Moeketsi Ndlovu is a 30-year-old chef who grew up in Victoria Falls but was originally from Esigodini, Zimbabwe. His family noticed his talent in the kitchen early on.
My Grandmother used to enjoy my cooking so she always encouraged me to become a chef though she had a belief it was not a paying job.
His grandmother was right about Moeketsi’s talent but wrong about there not being paid employment in his field. He was employed by Victoria Falls Safari Lodge as an Apprentice Chef in 2005. Moeketsi is now a head chef with 10 years of experience under his belt and says one of his accomplishments was winning the restaurant of the year for the Palm Restaurant, Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls for three years running during his time there.
On the 23’rd of December, Moeketsi opened the Wild Horizons Lookout Café as the head chef. The café is cantilevered on the edge of the Batoka Gorge and offers diners truly stunning views of the canyon and the Victoria Falls Bridge. However, the tasty and affordable menu brimming with simple, fresh flavours is what draws people. Moeketsi changes the menu with the season and loves to experiment with new dishes while still keeping the same value and quality the Lookout Café has become known for.
Planning a new menu has always given my career its challenges; playing around with combination of flavours, the health aspects of the menu and finally the costing which turns me into an accountant as well!
It is a technique that works and The Lookout Café has been an incredible success, garnering great reviews from international customers, and quickly becoming a favourite for local clientele. In the short space of a year café has more than doubled its seating capacity as a response to the overwhelming demand from the public. Much of this has been due to the innovation and hard work of the head chef and team in the kitchen who work hard every day to ensure the best food is served.
To young people wanting to become a chef Moeketsi says
‘…chefs have good job opportunities so if you have a passion for cooking it’s a fantastic job, but I repeat, only if you have passion!’
A helicopter flight over the Victoria Falls offers an entirely new perspective on a truly special sight. It is only from the air that the scale and majesty of the zig zagging gorge carved by the progression of the Waterfall over millennia are apparent.
The flight over the waterfall is nicknamed ‘The Flight of Angels’- a phrase taken from what Davis Livingstone said upon seeing the Falls “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by Angels in Their Flight”.
As you take off you first follow the incredibly wide lazy path of the upper Zambezi- an entirely different character than when it spills over the waterfall’s chasm and crashes through the narrow gorge. Then you encounter the majestic spectacle of the Victoria Falls- the entire width apparent as you fly lazy figure eights giving everyone a chance to view the Falls and capture the rising spray and plumes of falling water. It truly is something that gives a sense of awe- and in the helicopter you glide in such a smooth way that it’s easy to forget what is propelling you. To me, it truly feels like a magic carpet ride.
If you are taking a 13-minute flight, your pilot will then fly you back upstream and return to the launchpad. If taking the longer 28-minute flight, you will continue down to the Batoka Gorge. This offers the opportunity to spot wildlife from the sky as you take in the beautiful scenery of the Batoka Gorge.
Flights take place every day (weather permitting) from dawn to sunset. For enquiries and bookings contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.http://wildhorizons.co.za/helicopter/#6 The ‘Flight of Angels’ Helicopter Ride
The water levels at Victoria Falls are lower than is normal for September. This has resulted in the best viewing being from the Zimbabwean side of the Falls. The image above shows the two sides of the Falls with Zambia being to the right of the bridge in the image and Zimbabwe to the left you can clearly see how little water is visible from Zambia.
We encourage all agents with guests staying in Zambia to ensure they purchase a KAZA Visa for Zambia and Zimbabwe so they can view the Falls from Zimbabwe and avoid disappointment. There is still good viewing from the Zimbabwean side to be had but we expect water levels to continue to drop in the following months (until mid January dependant on the rains further upstream.)
One upside of the low water levels is great white water rafting. On the whole, lower water levels means higher thrill levels and more rapids in the river. 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. You can read more about what is rated as the best one day rafting trip in the world here.
Victoria Falls is a great family friendly destination. However with a full gamut of activity options it can be overwhelming to plan your trip. To make it easier we have rounded up some of the best activities for families. Of course, every family is different; if you have any questions or need advice feel free to contact us, we are happy to help.
Although it can seem like Victoria Falls only offers adrenaline based activities there is actually far more to do and see here- and some pretty exciting options are safe and friendly for even young children. The town also offers a convenient ‘home base’ from which many exciting activities are easily accessible whilst you have comfort and convenience.
A Cultural Tour is a great way to expose your children to different cultures and ways of life whilst still having fun. You can choose from many different options- such as a rural village tour, a township tour or a home-hosted meal. In any of these your children will likely get to meet and interact with local children while learning about their culture. Check out some cultural tours here or you can read about my experience on a home hosted dinner here.
The Boma Experience is a fantastic night out for children and adults alike. With a huge buffet that includes local delicacies and Western fare everyone will find something they like. And the evening will be filled with entertainment from traditional dancers to a local story teller and a fortune teller. After dinner, you can join in the drumming lesson- something your children will love.
A Zambezi Sunset Boat Cruise is a must do and a fantastic family activity. Cruises last on average 2 hours which is just right- not too long for kids. The boat will leave the jetty and meander through upstream through islands, while you enjoy the views and potential bird and wildlife along the banks. Most vessels serve snacks and beverages. Have your camera ready to capture one of the most amazing sunsets in Africa.
Tip: Ensure that you book the right cruise for you- some larger boats have a party atmosphere, others are smaller with an emphasis on relaxation. We recommend The Zambezi Royal. There is no minimum age on this cruise and children pay 50%.
There are also some activities you may not have expected would make the ‘family friendly list’ but I recommend many of the highwire activities for a safe thrill. My favourite for families is The Canopy Tour which lasts between 2 to 2 and a half hours. Depending on their age and size children can be harnessed in with their parents or go alone. The Tour consists of 9 different slides, varying in length and 1 cable bridge. Friendly and experienced staff will give a detailed safety briefing before the canopy tour and there are two guides on each tour so you will feel comfortable before you depart. It offers amazing views of the turbulent rapids, the Victoria Falls Bridge and spray of the Falls.
Of course, while you are here you will want to visit the Victoria Falls! Victoria Falls itself is a fantastic activity for older children in particular (10+). The safety precautions around the edge of the Falls are limited; older children will appreciate the beauty of the Falls whilst being able to also stay away from the canyon edge. For children small enough to be carried you should also be fine although be prepared to walk for a distance.
- Can be a long walk for very small kids so be prepared with a stroller or baby carrier.
- Safety precautions are scant along the edge so it’s important to keep you children close if they are young or to arrange for a half day of babysitting whilst you view the Falls.
Text by Sarah Kerr