A visit to Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

In Africa, En-Route, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel, Zimbabweby Janis8 Comments

And a stay at the A’Zambezi River Lodge…

Victoria Falls was our first destination on our Zimbabwean adventure, after attending the delightful wedding of my cousin in Harare. Yes, we were off to Matabeleland North, in the north west of Zimbabwe.    

The platform at Victoria Falls railway station , Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

The platform at Victoria Falls railway station

Gary and I opted to fly to Victoria Falls as it’s not the most direct route by road, the fun of driving on the Zimbabwean streets was being saved for a little later on in the trip.

And, if the chaos on the roads that we had witnessed so far in Harare was the norm, then it was going to be an eye-opener.

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Victoria falls from the Zimbabwe side, Zimbabwe, Africa

Victoria falls from the Zimbabwe side

We transferred to our lodge from the airport, and as we travelled through Victoria Falls town, it brought back so many memories from our visit 20 years ago. Had the town changed in those two decades? I can’t imagine the Victoria Falls themselves had, but there was only one way to find out.

A typical mode of transport , Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

A typical mode of transport 

A Short hop into town

The A’Zambezi River Lodge that we were staying in was in a beautiful location directly on the banks of the Zambezi River. It was around 4km out of town, which made it really peaceful, and they also provided a free shuttle service. Every two hours a smile would greet you and drop at various points in town, which included a stop at the Falls.

The view from our room at the  A’Zambezi River Lodge , Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

The view from our room at the  A’Zambezi River Lodge

We jumped off the bus right near the Shearwater offices, this is a company that you can book all your high adrenalin activities through. Although they do also offer more sedate options. 

The Shearwater Offices in Victoria Falls town , Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

The Shearwater Offices in Victoria Falls town

When we were here in 1996 & 1998, Gary and I were braver and fitter and headed into the Zambezi river to embark on white-water rafting. On those occasions, we had no hesitation of taking on the grade 5 rapids, although on looking back, it was the climb in and out of the ravine that was the most difficult.

The Victoria Falls Bridge,  Zimbabwe, Africa

The Victoria Falls Bridge

Perhaps it’s time we dug out the video evidence, just to remind ourselves….hahaha

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It’s those little things

While strolling around Victoria Falls town, we found that it was undoubtedly busier now, and also with a lot more shops. Though the same warm, friendly smiles were still greeting us as we wandered through the dusty streets.

One cool guy , Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

One cool guy , Victoria Falls Town

We regularly got stopped by the locals, offering us the ‘bargain of the day’, but they weren’t rude or hassling. Some of their crafts are lovely, they had the “African Big 5” carved in wood or stone, the choice was yours.

You could even buy a 50 billion-dollar Zimbabwean note, a reminder from the country’s hyperinflation days.

On this occasion we passed up their generous offer, it was early days of our trip. We purchased some great souvenirs in Bulawayo and Harare, later on.

A souvenir stall, Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

A souvenir stall

If you didn’t want to buy your curios and mementoes from a street seller, there were little shops and boutiques you could peruse around.

Selling leather goods, animal carvings, batik clothing and wall hangings, paintings and wire ornaments twisted into the form of every Zimbabwean animal you could imagine.

Good to know

Don’t be like us and miss visiting Victoria Fall Hotel. 

It was my fault, I didn’t realise you could just wander in and take a look around. We should have chatted to the locals before our visit and not after.

Victoria Falls Trading Post, Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls Trading Post

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The charm remains

We headed off towards the old railway station, it didn’t look like too many locomotives pass through here every day. 

The exit from Victoria Falls railway station, Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls railway station


Victoria Falls railway station platform sign, Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls railway station platform sign

What I find amusing is that the health and safety folk haven’t quite made it to Zimbabwe yet. So, people will just stroll across the dusty tracks wherever and whenever they want to, even we did (such rebels).

Ladies crossing the tacks at Victoria Falls railway station, Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

Ladies crossing the tacks at Victoria Falls railway station

The old railway station had seen better days and was a little tired in places. However, it still had the quirky charm and character, and historical evidence of years gone by.

Victoria Falls railway station ticket office , Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls railway station ticket office

Back at the lodge

We jump on the shuttle bus and head back to the lodge, there’s still time to relax and enjoy the rest of the afternoon before the evening sunsets across the Zambezi.

Oh, we may have also enjoyed a bottle of the local brew.

A couple of Zambezi beersat the A’Zambezi River Lodge, Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

A couple of Zambezi beers at the A’Zambezi River Lodge

I’m really pleased we chose to stay at the A’Zambezi River Lodge, the location just by the Zambezi river was perfect. The people were friendly, the lodge was extremely comfortable, and if you enjoy a swimming pool, theirs looked very enticing.

Janis at the edge of Zambezi  at the A’Zambezi River Lodge , Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

Janis at the edge of Zambezi  at the A’Zambezi River Lodge


Beware of the Crocodiles at the  A’Zambezi River Lodge , Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

Beware of the Crocodiles at the  A’Zambezi River Lodge

What a location

There were even some little friends wandering around the grounds minding their own business. I didn’t have the heart to mention I’d enjoyed tasty warthog fillets earlier for lunch.

Warthogs at the A’Zambezi River Lodge , Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

Warthogs at the A’Zambezi River Lodge

We stayed at the lodge for two nights, each evening it was idyllic, we sat and watched the sunset across the Zambezi river, and it just made me smile, does it get any better?

Sunset over the Zambezi at the A’Zambezi River Lodge, Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

Sunset over the Zambezi at the A’Zambezi River Lodge

Once the sun had gone down, it’s like the volume has been turned up and the incredible nocturnal African night sounds start to awaken. We strolled into the Boma and enjoyed a freshly cooked meal. The food was lovely and whilst enjoying your dinner, traditional Zimbabwean dances would entertain you.

TheEntertainment at the boma at the  A’Zambezi River Lodge, Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

The entertainment at the boma at the  A’Zambezi River Lodge

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Is Zimbabwe for you?

Take a peek at our other Zimbabwe posts for inspiration and start creating your own adventure for yourself. 

We chose British Airways, and it was all done with a few clicks, a brief stopover in Johannesburg, and our luggage was there waiting for us on arrival at our end destination in Harare.

Only in Africa

Although Victoria Falls has become quite a tourist destination, particularly for people flying in and out and not visiting other parts of Zimbabwe, it hasn’t lost that wonderful African charm. 

Warthogs were just snuffling around the paths, ladies carrying babies on their backs, balancing food and other belongings on their heads and old, tired out, trucks passing through the main street from Zambia.

It appears that things haven’t changed too much, after all.

This doesn’t look easy, Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

This doesn’t look easy

Tour the country, you won’t regret it

We flew to Victoria Falls with Air Zimbabwe, we’d heard mixed comments, due to reliability. However, I must admit, that other than it departed slightly late from Harare, the flight was comfortable.

Our Air Zimbabwe flight to Victoria Falls Airport , Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

Our Air Zimbabwe flight to Victoria Falls Airport 

We’re now off to Hwange National Park for a few nights to hopefully see some incredible wildlife. I’ll let you know how we get on.

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We’re now off to Hwange National Park for a few nights to hopefully see some incredible wildlife. I’ll let you know how we get on.

(These options are provided by GetYouGuide.Com. We will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you book through our site)

Inspired to visit Victoria Falls?

Why not stay at A’Zambezi River Lodge, not only is it set in a tranquil location out of town, you can enjoy a free shuttle bus to Victoria Falls.

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this guide! Its so interesting to see the town and not just the falls. Beautiful photos. Love this.#FarawayFiles

    1. Thanks Esther, I really appreciate your comments. Yes, I think the town does get overlooked a bit, people often just head straight for the falls.

  2. Really enjoyed this, I’ve never been to Africa and your pictures and descriptions make me want to! I would love to visit Victoria Falls one day#farawayfiles

    1. Thank you, it’s an incredible continent so diverse and the people in Zimbabwe were so friendly. Victoria Falls are breath-taking, you just can’t believe the size of them

  3. When visiting the falls on the Zim side, I decided to pop into town as well, before stopping by the Lookout Cafe on the way back to Zambia. I must admit I wasn’t too impressed, so it became a very short visit. Unfortunately didn’t spot the train station 🙁 #farawayfiles

    1. The town isn’t very big and can be quite busy at times. It’s a shame you missed the station, it’s a little bit of a blast from the past.

  4. Looks beautiful – I still have yet to make it to Africa! I think the beware of crocodiles sign would make me nervous! Hope the wedding was fun! Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles

    1. We’ve only been to Zimbabwe and Namibia and I would highly recommend both. Thanks the wedding was great fun.

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