Victoria Falls is where I travel to get my adrenaline fix in Africa. There is an abundance of things to see and do in Vic Falls. I had a hard time choosing what to do first. You could make it a relaxing holiday but why would you when you could have the adventure of a lifetime waiting for you?
Vic Falls (Zimbabwe) is an under-two-hour plane ride from Johannesburg so it could easily become a weekend trip away from the city life. I flew via British Airways and stayed at the Kingdom Hotel. This hotel is the closest hotel to the Vic Falls on the Zimbabwean side of the border. There’s a private walking route via the hotel that will take you straight to the Victoria Falls.
Take a look at Kulula package deals. They are an affordable way to visit Vic Falls because let’s face it – travelling to African countries is expensive for us South Africans. I had really great service from the agents who booked everything on my behalf. I found a package deal which included return flights, accommodation and breakfast for a relatively affordable price.
Now it’s time to discuss how to get your adrenaline fix in Vic Falls.
The Ultimate Adrenaline Guide to Vic Falls
Vic Falls Microlight Adventure
Hands down the coolest thing I’ve ever done. Up in the air, exposed to the elements and only relying on a little microlight to make sure you don’t plunge to your death. If you’re keen on seeing the Vic Falls from a unique angle, then a microlight is the way to do it. You’ll fly over the falls on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides. You will also fly lower down to the ground and spot wild animals in the Mosi-oa-Tunya Zoological Park.
From up above, I saw elephants, hippos, zebra, crocodile and giraffe. It’s unlike any safari I have ever been on. The microlight flight lasts 15 minutes and was absolutely worth every penny. It was the highlight of my trip and I know in my heart that I’ll never be able to do anything as amazing as that again.
Book with: Batoka Sky
Price: $179 (the price I paid in December 2018)
Inclusions: Pick up from Zimbabwe border. Photos are additional.
Zambezi White River Rafting
Oh, the mighty Zambezi. Famous for being the most exciting and challenging river in the world to white river raft on. And it didn’t disappoint. The rapids were rough and unforgiving. Our boat flipped only once thanks to an amazing guide who navigated the waters with ease. Without him, we would have flipped on every rapid.
It was an absolute adventure rafting on the Zambezi. I’ve rafted several times before but nothing came close to this experience. Once the river calmed down, we could jump into the water for a little dip to cool off. Before venturing onto the rapids, the guide takes you to view and swim under the Vic Falls. The sensational experience of the powerful water hitting my face is a memory I will never forget. Once the day ends, you’ll visit a restaurant for some well-deserved lunch. I also bought myself a Nyami Nyami necklace to support the locals and to remember that I ‘conquered’ the mighty Zambezi river.
The Nyami Nyami is carved out of stone and is known as the Zambezi River God. Wearing the Nyami Nyami will protect the wearer from difficult times. I suppose I should have worn the Nyami Nyami before I entered the river because then we might have not flipped our raft.
Book with: Bundu Adventures
Price: $144 (10% discount if booked online)
Inclusions: Price includes pick up from the Livingstone border, snacks during the day, water, lunch, photos and swimming under the falls.
Zambezi River Cruise
Ok, so this activity might not be as adventurous as the others but it was still fun. The river cruise takes you around the Zambezi river, you can drink, eat and look out for wildlife. The sights are beautiful and it’s a great way to meet new people. I met some of the locals in Zimbabwe who were also visiting the Vic Falls and doing the ‘touristy’ river cruise as well.
Book with: Shearwater River Cruises
Rating .: 7/10
View Victoria Falls Upclose
So the big debate is whether to see the Vic Falls on the Zimbabwean or Zambian side. I had limited time to view the falls so the quickest and easiest way to see them was walking to them from my hotel, which was situated on the Zim side. To be fair – I’ve heard that viewing them on the Zimbabwean side is a lot more beautiful because you can see 80% of the falls.
So picture this, you’re so close to the falls that it feels like it’s raining. The water is dripping onto your face, the scenery behind you is lush and there is a rainbow right in front of you as you’re looking out into the falls. It’s absolutely beautiful. My only regret is that I didn’t spend enough time enjoying the falls up close for a little bit longer.
Tips on how to Live Your Zoi | Vic Falls Edition
- The adventure activities are booked up quickly so you should plan and book in advance.
- White river rafting is a strenuous activity so be ready for it. The rafting is tiring but climbing in and out of the gorge is a lot harder. Honestly, I struggled climbing up and down those rocks more than I care to admit. A high level of physical fitness is needed.
- The risk for malaria in both Zimbabwe and Zambia is high. Take your malaria tablets and bring along insect repellent wherever you go. Also, try to cover up as much skin as possible to protect yourself from those sneaky mosquitoes.
- As you’re viewing the Vic Falls from the viewing platforms, you are going to be soaked in water. Only bring cameras that are weather sealed. Also, having some waterproof clothing wouldn’t hurt either.
- South Africans don’t have to pay to cross the border. Crossing over into Zambia from Zimbabwe (and visa versa) is so simple. The official will stamp your passport and off you go. If you’re walking between the borders, you’ll cross paths with many interesting and friendly locals. Some are trying to sell you some items. Don’t try to haggle too much. The locals need as much support as possible.
- Don’t bring your groceries to the border as there are baboons everywhere. They will steal your shopping and there is nothing you can do about it. I saw several locals have their groceries stolen within seconds.
- If you need some excitement while crossing the border, why not bungee jump off the bridge? Shearwater Bungee offers bungee and bridge swings for you to try as you’re crossing the border.