I can’t even begin to describe our experience in Africa (namely, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and safaris in Botswana). Majestic waterfalls, stunning sunsets, kind people and beautiful animals are just a few words I could use to describe the trip. All I can say is that Bench Africa did an amazing job to put together the perfect itinerary that was just enough to leave us wanting to see more.
The trip overall was quite pricey – because there isn’t really a ‘mid-range’ travel budget for Africa – but every penny was worth it.
We flew to Victoria Falls on South African Airways from Johannesburg which was perfectly fine although a bit of a bumpy landing…. Vic Falls felt much like a tourist village but there are plenty of local people around too. The country isn’t doing very well economically so there are a lot of local people outside the hotel complex who will try to sell you wooden items or old bank notes which can be a bit intimidating. But mostly they are harmless and trying to earn some money to survive.
We stayed at the Kingdom Hotel which was surprisingly lovely with a Lion King sort of jungle theme.
On our first day we crossed the border to Botswana for a Chobe National Park day trip with Wild Horizons. This included a boat cruise on the Chobe River, lunch at a hotel and a game drive in the afternoon. This was a tamer game drive compared to what we experienced later in the camps in Botswana. In fact, this didn’t set us up for just how close to the animals we got later… Here are a few photos from our Chobe day trip but I’ll save the other animal photos for the posts about the next leg of our trip.
On our second day we visited Victoria Falls. We walked for about 2 hours and admired the majestic falls from different vantage points. The water was powerful during the first leg of the walk and there was ‘mist’ shrouding the view. It felt like walking through a shower of rain at times.
It was interesting to see the water become less powerful and ‘misty’ as we walked towards the bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Afterwards we had lunch at the Lookout Cafe (also by Wild Horizons) where you eat lunch and gaze at this magnificent gorge and the bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia in the distance.
We were able to walk back to our hotel (which meant I passed my 10,000 steps for the day!), showered, got dressed up again and walked over to the next hotel which happened to be the famous Victoria Falls Hotel. We didn’t have the high tea but we had some food and roobois tea instead. The view and atmosphere were great here, and I would love to do the high tea the next time I go!
In the evening we went on a Zambezi River Cruise which included a romantic dinner later in the evening just for the two of us. Our view was of Zambia on the other side of the river. We were so close that we could hear the loud music from a party in Zambia!
It was the perfect way to end our time in Victoria Falls and in Zimbabwe.