You and your family can relax in the spacious panoramic windowed saloon, laze on the partially shaded deck or enjoy the upper shaded deck whilst someone else does the driving.
The Voyage takes approximately 22 hours in each direction, during which time you will be served with three nourishing meals together with the morning and afternoon tea or coffee which is included in the tariff. There is also a fully stocked cash bar aboard. Other facilities include chair-beds inside, mattresses for on deck and all bedding, toilets and hot showers.
The ferry Sea Lion carries up to 70 passengers and 15 vehicles on a full-day and overnight journey.
There is a height restriction of 1.95 metres for 12 vehicles, and three parking spaces in an open-deck area with no height restriction (ideal for high clearance 4x4s with roofracks or roof tents).
For their confirmed sailing schedule for 2013 click here.
For their confirmed sailing schedule for 2014 click here.
Andora Harbour - The vessels depart on their voyages promptly at 09:00. Intending passengers are advised to be at the departure/loading point not less than 1 hour prior to sailing.
“Soon after departing from Andora Harbour, the Dam Wall may be seen on the right along with the Sampakaruma Group of islands in the fore-ground, named after a local chief. The small rocky outcrop to the left of these is called Rhino Island, so called due to the rescue of a particularly belligerent Rhino during the famous “Operation Noah”. This being the widest point of the lake at 32 kilometres.
Rhino Island – Continuing on a westerly track, and passing the Islands of Sampakaruma on the right and long island on the left, they alter their coarse making a heading for Bumi Hills and the Sibilobilo lagoon, at this point they are either serving Lunch (Kariba – Mlibizi) or serving breakfast (Mlibizi – Kariba).
Bumi Hills - After cruising across the south eastern basin, you will arrive at the Sibilobilo Lagoon, which is formed by a series of islands along its northern border and is over-looked by the well-known Bumi Hills Safari Lodge. This whole area abounds with many varieties of game and birds, numbers of which may frequently be seen at the water’s edge. Binoculars at this time are a decided advantage. The animals swim regularly between the islands and indeed to and from the mainland.
Kota Kota Narrows – As you leave the lagoon via the gap between the Lubangwa and Namembere Islands, most passengers settle down to an after lunch nap in our fully relining bed/armchairs. The ferry continues its journey between the northern shores of the islands forming Sibilobilo Lagoon and another chain of islands which form a channel. Game is often seen in this area. We now enter the “Kota Kota” Narrows which is named after the mountain on the northern shore.
The lake then opens into the Sengwa Basin through which we travel some kilometres offshore. Weather and time permitting, your captain will stop, for those who wish it, to allow a refreshing swim in the warm semi-tropical waters.
Shortly thereafter, you will almost certainly be witness to an African Sunset second to none, whilst enjoying a cool sun downer from the bar before dinner is served at approximately 20:00.
Chete Gorge – You may wish to have an after dinner night-cap as your crew steers you through the night under the constant supervision of the captain, aided by radar and GPS mapping. The ferry passes the Sinamwenda River and then on to Kudu Island where a slight course change takes you into the Chete Gorge, so named by the Batonka tribesment who traded and fished along the river before the harnessing of the Zambezi. The gorge narrows to less than 400 metres wide before we once again sail into open water.
Mlibizi – Having passed a number of islands, Binga and through the Sebungwe Narrows, the ferry will dock at Mlibizi at around 07:00 where after off-loading you may continue your journey.
For more information on fares go to www.karibaferries.com
This is a great cruise and not only does it get you from A to B but is also a really enjoyable part of your holiday.
Date: 6 June 2013
Following on from the success of its first year in 2012, the much-anticipated annual Vic Falls Carnival returns in 2013 – bigger, louder and more fun. Billed as the largest cultural infusion of Southern African talent, the Vic Falls Carnival will be a three-day festival of music, performance, dance, adventure and fun that will hail in the New Year at the beautiful world-famous Victoria Falls UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Carnival will host an impressive line-up of musicians and artists hailing from Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and Namibia. Confirmed artists already include Zimbabwe’s Mokoomba(www.mokoomba.com) and DJ Francis. More artists are being announced and a full line-up will be released soon.
In addition to the Music Carnival centerpiece, visitors to this year’s festival can participate in a packed programme of activities, including the Steam Train Party Express, eco-friendly initiatives such as tree planting and recycling community projects, and the biggest choice of activities and adrenaline sports at the world’s best adventure destination.
“We are building on the success of last year and expect to welcome thousands of music and adventure lovers from all over the world to party under the smoke that thunders,” says Sean Young, Festival Director of the Vic Falls Carnival.
“What makes the Vic Falls Carnival so special is that it brings together people who take adventurous journeys from all over Southern Africa and the world to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime celebration – and our aim is to grow the Vic Falls Carnival into the ‘biggest New Year’s party in Africa’”, says Sean.
Tickets have already gone on sale and range from single-day entry to VIP two-day passes. Enthusiasts are encouraged to take advantage of the Early Bird 2-day Pass Special price of only US$40 through www.webtickets.co.za. This offer islimited so get them before they sell out.
Getting there is half the fun and there are several options for South African travellers, one notable option is the Carnival Overlander package that has just been launched, with two options available.
6 Nights, 7 Days
Tour 1: 27 December 2013 – 02 January 2014
Tour 2: 28 December 2013 – 03 January 2014
Return overland truck trip with Nomad Adventure Tours from Johannesburg to Vic Falls for the Vic Falls Carnival 2013. Six nights tented accommodation – 2 nights Botswana, 4 nights Vic Falls. Tents provided based on twin sharing.
Three-day Vic Falls Carnival pass for 29-31 December 2013 includes the Steam Train Party Express & two days at the Vic Falls Music Carnival, 4x breakfasts in Vic Falls and 2x dinners in Botswana.
Community Carnival – leaving a green footprint
A defining characteristic of the Carnival is it eco-friendliness. Started last year, the Community Carnival will again run various environmental and recycling initiatives this year alongside the main Carnival itself. Supported by the Victoria Falls Green Fund, green activities will include the planting of hundreds of trees at designated sites in the Victoria Falls area, including a school, clinic and community area. Other projects include recycling beer cans from the festival in the shape of one of Africa’s Big 5, and youth involvement initiatives.
For more on the information Community Carnival and the Victoria Falls Green Fund: www.environmentafrica.org
Single day entry: US$45
Two-day pass: US$55
Three-day pass: (29-31 Dec, limited to 400): US$80
VIP single day pass: US$70
VIP two-day pass (30-31 Dec, limited to 500 in VIP area): US$100
The organisers are working hard to finalise an impressive programme for this year’s Carnival, and more information will be released as it becomes available. Visit the below links to stay up-to-date on the Vic Falls Carnival – undoubtedly the coolest place to be this New Year’s!
Facebook page: VicFallsCarnival
Vic Falls Carnival is another awesome Seed Experience event.
Vic Falls Carnival
Mobile (SA): +27 768 586 801
Mobile (Zimbabwe): +263 779 555 505
Date: 12 June 2013
Registration for World Travel Market 2013 is now live. WTM 2013 is poised to be the biggest and best WTM yet with a number of new initiatives taking place across the four day event from Monday 4 – Thursday 7 November.
New initiatives include:
• The Travel Technology region become its own event within WTM called The Travel Tech Show at WTM
• World Travel Market is also launching a dedicated luxury event called A Taste of ILTM at WTM, in association with fellow Reed Travel Exhibition’s event International Luxury Travel Market which will take place on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 November, and
• Business Travel Market (BTM), WTM’s sister event, will co-locate with WTM at ExCeL for Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 November
By registering for World Travel Market, visitors will have access to The Travel Tech Show at WTM and Business Travel Market as well as WTM.
WTM 2013 is poised to generate a record amount of business conducted and negotiated at the event in the following 12 months, beating last year’s record of £1,860 million.
WTM 2012 saw an impressive 3% increase in visitors with each of the four days attracting more visitors than in 2011. Overall WTM 2012 attracted almost 29,000 travel trade visitors, with the first day – the key day for business negotiations – receiving a 5% increase in exhibitor invitations visitors.
|Fast facts about World Travel Market:|
|When did WTM start||It is now in its 34th year|
|WTM 2013 Venue||Excel London|
|Dates||4th – 7th November 2013|
|Number of senior travel industry professionals who attend||Almost 48 000|
|WTM 2012||Generated £1860 million of travel industry contracts|
|WTM is owned by||Reed Exhibitions (world’s leading event’s organiser)|
WTM 2013 will include a full events programme consisting of sessions from the popular World Responsible Tourism Day, Technology, Aviation and Hotels programmes.
WTM 2012 saw an attendance of 14,865 delegates (7,494 unique people) attending the 127 sessions.
To pre-register visit: http://www.wtmlondon.com/register
About World Travel Market:
World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 48,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.
WTM, now in its 34th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals.
WTM is owned by the world’s leading event’s organiser Reed Exhibitions (RE), which organises a portfolio of other travel industry events including Arabian Travel Market and International Luxury Travel Market.
Every year tourists from all over the globe and Zimbabweans descend upon the mighty Victoria Falls for a once in a lifetime New Year’s celebration. Combine Southern Africa’s biggest artists, the world’s greatest adventures and activities, with a New Year’s countdown like nowhere else on earth and you have arrived at Vic Falls Carnival!
It was moonlight dinner. The moon shone brilliantly, dwarfing the multifarious array of the stars that winked dimly and seemed to drift as far away as possible from the moon. The galaxy of stars seemed to understand that the moon was superior and kept their distance. The moon was their father, for, they only shine brightly in his absence. As the moon drifted westwards, so did the stars follow, shining brightly, yonder in east and dimly in the west as the moon approached.
On the eastern side, the Victoria Falls roared as millions of gallons of water plunged to eternity, down the Zambezi, sending a cool breeze wafting westwards to the rooftop restaurant. A spitting distance from the restaurant tree branches and leaves sang unknown rhythms, taking their notes from the westerly winds. It was cool and exciting.
A few candles carefully set on vantage points, defiantly winked at the wind, their flame blending with the cutlery, the tables, the plates and the aura of the open rooftop restaurant, aptly named the Panorama Restaurant. The buffet dinner was inviting and sumptuous. A group of Chinese enjoyed the meals, spoke and laughed, until their bellies were satisfied.
Panorama Restaurant is one of the attractions at the Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel, which has undergone a soft facelift ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly slated for August 24 to 29. The three-star hotel is an outstanding infrastructure unmatched in beauty and architecture, which exudes Arabic origins. The use of the arch on the superstructure in astounding and there is no such hotel in Zimbabwe.
This is a unique property of Moorish architecture conveniently located near town and 2km from the Victoria Falls. The Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel is the only hotel in the town that offers a spectacular view of the rumbling mist, Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning “the smoke that thunders”.
It was named the Rainbow Hotel because of its manipulative view of the Victoria Falls, which no other hotel in the town has. It is an exclusive right for the hotel guests to see the rainbow as it forms and disappears, intermittently on the falls. The Rainbow Hotel is the only one in town with a Swim and Sip bar, where guests swim and drink. It is the only swimming pool with a bar in situ.
The Rainbow Hotel restaurant offers a unique dining experience with its enticing African and blending in of Western and African cuisine. While guest enjoy their authentic Zimbabwean dinner they are always treated traditional music and dance. In the past few weeks, the hotel has undergone facelift, changing its floors and tiles ahead of the UNWTO General Assembly. The walls look much cleaner and the huge trees will soon be trimmed to give a full view of the falls. There is no doubt that the UNWTO delegates are up to a good treat.
Isdore Guvamombe Tourism matrix
THE timing of the relaunch of the Egypt Air services to Harare is perfect considering the expected increase in the movement of people into the country for the United Nations World Tourism
Organisation General Assembly next month, an official said yesterday. Speaking at a ceremony to celebrate the airline’s inaugural flight from Cairo to Harare at the Harare International Airport, Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development Permanent Secretary Mr Munesu Munodawafa said the direct flight solved the problem of connectivity between Zimbabwe and Northern Africa.
Preparations for the inaugural Miss Carnival slated for May 17 are at an advanced stage with models expected to go into camp tomorrow. The 23 models selected across the country will undergo training and grooming at a local hotel until the day of the finals.
ALL is set for the Carnival Queen Zimbabwe boot camp, which will see a bevy of beauties gather at a local hotel in Harare on Thursday for a boot camp ahead of the pageant to be held on May 17.
A message from the General Manager of The Victoria Falls Hotel
The Victoria Falls Hotel is excited to announce that our much anticipated refurbishment has begun in earnest with the building contractors arriving and beginning the physical work. We have been busy for some time already with many aspects such as sourcing the required materials and preparations to commence. Below is our anticipated scope of work and dates for completion for each section of the refurbishment program. Rest assured that we have worked hard to plan the entire process to cause as little disruption as possible to bookings and guests.
Timetable to completion and scope of work.
We are working to a carefully planned schedule to get our refurbishment done in the quickest time possible. In most cases we are boarding off the entire working areas to minimise noise and other disruptions to our guests. The refurbishment aims to bring the Victoria Falls Hotel to the standard of a true Luxury 5 Star product.
We have already started on the Stables Wing as a first priority and we expect to reach completion of the wing by early July. All deluxe rooms and suites will undergo a soft refurbishment, furniture replacement, lighting replacements, and the re-tiling and upgrading of the bathrooms.
Over on the North Hammerhead Wing work has also begun and should be completed by mid-June. The existing suites will be converted into a more luxurious space through enlarging the rooms and remodelling the lounge and bathrooms. They will also undergo a soft refurbishment, replacement of furniture and light replacements.
The Livingstone Room is being worked on in two stages. The first stage comprises replacement of all carpets, curtains, fans and furniture and conversion of windows to French doors. This stage should be completed by end of June. The Livingstone Room will then re-open to guests in the evenings, amidst external work which will continue from mid-May until mid-August. The external work will comprise the building of a new entrance and covered veranda.
Our South Hammerhead Wing refurbishment will begin mid-June with expected completion in August. The refurbishment scope will be the same as that of North Hammerhead described above.
On the world famous Stanley’s Terrace, extensive refurbishment & expansion will begin early June and should be ready by middle of August. The Terrace will be expanded into the current bar area, seeing the bar move to the current Stanley’s room. In addition a larger upgraded kitchen will be installed to service the Terrace. The bar service will relocate to The Pool and Jungle Junction area during the refurbishment.
The Pool Pavilion refurbishment will begin late May, during the coldest months. Late June should see it come to completion. The changes include extensive tiling and the creation of open plan arches. The pool will be accessible to guests during this time.
Lastly the public areas of Main Lounge, Bulawayo and Centenary Rooms will undergo a complete soft refurbishment with furniture and lighting replacements. This will bring to finality the refurbishment works.
I look forward to welcoming you to the newly refurbished Victoria Falls Hotel in the near future.
Thanks and Regards,
Giulio Togni, General Manager – The Victoria Falls Hotel
The two questions most likely to be uppermost on your mind are firstly “Why the heck would I want to fly to Harare?” and secondly “If I did fly to Harare, why wouldn’t I want to get out of there as fast as possible?” Between 1999 and 2010 almost all of the major airlines originally plying the Harare route had left and at the same time the city suffered the negative stereotype of being the capital city of a country that was no longer perceived by the bulk of the international community as a good place to travel to. ”So what has changed?” you say. ”Isn’t Harare still one of Africa’s worst cities to spend time in? Is there really another side to the story?” Here are a few things that may just surprise and entice you not only to fly here, but also explore this vibrant city and its surrounds.
Why is flying long-haul to Harare a good option?
You are planning your luxury journey to Zimbabwe and southern Africa and you have heard that you can now fly into Harare with major airlines like Emirates or KLM. This effectively means that you can now cut out first having to go through Johannesburg in South Africa, which had become the only reliable route into the region. This will most likely reduce your long haul flight time. Once you are here it will also reduce the stride into the bulk of the region’s finest luxury safari and adventure destinations. Domestic air access in Zimbabwe is improving all the time. Air Zimbabwe is operating daily flights from Harare to Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. The light aircraft company Bumi Air operates scheduled seat rate flights between Harare, Victoria Falls and the Bumi Hills air strip. Safari Logistics and Alt Air are also light aircraft companies that operate a variety of domestic routes on a ‘pay-per-seat’ or scheduled basis around the country.
Here is our choice of Harare’s finest experiences
An afternoon at ‘Wild is Life’
‘Wild is Life’ is an independent animal sanctuary located on the outskirts of Harare on a beautiful estate set in indigenous Miombo woodland and savanna grassland. The sanctuary has derived its purpose from the ever growing plight of animals that have suffered, been injured or orphaned due to the effects of poaching or other ill treatment. Animals that have come under their care include lions, giraffe, kudu, wildebeest and even the very rare pangolin. ’Wild is Life’ owner Roxy Danckwerts is very hands on and has helped the sanctuary form mutually beneficial relationships with the surrounding communities as well as with sponsors and donors.
‘Wild is Life’ offers a unique three to four hour experience that will leave you with a special feeling. As you arrive you are welcomed by Roxy and her team and you will be led to the veranda of the main building, that is an old farm house, and which overlooks the sanctuary and has fantastic views across the pristine estate beyond. Sit down and enjoy a traditional high tea with homemade cakes, sandwiches and other delectable treats, whilst Roxy briefs you on the ‘Wild is Life’ ethos as well as the programme for the afternoon. Whilst you are sitting there you are quickly surrounded by various animal members of the sanctuary, such as the giraffe browsing nearby or the friendly kudu who has a particular taste for chocolate cake. You will then embark on a tour of the sanctuary passing the various spacious enclosures that are home to lions, cheetah and other special creatures. It is quite a spectacle to see the lions being fed and then the tour culminates with a walk with the pangolins, which is potentially the main highlight of the whole experience. Following the tour sun-downers and canapes are served and this is a time to share your experiences of the day, whilst soaking up an African sunset. Throughout the afternoon you will completely forget that you are just minutes away from the main city.
Dinner at Victoria 22
Victoria 22 is a converted house, set in lush gardens with indigenous trees, in the quiet suburb of Newlands, only 10 minutes drive from the city centre. The restaurant offers an exceptional fine dining experience in an opulent and intimate atmosphere. It is run by a dedicated husband and wife team, Mark and Manuela Wollmann. Mark is the head chef and Manuela is the front of house host. Vic 22 is arguably the pick of the city’s top venues for the most discerning of food connoisseurs.
The seating has been tastefully distributed and the table decor is meticulous with use of damask table cloths and fine glassware. The central bar indoors is a grand and classy feature for both aperitifs or post dinner drinks. During summer months you may also dine al fresco on the terrace adjoining the main building and overlooking the garden, or simply enjoy the comfort of the cosy veranda lounge with drink in hand and enjoy homemade savoury delicacies before settling down to your main meal.
Mark personally designs the menu, which has a Mediterranean influence. It presents a variety of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, which can also be dished as mixed platters. Main course meals include favourites that have stood the test of time on the menu, such as the prime cut Zimbabwean fillet steak and the Scottish salmon. There is also an exceptional range of specials that change daily. Pair your meal with a good choice of South African wine. Then choose from delicious desserts like the cheese cake or chocolate mousse. End off with a liqueur accompanied by hand-made petit fours.
Visit Patrick Mavros
Zimbabwean born Patrick Mavros is an internationally acclaimed silversmith with outlets in New York, London and Harare (the original), as well as a dedicated online shop. Patrick has passed his skills and ability onto his sons and all together play various roles within the business. They lead highly trained teams that carry out varying degrees of craftsmanship under their watchful eyes. Patrick Mavros products are all handcrafted and the majority are solid silver. Each product is beautifully and intricately designed using a range of techniques that starts with pencil drawings of a concept, followed by the creation of wax moulds that then graduate into a finished product of silver. The finished products range from smaller pieces such as cuff-links, bracelets, ear rings and napkin rings through to bigger products that include candle sticks, animal and insect figures. The detail in each of these is literally incredible!
The Patrick Mavros estate in Harare is located in the rolling hills of Umwinsidale, on the outskirts of the city. When you arrive you are led into the main show room, which is a haven set under thatch with massive glass windows, looking out over a vast canopy of indigenous forest. Within this quiet sanctuary, each finished silver piece is showcased against the grand backdrop of dark Zimbabwean teak furniture. Patrick Mavros’ son Patrick Mavros Junior runs the Harare estate and either he or his team will be happy to take you around the factory section so you can observe and learn about the crafting process from conceptualization through the casting of wax models and onto the finished product. This is a truly fascinating tour.
A guided tour of Ngoma Kurira
Ngoma Kurira means “Drums Sounding” in Shona, the local language spoken by the majority of Zimbabweans. It is an area of intense beauty and immense spiritual significance, set among massive granite outcrops interspersed with indigenous Miombo forest. Ngoma Kurira is located only 20 minutes outside of Harare and is managed by the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe. A guided visit will see you taking a 3-5 hour hike, through the mountains, that is suitable for most fitness levels.
On the side of the massive vertical rock face of the main mountain, which is a giant batholith, are some well preserved rock paintings that date back many hundreds of years to the ancestors of the Shona that lived here. It is still believed by some that they continue to protect the area. The hike will take you across massive sheets of rock, through beautiful forests of Msasa and Munondo trees, past rich carpets of lichen and all along you shall be serenaded by an abundance of bird life There is a real reward for those who reach the top of Ngoma Kurira. The 360 degree view is magnificent to behold and you will get a true perspective of the scale of this fascinating landscape.
Shopping at Doon Estate
Doon Estate is a small collection of shops, home to a variety of authentically and proudly Zimbabwean retail products that can be browsed and bought in a formal, yet very relaxed setting. The lay out of the shops is in the style of a little village with all the buildings facing inwards and within easy walking distance of each other. Items on offer include many locally handmade items, traditional carvings, sculptures, pottery, clothing, furniture, accessories and more. There is also a genuine specialist Belgian chocolate maker here with a shop and tea room attached A stop here is the perfect interlude to a great shopping experience.
Golf at Royal Harare
If you are a keen golfer then your stay in Harare would not be complete without a round of golf at Royal Harare, which is an 18 hole championship course. Zimbabwe has a rich history of producing great golfers, the most famous being Nick Price, former world number one and Mark McNulty, who made it to the world’s top ten in the 1990s. Brendan De Jonge is a young Zimbabwean currently plying the US PGA circuit and ranked in the world’s top 100 golfers. All of these players consider Royal Harare as their home ground. The course also hosts the Zimbabwe Open each year, which forms part of Southern Africa’s Sunshine Tour.
Royal Harare is located just 5 minutes from the city’s CBD, yet there is little evidence of this when you are out on the course. Its plush green fairways carve their way through Msasa woodland, where duikers (small brown antelopes) roam and provide an added charm. The course does not have much in the way of water hazards, but the strategic placement of bunkers, sloping gradients and abundance of trees create a sufficient challenge to players of all levels.
Where to stay?
We recommend Meikles Hotel. This is Harare’s premier luxury hotel. First built in 1915 it has a proud history of excellence and is long standing member of the prestigious ‘Leading Hotels of the World.’ In addition there are a range of hotels and bed and breakfasts to choose from.
Getting to Harare via long haul?
Emirates, KLM, Ethiopian, Egypt Air (from 01 June 2013) and Kenyan Airways all fly regularly into Harare, linking southern Africa’s ‘Sunshine City’ through their own airport hubs to virtually every corner of the globe.
Pic by Vayeni: View from Meikles Hotel of Zimbabwe’s ‘Sunshine City’, April 2013
Written by Luke Brown, Vayeni Marketing Director, in Harare, Zimbabwe