Wild Horizons – Wild Times February 2019 | Fleet Update | Dinner Cruises | The Elephant Camp Renovation Update | More

Dinner Cruises on Wild Horizons Malachite

As the sun begins its descent, step on board our floating restaurant for an exceptional evening on the Zambezi River. Like the exquisite bird after which it was named “Malachite” is one of the Zambezi River’s crowing gems. Powered by two 60HP four stroke marine motors, this beautifully crafted double deck vessel silently slices across the surface of the river.

On the upper deck, guests are offered a glass of sparkling wine to sip as they settle into the very comfortable furniture and relax before the journey along the Zambezi River begins; all the while looking out for the various birdlife and animals there are to be seen and then watching as one of Africa’s famous sunsets erupts in the sky. A barman and three intuitive waiters anticipate guests’ needs, serving a selection of lively cocktails and imported premium spirits throughout their journey.

After the sun has sunk below the river line, dinner is served on the lower deck of the vessel exemplifying the hallmarks of exquisite cuisine prepared on board by two Chefs. The rich aroma of locally sourced, fresh ingredients wafts around diners as the dishes are plated.
Time seems to stand still as the boat gently glides along to the sound of water lapping up against her sides. Far removed from the glare of bright lights and noise, the moon and stars shine brightly in the sky and an atmosphere of mystery and romance envelopes the evening’s experience. A captain completes the crew and their combined experience promises an insightful and memorable evening. The Wild Horizons Malachite Dinner Cruises will commence in July 2019.

Wild Horizons Expands the Zimbabwe Fleet

Wild Horizons is pleased to announce that we have increased our fleet in Zimbabwe with the acquisition of six new vehicles, and are awaiting the arrival of another six, bringing the total number to 49. This excludes the passenger carriers designated for rafting, high wire activities and camp transfers. Our array of vehicles offer varying seating capacities, from an elite fleet of gold service Hyundai H1 minibuses, to our 40 seater Scania Marcopolos. We strive to make our guests’ journey as seamless as possible, beginning with their arrival at the airport where our vehicle fleet has been carefully selected to ensure maximum comfort, all-round visibility and outstanding safety. As tourism in Victoria Falls continues to boom, we are well positioned to provide our guests with high quality service as they explore the region with us. The new vehicles comprise of five Toyota Camry’s, and three Toyota Quantum’s. Ben Benade, Wild Horizons Operations Manager, has ordered two more 35 seater Higers and two 26 seater Higers, which are expected to arrive in June/July. While many of our guests appreciate the opportunity to disconnect from their gadgets and focus on the wilderness around Victoria Falls, LTE modems are fitted on request for groups who would like to update their friends and family as their journey unfolds.

Wild Horizons Lookout Cafe – Update

Straddling the gorge that plunges between Zimbabwe and Zambia, Wild Horizons Lookout Café is a Victoria Falls destination highlight, and when a fire devastated it in December, the town was left feeling incomplete. Our friends across the globe will be excited to hear that we are edging closer to rebuilding the iconic restaurant to its perch above the Zambezi River. Our aim is to improve on the much-loved Wild Horizons Lookout Café and turn the unexpected tragedy into an opportunity for enhancement. While we have not confirmed an official reopening date, we are accepting provisional bookings from July onwards, as we hope to be open well before then. The new, African Contemporary styled Lookout Café, will be designed to emphasize our panoramic view of the Victoria Falls Bridge and Batoka Gorges. The rebuild is infused with Wild Horizons conservation ethos, and in order to make the Café more environmentally friendly, all wooden decks will be replaced with composite decking. The thatch will be replaced with a chromadek roof. More details will be revealed soon!

Vic Falls Marathon – Bridge Closure

On July 7, 2019, the roads highlighted on the image attached will be closed to traffic from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m., making way for marathon runners as they pound over pavements through town, the National Park and over the Victoria Falls Bridge. The Victoria Falls and Livingstone border will also be closed on the night of the 6th from 10 p.m. until 9 a.m. the following day. During this time, no one will be allowed across the bridge, including pedestrians and thus we will not be booking transfers into Zambia over that brief period. Our Operations Team will carefully manage our guests’ movements on the day to ensure that everything runs smoothly and as planned. As only one road will be closed for a short time, they do not foresee any major amendments to transfers needing to be made, nor do they predict that any problems should arise. Although marathon runners do venture into the National Parks area, this road is remaining open and therefore guests staying at Old Drift Lodge or going on game drives will be able to move freely between the Park and town throughout the day.

The event has grown exponentially over the past 14 years, and last year almost every race was at maximum capacity. The town becomes a hub for exercise extraordinaires, fitness fanatics and fun runners, who all bring energy and atmosphere onto the streets. It is an exhilarating time to visit and an exceptional marathon to run but be sure to book your accommodation and activities in advance so that you don’t miss out on any of the other adventures Victoria Falls has to offer.

The Elephant Camp is currently undergoing a major makeover, not only to uphold the high quality of the camp that our guests have always enjoyed but also to continue incorporating the latest environmentally friendly building elements and innovations that have arisen since its inception. The renovation team is working to schedule and so far major advancements have been made to the rooms and main area.

The Elephant Camp is a natural extension of the exquisite wilderness that encompasses it and when engulfed by such natural wonder, our guests appreciate the ability to post photographs and message friends and families, stories from their day in this wild paradise. TelOne has been on site and is close to completing the fiber-optic project that will provide guests with access to Wi-Fi throughout the camp. The Elephant Camp Main, the Wallow and the Veterinary Laboratory have been equipped with their Point Terminators and the team is now working on the trench between Camp West and the lab. Once this is complete, the Room Wi-Fi project will commence, as will the Telephone System Installation. Keep an eye on our social media accounts to follow the progress as the project unfolds.

Rafting – High Water Commences 

When the Zambezi River plunges down 120 meters of black basalt rock into a narrow channel that cuts through the gorge; churning, frothing and thrilling rapids erupt below. The intensity of rafting is dictated by fluctuating water levels and the high water run begins after a fresh inflow of water from catchment areas in Angola and Zambia. The sheer volume of water cascading through the gorge makes the first ten rapids unrunnable so our rafting expeditions have moved downstream to begin at rapid 11, “The Overland Truck Eater” and end at rapid 23, “The Morning Shave”. While lower water levels mean higher thrill levels, high water rafting trips still promise an electrifying experience through the scenic splendor of the Batoka gorge. The water levels are going to climb higher and higher and between March and June rafters leave the tempestuous Zambezi to her own stormy devices. If a rafting experience entices you, be sure to book with us before then.

Bicycle Tours – Update

After a brief interlude following the Lookout Cafe fire, our bike tours have recommenced and guests can continue exploring the quaint town of Victoria Falls, the hidden gems in the National Park and the banks of the Zambezi River at their own pace.

With exquisite views, informed guides and natural terrain, our Bike Tours encompass all of the best aspects of Victoria Falls and its breath taking surrounds. The tours begin at the Wild Horizons Lookout Café and before you even begin pedalling  you will witness the gaping lips of the cavernous Batoka Gorge, the raging rapids of the Mighty Zambezi and the plumes of mist sitting like clouds on the landscape above the rainforest. From there, wind your way along the curve of the Zambezi River and past the Big Tree, an enormous Baobab estimated to be 3500 years old. Cruise over the Victoria Falls bridge that hangs over the chasm of the gorge and marvel at the gravity-defying trees on the face of the black basalt rock, vivid green and shimmering under droplets from the waterfall that cascades meters away. From there, meander into the charming town and explore the craft market or stop for a cappuccino in one of the quirky restaurants along the road. This leisurely cycle through an awe-inspiring environment should not be missed.