We have arrived at our final stop on this trip and tomorrow we will see the mighty Victoria Falls up close. I’m definitely glad that I did the trip this way round – North to South – so that we finished with the shorter travel days and the better sights as I can’t think of a better way to end the trip.
Driving across Zimbabwe
We left Bulawayo very early, before 6am, for the long drive to Victoria Falls. The journey was along very well paved roads so, even though we were travelling half way across the country, it only took 6 hours to get there.
The fact that the roads were long and straight, with not much traffic, meant an opportunity for some fun photos during one of the bush toilet stops.
What is there to do in town?
Upon arriving in town we were given a brief tour to show us where all of the attractions are, including the entrance to the National Park, and where the best places to eat and drink were. We were then dropped at a local tour office where we were given a presentation about all of the different things we could do while in town.
The falls themselves are, naturally, the main attraction but there are lots of things you can do including visiting National Parks, taking a day trip to Botswana, helicopter flights, boat cruises, dining experiences, bungee jumping, tram rides, cultural experiences, and much more. I had initially planned to do the day trip to Botswana, to add another country to my list, but I decided that I didn’t want to risk another border crossing during COVID so close to my flight back home so I opted to spend the whole day checking out the falls before taking a helicopter flight in the afternoon.
After making my way across the road to our camp site – the Victoria Falls Rest Camp – I was greeted with the very familiar site of an orange Dragoman truck, which had been in Victoria Falls for over 2 years due to the company being in hibernation since the start of COVID. I’ve been on three Dragoman trips before, and I was initially booked onto a Dragoman trip to West Africa before it was cancelled due to COVID, and I love their trips so it was great to see one of their trucks on the road – even if in a bit of a sorry state with flat tyres.
I had upgraded to a private chalet for my time at Victoria Falls and the facilities were basic, but comfortable, and were all that I needed for my time here. The price to upgrade for the night on site was less than half of what I paid Intrepid for my extra night tomorrow night so they definitely took a significant fee!
An afternoon in Victoria Falls
The afternoon was spent exploring the town, buying a few souvenirs and trying to avoid the constant harassment by people who kept following us trying to sell us things, and finding somewhere to grab a drink before dinner. We settled on the River Brewing Company which was a great place and offered a range of drinks and food – I decided to treat myself to a cocktail to relax at the end of an exhausting couple of weeks.
The town itself seems essentially built for tourists and there isn’t much of cultural relevance here. Due to the large number of tourists the locals can get a bit pushy – just like they were in Zanzibar at the start of the trip – and you need to be prepared to be firm with them if you don’t want to buy anything. On average we were pestered by somebody every 30 seconds on the way to and from town, but this is to be expected in a place like Victoria Falls.
Dinner tonight was in the restaurant next to the swimming pool at camp and, afterwards, we were treated to a show by some locals who had been hired by Mambo to celebrate coming to the end of this segment of the trip. It was a bit stereotypical, and touristy, but I enjoyed it.
Tomorrow is my final full day of the trip and I will spend all of it checking out the Victoria Falls from both sides of the border – and from above. A few of us have decided to get an early start with the aim of making it across the bridge to the Zambian side of the falls to watch the sunrise. That should be an interesting experience.