A few Zimbabwe questions…

Old Aug 14th, 2023, 06:57 PM
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A few Zimbabwe questions…

Hello! I am planning a trip to Zimbabwe for late October/ early November. Im a F solo traveler in my 40s. I’m happy with the lodges and plan my safari operator has put together, but have a few questions for those of you who have gone before.
1) what are the best activities in Victoria Falls and which can be skipped? I have three days/ two nights there. Are there restaurants worth seeking out or do most people eat in their guesthouse or hotel?

2) I’m getting mixed messages on the weather, and since I’m trying to pack as light as possible that makes it hard. I know October is the hottest month but is it ever cool in October/ November? I guess in early November I could possibly see rain? I was thinking bringing a sweatshirt or fleece and then a lightweight rain jacket . Is that enough?

3) how much cash (usd) did you bring per day for tips and extras?

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Old Aug 16th, 2023, 02:38 PM
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Regarding activities, the only cant-miss activities for *everyone* are obviously the falls from both sides. Beyond that, it's totally personal preference and there's no way anyone can tell you what's the best and what can be skipped. Only you know what you like and don't like. We're not into paying $200/pp for 5 minute sightseeing flights, but some people swear by the helicopter flyover of the falls. Some people love all the adventure stuff, but we think it's gimmicky. We really liked the Angel's/Devil's Pool, but other people may think it's too dangerous. To each his own. Research the different activities and see what floats your boat.

See our recent trip report for what we did in 2 nights there -- 9 Nights in Vic Falls, Okavango Delta & Cape Town: Trip Notes
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Old Aug 19th, 2023, 01:46 PM
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I was in Vic Falls in November many years ago, so my experiences might be out of date, but here goes:

It was hot with no rain when I was there in early November. I believe the rains in that part of Africa usually start a little later in the month. Being the end of the dry season, water volume over the falls is at its lowest point, but still impressive. Temperatures were comfortable for me, mostly low 80s F during the day. I took all the anti-malarial precautions, but didn’t notice any mosquitoes. That probably was because it was so dry.

At that time Livingston on the Zam side hadn’t seen the recovery tourism has brought to Vic Falls on the Zim side. Things that I remember enjoying particularly include walks through the park on the Zimbabwe side, where spray from the falls has created a small rain forest. One evening we took a river cruise above the falls.

Yes, Vic Falls is touristy, but if you don’t mind being a tourist, dinner at “Boma - Place of Eating” (I still remember that unusual name) was lots of fun. In the buffet line you had your choice of different meats, including game. I tried warthog and impala, iirc. The warthog tasted like pork, and the impala like venison. During the dinner was a drum show with entertainers in native costume. I had to laugh when I noticed one of the entertainers was wearing cutoff jeans under the costume.

The highlights for me were trips to Chobe NP in Botswana and Hwange NP in Zimbabwe. At Chobe NP we spent part of the day on a boat in the river, and part in an open sided safari vehicle in the park. Being still in the dry season, animals, particularly elephants and buffalo, were congregating at the river, and we saw literally hundreds of elephant that day. Our guide estimated we saw 1,000 elephants, and I don’t believe he was exaggerating.

More recently my daughter and son-in-law stopped at Vic Falls during their Cairo to Cape Town overland trip in a Land Rover. They stayed in Livingston, and enjoyed a micro light flight over the falls. I hope you don’t take the walking with lions tour. When these lions mature and are too old for the walks, they are sold to game farms and kept in enclosures for hunters to shoot.

My daughter, SIL and 6 y.o. granddaughter have just flown back to Cape Town to be with their South African family before flying to Namibia for a 4WD trip from Windhoek to Etosha NP. Right now they are enjoying a quick trip up the West Coast for the wildflower season.

Last edited by Heimdall; Aug 19th, 2023 at 01:53 PM.
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Old Aug 21st, 2023, 11:54 AM
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Thank you so much for all of the information! I will be spending 2 nights in Vic Falls and then on to Hwange and Mana Pools.
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