Loved Victoria Falls
by Raymond Hill
My wife Brenda and I spent three nights in Victoria Falls this past Febuary 2009 staying at the fabulous Ilala Lodge.
Our stay in Zimbabwe and Botswana were the highlight of our month in Southern Africa. The quality of food, kindness of staff, and the comfort and intimatcy of the Ilala Lodge made our stay great.
We booked this tour through Thompsons Africa at Embassy Travel in Cape Town the day before we left as credit cards at the moment don't work in Zimbabwe. The tour included room, meals (dine around option), and Tick-it to Adventure (three activities)and all transfers. I have to say I was very impressed as the whole tour was very professionally organized and we did not have to worry about having a lot of cash with us.
We did the Boma at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge for dinner and enjoyed the food and entertainment so much we went a second time, it is a must do.
As for the activities we did the evening cruise which was great, a helicopter flip over the falls which is the only way to see them, and finally whitewater rafting on the Zambezi River. The rafting was one of the best things I have ever done, but beware the climb in and out of the Gorge is not for the week and timid. It is a must do though if you can handle the climbing.
Our only problem there was making sure we didn't run out of small US bills, take lots of ones with you for tips, etc.
Victoria Falls themselves are fantastic, a beautiful park takes about two hours, ten minute walk from the Ilala and costs twenty dollars US cash to get in. It is only a single entry but that is usually enough of a visit. You get quite wet so take an umbrella from the hotel, they rent raincoats at the falls also but we chose to stay with the umbrella as it was quite warm that day and a raincoat would have been to hot.
Vic Falls is also the place to buy curios but be warned they can be persistant as they are desparate for more tourist. There is lots to buy and the quality is great, fun to deal and they will take cloths, toiletries, etc. with cash for their carvings. If you don't want to brave the throngs of salesmen they have these very friendly tourist police that will go with you. They wear yellow vest and are also great guides, tip them well they really need the money.
The Zimbabwean people are some of the most friendly I have ever met, don't be afraid to ask them questions as they love their country. The tourist police I had took me on a nice walk to a very big and famous boabab tree, bit of a walk but worth seeing.
As you can tell from my review three days was not nearly enough. Their economy is in shambles but they make up for it in spades. My wife Brenda and I could not have had a better time. Thankyou Vic Falls.
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