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Spend three nights in the town of Victoria Falls, the adventure capital of Africa, and witness the thundering 'Smoke that Thunders' Victoria Falls. This standalone short break has been designed as a pre or post extension to any of Explore's Southern Africa trips, taking advantage of the region's excellent flight network. Book land only or with the connecting flights, please contact us to discuss availability and prices.
3 nights premium lodge
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Join your extension trip in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The town, whilst specifically built due to its proximity to the falls has a certain charm and is full of restaurants, bars and shops and is known as the adventure capital of Southern Africa.
There are no included activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Victoria Falls at any time. On arrival into Victoria Falls Airport (VFA), a local representative will meet you and take you to your hotel on a shared transfer. You'll be provided with a pack specifying timings of your Victoria Falls tour for tomorrow and other useful information.
Depending on your arrival time, you may choose to explore the town, which is easy to navigate on foot, or just have a quiet evening at the hotel to enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Please note, this Victoria Falls extension is unescorted and is not accompanied by a Trip Leader. T his is a stand-alone extension and can be booked on any date of your choosing, subject to availability. Whilst this itinerary has been designed to complement a number of our group tours, we wish to point out that this extension is not a group experience, so you are unlikely to be travelling with other Explore customers .
Pioneers Lodge (or similar)
This morning you will be picked up by a local guide and taken on a tour of Victoria Falls. The thundering cascades of Victoria Falls is one of the planet's most spectacular natural wonders. Known by the indigenous people as Mosi-oa-Tunya, this local name translates to 'the smoke that thunders' and it will be easy to see why on arrival. The falls of the Zambezi River plummet over a sheer cliff wall that spans more than 1676m, dropping some 100m into the abyss below. During the tour your guide will talk through the importance of the falls to the local community and the history of David Livingstone 'discovering' the area.
This afternoon is free to explore the local markets and a great chance to try the Zimbabwean staple, sadza, a maize based dish often accompanied by a meat, vegetable or peanut stew. You may also wish to visit the office of Wild Horizons in town or their desk in the hotel to book an adventure activity in advance of your free day tomorrow. A full list of activities available is in the optional activities section of your trip notes.
Victoria Falls offers a vast array of choice when it comes to choosing an activity to enjoy during this free day.
For the more adventurous explorers, white water rafting on the Zambezi River is an adrenaline rush like no other! A helicopter ride over the falls is also a great way to take in the true scale of the waterfall and surrounding river basin. For those seeking wildlife encounters, the choice of a full or half day guided game drives is available in Zambezi National Park, which runs the length of the Zambezi river boardering Zambia and Zimbabwe. The park is well known for its elephant population as well as impala, zebra, giraffe and kudu. For those looking for more cultural, local experiences there are several options available, the reception team at Pioneers will be able to offer advice on all the options.
Please note, we ask our customers to avoid both elephant back riding experiences and walking with lions. Although often advertised as responsible or good for conservation, there is significant evidence that both of the aforementioned activities contribute to canned hunting, have no conservation benefit and are bad for the animal's welfare.
The trip ends today, check out time is 10.30am. Your departure transfer to Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) will be arranged to suit your departure flight time and is around 30 minutes drive.
Zimbabwe has a moderate climate, in the summer months (November to April) you can expect highs of 30 C° and lows of 20 C°. The wet season is from November to May when the days are typically dry and sunny with afternoon/evening thunderstorms. The best time for game viewing is September to October when days are dry and the temperatures are still relatively cool.
2 Pin Round
Please note: These activities are booked and paid for directly with either the hotel reception or Wild Horizons and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract. The excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Activities in Zimbabwe: Whitewater rafting half day US$120 pp, (dependent on water levels). Choose between an oar boat (only the guide paddles) or paddle boat (you paddle too) as you raft along the grade 5 rapids of the Zambezi River. Morning departures only, duration 7hrs. Upper Zambezi canoeing half day US$160 pp. Follow a qualified canoe guide as you paddle approx. 18km downstream on the Zambezi River. Morning departures only, duration 7hrs. Zambezi river cruises sunset US$53 pp. Experience the river at sunset from a cruise boat, with the possibility of seeing a variety of animals and birds as the sunsets. Daily departures from. 4pm for 2 hrs, snacks are provided. Sunset & dinner US$ 75 pp. Enjoy a 3 course meal as the sun sets and the wildlife settle in for the evening as you cruise along the Zambezi River. Departs daily from 4pm for 2.5hrs. Helicopter for 25 mins flight US$290 pp (+ US10pp park fees). View the Batoka Gorge and Zambezi River from the skies including flying over Vic Falls and game viewing along the way over Zambezi National Park. Daily departures throughout the day (dependant on weather). Game drives US$85pp (including US$15 pp park fees) for 3 hours. Join a qualified guide as you explore the Zambezi National Park, looking for wildlife and discovering the bush. Departures are daily, in the morning pick up 6am and afternoon pick up 3pm. Cultural village tour US$61 pp (including transfers). Gain an insight into Zimbabwean rural life from home life to farming tasks and meet the village chief. Departures are daily, in the morning and afternoon for duration of 2.5hrs. Please note that all activities are dependent on availability and local prices can change.
Clothing should be lightweight, however a warm fleece and jumper/thick shirts are essential, as nights (and daytime) can be cold, especially from May to September. You are likely to get wet when viewing the falls, so a raincoat is essential. Finally don't forget your swimming costume for the lodge.
Lightweight trail boots or robust trainers with a good grip, and sandals.
One main piece of baggage (a kitbag or soft holdall) plus daypack.
We advise you bring a water bottle, sunhat, sunglasses and high factor sunscreen. Bring a raincoat and a waterproof bag to store camera and electrical equipment as these are likely to get wet when you visit the Victoria Falls
Dietary requirements: Most restaurants and hotels in Zimbabwe do not have a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian choices. There is usually a choice of salads and one main vegetarian and/or vegan main dish on the menus, but choice will be limited especially in more remote locations. If you have specific dietary requirements we do recommend for you to bring some food with you.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Zimbabwe: Visas are required for UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. British citizens can obtain these on arrival (USD55), all other nationalities should consult their consulate. All passports must have at least 6 months validity remaining on entry and also have two consecutive blank pages in their passports which lie side by side when the passport is open (i.e. a left and a right hand page). If you intend to visit the Zambian side of Victoria Falls you will need to obtain a double entry visa for Zimbabwe costing $70 USD. Effective from 1 November 2022, the Government of Zambia removed all visa fees for British passport holders visiting Zambia, visas are issued on arrival at the border. When travelling via South Africa a machine readable passport is required. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
The lodge features two swimming pools, please note that there are no life guards on duty.
Please note that all travellers aged over 9 months old that have travelled from or have transited via a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission, will need to present a Yellow Fever certificate at immigration/borders in Zimbabwe for inspection. We recommend protection against hepatitis A, tetanus and typhoid. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria.
Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.