Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Alternative Dining in Victoria Falls

Makuwa-kuwa Restaurant, Victoria Falls

Updated 4 October 2023

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.

Dining on the 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.
The Zambezi Reflection cruise vessel on the Zambezi River above the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Zambezi Reflections - Dining on the Zambezi

There are a few vessels on the Zambezi that offer sunset and dinner cruises - good value dining as you get all your drinks, canapés and 3-course dinner all in one trip.

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 Café, Zambia
Elephant Café
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 Café 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.

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 overnight white-water rafting trips, some Art of Africa workshops, full day horse 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.

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