When visiting Africa as a traveler, it’s almost essential to make a stop in Victoria Falls at one point. The Falls are an amazing piece of art by nature. However, next to it is the city with the same name. Let’s talk about that place for a second.
During my last Botswana trip, I did a stop at the Victoria Falls at the end. Just to relax and get back to civilization after spending my time in a multitude of National Parks.
What I hate about Victoria Falls
Let’s get into the bad stuff first. This way I can let you wash it down with the good things. End on a positive note my storytelling and copywriting teachers always said.
A bit too touristic
It’s the tourist capital of Africa, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Having that many tourists around come with its disadvantages, but also a lot of advantages. Think about the fancy hotels that are possible because of their popularity.
Everything is expensive
Being a tourist comes with a price. And that price is money. First of all, bring money from across the borders, since no ATMs are filled with cash. Secondly, the things there cost quite a bit. Especially the activities. Of course, rafting and helicopter rides are expensive, but asking a bit more money than necessary is routine in Victoria Falls.
Also with activities like rafting, it’s not possible to make your own photos. So they have an additional service in which they make a video and photos of you doing this. Asking $50 for a flash drive with the photos and video, it’s a lucrative business.
I was tempted to buy the flash drive though. They’re good memories to have and of course, the camera-man deserves to make a living too. I should know how hard it is as a photographer to survive.
I ended up not buying the photos since I didn’t clearly see myself in the photos. Although it definitely was me, it could’ve been anyone else too.
Everything costs money
Booking your activities is costly enough. Though, the prices are reasonable. However the transfers from the lodge to the activities are often arranged, they are not always paid for with the fee.
Most activities also require admission to the national park, which is an additional $10 per activity.
A lot of people trying to sell you stuff
On the street, there are a lot of people trying to sell you stuff. Statues of animals, activities, and their old currency. I did buy a couple of old bank notes as a funny souvenir. But after the 50th person asking if you want to buy Zim-dollars, you get sick of turning them down.
Take a taxi at night
I like walking around, even at night. In Victoria Falls that’s not really possible. Now, it’s not the fault of anyone. It’s just that it’s in the middle of nature. So wild animals do roam around. During the day that’s okay, they don’t come near. During the night, however, they dare to enter the city. So take a taxi for your own safety!
What I love about Victoria Falls
Good thing the love-part outweighs the hate part. It is a nice place to get a lot of new experiences and memories. So go for it!
A great place for moderate adventure
It’s not the crazy adventures of you sitting in the wild for days on end trying to find your own food. In Victoria Falls you can do the adventurous activities in a safe environment. Whitewater rafting with experienced guides, flying foxes, bungee-jumping, helicopter rides, it’s all possible!
I enjoyed the white water rafting a lot. At first it seemed too scary, but in the end, it was too much fun. I also visited the Devil’s Pool, which I can recommend. Obviously, a walk through the Victoria Falls National park is a must.
Great restaurants for the foodies
In Victoria Falls there is enough choice to go for food. I had dinner at the lodge I stayed at and at Three Monkeys. The food is amazing there, the staff is friendly, and the setting it very nice.
You can try all kind of food. You’re regular dishes or the local meats. How about some zebra and impala steak?
Beautiful hotels and lodges
Lots of tourists mean lots of money. Lots of money means a lot of investments in the hotels. When walking through the city all you can see are the hotels, but they are not the ugly blocks you sometimes see on European coasts. They are themed and majestic.
Nice park to see the waterfalls
Paying $30 admission fee is a bit. Good thing is that they invest it in the park. It’s a nice park, with interesting information placards at the entrance. You will learn all about the history, geography, and wildlife of the Victoria Falls. They also have a nice restaurant there which I can recommend.
In the park, you can encounter some wildlife, nothing too scary or big though. At the edge of the gorge, you get a nice view over the falls. Millions of liters of water spilling over the edge down in the ravine.
There is a little stretch of forest at in the park called the rainforest. I’m wondering if you can figure out why it has that name…
At the end of this little rant, I hope I was still able to convince you to visit this beautiful place. As a lover of the African continent, nature, and culture I think this is an important place to experience.
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