Day 1 (fly in from Johannesburg)
Highlights of the day: Zambesi River Cruise
Fly in from South Africa O.R Tambo Airport to Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe.
Picked up by Thompson Africa representative, Alex. With very little traffic on the road, it took us less than 30minutes to reach The Kingdom Hotel. On the journey, we learnt that Zimbabwe has 9 dialects with Shona, Ndebele being the most commonly spoken ones.
– 2 hours Wanuka Queen Zambesi River Cruise. Each entry includes beverage and cold munch. Royal Zambesi’s boat looks more premium.
– Dinner at Three Monkeys as recommended by our guide, Alex.Ordered pork ribs, croc skewer and greek salad. Huge portion for pork ribs. With local Zimbabwe beer and draught Castle beer, dinner cost 40usd including gratuity.
Highlights of the day: Victoria Falls Walking Tour, Victoria Falls Helicopter Ride, Local Craft Market
– Set out for Victoria falls at 8.30am. Stopped at 16 viewpoints. The ones that give you wide, unobstructed view are from the horse shoe falls and livingstone island. However it is likely to be very misty and reduce the visibility of the falls. For this reason, the viewpoint after Devil’s cataract provides best view of the main falls.
Entire tour took about , the guide will rush through the first few stops, but allows more time for the ones after.
– Visited local craft market, very pushy vendors, selling similar things. No indication of price, state the price you are willing to pay and bargain from there. Best to survey a few stalls first and compare quality of goods.
– Helicopter ride with Zambezi Helicopter. 12mins for 150usd pp, including hotel transfer. 12usd pp for park fee. Pricey but totally worthy. The aerial view gives you a fuller perspective on the magnificence of the falls. The helicopter can seat 4-6 persons. As long as you get the window seat, its good enough. Sitting next to the pilot gives you wider view but most of the time, the pilot would turn the heli for passengers to take photo from the side.
Lunch at KFC. 1 crunch burger, 2 pieces of chicken with fries. Total 6.50usd.
Dinner at Mama Africa, 5mins walk from The Kingdom Hotel. Crowd starts to arrive at 7pm, with the live music playing, the quiet restaurant comes alive all at once. Ordered Hunter’s pot antelope meat with rice and Sadza with beef. Food is served in authentic African 3-legged pot, stew like gravy with potatoes and carrot. Hearty and warm. Antelope meat tastes like beef. 38usd with zimbabwe tea, Tanganda, and a bottle of Castle beer.
Day 3 (fly out to Johannesburg)
Highlights of the day: Batoka Gorge
Took a short stroll from Kingdom hotel to the Wild Horizons Lookout Cafe. The cafe has an elevated deck best for enjoying the beautiful view of the Batoka gorge. It’s also where the bold at heart go for gorge swing and flying fox for the price of approx 45usd per activity. We ordered a cup of americano and earl grey tea to go with 2 slices of cakes with vanilla icecream. For the price of 12usd, it’s priceless experience at a minimal cost.
The Kingdom Hotel:
The location is of great advantage as it is within walking to many good restaurants, local market, souvenir shops, and 5 mins walk to the Batoka Gorge viewpoint.
Room is spacious and clean. The hotel is surrounded by a lot of nature, baboons and guinea fowls are common sight. Breakfast comes in international menu and has a good spread of choice. The only down side we found was the noise from the grass cutter in the mid day. Apart from that, hotel staffs were attentive and helpful.