New things to do near Victoria Falls
It's worth going back
Admittedly, what we’ve realised here at ATC is that our most hardened safari clients haven’t returned to Victoria Falls since the 80s or 90s, when guidebooks touted the roaring zenith of the mighty Falls.
The truth is, that between Livingstone and Victoria Falls town, a lot has changed over the years within the region surrounding ‘the smoke that thunders’. Having ventured there ourselves recently, we now know that there’s a treasure trove of new and exciting lodges and activities guaranteed to make you say “yes please, I’d like to try that!”.
If you haven’t had much of a desire to return or are yet to go, here are a few new things to do near Victoria Falls, which might just whet your safari apetite.
Take a Bike Tour
For a change of pace during your stay in Vic Falls town, how about venturing out on a guided bike tour? This circular route covers everything from Zambezi River viewing points, a visit to The Big Tree (baobab) and a stop to watch bungee jumpers hurtling over the Vic Falls Bridge. Being closer to the ground (and not stuck in a car), this experience allows you to feel better connected to the people who live here. Expect most of locals to greet you and exchange pleasantries with your guide en route. As you will soon realize, in this tourism town, everyone knows everyone!
Insider tip: This bike tour is ideal for all levels of cyclists. If you depart in the late afternoon, keep a wide birth for those gung-ho Zambian souvenir sellers whizzing back to the Zambian side.
Bed down at The Wallow Lodge
As the latest addition to the Wild Horizons portfolio, The Wallow Lodge is one of those new kids on the block on the Zim side of the Falls. Being settled right on Masuwe River, you’re close enough to watch herds of ellies arriving for their daily drink with little need to zoom in with your camera. Having visited recently, we love the layout of the suites, the sunken fireplace, and the overall relaxed atmosphere of the place. This is just the right spot should you want to feel closer to the bush yet still within easy reach of the Falls.
Insider tip: If you’re big on responsible travel, The Wallow Lodge has it waxed. There’s no sign of single-use plastic in sight. It also features suites with wheelchair access.
Support the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust
If you have a keen interest in wildlife conservation, plan a visit to The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust (VFWT). It includes a visitor greeting and introduction, a guided orientation of the facilities, and a chance to meet Judge, a rescued White-backed vulture who now acts as their official ambassador. What we love most about the VFWT is that it feels very genuine, with a talented group of passionate professionals hard at work protecting Africa’s wild animals. During your visit, you’ll also get to walk through the rehabilitation ward to say hello to a few furry or feathered patients.
Insider tip: There’s a donation box on-site, so if you’d like to contribute, remember to bring cash. The VFWT proves a responsible travel experience worth adding to your list of new things to do near Victoria Falls.
Check-in at Mukwa River Lodge
If you’ve already been to Vic Falls town, we highly recommend exploring more of Livingstone just across the pond, or shall we say, river. This sleepy little Zambian town features its fair share of beautiful lodges, Mukwa River Lodge being one of them. Raising the bar when it comes to luxury, this handsome hideaway really is something special. And aside from that gorgeous viewing deck and epic sunset cruises, there’s a well-stocked library, wine cellar, and a leafy garden complete with plucky little Leghorn hens!
Insider tip: This is a lodge that genuinely cares for its team, with a strong emphasis on upskilling and empowerment which you’ll witness first-hand.
Pop in for a pint at River Brewing Co.
If you’re a craft beer aficionado, don’t skip a visit to the River Brewing Co. But even if you’re not, this place is a real vibe, with a hearty menu and some solid tunes playing in the background (think Joplin and Hendrix). It’s the perfect place for that post-activity refresher, with the Elephant’s Walk craft market just yonder should you’d like to have a browse. Keen to get your toes tapping? They also host live gigs here on certain evenings – best check their social media.
Insider tip: Although the kitchen only opens at 12pm, they do start serving drinks from 11am. Their baobab-infused ginger beer proves an excellent non-alcoholic alternative.
Have a post-safari stay at Shongwe Lookout
Next on our list of new things to do near Victoria Falls is Shongwe Lookout, which offers an energized and discerning approach to safari-style accommodation. Owned and managed by a young Zimbo lad (Jamie Henson), it’s clear that he’s done his research on what makes travellers tick. The rooms are stylish and breezy, the coffee is exceptional, and the food is fresh and seasonal (no bloating or buffet food comas here!). Of course, the real treat is that panoramic view from lookout tower. It even features a clever pulley system to deliver your morning cuppa or afternoon sundowner.
Insider tip: Shongwe is the perfect place to wash off all that safari dust. The on-site spa even features a collection of nail polishes infused with African plants and herbs. How nifty is that?
Get your safari fix at Old Drift Lodge
If you’re wanting to return to Vic Falls yet still feel immersed in nature, we can’t recommend Old Drift Lodge enough. Here, game drives and sunset cruises top the agenda, with dinner served under a cathedral of stars. We also like that this canvas-style camp is unfenced, which allows for unplanned wildlife surprises like a warthog dozing under the main deck or an elephant slurping straight from your plunge pool. Although Old Drift is located deep within the Zambezi National Park, the airport is a comfortable 20-minute drive away.
Insider’s tip: There’s a family suite available for kids seven years and older. For added safety, armed rangers are on-hand to escort you to your room at night.
If you’re looking for new things to do near Victoria Falls during your next trip to Africa, you’re in the right place. Get in touch with our team here, and we’ll assemble an itinerary based on your personal preferences. As a tourism-reliant region still showing signs of recovery from the pandemic, your visit is guaranteed to prove highly impactful and greatly appreciated.
Big Journeys Start With Small Steps
~ African Proverb