Victoria Falls as a Wheelchair User
Victoria Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world and is one of the 7 natural wonders. It borders the African countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
We saw the waterfall from the Zimbabwe side and the good news is, that from this vantage point, it is pretty much accessible. A driver picked us up from our accomodation and took us to the entrance of Victoria Falls National Park. From the main entrance there is a pathway that takes you along the Zimbabwe side of the gorge, where you can see the falls from a variety of different vantage points.
The path way is cement and is easy enough to traverse with a wheelchair. It can be a little uneven and a bit steep in places so assistance is recommended. If you go in the wet season (December to March), you do end up getting absolutely soaked. This can make it a bit difficult to push, as I found my push rims and wheels got very slippery. Keeping your chair dry will be important especially if you are in a power chair.
This being Africa, the side of the gorge doesn’t have a huge safety barrier, and so people just climb out onto the edge for better views. Obviously as a wheelchair user you can’t do this, however I don’t feel you miss out, as you still get great views.
The best time to visit Victoria Falls would be during the wet season (December – May), however f the Zimbabwe side flows all year round. Where the Zambian side does dry up.
The Victoria Falls National Park is located a short distance from the tourist town of Victoria Falls. We were there on the last day of the year so the town was extremely chaotic. So chaotic in fact that the town ran out of money in all of their banks. In all of Zimbabwe there is only a limited amount money in the bank as the country now uses US$ due to their recent market collapse. Therefore I highly suggest getting US$ before you do go to any part of Zimbabwe. The village is also not very accessible with poor curb and guttering.
When visiting Victoria Falls we stayed at Ursula Camp which is located in The Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve located about 20 min from Victoria Falls. On the same site is the very luxurious Stanley and Livingstone Hotel. Although Ursula Camp isn’t classified as wheelchair accessible, the camp is pretty flat and one of the bungalows has level access. The accomodation is located in a small private game park, so you can go for game drives to see the animals. The good thing about this camp is that the safari jeep has a level access platform so instead of climbing up into the truck you can just transfer across. The park is also home to a Black Rhino breeding program so is one of the rare places you can see the Black Rhino in their natural habitat.
In the next blog I will cover in more detail how to do an African Safari in a wheelchair.