I’m not a runner myself but after spending a weekend caught up in the action and fun of the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon held in the adventure capital of Africa last week, I’m rather inspired to get myself some running shoes and hit the road.
Just under 1800 eager athletes hit the usually quiet streets of this charming town in full force, bringing a wave of excitement and stiff competition with them.
The full and half marathon raced over the iconic Victoria Falls bridge spanning the dramatic gorge between Zimbabwe and Zambia, and whilst for some serious competitors it was strictly business, many stopped to snap a selfie with the “Smoke that Thunders.” The route then loops back and heads towards the National Park, and our warning to runners to not wear headphones proved no joke – as elephant and smaller wildlife joined local bystanders along the route. As the sun baked down, the festive watering tables with their beating African drums, icy showers and refreshing drinks and fruit gave runners a much welcomed boost to get them across the finish line.
The 7.5km fun run attracted around 900 participants of all ages, and much laughter and cameraderie was shared enroute.
Winding down that evening, our Wild Frontiers guests enjoyed snacks and drinks aboard the luxurious Zambezi Explorer, as we soaked up the tranquil sunset and shared highlights of a memorable day.
For those whose legs were still going strong, local Bar and Restaurant The Three Monkeyshosted an incredible After party with local band Flying Bantu and DJ Francis keeping the dance floor pumping. This is a magical place for a sundowner and everything on the menu is simply fantastic!
To rush in and out of town just for the marathon would be to miss out on so much action – one should take at least a few days to immerse yourself in the many activities on offer both here and in nearby Botswana, or in the other great parts of Zimbabwe like Hwange, Kariba and Mana Pools.
Adrenaline junkies will delight in the gorge swing, zip line, flying fox, Canopy tour, bungi jump, white water rafting, croc cage diving, river boarding and the “Flight of Angels” helicopter flip.
If you seek something a little less wild, enjoy cruises, game drives, walking safaris, elephant and horse trails, a tour of the Falls and local craft shopping.
Nothing beats an African sunrise or sunset – and there are plenty of great spots including theVictoria Falls Hotel with its view to the bridge, the Lookout Café with its spectacular view over the giant Batoka Gorge and the Vic Falls Safari Lodge overlooking a busy waterhole.
I for one cannot wait to be back in 2018, and we hope you’ll join us there on 1 July!
Product and Marketing Manager