Pretoria to Victoria Falls…at a glance
Cox & Kings’ South Africa expert Jonathan Fitzsimmonds shares the best times to visit South Africa and the Victoria Falls, where to stay, what to eat and what to do.
Rovos Rail exterior
This 3-night rail journey from South Africa to Zimbabwe can be done at any time of the year, although the Victoria Falls is best visited in July/August – water flow is at medium strength, allowing for superb photo opportunities. That said, even the low water months won’t disappoint.
Rail tracks over Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Before your rail journey, stay at The Residence, located in the historic suburb of Houghton, Johannesburg. Make yourself at home in this blissful oasis of just 12 suites where bougainvillea blossoms cascade down terraced gardens. At Victoria Falls, opt for sumptuous tented suites with plunge pools and viewing decks at The Elephant Camp. Set in the African bush, the camp looks across the rainforest to the spray rising from the falls. For something more conventional, stay at The Victoria Falls Hotel. Popularly known as ‘the grand old lady of the falls’, this gracious colonial building is set in tropical gardens and overlooks the thundering waters. Dine at the signature Livingstone Room or Jungle Junction, a thatched alfresco restaurant.
The Elephant Camp, Victoria Falls
Aboard Rovos Rail, meals are served in the charming Victorian atmosphere of the dining car. Off the train, make sure to experience an evening at The Boma – Place of Eating in Victoria Falls. Feast on a vast barbecue buffet and traditional Zimbabwean morsels as you enjoy Ndebele dancing and music, drumming and traditional story telling.
Observation Car, Rovos Rail, South Africa
Perched 120 metres above the turbulent rapids of the Zambezi river near Victoria Falls, The Lookout Café serves up spectacular views of Batoka gorge and a range of refreshing beverages, including a lively cocktail menu.
From Johannesburg, visit Sterkfontein caves. The fossils and homonid remains found here and at other nearby sites (together known as the ‘Cradle of Humankind’) led to the ‘Out of Africa’ theory, suggesting that most human ancestors originated from Africa. On the Rovos Rail journey from Pretoria to Victoria Falls, the train pulls into the Kennedy Siding for a wildlife drive at The Hide Safari Camp, located within Hwange National Park but also surrounded by a private concession. Enjoy spotting predators and prey alike.
Hippopotamus in Zambezi National Park
At Victoria Falls, join a wildlife conservation and awareness safari. Start with a presentation by a member of the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, followed by a field trip into the Zambezi National Park to record wildlife sightings, identify spoor, sweep for wire snares and check for any signs of poaching.
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