Zimbabwe in Africa, home to the world’s largest waterfall, had long been on my seemingly endless list of places to visit and last year I finally managed to persuade a group of friends to come with me for an action packed, adrenaline fuelled ten days starting in Victoria Falls and ending our trip in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital.
There are plenty of ways to see the spectacular Victoria Falls but as an active twenty two year old who is always keen for a challenge I decided to book a bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge which straddles Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Marvelling at the view of the waterfalls I couldn’t help but feel a little bit sick as I looked down 111 metres below me. This was to be my first bungee jump (and hopefully not my last!).Thankfully my jump went smoothly and words can’t quite describe just how it felt to free fall over one of the natural wonders of the world.
The National Park really does offer something for everyone and after bungee jumping we gave ourselves a bit of time to unwind on a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River. This gave us a chance to relax with a three course meal and wine whilst seeing hippos and elephants in their natural habitat.
Having seen the animals from afar we were keen for the chance to get a bit closer to them and booked ourselves an elephant back safari for one day. As a group of animal lovers this experience was ideal for us as it meant that we got the chance to interact with the elephants, helping feed and wash them whilst taking in the beautiful scenery around us – looking out for the rest of the big five on the way: that’s the lion, the Cape buffalo, the leopard and the rhinoceros to you and myself (the fifth being the elephant!).
After such active days it always felt good getting back to our base for our stay, the beautiful Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. Due to its proximity to a local waterhole we were lucky enough to see animals coming up to drink from the comfort of our room or from one of the hotel’s three restaurants. Having never sampled African cuisine, or more specifically Zimbabwean cuisine I was keen to taste some African dishes at ‘The Boma’ restaurant which means ‘the place of eating.’ Our dining experience here gave us an incredible insight into life in Zimbabwe as we took part in a hand washing ceremony before sampling the cuisine.
Feeling adventurous I tucked into some potjiekos (a traditional hunters stew) and followed that with some mopane worm in peanut butter! Although not what I’m accustomed to eating at home back in the great British Isles, both dishes were unique and were actually very tasty. After our meal we were invited to join a Sangoma, a traditional story teller where we were able to learn even more about the Zimbabwean culture and heritage.
Having seen as much as we could in Victoria Falls we ventured east towards Harare. Harare is a Shona word meaning ‘one who does not sleep’ however this didn’t seem to be the case in Harare… Although a hustling and bustling city by day, at night the city is far sleepier with a laid back vibe and most bars close at 11pm. We spent a couple of days exploring the city, visiting the Parliament, the art gallery and indulging in a spot of retail therapy. We spent a particularly enjoyable evening at the Victoria 22 restaurant followed by a few drinks at one of Harare’s bars.
All in all Zimbabwe offered us the perfect getaway – lots of adventure, lots of culture, fabulous food and unparalleled scenery. Without a shadow of a doubt we will definitely return….
My thanks for this article to Mydestinationinfo.com for Zimbawe, your comprehensive guide to all things Zimbawe, written by travel writer Sophie Fraser
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