Friday, September 15, 2017

Alternative Dining in Victoria Falls

Makuwa-kuwa Restaurant, Victoria Falls
Eating out in Victoria Falls can be expensive, but if you are staying at one of the safari lodges outside the town limits, your meals and drinks will be included. But for those who want to explore the town, river and bush, we have put together a list of great alternatives, some of which are very good value.

Combine a game drive with your dinner...in the bush!
One of our favourite things to do in Victoria Falls is an evening game drive on the private reserve. At the end of the game drive, you are treated to a 3-course bush dinner. The activity of-course is not about the food, but about the experience of being out in nature, surrounded by the sounds of the wilderness.

Fine dining on the Zambezi River
Signature Lounge on Zambezi River
Another of our favourite things to do is a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi River. African sunsets are stunning, and even more so when combined with a good drink. As the sun goes down, you are treated to a very satisfying 3-course meal, and all you hear are the waves of the river, and the conversations on the boat. Lunch cruises aren't as popular, but they are great way to get away from the noise while enjoying a good meal on the river. If you're not keen on a cruise, the Zambezi Explorer Signature Lounge offers a fantastic river venue for dinner, away from the centre of town.

Helipad dinners
For groups who want to get away from it all, in a quiet (well, as quiet as the surrounding wildlife will permit), there is a helipad dinner venue not far from town that can offer private dinners in a beautiful setting. Lanterns light up the dining area where you and your party can enjoy a scrumptious 3-course dinner. You may hear elephants trumpeting nearby, or the buffalo grunting.

As the locals do
One dining experience with a very personal touch is a home hosted lunch or dinner. A local family invites you into their home where you will meet each member and get to know a little about them, local culture and traditions. Then they will prepare a traditional Zimbabwean meal for you and show you their mealtime customs. This is eating out but also for a good cause.

The Elephant Cafe, Zambia
Elephant Cafe
On the other side of the Zambezi River, at an elephant sanctuary, is a dining experience like no other in Zambia. Located away from the hustle and bustle of Livingstone town, The Elephant Cafe is an experience in itself where guests take a boat ride upstream (or a drive if you prefer), then have an interaction with the elephants at the sanctuary, and finish off with a most unique fine dining affair with unusual and local flavours.

Zambezi island cuisine
One of the most popular daring activities in Victoria Falls is the Livingstone Island tour and swim in the Devil's Pool. With these trips to the edge of the largest waterfall in the world comes a full meal, be it breakfast, lunch or high tea, and your drinks, the sound of the thundering Victoria Falls as background music.

Royal Livingstone Express, Zambia
All aboard!
On either side of the Victoria Falls, one can treat themselves to fine dining aboard one of the steam trains - the Royal Livingstone Express on the Zambian side, or the Bushtracks Express Dinner train in Zimbabwe. The sunset and dinner run steam trains, operating on different days of the week, take you from the station to the Victoria Falls Bridge in time for the sunset, then enjoy a classic train ride into the African bush where you will be treated to a 5-star dinner courtesy of the Victoria Falls Hotel on the Zimbabwe side, or the Royal Livingstone Hotel on the Zambian side.

Where else will you eat?
You may also book activities in Victoria Falls, Chobe or Livingstone which typically have a meal or snacks included. Such activities as Chobe day and overnight trips, Zambezi River canoe safaris and white-water rafting trips, some Art of Africa workshops, full day horse safaris, national park game drives, elephant back safaris, etc. will have meals included, while others such as regular sunset cruises will have snacks and drinks provided.

But for those who want to stick to Victoria Falls restaurants, you can find a list here.