Victoria Falls Canopy Tour and High Wire Activities!

We met our guides Michael and Bright at The Lookout Café. The venue is spectacular and the views give you a tantalizing taste of what’s to come. Our guides kitted us each with full body harness, pulley and safety helmet and there was plenty of laughter about the flattering fit of the harnesses!

We then walked a short distance to the first slide on the Victoria Falls Canopy Tour and our guides demonstrated how to slide on the cables and the safety procedures.

The Victoria Falls Canopy Tour offers everyone an exhilarating opportunity to soar through the rain forest in the Batoka Gorge with spectacular views of the mighty Zambezi River and the Victoria Falls Bridge. It is an unforgettable adventure as you slide from one platform to the next along a series of steel cables set amongst magnificent natural surroundings.

You are in another world from the moment you step off the first platform and slide through the tree-tops… there’s simply nothing to prepare you for the magnificence of the view across the gorge you glimpse as you first whizz across it. As you continue on the tour it appears that each slide offers something more and you can feel the groups’ confidence build.

At first some of us were very unsure and there was much nervous giggling but by the third slide whoops of sheer delight were reverberating through the gorge. We soon realize that with the combination of the safety line and the knowledge and expertise of Michael and Bright who are calm, confident and encouraging, we were totally safe.

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SAFETY:

All groups are escorted by a lead guide and safety guide at all times. The guides are friendly, professional and reassuring. Your safety is paramount and Wild Horizons have strict procedures in place to ensure that you are constantly connected to either the cable or the platform.

The scenery high up within the forest canopy is spectacular. We enjoyed spotting birdlife amongst the surrounding trees and canyon walls and were lucky enough to have a Verreaux’s eagle soaring above us and periodically landing in trees on the canyon wall to watch us inquisitively. I can only imagine he thought we were learning to fly! Each tour lasts between 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on how many people are in your group and the speed you choose to go. We had a much-needed cold drink as we walked out of the gorge still smiling from the adventure.

Next up was the Flying Fox. We were re-harnessed so that we were suspended from our backs. The Flying Fox consists of a cable over the width of the gorge and with the harness facing down you literally ‘fly’ through the air over the turmoil of the Zambezi below. With our confidence soaring from the Canopy Tour we all stepped off into the abyss. The view is unbelievable!

Similarly to the Canopy Tours escalation of excitement and adrenaline, so the order we did the other activities in scaled up in order of excitement. Accordingly we moved on to the Zip Line- this is an activity we chose to do in tandem. Our harnesses were re-adjusted and we were seated for the activity. The platform it leaves from offers an exciting view of what you are about to embark upon- a very steep descent that has you travelling at up to 105 km an hour whilst travelling across the gorge with the Zambezi below.

My friend perfectly described the feeling of hurtling downwards and across the gorge as a ‘rush of joy’!

The final and most adrenalin inducing activity is the Gorge Swing. Not for the faint of heart this includes a whopping 70 metre free-fall before you are ‘caught’ by the harness and begin swinging across the gorge. This is an incredible experience as you swing in a huge arc with the Zambezi churning below you. It’s impossible not to appreciate the feeling of hanging over the mighty Zambezi by a cord!

And suddenly we were done! Buoyed up by adrenaline and the indescribable feeling of feeling more alive we headed back to the Lookout Café for a celebratory beer. We were all thrilled at the end of a great day and the shared memories we had created.

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TIPS:

  • Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe footwear. Open sandals are not suitable as they will simply fall off. Wear shorts or long pants and not a skirt as you will be in a harness. Running shoes are perfect and strap-on sandals will do.
  • Take an easy to use camera with a strap that can attach around your neck or to your hand. There are plenty of great photo opportunities!
  • The Canopy Tour experience is an excellent corporate and team building event.
  • There is a safe box at The Lookout Café where you can leave your belongings and any valuables- however I suggest packing lightly.
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Spotlight on ‘Tawanda’

A barista is defined simply as ‘a person, usually a coffeehouse employee, who prepares and serves espresso-based coffee drinks.’ Tawanda Dube is one of the employees at The Lookout Café and the definition above does apply to him in the true sense.

However Tawanda also has something more- a real passion for the work he is doing. The Lookout Cafe’s espresso machine arrived a few months ago and Tawanda began learning the art of coffee making. He was immediately drawn to it and says he loves making art from coffee. After making me a perfectly delicious cappuccino Tawanda drew out his cell phone and showed me the only videos on it- of how to make coffee art, how to clean the machine and more. ‘One day’ he said proudly as he showed me a video of a man shaping a flower by pouring milk into espresso ‘I will make you a coffee like that!’

I don’t doubt he will with his passion to learn in his spare time and wanted to take the time to say that it doesn’t go unnoticed.  Thank you Tawanda for your hard work!

Moon Rise at The Lookout Cafe

A Moonlit Dinner at The Lookout Cafe 

After visiting The Lookout Cafe to experience a Full Moon dinner I was left in awe of the meal as well as the scenery. The cafe, usually closed in the evenings, offers this full moon dining experience due to it’s prime position on the edge of the Zambezi Gorge allowing for diners to view the moon-rise over a truly special scene.
The Lookout clings to the edge of the Zambezi Gorge just downstream of the Victoria Falls. Below lies the Zambezi, a force you are aware of before you glimpse it as its low rumble emanates upward from the river below. The dining area faces the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge but it is the natural elements of the scene that strike me. The Lookout Cafe is cantilevered over the gorge so that you stand, insignificant in size when compared to the mighty chasm of the canyon dropping steeply away. A 120 metres below, the serpentine Zambezi – churns with incredible force and mellows into great, glasslike swathes that bely it’s power. The sun is setting and the moon has risen; a giant, yellow orb hung low over the mesmerising scene.
I soak in the scene for a few minutes before becoming aware of the cafe behind me. The  warm glow of the lighting, the chatter of diners and the smell of  food cooking reminds me of my hunger. A friendly waiter helps us to a table for two, warm and prompt in his service. I order the fish, local bream, caught in the Zambezi. It arrives quickly and doesn’t disappoint- flaky and succulent encased in crisp, beer batter and my partners’ steak is equally good, perfectly cooked to order and tender to the bite. We end the meal with fruit skewers and a cheese platter  Before departing, I return to the edge to soak in the scene one more time.
The light has changed; the myriad of ochres and rusts are gone and the bath of cool moonlight has turned the river into a band of silver. In the background the Victoria Falls Bridge  illuminated, beyond that the spray from the Falls reaches up to a sky now twinkling with stars. The view brings a sense of tranquility and it is this calm feeling I depart with. I go to sleep thinking of the onward rumble of the Zambezi, ever stretching forward, and how it was here before me and still will be long after.
Tips for a moon-rise visit:
•       Look up the time of the moonrise and if not too late I suggest coming before sunset so you can experience the changing colours of the canyon walls and see the moon rising over the scene. Your best views will be whilst the moon is low to the Horizon.

•       Plan to dress warmly in winter months as it is open air dining.
Full Moon Dinner Dates for 2015:
3rd July & 31st July
29th August
28th September
27th October
26th November
25th December
Special Opening Hours: From 10:00 to 22:00 (last meal orders at 20:30)
Wi-Fi: Free
Cuisine: A’la Carte menu
Free Shuttle transfers: Please call 013-42013 to arrange