INSIDER SECRETS: Our Top Tips for Unusual Ways to Spend an Afternoon in Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls town may be best known for its legendary waterfall that is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but as the gateway to Southern Africa’s best Safari areas, it’s also a bustling hub with far more on offer than the classic bucket list of tourist attractions.
Most itineraries have a free afternoon in Victoria Falls for guests to spend as they wish and while most visitors will stick to the well-trodden tourist trail, there is actually a whole host of lesser known gems for those in-the-know. We have personally compiled a list of some fantastic local hotspots to explore for returning travellers who are looking for something a little different and off the beaten track. Here are some of our personal favorites…
- Visit the Comesa Market – not quite in the centre of town, it’s close to the bus terminal. This is a real market for locals with lower prices than in hotel curio shops, where you can strike great deals on things like beautiful Chitenge fabric. Open daily from 8am to 6pm.
- Big Tree – one of the biggest baobabs in Zimbabwe and a legend in Victoria Falls. Estimated to be almost 2000 years old there is some speculation that it might actually be 3 trees grown into one, why not see and decide for yourself? It’s only 2 km out of town and a great place to buy baobab seeds
- Pizza at Zambezi House – The best pizza in Victoria Falls! This new establishment was voted one of the ‘Most Beautiful Restaurants in the World’ by Condé Nast Traveller. With idiosyncratic and elegant design elements, found on the banks of the Zambezi this restaurant is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon.
- Zambezi Truth Voyage – An intimate and serene journey along the Zambezi River. These handcrafted East African dhows embrace an ancient form of travel and are the only ones of their kind in Victoria Falls. This connection to history and the age of exploration is strengthened by an educational talk on the spirit and story of David Livingstone.
- Dusty Road Experience – A true hidden gem in Victoria Falls! This unique restaurant and cultural experience is found in the heart of the Victoria Falls township where most of the local inhabitants live. Experience warm Zimbabwean hospitality and hearty meals with a strong Zimbabwean heritage in this quirkily designed and charming restaurant.
- Art of Africa: Painting Elephants at “The Wallow” – Create your own beautiful safari souvenir while exploring your creative side. This guided open-air painting session has one of the world’s most fascinating subjects: the African Elephant. The art session takes place just 8 km out of town at “The Wallow” a beautiful elephant sanctuary that lets travellers observe the grey giants in close proximity. Painters are seated in front of the waterhole with the elephants going about their natural business and receive assistance from instructors if needed.
- Victoria Falls Bicycle Tour – Explore Victoria Falls town on 2 wheels, this relaxed cycle adventure takes you through the town and its outskirts with stops at various attractions. Feel the wind in your hair and simply apply the breaks whenever you want to stop and take a picture or exchange pleasantries with a friendly local. A bike trip provides a wonderful sense of freedom and is a great way to explore a new area.
And in case you missed any of the more well-known ‘must-sees’ on your first visit, here is a reminder of the all time classic Victoria Falls highlights.
- Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park – if you want to see the famous Falls on foot, this is where you’ll need to go. Walk along the edge of the gorge and explore the lush rainforest that is watered by the mist from the Falls. Depending on the fullness of the Falls you may want to wear a raincoat or poncho as your clothes could get soaked through.
- Historical Bridge Tour – did you know the entire bridge was constructed in England and then shipped in separate parts to Zimbabwe and assembled there in 1905? Learn this and much more on this interesting tour. A great homage to a fantastical feat of engineering that is explained very entertainingly by a character dressed in old fashioned garb.
- Bungee Jump – plunge into the abyss while strapped to a bungee cord, the perfect activity for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies. The distance that you fall is 111m and lasts about 4 exhilarating seconds. This bungee jump has one of the most beautiful backdrops in the world, the majestic Falls.
- White Water Rafting – navigate the rapids and earn the ultimate bragging rights, how many people can say they white-water rafted on the mighty Zambezi? Known as one of the best day rafting trips in the world the Grade 5 rapids are more thrilling when the water levels are low so keep that in mind if you’re looking for a wild adventure.
- Heli-flip – fly above the Falls and observe them from the sky. It’s an excellent way to truly take in their magnitude. Besides the panorama view of the Falls you will also see how the Zambezi River winds and curves and how the gorge dramatically zig zags. The shorter 13-minute flight is known as the Flight of Angels while the 25-minute one does a bit more exploring of the area.
- Art & Curio Market – A bustling market selling the traditionally handcrafted African curios that make excellent keepsakes to take back home. Browse, bargain and bring a bit of Africa home with you. You can find this market by the entrance of Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park.
- High tea at Vic Falls Hotel – cucumber sandwiches and cakes, a posh British tea experience in heart of Africa. You don’t need to be a guest of the luxurious Victoria Falls Hotel to enjoy this outing, just show up between 3 and 5.30pm. Why not put on a nice summer dress or a button-up shirt and make an occasion out of it? Pinkies up!
You can pre-book any official day-trip or activity directly through us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist with enhancing your Victoria Falls experience. Otherwise, visit our office in Vic Falls to book instantly. Find us at Shop #2, Landela Complex, Victoria Falls. Tel: +263 213 28 45127