Victoria Falls may be the adrenalin capital of Africa, but it also has plenty to offer in the wildlife department – it is home to the Big Five. There’s nothing quite like seeing a wild elephant up-close to make you rethink your place in the world. All guided game drives are held in an open-air 4×4 truck, led by a trained guide who will infuse you with a love for the bush. The best time of year to go on safari is in the dry season between July and November.
A safari is our Number 10 of Things to do in Victoria Falls
- Morning drive: Cost: Approx. US $70 excluding park fees. You’ll be picked up from your lodge early in the morning and taken to the national park for the game drive. Your guide will help you find antelope, zebra, birds, and more, and will tell you all the fascinating details of these creatures. You’ll be returned to your lodge at about 9am for a well-deserved breakfast.
- Afternoon drive: Cost: Approx. US $70 excluding park fees. You’ll be picked up from your lodge at about 3 pm and taken to the national park for the game drive. Your guide will help you find antelope, zebra, birds, and more, and will tell you all the fascinating details of these creatures. Soft drinks will be served as the sun goes down, and you’ll be returned to your lodge at about 6pm.
- Night safari: Cost: Approx. US $75 excluding park fees. Night time is a perfect time to see animals – especially ones like hyena and lion that are usually inactive during the day. The safari trucks are fitted with spotlights so that animals can be clearly seen. Starts at 4.30 pm, lasting for approximately 3.5 hours. Note that this might not be available between November and April if the rains have damaged the park’s roads.
- Walking safari (morning and afternoon): Cost: Approx. US $60 excluding park fees. The walk is in the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge Estate, home to four of the big five. Your expert guide will help you see the animals up-close while keeping you out of harm’s way.
- Horseback safari: Cost: From approx. US $80. One of the best ways to do a safari is on horseback because the wild animals don’t immediately recognise that humans are nearby – they just see an animal. This means you can get much closer to the animals than you would on foot. There are different alternatives for novice and experienced riders so that everyone can enjoy the safari. Experienced guides will lead you through the bush, and keep you far away from any animals that may be dangerous. Includes food and drink at the stables. The rides take place daily, both in the morning and afternoon, and last about 3 hours.
- An alternative option is to go on a one-day or half-day trip to the famous Chobe National Park in Botswana. The full-day trip includes a river cruise, hotel lunch on the riverbank and an afternoon game drive. Passports are required. Costs from approx. US $140.
- How to book a safari in Victoria Falls: Book with your accommodation, tour company, or at the Wild Horizons/Shearwater booking offices in Victoria Falls.
- If you have your own car, you can be your own guide and drive around the Zambezi National Park which is home to the big five. Fees for a day are $5 for locals, $12 for SADC residents and $15 for everyone else (as of May 2016). You can also stay in one of the National Park lodges or campsites here.
- Is it family-friendly?: My opinion is that older children would enjoy a safari. There’s no hard-cut minimum age, but children should be able to keep quiet when an animal is nearby. Many safari companies allow children from age 3 and up on game drives.