Victoria Falls is it worth a Visit

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Jul 16th, 2005, 12:27 PM
  #1
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Victoria Falls is it worth a Visit

We have 2 days to spare at the end of our trip to Cape Town and KwaZulu Natal. We a considering going to Victoria Falls but wondering if it is worth the cost for 2 days.
Any suggestions please.
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Jul 16th, 2005, 07:52 PM
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In comparison to Iguazu Falls in Argentina/Brazil & Niagara Falls in Canada/US-we were not all that impressed. It was a dry time when we visited and we were disappointed.
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Jul 16th, 2005, 08:10 PM
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Joybell,

I think it really depends on which month you intend to visit. My only visit was in mid March and the falls were spectacular. However, if you go between October - January, they are probably not nearly as impressive.

Personally, I would only visit if you were able to combine a safari with it. When I went, I spent 3 nights at Matetsi Water Lodge (a CCAfrica lodge) and really enjoyed being able to do safari activities (morning & night game drives and canoeing) and visiting the falls in the daytime.

Also, it really depends on where you stay. If you were to stay in a budget hotel, it would not be the same experience as staying somewhere like Tongabezi, Stanley Safari Lodge or Matetsi Water Lodge.
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Jul 16th, 2005, 11:35 PM
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It also depends on your tastes! I enjoyed Vic Falls and was glad I went there, but if I had to give up wildlife or bush time to do it, it wouldn't be a good trade-off for me. If you are extending your trip, that's different. I think waterfalls are nice, but I wouldn't give up one good game to see them, no matter how big they are...

Now if you really like waterfalls, it's a different story.
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Jul 17th, 2005, 12:46 AM
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Well, I have been to Iguazu and Niagara Falls and am sort of a waterfall junkie so I booked Vic Falls at the end of this trip to Africa, having never been there. I have to say I don't ever expect to see anything to compare to Iguazu. It is incredible. I am going in a drier time of year (October 1) to Vic Falls so am not expecting much. Hopefully I won't regret the time and money to go there just for that.
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Jul 17th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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I think it's worth a couple of days. In addition to the falls, the Zambezi river is very nice. And there are lots of activities like rafting, canoeing, fishing, or "adventure" stuff like gorge swing, bungy jumping, microlite flights, etc. I think it makes for a nice addition in variety to the game viewing.
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Jul 17th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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Thanks! That's how I was looking at it.
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Jul 17th, 2005, 09:17 AM
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I Visited Victoria Falls at the end of our trip and loved it. We went in the month of Sept.. Watched Hippos in the river.

We visited Livingstone island and that was a highlight.You can only get to the island in the dry season. It is right next to the edge of the falls.We booked a tour that took 4 of us out and fixed us lunch. We had time to swim and we could see the rainbow.Simply Beautiful.
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Jul 17th, 2005, 09:34 AM
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We went to Vic Falls for one night on our first safari and felt it wasn't enought time. We're headed back for three nights on our 2006 trip.

If you just want to see the falls, then I wouldn't do it. However, the area has so much more to offer: elephant safaris, river cruises, fishing, white water rafting, helicopters/air tours, etc. If that sounds like your thing, then I'd go.
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Jul 17th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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bwanamitch
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Anyone who did this breakfast on Livingstone Island?

Mitch
 
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Jul 17th, 2005, 11:35 AM
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Bwanamich,

It wasn't breakfast but lunch,that we did, but it was VERY nice!.
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Jul 17th, 2005, 12:28 PM
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bwanamitch
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Well, THIS is a reason to stay at Tongabezi. Beside this, I don't see any reason what the kind of accommodation has to do with a successful visit of the falls.

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Jul 17th, 2005, 02:47 PM
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We're flying SAA on Tue,. aug 31 from ATL arriving JNB on Wed, at 10:20am and leaving for VFA at 11:25pm. And staying our first 2 and last 2 nights at the Falls staying at the perhaps Vegas-tacky Kingdom hotel. (But it is closest to the Falls in Zimbabwe and just across the way from having tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel. AND our agent got us a great deal...minor detail ;-D). For us we decided our time and money were better spent in Botswana.
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Jul 17th, 2005, 03:08 PM
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Joybell,
I've visited the Falls a number of times and I think they're definately worth seeing. However I think they're worth it when combined with something else that takes you to the area eg safari in Zim, Botswana or Zambia. I wouldn't trek all the way up form Capetown just for the Falls for a couple of days.

As to the comparison of Iguazu and Vic Falls - I've seen both but I never thought to compare them. I agree that Igauzu is stunning and as a waterfall it's more varied and alone it's therefore a more amazing experience.

However, in my opinion one's experience of either Falls also has to do with how much more you found interesting in the area and for me there was no comparision between Iguazu (one stop shopping) and Vic Falls... where it's a stopping off point for so much more.
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Jul 17th, 2005, 05:57 PM
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bwanamitch,

I disagree on whether or not the type of lodging has anything to do with one's Victoria Falls experience. The more expensive places (Sussi Lodge, Songwe Village, Tongabezi and Matetsi Water Lodge) will be all-inclusive and have features and creature comforts lacking at more basic hotels and lodges.

I loved staying at Matetsi and being able to have morning and night game drives, canoeing during the day, visits to the falls during the day, a private plunge pool right outside my room and not more than 50 yards from the banks of the Zambezi River. The best dinner I have ever had while in Africa was while I was at Matetsi Water Lodge. It was a surprise dinner and it was close enough to the falls that the Zambezi River was really, really moving fast and served as constant background music to our amazing dinner. There were torches all around and perhaps three armed guards posted around for our safety or at least for our perceived safety!

The dinner was filet mignon, barbequed chicken, corn on the cob, baked potato, fresh baked bread, very good South African wines (and a full bar complete with bartender) and it was setup with white linen, china and silverware.

Considering that one is able to stay 4 nights at Matetsi for only $1,500 (stay 3 nights, get the 4th night free), Matetsi Water Lodge is an excellent value compared to most other places in Victoria Falls. Yes, it is about 45 minutes outside of Victoria Falls, but it is a true safari destination with plenty of elephants, giraffes, buffalo and I would imagine a few predators, at least in the dry season when they will be more visible than they were to me in March (2002).

Yes, the falls will be the same no matter where one stays, but it is the other activities that make or break Victoria Falls. If someone goes and stays only at the Kingdom Hotel or the Zambezi Sun they will enjoy one experience while someone who stays at Matetsi Water Lodge will have canoeing, morning and night game drives, possibly an amazing dinner in the bush as I enjoyed and included daily guided tours to the falls (if they so wish to visit each day...I went once and while I loved it, it was enough).

By the time someone staying at a less expensive place does a couple activities, the price will not really be too much less than Matetsi, yet the experience of staying at a 3* hotel will pale in comparison to staying at a luxury lodge like Matetsi Water Lodge.
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