I arrived in Zimbabwe from Botswana with my G adventures group as I was on a 7 day tour from Windhoek to Vic Falls.
After the Tour I continued to travel alone in Zimbabwe.
This post is all the hints and tips you need for Vic Falls.
Where to stay
I camped at Explorers Village with my group, I then decided it was easier to stay there as I was comfortable and liked it. There was a bit of an issue as they didn’t have any accommodation so I booked Shoestring backpackers. At about 6pm they told me they did have a room for me. I then decided to stay there in one of their permanent tents, it was more expensive then the backpackers but easier.
I’m really glad I made that decision as later on in the evening I went to Shoestring for a drink and it was defiantly not my sort of place! It was really loud and had a party vibe and I was not in the right space for that.
There is also a backpackers called Victoria Falls Backpackers but it is quite far out of the town.
Explorers offers camp sites, permanent tents with camp beds and chalets. My little tent was very comfortable, it had a lamp and plug sockets and a duvet which was the most exciting thing.
The staff at Explorers were super friendly and helpful which encouraged me to stay. After experiencing terrible customer service in other African countries it was great that they had staff who were willing to help.
There are obviously other hotels etc, but they were not in my price range.
There are lots of activities that you can do in Vic Falls.
I chose to do the all inclusive river cruise which was lovely! All you can eat and drink on a fancy boat. I did the cruise in Botswana which was better for animal spotting, but I can now say I’ve been on a cruise on the Zambezi.
I did the Flight of Angels helicopter ride over Vic Falls. This was amazing, its expensive but worth every penny. I thought I would be scared as I don’t like heights but I felt safe the whole time. It’s so incredible to see the falls from above.
I wanted to go White Water rafting but unfortunately hurt my foot and there is a 20/30 minute walk down the gorge to get to the start. Some of my friends did it and said I wouldn’t have been able to manage. They said the rafting was amazing.
There is also a power boat that goes under the falls which I was also told was amazing.
A couple of friends bungee jumped which I think is completely mad, they both said they didn’t love it at the time but were glad they did it.
I plan to be in Vic Falls twice so am hoping to do the rafting on my second visit.
Actual Vic Falls
Wow, Amazing, Mind Blowing, Phenomenal, Unreal, just some of the words I would use!
You have to go into the national park to see the falls this costs 30 USD, you can pay in cash or with card (this is Africa sometimes card facilities don’t work). There’s a path to follow with numbered look out points. The day I went I managed to use my camera and phone without to much of an issue. I did get wet but kept my camera under my rain coat when the spray was bad. I didn’t feel like I got massively soaked and there was always a good view of the falls.
However, my friends that had been about 6 week previously said don’t take a camera as it will get to wet.
Where to eat and drink
Explorers – I ate here twice once with my group and once alone.
Pariah State – coll modern restaurant with a good menu.
Brewery – I went here for lunch which was nice, and for a few drinks on an evening, they have live music some nights and it looks pretty full when they do.
Three Monkeys – good pizza apparently!
Shoestring – bar is open until 12, they have a ticket system, you buy your tickets and then swap them in for drinks.
At the time of writing You could pay for everything in US dollars, and I read whilst in Zimbabwe that Vic Falls is going to become exclusively USD. However, whilst in Zimbabwe the government said that foreign currency will no longer be used and everything needs to be paid in the local currency. I am unsure what is happening in Vic Falls but would recommend taking USD. Most places you can also pay with card, but remember it’s Africa and sometimes things don’t work.
I would recommend taking enough USD with you, and if possible take more then you think you will need.
I didn’t try to get any money from the ATM’s but my understanding is there isn’t any.
The government want people to change their money through official channels but when I needed bond I was changing money with the money changers on the street. Always worth trying to find out what the exchange rate is from a reliable source so that you know you are not getting ripped off.
At the time when I visited (June 2019) the supermarket was priced in Zim Bond which was super confusing. Initially I thought it was priced in USD, which meant a bag of crisp was 14 USD! The price gets changed at the till and you could pay in USD. However, you will need o check this when you visit and I would advice changing money to bond.
The craft markets were taking payment in a range of currencies and you could also barter with items such as clothes. It is common to barter for the price of items.
The joy of Zimbabwe is things change all the time. One thing is fairly certain, you need to take money with you as you won’t be able to withdraw any in the country. As to what currency to use, that is something you will need to determine when you arrive!