Return to Travel – Zimbabwe: The Vibe in Victoria Falls & Ra-Ikane sundowner cruise

2020-11-10T00:36:24-05:00November 10th, 2020|

It’s so great to be back in Zimbabwe!!

The journey, while a bit longer than usual, was very comfortable and felt surprisingly normal.


The welcoming face of New Frontiers’ Bronwyn Bezuidenhout

After clearing immigration/customs (including showing an electronic version of my negative COVID test) and collecting my luggage, I was met by the smiling faces of New Frontiers’ Bronwyn Bezuidenhout and Imvelo Safari Lodge’s John Laing! What a wonderful welcoming committee!

After freshening up at the lovely Ilala Lodge, where I could see the spray of the Falls from my room, Bronwyn picked me up for the short drive to the Ra-Ikane boat launch on the Zambezi River.

The Ra-Ikane is a lovely boat, very exclusive and seats far fewer than the allowed number of passengers, and for our sundowner cruise, there were just three of us – Amy from Ilala Lodge, Bronwyn and me. The river was incredibly peaceful – we saw only two other boats on a two hour cruise, which is incredibly unusual. In talking with our guide, he noted that the wildlife had become a bit ‘people shy’ from the lack of tourism, but I must say – that didn’t stop us from having some fantastic sightings, including several very large hippo pods, crocs sunning themselves on the banks, Nile monitors, countless birds including fish eagles and African skimmers (a seasonal and much welcomed sighting!), as well as two elephants swimming across the river – an incredibly beautiful sight. It was an amazingly peaceful way to kick off the trip – less than three hours after arrival I was on the Zambezi enjoying what will surely be the most exclusive cruise experience there of my lifetime!

Coming back from the Ra-Ikane cruise, it was very noticeable how empty Vic Falls town was. Almost no one on the streets and not much open. It’s a bit more bustling during the day, but not with tourists, just locals. Many things are open – just on a limited basis. For example, the Ilala Lodge is open for meals for locals, so last night at dinner, there were 3 other tables dining out, which was nice to see.

I also had lunch at the well-known Three Monkeys where I had a burger of astonishing size. There were several tables reserved for lunch and while it wasn’t busy, it was as lively as anywhere. A number of restaurants are open for limited meal service (maybe just lunch or breakfast and lunch, or for special events), so there are options beyond the lodge for visitors.

We also made a quick visit to the newly re-built Lookout Cafe, which overlooks the Batoka Gorge and the Victoria Falls bridge. It was early morning so there wasn’t a soul in there except staff. But walking in made me want to sit down and hang out for a couple hours. It’s super cool!

But what I noticed here so much is the absence of things – absence of tourists, absence of hustle and bustle, blissful absence of the constant stream of helicopters hovering overhead!



About the Author:

Gretchen Healey
Gretchen is the Marketing Director for the Kusini Collection.

Leave A Comment

Go to Top