When our guide told us that the Elephant’s Walk artist village would be our first stop in Victoria Falls I was a little sceptical. After all, we were there to see one of the seven wonders of the world and experience the wildlife and culture of this amazing town on Zimbabwe’s border with Zambia.
So much more to Victoria Falls than the actual falls
In Victoria Falls elephants walk the streets of the town at night and warthogs and monkeys moonlight as car guards.
From the moment you set foot in this amazing place you are constantly torn between taking in the natural beauty of the scenery and experiencing the huge amount of activities on offer. From cruising on the Zambezi, to watching lions feast on their dinner at close quarters, to gliding 300 meters across the Batoka Gorge on a zipline, there’s something for every visitor.
I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the “mall” home to a number of artists doing everything from wire art and painting to ceramics and handmade designer jewellery.
Elephant’s Walk is an oasis of beauty in an already magnificent little town and the main attraction is undoubtedly the Ndau Collection, which sells stunning jewellery made from rare beads sourced from across Africa and lovingly worked into one-of-a-kind pieces by a team of local craftsmen.
The workshop is on the premises and customers are encouraged to watch as the magic is being made. Each piece, whether wrought in gold, silver or vermeil, is a work of art that reflects the collection’s African roots and owner Gail van Jaarsveld’s passion for beads.
Some of the rare beads used in the Ndau Collection jewellery date back hundreds of years. Picture: Lou-Anne Daniels
A stone’s throw away is the River Brewing Co where you can sample a number of local beers produced on the premises and, if you’re lucky, be given a quick brewing demo. The brewery is popular and the staff are keen to share their knowledge with customers.
Having arrived in the afternoon after flying from Cape Town via Johannesburg, there was no time to visit the iconic falls on the first day but supper at The Boma more than made up for having to wait until the following day.
The restaurant offers a unique interactive African drumming experience which is guaranteed to put even the most travel-weary diners in a festive mood. The Boma is packed to the rafters every single night and it’s no surprise as they offer a true taste of Zimbabwean culture, from the traditional cloth each diner is draped with on arrival to the peanut butter inspired dishes and flame grilled local game. You even get a certificate to prove you’ve sampled their Mopani worms.
With such an awesome start to the two-week trip, I can’t wait to see what else Zimbabwe has to offer.