Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Africa > Africa
Reload this Page >

Considering cancelling Victoria Falls trip

Considering cancelling Victoria Falls trip

Old Dec 5, 19, 10:56 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: FDH (Friedrichshafen)
Programs: AAdvantage, BAEC, Avios, Alaska, SAS Eurobonus, DL Skymiles, IHG Priority, Best Western Rewards
Posts: 2,191
Considering cancelling Victoria Falls trip

I had planned to visit Victoria Falls in early January.

The original plan had been to spend 3 nights on the Zimbabwe side and 3 nights on the Zambian side. However, the worsening currency crisis in Zimbabwe convince me to change my plans and I am now booked to spend 5 nights on the Zambian side, at the Protea Hotel Livingstone.

Given the recent drought conditions and the resultant low water levels, I am seriously wondering whether it is even worth going at all.

This is booked as a side trip from JNB (booked independently of my main flights to SA) and is easily cancelable with a net loss of around 200-250 USD.

I wonder whether it might be better to just cut my losses, head down to CPT, PLZ or DUR instead and leave Victoria Falls for another time?
The_Bouncer is online now  
Old Dec 5, 19, 12:48 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: JER
Programs: BA Gold/OWE, several MUCCI, and assorted Pensions!
Posts: 29,309
Sounds like our success at whale spotting in Hermanus!

This is, of course, a manifestation of “Must see/do that.” I suspect if we went on Safari, the Big 5 would be on holiday as well!
T8191 is offline  
Old Dec 5, 19, 5:05 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: FDH (Friedrichshafen)
Programs: AAdvantage, BAEC, Avios, Alaska, SAS Eurobonus, DL Skymiles, IHG Priority, Best Western Rewards
Posts: 2,191
Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
Sounds like our success at whale spotting in Hermanus!

This is, of course, a manifestation of ďMust see/do that.Ē I suspect if we went on Safari, the Big 5 would be on holiday as well!
Indeed. On one hand, it's the worst year in a generation. On the other hand, there is probably never going to be a perfect time.
The_Bouncer is online now  
Old Dec 5, 19, 5:10 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NT Australia
Programs: QF WP
Posts: 3,096
I am not sure what to suggest. I donít know that anywhere in SA has anything comparable in terms of *falls* (even at the lower levels I had in July, although I respect that the situation has deteriorated somewhat since then), and Iím not really a big city girl, what would you do instead? I can recommend eswatini, Botswana and also Lesotho but for different reasons. Perhaps switch it into a 5 day chobe/kasane trip?
nancypants is offline  
Old Dec 5, 19, 5:42 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: FDH (Friedrichshafen)
Programs: AAdvantage, BAEC, Avios, Alaska, SAS Eurobonus, DL Skymiles, IHG Priority, Best Western Rewards
Posts: 2,191
Originally Posted by nancypants View Post
I am not sure what to suggest. I donít know that anywhere in SA has anything comparable in terms of *falls* (even at the lower levels I had in July, although I respect that the situation has deteriorated somewhat since then), and Iím not really a big city girl, what would you do instead? I can recommend eswatini, Botswana and also Lesotho but for different reasons. Perhaps switch it into a 5 day chobe/kasane trip?
The above are all options. I was intending to head down to PLZ for some R&R and cricket after the Vic Falls trip.

I thought about the cricket in CPT, but I'm already doing one match in PLZ and I've already done the Garden Route, so I was looking for something different.

One option I thought of was picking up a rental car in JNB and driving down to PLZ via Maseru. If I do decide to postpone Victoria Falls, I guess it's either that or Chobe.

Is there much else to do around LVI, other than the falls?
The_Bouncer is online now  
Old Dec 5, 19, 5:47 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NT Australia
Programs: QF WP
Posts: 3,096
Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
The above are all options. I was intending to head down to PLZ for some R&R and cricket after the Vic Falls trip.

I thought about the cricket in CPT, but I'm already doing one match in PLZ and I've already done the Garden Route, so I was looking for something different.

One option I thought of was picking up a rental car in JNB and driving down to PLZ via Maseru. If I do decide to postpone Victoria Falls, I guess it's either that or Chobe.

Is there much else to do around LVI, other than the falls?
thereís heaps of stuff although a lot of it falls into what I would classify as overpriced tourist traps- walking with lions, elephant cafe and the like. I heard good things about some ranger led game walks out of Livingstone. Chobe was the highlight for me though. I also considered continuing further up and doing a day trip into Namibia although I understand there isnít a huge amount to see in the part that is accessible from LVI

perhaps shorten the trip rather than cancelling? I imagine seeing the falls at bugger all flow would be a unique if confronting memory/set of pictures?
The_Bouncer likes this.
nancypants is offline  
Old Dec 5, 19, 6:12 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: FDH (Friedrichshafen)
Programs: AAdvantage, BAEC, Avios, Alaska, SAS Eurobonus, DL Skymiles, IHG Priority, Best Western Rewards
Posts: 2,191
Originally Posted by nancypants View Post

perhaps shorten the trip rather than cancelling? I imagine seeing the falls at bugger all flow would be a unique if confronting memory/set of pictures?
This is actually quite a good point - and might give me something to compare with later. The trip is only a month away, so I can't imagine the flow is going to improve much.
nancypants likes this.
The_Bouncer is online now  
Old Dec 6, 19, 5:24 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: YSJ, IAD, LLW
Programs: Aeroplan, ShebaMiles
Posts: 72
Victoria Falls are definitely still "falling". I had some friends who were by last week and said all seemed fine. The flow should increase as rainy season picks up (the water in the Zambezi comes from further north) - Drought is indeed impacting regions around the middle / lower Zambezi (especially around Lake Kariba and spots south of Kariba Dam - Mana Pools NP / Lower Zambezi NP), but water levels there and at Victoria Falls are not always in line.

You can check the latest flow levels here: River Flows | Zambezi River Authority
The_Bouncer likes this.
b_magee is offline  
Old Dec 6, 19, 8:45 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 11,843
Originally Posted by nancypants View Post
I donít know that anywhere in SA has anything comparable in terms of *falls*
Well, Tugela Falls is the (second) tallest waterfall in the world, depending on which side of the argument you are on.

Johan
nancypants and The_Bouncer like this.
johan rebel is offline  
Old Dec 6, 19, 8:49 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 11,843
Originally Posted by b_magee View Post
Drought is indeed impacting regions around the middle / lower Zambezi (especially around Lake Kariba and spots south of Kariba Dam - Mana Pools NP / Lower Zambezi NP), but water levels there and at Victoria Falls are not always in line.
Zambezi River water levels depend almost entirely on how much rain falls in the Angolan highlands, not locally in Zambia or Zimbabwe.

It takes time for the water to reach Victoria Falls, so the amount of water cascading down the falls is out of sync with the rainy season.

Johan
b_magee and The_Bouncer like this.
johan rebel is offline  
Old Dec 6, 19, 5:42 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NT Australia
Programs: QF WP
Posts: 3,096
Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Well, Tugela Falls is the (second) tallest waterfall in the world, depending on which side of the argument you are on.

Johan
Iíll add that one to the bucket list 😉
nancypants is offline  
Old Dec 7, 19, 5:40 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 128
Originally Posted by b_magee View Post
Victoria Falls are definitely still "falling". I had some friends who were by last week and said all seemed fine. The flow should increase as rainy season picks up (the water in the Zambezi comes from further north) - Drought is indeed impacting regions around the middle / lower Zambezi (especially around Lake Kariba and spots south of Kariba Dam - Mana Pools NP / Lower Zambezi NP), but water levels there and at Victoria Falls are not always in line.

You can check the latest flow levels here: River Flows | Zambezi River Authority
In Reuters news article on the situation you can find some video footage and images of how the Falls look like with the low water levels.
The_Bouncer likes this.
Hezu is offline  
Old Dec 7, 19, 6:22 am
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: FDH (Friedrichshafen)
Programs: AAdvantage, BAEC, Avios, Alaska, SAS Eurobonus, DL Skymiles, IHG Priority, Best Western Rewards
Posts: 2,191
Thank you very much to everyone who has responded. Your input has clarified matters somewhat and I have more or less decided to continue with my planned itinerary, but with very managed expectations.

My planned four days at the falls will be cut to one half day of hiking on the Zimbabwean side, with a look at Victoria Falls town and one day on the Zambian side, maybe with a visit to Livingstone town and/or a Zambezi cruise.

The remainder of the time will be filled with a full day Chobe tour and something else, yet to be decided.

Of course, I will return to see the falls in a better year, further down the track.
nancypants and T8191 like this.
The_Bouncer is online now  
Old Dec 7, 19, 8:38 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: JER
Programs: BA Gold/OWE, several MUCCI, and assorted Pensions!
Posts: 29,309
Have a good trip, The_Bouncer ^

FYI, “Steam” in Stellenbosch was as good as ever this past week, even if without your company this time!
The_Bouncer likes this.
T8191 is offline  
Old Dec 7, 19, 1:42 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 685
Also booked for mid-January in a side-trip from JNB - and have decided there are two sides to every coin!

So looking forward to seeing a dried-out (hopefully once-in-a-generation view) if we don't see "falls"!

Shame you are early Jan, or we could have had a FT mini-do ;-)
nancypants and The_Bouncer like this.
flygod is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: