Vic Falls safety


Jul 5th, 2005, 07:05 PM
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Vic Falls safety

Weare first timers to Vic Falls and looking for adbice on safety of travelling to falls on pur own as there is a path from the hotel to the falls that takes 1o minutes to walk? Is this safe? I am a little paranoid about being accosted by beggars. Any advice
fallgirl is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2005, 07:59 PM
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I assume that you are staying on the Zimbabwe side of the falls. We stayed at Ilala Lodge which is about a 10 minute walk to the falls. There is a very nice paved path that goes from the main road to the entrance to the Falls. It is very safe. You will be approached by young men with carving to sell to you. Don't panic about it. We were very limited in our luggage for the next leg of our trip and had no room to buy anything. We found that if we sad "It's beautiful, but we just don't have room" they were happy. I found that the key was to say that the carving was beautiful, not just say "no thanks." The same was true when I walked by myself to the market to get a sandwich. By the way, there I did let a young man guide me to a good place for lunch and he even waited with me so he could walk me back. All he wanted was a shirt or two since he had just the ones he was wearing. I had a couple of T-shirts I was planning to leave in Zimbabwe that I though would fit him so I gladly gave them to him for his time.

The Falls are absolutely stunning and you will have a great time. The people are wonderful and I never felt unsafe. a couple of things you need to know:
1. Make sure you have plenty of cash, especially small bills for tips. The only places that will take credit cards are the hotels.
2. If you have a chance - eat at Mama Africa. It should be very close to where you are staying (just across the railroad tracks). It is very safe to walk there at night and the food is wonderful. Plus they have live music that was great.
3. You will need $20 (US) to get in to the falls. I don't recall how much in other currency. You do not need a passport even though there are signs that say you do. That's for local people who get a discount. Bear in mind that you may have to wait in line quite a while as they have to use things like carbon paper and ledger books - no computers in most places. Also, take a rain jacket, or plan on getting wet. We did the latter.

All in all, I have to say to you, and anyone else planning a trip to Vic Falls, it is very safe and very enjoyable. You can see so much more of the falls from the Zimbabwe side and the people there are desperate for tourism to keep them going. I know many people are refusing to go to Zimbabwe as long as Mabutu is in power, but the people who are being hurt are the local folks who rely on tourists for their living. Go and have a great time!
jcasale is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2005, 09:02 PM
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And if Mama Africa has live local music-- go!
tashak is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2005, 09:33 PM
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There actually weren't beggars there so much as 'entrepreneurs' pushing you to buy their wares. Simply keep walking and if you feel it necessary tell them a firm "no" and they will immediately turn to the next possible customer. I didn't feel they were very pushy at all, just a jaded attempt at every person walking by. You will always be with many other tourists so it truly isn't scary in the least.
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