After a year of no travel, it was with some trepidation that I headed off on 2 flights: Cape Town to Johannesburg, and then on to Victoria Falls. Did the world look any different since last year? And how was one of Africa’s top tourism hotspots holding up?
A glamorous arrival at Victoria Falls
As per usual, Victoria Falls did not disappoint. Incredibly, a red carpet was rolled out for myself and our new incentive clients! Giltedge was literally the first site inspection trip that had been into the country in this time, and as this was a site inspection for a group of 100 … the town was there and waiting!
It was simply incredible to see that the Victoria Falls was still flowing considerably, even though it was the end of the season!
The fact that our clients had never been to this part of the world before made it a special experience; it was really like seeing the world through new eyes!
What’s Victoria Falls like right now?
Hotels were slowly re-opening. Cobwebs were being dusted. Rugs were being shaken and rooms opened as the wonderful people of the nation of Zimbabwe were waiting to welcome us at every stop.
When viewing hotels for a large incentive group, it’s quite different from visiting small luxury boutique properties. Many of the larger properties had in fact been closed for many months, but we managed to get full experiences at every single one that we visited on our site inspection. The amount of work, upgrades and sprucing up that had been done during the downtime was also very apparent.
Restaurants were in fact bustling during our visit to The River Brew Company, Three Monkeys and The Lookout Café. I’d say they were at over 50% capacity when we visited. The Boma Restaurant (Place of Eating) is still a celebration of food, love and entertainment. And the obligatory Mopani worms are available for those brave enough to try.
Highlights: Flight of angels & a sunset cruise
A couple of highlights during our trip was the incredible opportunity of a helicopter flip over The Falls – known as the “flight of angels”. It truly is a spectacular vantage point: showing off the Zambezi River, the Victoria Falls and the spectacular scenery below.
We were also given the opportunity of taking a raft float on the upper banks of the Zambezi River, which is a slow and easy meander through the waters (while looking out for hippos of course)!
Lunch was well deserved after this rowing experience. We enjoyed a stunning set-up in the shade of a giant baobab next to the calm Zambezi River to close off this morning!
A highlight for me, every time I visit, is the sunset Zambezi River cruise! I can’t recall where I’ve seen better sunsets anywhere in the world. There are many suppliers who offer cruise services but taking top honours every time is the Zambezi Explorer that’s operated by Pure Africa.
The time of lockdown was used by the Pure Africa team to learn, update, restore and just generally provide what is now a simply awesome and world-class experience. Owner-managed and run, there is nothing “local” about the cruise: from the refreshments, the snacks, the surprise jetty dinner and the overall service.
An elephant sauntering by our table during dinner was the cherry on the top!
We were sad to leave; but I will be back in March with my entire group to share the experience that is Victoria Falls, and that made the “au revoir” much easier!
Contact us if you’d like us to plan your next incentive trip to Victoria Falls or anywhere else in the world.