Everything I Wish I Knew The First Time I Visited Vic Falls
The moment I stepped off the air-conditioned plane, the Victoria Falls heat wrapped itself around me like a heavy hug from a long lost friend. A smile broke across my face and I felt my muscles instantly relax- this was my third visit to the Adventure Capital of Africa and after having spent some spectacular time there, I have boiled my experiences down into 6 ‘Do’s and Don’t’s’ that I wish I had known the first time around.
1). Do eat a Mopani Worm, a local Zimbabwean delicacy
No, the heat hasn’t completely scorched my mind- you did just read ‘worm’. It may sound bizarre (and trust me, it feels bizarre too) but what a fun experience and an even more fun conversation starter! Crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle, the texture resembles a fried chip, but it tastes a bit like burnt chicken skin. Don’t knock it until you have tried it – visit Dusty Road or The Boma for the best Mopane worms in town!
2). Don’t forget your camera cover when you go to the rainforest
I learnt this lesson the hard way. During high water, you are engulfed by a plume of mist and utterly drenched the moment you venture under the canopy of rainforest trees. But don’t let yourself be lulled into a false sense of security during low water, because even then the massive cascade of water will send a sudden surge of vapour onto bystanders, and you don’t want to be caught with your lens out like I was!
Find out more about the different seasons in Victoria Falls here.
**Pro tip- Go to the rainforest during the afternoon when it is less crowded, and the magnificent colours of the rainbows are made even more vivid under the blazing sun. It is always a good idea to go with a tour guide who can explain the geological and historical significance of this exquisite natural world wonder.
4). Don’t schedule your time too rigidly
On my first trip, I underestimated how much there was to do in Victoria Falls. If you enjoy spontaneity as much as I do, make sure that you have cleared some time in your itinerary for the unexpected adventures that pop up, like a leisurely lunch at the Lookout Café after a planned gorge swing, or a slow stroll through the famous Shona sculptures in the curio markets dotted around town.
5). Do your research!
The Zambezi River levels fluctuate seasonally and dictate what activities are open. I have been rafting twice, once during high water and once in the low water season. While both were amazing, the sheer volume of water in the river corridor during high season mellowed the rapids out, and so this trip did not reach the same heights on my thrill-meter as the intense low water expedition. If you go when the water levels are very high, then you may find that the rapids are actually closed. However, other activities, such as the helicopter flight and the high wire activities are enhanced by high water because of that incredible backdrop created by the cloud of mist (famously known as the Smoke That Thunders’).
Get in touch with one of our Victoria Falls experts for all the ‘need-to-knows’ so that you can check off everything on your bucket list during your holiday!
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6). My final and most important do
Do go to Victoria Falls!
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