the low water run.

July/August

Weather:

The height of the dry season coincides with mid-Winter and the days are hot but you will need to bring something warm for the evenings.

In the rainforest:

The Eastern cataract in Zambia often becomes exposed due to low water levels of the Zambezi so to get the full impact of the Victoria Falls it is better to view the waterfall from the Zimbabwean side.

Wilderness and wildlife:

Mopane leaves begin to take on their distinctive winter hue of burnt orange and there is an increase in the elephant population on the Zambian side of the river which is the winter feeding ground for elephant from northern Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Activities:

This is a wonderful time for sunset cruises as the clear evening skies create beautiful stains of colour. There is also a chance that you will see elephant swimming from Zimbabwe to Zambian banks.

September

Weather:

As the season shifts into Spring the days become hotter and the nights warmer.

In the rainforest:

The Victoria Falls is best viewed from the Zimbabwean side. Right at the end of the rainforest is a rocky outcrop where you can sit and admire the geological details of the Gorge.

Wilderness and wildlife:

The bush remains golden brown, with dusty sunsets owing to the long winter. The spring rain has not yet arrived, however, the first glimpses of green shoots and leaves start to appear. Migrant birds start to arrive from Europe and elsewhere in Africa while the weavers begin breeding. The knob thorn acacia trees begin flowering in with the change of the season.

October, November and December

Weather:

October is the hottest month of the year with occasional bursts of storms that break up the heat. It is important to have lots of sunscreen and to bring a water bottle with you to fill up and stay hydrated during the day. The rains sometimes arrive in November but they could come later. It gets more humid towards December as the rainy season build up after the hot spell.

In the rainforest:

The Eastern cataract is largely exposed but this is just 400 meters of the 1,7 km waterfall and the other viewing points such as Main Falls and Devils Cataract continues to flow beautifully. The Eastern Cataract is slightly higher than the other sections which is why this short strip reveals the rockface behind the curtain of water.

Wilderness and wildlife:

This is an excellent time for game viewing as the wildlife congregates around the river and water sources. The Marulas flower and long-tail cassias display beautiful yellow flowers. Nature’s choir arrives in full force. Frogs of all sorts ring out beautiful melodies that harmonise with the sounds of crickets chirping. Along with frogs, summertime brings great tortoise and butterfly sightings. It’s also at this time that you can experience long fiery sunsets and windless evenings.

Activities:

October, November and December are excellent months for white water rafting and a swim in the famous Devil’s Pool above the waterfall.

What is your favourite season in Victoria Falls? We would love to hear your thoughts and personal preferences!

The Victoria Falls

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

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

The Last Straw

The world is facing a plastic problem, and it is snowballing- but so is awareness and determination to halt the crisis in its tracks. Wild Horizons has several strategies in place, and all of these have seen massive success.

Only a few years ago plastic bottled water was thought to be an inescapable essential on safari. Then, the world seemed to draw a collective breath as images of sea horses carrying earbuds emerged. A plastic bag was found thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface in the world’s deepest trench. Birds were seen nesting in shreds of shopping bags.

As heartbreaking as it is to think and see these images, our planet and our wildlife need us to realise the extent of the damage that is caused by these fickle, yet indestructible products.

 

Searching for solutions 

Our mission began when we joined the ”straw war”, banning the use of plastic straws at all of our lodges and on our activities. The next step was to address the use of plastic bottles. We installed water purification systems at each lodge and provided every guest a reusable water bottle that they could refill with fresh filtered water. We stopped serving plastic bottled water during meal times and instead we provide purified glass bottle of water. The initiative has been a massive success, and we are proud to report a 100% decline in plastic water bottle consumption in all three lodges, with not one plastic bottle of water being provided.

 

Nine million reasons to join the war on plastic

Victoria Falls has an average of almost 605, 000 international visitors every year. If each visitor stays an average of 4 days and consumes 2liters of bottled water per day, over 9 million plastic bottles will be discarded annually. Recycling programs in Africa are severely limited, and one plastic bottle can infest the earth for 450 years before the elements can decompose it. The enormity of the problem can not be ignored.

We need to change the way we think about plastic. When we ”throw it away”, where is it going? When plastic is buried, it does not nourish the earth. It leaches toxins into the soil, poisoning or ensnaring wildlife. The purpose of a safari is to appreciate the earth’s natural beauty, a pleasure and a privilege that we will go great lengths to protect.

Five tips to limit plastic waste on safari 

Most plastic products take centuries to decompose, which means almost every piece of plastic ever produced is still in existence… much of it in oceans or landfills. The small changes you make now could create a big difference for future generations.

  • Say no to bottled water, and refill a reusable one.
  • If you are concerned about water quality when you explore off the beaten track areas, take a Life Straw or Steripen with you to filter out harmful bacteria. Alternatively, do some research and purchase a water bottle that has a built-in filtration device.
  • When you go souvenir or grocery shopping at local markets, take an eco-friendly cotton bag with you. These are light and very easy to pack.
  • Many people who go into rural areas are tempted to give the local children sweets, but the wrappers from these are extremely harmful to the environment. Instead, take a box of fruit with you.
  • Avoid travel-sized toiletries and plastic-packaged toiletries when you pack. Instead buy a bar of shampoo, conditioner and soap with a steel tin to store it in.

If you have bought some new gear for your trip, remove any plastic packaging it may be wrapped in and send it to a nearby recycling station. Don’t bring it to the bush.