The area around Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe offers discerning travelers unique culinary experiences not found anywhere else. Foodies will be spoilt for choice but don’t take too long to decide, resorts and restaurants book up in advance and you don’t want to be disappointed.
Steam Train Dinner
Step aboard a Steam Train for this colonial experience in stately carriages. Travel past wildlife to stop on the bridge for a view of the spectacular falls at sunset.
It is important to note that the train is not operational every day. Check the website for schedules when planning your trip and book accordingly. This activity books up early, especially over the busier season.
Correct at the time of writing:
The train leaves Victoria Falls Station near the Vic Falls Hotel (Zimbabwe side) on Tuesdays and Fridays.
It leaves from Livingstone (Zambian side) on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The journey commences at 5 pm and lasts 5 hours as it incorporates dinner and a stop on the bridge for a walk around.
Cost: $205 pp
The waiters in colonial uniform complete the experience as they serve drinks and light snacks followed by a gourmet meal. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular Vic Falls at sunset while enjoying a delicious meal provided in partnership with the Victoria Falls Hotel.
For more information follow the link to the Visit Victoria Falls website
The Boma remains one of my most memorable dining experiences. The 4-course traditional feast introduces you to the tastes and cuisine of local dishes – including Mopani worms, a local delicacy. I still have my certificate : )
In between courses, you may want to have your hair braided or face painted before the colorful and energetic display of traditional dancers and an interactive drumming show captivates you. A night at the Boma is a fun experience for adults and children.
Dinner is from 7-10 pm and costs $50 per head excluding drinks and gratuities.
Book a table at https://www.theboma.co.zw/ as soon as your travel plans are confirmed. Dates book up months in advance.
The Lookout Cafe has one of the best views in Victoria Falls. Wild Horizon owns and operates the cafe and they insist on fresh local, quality ingredients for the casual menu, served in a relaxed setting. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner as you gaze across the Batoga Gorge towards the iconic Vic Falls bridge.
If you happen or plan to be in Vic Falls during Full Moon, Lookout Cafe is the best place from which to see the Lunar Rainbow or Moonbow. The rainy season is the best time to view as the water level is high. You need to book dinner in advance for this event. This link will take you to the Lookout Cafe page with details of dates and how to book.
Follow the link to Lookout Cafe for more details about the cafe.
Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner cruises are available on the Zambezi but my choice would be the sundowner option with canapes and cocktails. Watching the sunset on the Zambezi is one experience you cannot miss in Vic Falls. It is spectacular.
While cocktails and canapes are not strictly considered culinary experiences, you may combine dinner with your cruise. However, my choice would be to combine a cruise with a dining experience on terra firma. Pure Africa, an owner-run tour company would be my choice of operator. They offer several unique venues and some of the best culinary experiences in Vic Falls:
Opt for the signature or luxury cruise to get a good view of the gorgeous sunset while enjoying premium canapes and drinks in comfort onboard their luxury boats. Then head back to shore for a Potjie dinner of local cuisine.
Here is the website again for Pure Africa. Have a look and see what other culinary experiences they have to offer the discerning traveler.
Livingstone Room at Victoria Falls Hotel
Another one of the best culinary experiences you can’t miss is dinner at the iconic Livingston Room at Victoria Falls Hotel, a member of Leading Hotels of the World. The classic and elegant Edwardian-styled Livingstone Room has been named one of the most prestigious restaurants in the world.
The restaurant is only open for dinner from Monday to Saturday and the dress code is strictly smart casual. As one of the top-voted restaurants on Tripadvisor, it is best to book in advance to secure a table.
High Tea at Victoria Falls Hotel
High Tea is one of my best culinary experiences and Victoria Falls Hotel is renowned for theirs. Served from 3 pm – 6 pm daily, enjoy this colonial tradition as you gaze across manicured lawns to the gorge beyond.
Take a look at this beautifully elegant hotel and even if you don’t stay here, consider stopping in for High Tea or a light snack on the Stanley Terrace.
Dusty Road Experience
For something completely different you have to include a meal at Dusty Road, a vibrant, funky, and authentic traditional Zimbabwean Restaurant in the heart of the Chinotimba Township, the oldest and largest township in Vic Falls. Food is cooked the Zimbabwean way, on open charcoal fires, and in cast iron pots.
Chef and owner, known as Mama Sarah, is widely traveled and has brought her experience to this bustling little town where she passionately empowers and uplifts women in the local community. She is a true inspiration and works tirelessly on Dusty Road to draw people into the township where other members of the community can benefit. The restaurant is an eclectic mix of arts and crafts, permeated with the mouth-watering smells of whatever is cooking that day.
Naturally, the food is fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced but there is so much more to this quirky little corner. A dinner will cost you $40 but the experience is priceless.
Take a look at Dusty Road and please remember to book in advance. As the number one restaurant in Vic Falls, they book up quickly and you cannot miss this special experience.
Cassia Restaurant Ilala Lodge
For a fine dining gourmet experience that has rapidly gained popularity in Vic Falls, head to Ilala Lodge for alfresco dining under the African sky. Previously known as the Palm restaurant, Cassia recently underwent a name change but the food, however, has remained as popular as ever.
Cassia is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The excellent service, tranquility, and ambiance combine to make this peaceful spot under the Cassia trees a favorite with locals and visitors.
They have also recently added a riverside dining experience with an authentic African-style barbeque. I’m sure it won’t be long before that becomes as popular as the elegant restaurant.
The hotel and restaurant are not only about fine food and ambiance, they care about the environment and community with just as much passion. You can read more about this at Ilala Cares.
To make a reservation for the restaurant head over to Cassia Restaurant and make your booking.
Pure Africa Cooking Experience
I have already mentioned Pure Africa for their cruises but another unusual experience they offer is a potjie pot experience at The Eatery on the banks of the Zambezi. Choose from Beef, Chicken, or Vegetable as part of a 3-course alfresco meal.
For a small surcharge, you can turn it into an interactive experience for groups of 6 or more.
Cost is $40 pp
For further details and bookings, the Pure Africa Eatery will tell you all you need to know.
Royal Spice Spoons
The Royal Livingstone is another passionate supporter of local cuisine and traditions. Their Spice Spoons Cooking School lets you discover local flavors and traditions, where a Royal Livingstone chef will share their knowledge with you during an array of lessons.
Cost: Approximately $165
They offer several other unique culinary experiences as well which you can check out here. Look for Spice Spoons under ‘Dining by Design’.
I’m not sure about you, but I can’t wait to travel back to Victoria Falls. Not convinced? Here are 10 reasons why you should visit this amazing destination.
May to June is my favorite time to travel so if you want to enjoy the best wildlife, weather, and sightings of the falls, book your trip now. For accommodation, follow this link to my suggestions for 16 Best Places to Stay in Victoria Falls.