The Sunday Mail
THE steep might of the majestic Victoria Falls and supporting activities will blow a visitor away any time of day or year.
During the day, there is the rainforest tour, bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, boat cruises, tandem skydiving and helicopter/microlight flights over the falls.
High wire activities in the form of zipline, gorge swing and flying fox are also available.
But the Devil’s Pool — swim on the edge of the falls — is certainly the summit of the adrenaline activities.
One can also explore Zambezi’s wildlife and nature through the famous gorge hike, a visit to one of the crocodile farms or a game drive.
However, the phenomenal Boma enlivens tourists’ night experience in the resort town, ensuring an ultimate end to each day.
The 27-year-old restaurant’s Dinner and Drum Show is renowned for giving its customers a truly unforgettable African experience.
The Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) spectacle has become a standout nightlife prop for a town that has little to offer after dusk.
A tripper’s holiday package in the town will not be complete without a visit to the iconic restaurant. It is top on many tourists’ must-do-lists.
Located on the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge (VFSL) estate, the Boma has, thus far, hosted over a million guests. A fabled blend of sumptuous and mouth-watering local cuisine, energetic dance performances, interactive drumming and traditional storytelling, which literally appeals to the basic human five senses, sums up the overall experience.
Boma’s executive chef, Thomas Koke, reckons the US$250 000 refurbishment of the joint some months back gave the joint a fresh look and feel.
“Renovations came timely. The product was getting tired and we came in and injected fresh life through improving the menu and infrastructure. It has come alive again,” said Koke.
The traditionally decorated structure has a partially thatched roof. Different cooking stations situated at various sections, including a blazing fire, also characterise the restaurant.
The Boma experience is simply exquisite!
Upon arrival, one gets a colourful African garment and customary face-painting. You are then escorted to your table and instantaneously the ambiance of Zimbabwean hospitality grips you.
The food range at your disposal then quickly sweeps you off your feet.
Their four-course meal includes a delicious platter of starters, soup from the campfire and a braai (barbecue) buffet, vegetarian options and a selection of desserts.
The delectable buffet offers the more adventurous foodie to try their smoked crocodile tail, deep-fried kapenta, tender warthog fillet, kudu steak, impala kebabs, Zambezi bream and guinea fowl, etcetera.
“Apart from sightseeing, one needs good food; food that tells a story about the place from the receipt itself,” said Koke.
After dinner, traditional dance performers gather around the middle of the restaurant and entertain guests with their natural drum shows. Guests also temporarily get a drum for free drumming lessons.
The Boma is open to everyone and is not limited to AAT guests only.
Pulsating vulture culture experience
It is not often that one gets a chance to witness a wake of vultures feeding. Most of the action usually occurs in the jungle.
But at the VFSL, one gets this opportunity as vultures devour an assortment of animal carcasses some three or so meters away.
Every day for 30 minutes during lunchtime, VFSL run a programme called the “vulture culture experience”.
The experience is complimentary to all their guests. Other tourists can also visit and get a feel of it free of charge.
The vulture culture experience is a 20-year-old AAT conservation feeding programme that seeks to aid the survival of the endangered birds.
The activity is fascinating, educational and appeals to all age groups, hence it attracts a lot of tourists.
Wildlife supervisor, Moses Marunya Garira, who has been in charge of the programme for the past five years, spoke glowingly about it.
“Vultures are scavengers by nature and are integral to the ecosystem as they are rubbish collectors and cleaners of the bush that prevent the spread of diseases by consuming dead animals,” revealed Garira.
“Poachers often intentionally poison vultures because they circle over poached carcasses, thereby directing wildlife authorities to the crime scene.”
The vulture culture experience takes place at a safe feeding site. Visitors gather for a short but detailed briefing by the wildlife supervisor before the feeding commences.
Every day, a committee of vultures start gathering around the feeding site at least 15 or so minutes before feeding time.
The feeder is quick in his approach. Within seconds, food thrown to the feeding hide disappears as the vultures aggressively pound on their prey.
AAT is working on this project in collaboration with the Vulture Protection in Southern Africa (VulPro), a leading vulture conservation organisation based in South Africa, as well as the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust.