Travel to the Victoria Falls and the surrounding countries, is as safe as you will be in Africa.
Victoria Falls and the surrounding KAZA region, fittingly dubbed “Africa’s Eden” must be one of the safest places to holiday anywhere in the world as far as crime and personal safety are concerned. Travellers to Africa are often concerned for their safety, so here’s a summary of what you could expect when you visit one of the seven wonders of the world.
With no big cities, only small towns and rural villages, it is a sparsely populated region where crime is very low, and everyone seems to know everyone. Now that is not to say there is no crime, it is just not…well… the sort you may be used to. As one resident jokes “In Victoria Falls you’re more likely to be pick-pocketed by a monkey, than anyone else.”
Traffic offenses often involve an Elephant on main street not giving way, or a herd of buffalo jay-walking on their way to the river. Also don’t forget to stop for the Zebra crossings. In this region, that involves actual real life Zebras crossing the road.
Burglaries often involve elephant leaning against walls late at night to ‘break in’ and raid someone’s orange tree, or baboons pillaging a paw-paw tree in broad daylight (they have no shame). Sometimes the latter engage in more brazen crimes like raiding your washing line and then trying on the article of clothing in your neighbour’s mango tree.
If your car alarm goes off at 2 am, don’t worry, it is probably an ellie giving itself a belly rub on your car bonnet. It is always a fun one to try and explain to the London-based insurance company.
Trespass is common, from Warthog living under your culvert to Mongooses running riot on your lawn. At one restaurant on the river a young crocodile wandered up to the bar (literally) presumably to order a beer and some takeaway fish and chips. The poor fella was promptly served with a trespass notice, and was gently returned to the river.
But in all earnestness Victoria Falls and its surrounds are wild, and you need to respect that. The town is in a national park and wild animals are its founding citizens. Victoria falls is in the heart of the KAZA region (Africa’s Eden) which boasts the largest population of elephants in the world and some of Africa’s most pristine untouched wilderness. The big five can all be seen in nearby parks.
You will feel completely safe in Victoria Falls, crime is very low, and petty at worst. If Victoria Falls and its surrounds are not on your bucket list, that’s probably a sign you need to get your priorities sorted out.
Here are some safety tips for those visiting Victoria Falls and the surrounding safari areas:
• It is completely safe to walk around Vic Falls town during the day.
• There are easily identifiable tourism police dotted around town whose job it is to take care of tourists. If you have any issues or just need directions, they are always happy to help.
• Take a taxi at night – elephants and hyenas are both hard to see on a moonless night.
• Keep your distance from wildlife. In town they are generally quite used to people but please don’t try taking selfies with the local bull elephant. It usually doesn’t end well.
• If you’re going to into the parks, and you’re not familiar with African wildlife go on a game drive with a professional guide. The region boasts many of the best wildlife guides in the world. You’ll will learn an incredible amount.
• Don’t leave your things lying around, monkeys and baboons are curious creatures and they can nick off with anything.
• Close your windows when you leave your room, monkeys and baboons know where to find the bar fridge. Your room could end up looking like 50 university students had a party in it!
• Avoid travelling out of town at night. There is a lot wildlife on the road that can be difficult to see.
• Relax and have a wild time.
Editor – VF24 JH