African Safaris Consultants Blog » Zimbabwe Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:28:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 African Safari Consultants Present: Victoria Falls [video] Fri, 21 Feb 2014 11:10:28 +0000 Nicknamed ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, the Victoria Falls are without question the jewels in the crown of both Zimbabwe and Zambia. One of the largest, most impressive waterfalls in the world, the mist from the falls alone has created a thriving rain forest on it’s periphery, while the valley below teems with Africa’s Big Five and more.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking adventure in the form of a bungee jump, white water rafting or a helicopter flight, or a honeymooning couple seeking the romantic grandeur of Africa, the Victoria Falls are the ideal destination. Sir David Livingstone, the first Western explorer to lay eyes on the falls, remarked that it was one of the most beautiful sights he had ever seen. He was right!

Watch the Victoria Falls video below to learn a bit more about a true African wonder, then Contact Us to plan your trip to Victoria Falls.

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Devil’s Pool Opens for Season Fri, 16 Aug 2013 09:13:47 +0000 One of the most popular destinations in Africa, the Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe is a true wonder of the natural world. David Livingstone came across the falls in 1855 and named them in honour of his Queen at the time, while the indigenous people of the region dubbed it Mosi-oa-Tunya or ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ – a moniker still in common use today. While not the tallest or widest falls in the world, Victoria Falls do lay claim to being the falls with the largest sheet of falling water.


Victoria Falls

A famous feature of the Victoria Falls is the rather dubiously named Devil’s Pool – a naturally formed pool right on the very edge of the falls. Loved by adventurous tourists and locals alike, the rock barrier forms an eddy (the swirling of a fluid and the reverse current created when the fluid flows past an obstacle) that is perfectly safe to swim in. Confident swimmers are able to sit and relax in the pool mere feet away from the 350 foot drop, constantly under the expert guidance of local guides.

A mainstay on the ‘To-Do’ lists of visitors to the region, Devil’s Pool opens again to the public today – the 16th August 2013 – and usually remains so until December. To experience the rush of adrenaline that accompanies swimming in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Contact Us to plan your perfect Victoria Falls visit.


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Victoria Falls – The difference between the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides Thu, 16 May 2013 11:02:28 +0000 The Victoria Falls, a World Heritage Site, cascade down a 355ft gorge where the Zambezi river continues it’s flow southwards through the valley below. Bordering both Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Victoria Falls offer the unique opportunity to witness the same natural wonder from one of two countries. But what is the difference between the Zambian side and the Zimbabwean side? We’ll have a look at each a little more closely below…

The Zambian Side 

The main town on the Zambian side of the falls is Livingstone, with access via Livingstone Airport (LVI). Livingstone is a mere 6.2miles  from the falls offers all the modern amenities that tourists require – shopping malls, banking facilities and plenty of local craftsmen selling curious. Livingstone also boasts the most popular full service 5 star hotel, The Royal Livingstone – the majestic lawns of which overlook the falls and feature zebras lazily grazing.

For the cultural types, Livingstone has several museums including the Victoria Falls Field Museum  the Livingstone Museum, the Maramba Cultural Museum and the Railway Museum. Livingstone also offers the best access to Livingstone Island – one of two large masses in the middle of the river – which has healthy populations of wildlife such as elephant and water buffalo.


Sundowners at The Royal Livingstone.

The Zimbabwe Side 

The Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls offers something completely different to the Zambian side. Accessible from the Victoria Falls airport, the town is known as the adventure capital of Africa owing to the fact that it boasts some of the best white water rafting in the world, and one of the highest bungee jumps. A quaint town that is considerably smaller than Livingstone, Victoria Falls has no shortage of charm and welcoming attitude.

The town is said to have the best view of the falls, especially from the bridge that connects Zimbabwe and Zambia. During low water times, visitors are able to see right into the ‘skeleton’ of the falls – a truly remarkable site.

Victoria Falls also has one of the most famous hotels in Africa, the Victoria Falls Hotel. Steeped in colonial history, the 5 star Victoria Falls Hotel is fondly known as ‘The Grand Old Lady of the Falls’ and is situated in the Victoria Falls National Park.


The colonial Victoria Falls Hotel.

Contact Us to make your Victoria Falls dream a reality – whichever side you choose!




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Wildlife pic of the week: The African Buffalo Wed, 28 Sep 2011 10:57:42 +0000 The African Buffalo is a respected member of the Big Five even though he might look like a mellow bovine. His cousins in the East, the Asian Water Buffalo, can be domesticated. Not this guy!  He is extremely dangerous, and is capable of killing a lion. He is on the trophy wish list of big game hunters and I am pleased to report that he has gored and maimed many a hunter! You have heard the expression – ‘like a wounded buffalo’ to describe someone who is so mad with rage and attacks relentlessly again and again…Those geeky looking horns actually act as a ‘shield’ and the thick bone is capable of stopping a rifle bullet. We do NOT condone big game hunting! But we do encourage you to join an African Safaris photographic safari to the Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sands, the South Luangwa National Park, the Lower Zambezi National Park, the Masai Mara and the Serengeti.

It is thrilling to be in a safari vehicle amongst a herd of buffalo. You are quite safe if you stay in the vehicle, but you definitely get a sense of their power and potential danger.

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Photo of the Week – an old favorite! Fri, 24 Jun 2011 13:00:39 +0000 I was reminded of this special photo today as it popped into my inbox.  I didn’t actually know the origin of the photo until I read the newsletter (thanks to The Safari Book).  Here is a quick summary of where it came from:

The Hatted Hippo

This fabulous image has been around since 1979 and was taken by Paul Dutton.  Shot with a pre-digital 35mm Pentax camera, the hippo in question, tried on a good 35 “hats” before finding the perfect fit.  With almost the entire film dedicated to this particular hippo, it was a once-off photo shoot with famous results for Paul!

It was taken while carrying out field work in the Urema Floodplain in the Gorgongosa National Park.  The floral hat in question is an invasive aquatic weed called “water hyacinth”, first introduced into Africa’s wetland system from South America.   Although a serious pest for impeding water flow and causing excessive oxygen up-take to the detriment of fauna and fish, it was fantastic fodder for the hippo, who has the capacity to consume 50kgs of herbage a day!

The image has appeared on the cover of the Wildlife Society of South Africa magazine, as well as being printed into large posters and used to advertise conservation areas in Southern Africa.  The original slide came back from the printers damaged, and only the digital era has managed to “repair” the damage and return the image to its original format.

The civil war that plagued Mozambique destroyed the population of hippos in the Gorongosa National Park.  The numbers declined from around 6,000 before the war to a staggering less than 20 in 1994.  The ivory and meat supplied by these huge animals helped sustain the war.  With the Carr Foundation now involved in Gorongosa National Park, massive rehabilitation efforts are returning the animal populations back to their original numbers!

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Should We Be Walking With Lions? Thu, 12 May 2011 10:19:48 +0000 Very recently, I read an article about a lady who was attacked by a lion cub while on a guided lion walk in Zimbabwe.  It seems to be a completely unprovoked attack; there were other people in the group and all guests were accompanied by professional rangers who interact regularly with these huge cats.

The Lion Walking Safari is not a new phenomenon (although certainly we have been walking with elephants for much longer).  I know that guides are confident in their abilities of reading wild animals; and they should be, they study their behavior, they live with them in the bush, and they have constant contact with them.  It is a guide’s job to be aware of the animals’ demeanor at all times, and they are very good at this job.  I trust the guides implicitly when I am in a vehicle or on foot in the wild with them.

I have spent hours on game drives and have been privileged to experience Africa’s magnificent game in many of her wonderful parks.  I also have a few walking safaris in my legs.  There is nothing more thrilling than being out in the wild with the open plains of Africa stretching endlessly in front of you.  What are you going to see?  What is out there for you to experience?

But I do believe strongly that wild animals are wild animals.  Yes, you can read signs and this is what we rely on our rangers for – and most of us will never experience the unfortunate situation that this woman was forced to endure.  But what about that one sign that the guides might have missed?  What was it that the rangers on this lion walk looked over?  How will they prevent this from happening again?   Lions are wild and should remain out in the wild, free to roam as they have done for millennia.  We should be able to interact with them at a safe distance where the possibility of what happened is NOT a possibility at all.

But this is also an amazing African attraction, and a huge draw for tourists from overseas.  Who is not tempted to get as close as possible to the King of Africa?  But we need to make sure that something like this never happens again.  Where do we draw the line in the future, both to ensure the safety of tourists in Africa while also continuing to offer the most amazing and exciting adventures possible?

To read the press statement released (PDF) please click here:  Press Statement Lion Encounter 3 May 2011

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