By Marianne Betts
It is well known that the world’s largest waterfall is a bucket list travel destination, but less is known of the events in Victoria Falls, with a world class music festival as well as a range of sporting challenges staged annually in this spectacular setting.
In coming months, the Zimbabwean tourist attraction will host the Vic Falls Carnival, the Victoria Falls Enduro, the Victoria Falls Trail Run, the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon and the Zambezi Cycle Challenge, enabling visitors to tick off two bucket list items in one trip!
The sporting events in Victoria Falls take participants through the unique scenery carved out by the Zambezi River while providing the opportunity of sighting some of Africa’s iconic wildlife, and often supporting a worthy cause at the same time.
Here’s what there is to look forward to in Victoria Falls over the next few months:
The Vic Falls Carnival – April 29 to May 1
Africa’s most exciting music festival offers three days of non-stop entertainment from the continent’s biggest acts, with this year’s lineup including local artists Gemma Griffiths, Nutty O, Flying Bantu and Sha Sha, as well as South African acts DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, Master KG, Boity and Shimza. The festival will include intimate sunset parties on Friday and Saturday featuring a cruise on the triple deck Zambezi Explorer followed by a gig at the launch location, and a larger Kunye brand lunch with DJs at the Look Out Café on Sunday. For more information or to buy tickets visit www.vicfallscarnival.com
Victoria Falls Enduro – April 29 to April 30
Motor bikers traverse an 80km trail of scenic Victoria Falls wilderness areas on the first day, and race on the second day. The event will raise funds for the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust. www.facebook.com/VictoriaFallsEnduro/
Victoria Falls Trail Run – May 21 and 22
The first day of this inaugural event will cover 30km, and the second day 20km, along a single track through rural villages, remote forests and wildlife rich areas along the edge of the Batoka Gorge with the Zambezi River below. Proceeds will go towards conservation efforts in and around Victoria Falls. www.victoriafallstrailrun.com
The Econet Victoria Falls Marathon – July 3
Participants may choose from a full 42.2km marathon, 21.1km half marathon run and a 7.5km fun run. One of the most popular events in Victoria Falls, the marathon provides a platform for both local and international runners to pit themselves against the best, as well as for enthusiasts to rise to a challenge. Participants are encouraged to make a donation to one of the following charities when registering: The Greenline Africa Trust , The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit , Clever Kapandura Family Trust or Mummy’s Angels. www.vicfallsmarathon.com
Zambezi Cycle Challenge – 8 to 10 July
This three-day 190km mountain bike event provides a fun adventure while helping raise funds to preserve the environment around one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Although the field for this year’s event has already been filled you can register on their website www.zambezicyclechallenge.com to go on a waitlist or get in early for next year!