Curated wildlife experiences at Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls River Lodge (Zambezi Crescent) • 11 July 2023

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Apart from the magnificence of the Victoria Falls themselves, there is incredible natural beauty to be experienced in areas adjacent to the upper reaches of the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe.   The Zambezi National Park extends upstream from the Falls and provides wonderful game-viewing, guided walking, fishing and birdwatching opportunities.  

Safari lodges and camps in this lovely National Park, including the growing portfolio of accommodation options offered by Zambezi Crescent's Victoria Falls River Lodge, offer their guests game-drives and boat-cruises on the river, but also some additional activities for getting up close and personal with nature. 

Guests staying at Victoria Falls River Lodge can pre-arrange a Walking Safari or Birding Safari for an immersive experience in the African bush, or a Fishing Safari - to catch one of the most sought-after freshwater fish, the Tiger Fish.  These activities are curated according to the guests’ needs, at an additional cost. 


Walking Safari

While the Walking Safari is offered all-year round, the African winter season (June – October) is the best time for this, as the vegetation is less dense and it will allow for a better chance at seeing animals like kudu, impala, buffalo and elephant from foot.

The Walking Safari is presented by a combination of in-house guides and professional guides who co-guide the walk to ensure a safe walking experience. Since there are no fences in the Zambezi National Park, where the Walking Safari takes place, guides accompany guests to ensure their ultimate safety.

However, on a Walking Safari it is not always about spotting predators or big animals, but rather the little - often overlooked - things.

We look at animal tracks, interesting vegetation, insects and enjoy the smells of the African bush - we rely on all five of our senses to really experience the beauty of the bush. A walking safari is quieter and offers a more in-depth experience – where we really connect with nature on a personal level,” says Casey Bennett, who was appointed as Zambezi Crescent Portfolio’s Group Manager in Zimbabwe, in June 2023.  

The Walking Safaris are custom-made to guests’ fitness levels, however participants should be able to walk for an average of one to two hours, for about 5km.

A sunhat, sunscreen or long-sleeved shirt and of course comfortable walking shoes are a must for the activity.


Fishing Safari

The same apparel would be needed for a Fishing Safari; however, guests need not bring their own fishing gear since all these items will be provided on the trip.

Fishing in the Upper Zambezi River by boat is an exhilarating experience and guests could catch anything from the coveted Tiger Fish to Barbel, Nembwe or possibly even a Cornish Jack.

The type of catch will depend on the time of year, and the fisher’s luck. A fishing guide will accompany the guests, who can be out on the water anywhere from 3 to 7 hours, if they wish to stay out as long as possible, waiting for the Big One to bite”.

Since Victoria Falls River Lodge is an eco-friendly lodge, the catch-and-release method is practiced on our Fishing Safaris. No prior fishing experience is needed for this activity, if visitors take the advice offered from our expert guides.

The Zambezi River has a wide variety of species of fish, and while we cannot always guarantee what fish may be caught, we can guarantee a memorable experience on the beautiful Zambezi River, surrounded by Africa at its best. 


Birding Safari

Over 75 bird species have been documented at Kandahar Island in Zambezi National Park.

Staying in one of the exclusive Island Treehouse Suites on the private Kandahar Island at Victoria Falls River Lodge allows for uninterrupted birding from these luxury suites - suspended among the treetops.

Accessible only by boat, the Treehouse Suites boast rooftop sitting areas and signature Starbeds – perfect to do some birding in the luxury of this immersive bush getaway.

Island Lodge Manager Takudzwa Gonese said some rare sightings include the African Fin Foot, Pygmy Goose, and Western Banded Snake Eagle.

The best time for birding would be in the mornings, because this is the time when most of the birds are active. As it gets hotter during the day, the birds tend to hide from the heat. This excludes birds of prey who prefer to hunt or scavenge midday to late afternoon,” said Gonese.

The best time of the year to visit the island for a birding experience, according to him, would be from November to March during the breeding season when birders will also be able to see migratory birds.

Birding enthusiasts who would like to venture into the Zambezi National Park for a Birding Safari can do so by foot, boat, or game-drive vehicle. Items to take with would include binoculars, a good quality camera (long range), a Birding book or a device with a Birding App.

If walking, birders will need a hat, walking shoes and neutral colours for clothing. A guide will be able to identify birds and interpret their behaviour on these Birding Safaris,” said Gonese.

Walking birding safaris would be at an additional fee since a professional guide would accompany the birders. A moderate fitness level is required to walk for about 2 hours.

For bookings and more information on these curated safari options, contact Victoria Falls River Lodge.

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