Top 5 Restaurants in Victoria Falls

For most travellers, eating out while on holiday and savouring the local cuisine is an important part of visiting a different country. Hotels usually have their own restaurants (with delicious offerings, no less) but, for the adventurous, there is always the lure of indigenous samplings further about in town!

Victoria Falls Hotels

Victoria Falls restaurants are many and varied, reflecting the diversity of cultures to be found in this part of the world. Most enjoy a reputation of providing superior dining with great service in relaxed settings; and are within easy commuting distance, often just a short walk or taxi ride away from your Victoria Falls accommodation. Home-baked cakes, hot stews, grill platters and authentic oriental dishes are popular menu items. However, dining out in Victoria Falls is an incomplete experience without tucking in to some uniquely Zimbabwean dishes!

The Boma

Not to be missed, The Boma – Place of Eating greets guests with a rich selection of game steaks including warthog (for which it is most renowned), eland, impala, and even crocodile! Hearty soup from the campfire and a barbeque buffet, served on cast iron plates, with a selection of salads ensure no guest is left unsatisfied. The diner with a penchant for unusual dishes has the chance to savour Mopani worms; while traditional beef, pork, fish and chicken or vegetarian meals are also available. Amakwezi traditional dancers, drummers, story- and fortune-tellers provide evening entertainment, making dining at The Boma a truly unique experience.

Restaurants in Victoria Falls

Mama Africa Eating House

Situated in central Victoria Falls, patrons frequent this contemporary township-style restaurant for hotpots, stews, and a standard grill menu. A resident jazz band provides live entertainment most nights at this venue, which is popular for its youthful casual atmosphere. The restaurant’s name befits the matronly, home-like service, and visitors looking to kick back with easy dining after a day out in town will find Mama Africa perfect.

Shearwater Café

Here, guests favouring western cuisine are well accommodated with a menu fusing European, Mediterranean, and local influences. This modern-style restaurant is ideal for mingling with local company in a bustling district, while soaking up the Victoria Falls atmosphere.

Rainforest Restaurant

At the Rainforest Restaurant, light meals, homemade cakes and cold drinks provide pleasant refreshment for visitors just inside the entrance to Victoria Falls National Park.

Victoria Falls Accommodation

Nam Took Thai Restaurant

Featuring a substantial menu of authentic Thai, Chinese and Indian-Pakistani dishes combined with vibrant African décor, Nam Took Thai Restaurant is a feast for the senses. Friendly staff and the option to dine in, or take out, round off a cheerful experience.

The accommodation in Victoria Falls promises to be pleasantly comfortable throughout you stay. Buffet breakfasts, a la carte lunches and dinners with excellent views of the surrounds add to the convenience in this popular tourist town with no shortage of exciting activities to pursue.

 

Best Car Hire Options in Botswana

Car hire in Botswana allows travellers the freedom to explore the cities and fresh countryside at their leisure. Scenic drives (even safaris!) make journeying by car an ideal way to see the country’s offerings.

Car Hire Botswana

Renting a car at Francistown Airport is a convenient way to experience one of Botswana’s most fascinating cities. The second oldest city in the country, Francistown lies to the east, at the place where the Tati and Inchwe rivers adjoin.

Originally the centre of southern Africa’s first gold rush, numerous abandoned mines can still be found here. A few have quirky names which aptly reflect their past, such as Phoenix, Bonanza, Jim’s Luck, Lady Mary, and White Elephant.

There are many attractions worth a visit once you have collected your vehicle at the airport. Prominent sites in this region include:

  • The Supa Ngwao Museum – exhibitions on the culture and history of the Kalanga people, as well as historical photographs of early Francistown and Botswana;
  • The Tachila Nature Reserve – self-drive safaris, popular for viewing big game in this space of 8200 hectares of protected natural habitat;
  • 50km north of town lies the Domboshaba ruins of a settlement thought once to be part of Great Zimbabwe.

Accomoodation in Botswana There is a surprisingly wide variety of cuisines to be found in Francistown. From top-of-the-range steaks, Eastern dishes, to local delicacies such as the Mopane worm and Seswaa (the national dish of meat stew and pap), there is something to sate even the pickiest of eaters. Whatever your interests, Botswana culture offers plenty to see and do!

A simple and secure booking facility for car hire in Francistown will ensure a great start to the Botswana experience. Round-the-clock world-class service means instantly available travel support, from up-to-date country information to roadside assistance. Browse through vehicle types to find standard models, luxury vans, 4 x 4s, and SUVs fully stocked and equipped for multiday trips ‘into the bush’. Adventure is a part of each package!

Botswana Hotel

Long-time travellers can enjoy an array of benefits, including substantial discounts on dining, accommodation, and car rental. Whether it is a business trip, a holiday exploring the region or even a simple overnight transition, the accommodation in Francistown provides authentic comfort and an excellent option for recharging before moving on!

Longer Stays at the Cresta Oasis

It is often assumed that an African safari getaway or a beach vacation would be far more enjoyable than a holiday in the city. However, these thoughts should be avoided, as cities are often filled with wondrous gems that go unexplored. One such city is Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.Harare AccommodationHarare is an open city that is beautiful, light, and filled with modern buildings, luxurious parks and flourishing gardens. The streets are lined with trees and flower beds and the climate is warm and invigorating.

Harare is known as the commercial heart of Zimbabwe. It is the central point for doing business, especially when it involves the trade centre, telecommunications, banks and the manufacturing industry.

However, when business has been completed and there is a bit of time left for recreational activities then try and keep in mind that there are a few places that must be explored when visiting Harare. Some of these include the National Art Gallery, the Mbare Flea Market, the Queen Victoria Museum, and the National Library.

Accommodation in Harare is luxurious, stylish, and easily available. In the heart of the sunny and tranquil Harare, lies the Cresta Oasis. Here guests are treated like royalty and given a warm welcome and high-class service. It is definitely the right place to combine entertainment and business.Harare HotelIn 2012 Cresta Oasis was nominated as one of the key contributors to customer and management excellence by the Zimbabwe Institute of Management. In addition to this, Cresta Oasis was the second runner-up for the 2012 customer service excellence award for the Harare region. The Cresta Oasis hotel was also nominated for Zimbabwe’s Service Champion of the Year award in 2013 at the Megafest National Business Awards.

The Cresta Oasis is a hotel that recognises the business and recreational opportunities in Harare and has therefore created apartments for visitors to stay for longer periods, specifically for one week or more. These apartments are perfectly suited for migrating families, NGO visitors, project consultants, business travellers, or tourists who wish for a lengthy getaway.

These apartments are fully furnished and include free Wi-Fi, a 32” flat screen television, DSTV, electricity, a standard generator, secure parking, housekeeping services, security, kitchen utensils and appliances, a built in safe, air-conditioner, free weekly tea and coffee, and free accommodation for one guest per week.

Whether you want to visit Harare for one night or one month, the Cresta Oasis is definitely the right hotel for every type of tourist, businessman, or visitor.

Top Restaurants in Harare and Bulawayo

Harare

Amanzi is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens in the heart of the northern suburbs of Harare, and is regarded as one of the top restaurants in Harare. Housed in an elegantly-converted Colonial farmhouse, warm interiors flow through open arches, and a nearby garden waterfall and crackling fire brazier create a romantic ambience for enjoying delicious international food. Harare Hotel Perfectly situated in Eastlea and close to the most popular accommodation in Harare, as well as to the business hubs of Newlands and Msasa, and a tranquil haven from the hustle and bustle of the city, Garwe is highly recommended by locals. Here you can sample traditional Zimbabwean cuisine including guinea fowl, goat, and ox-tail, as well as various vegetable dishes. Food is also eaten in the traditional way – with the hands.

Exuding elegance and charm, Victoria 22 is housed in a beautifully restored Colonial house and is a favourite of the well-heeled locals. Quite formal and expensive by Harare standards, the restaurant offers a set menu with four choices and undoubtedly the best food in town. An evening of fine dining here is a must!

Of course, the Cresta Hotels range of restaurants are worth mentioning here too. Tiffany’s Restaurant, in Cresta Jameson Hotel is a beautiful feature restaurant with excellent service, outstanding cuisine and wine. and an elegant ambience. Cresta Jameson Hotel’s Sandawana Restaurant, serves delicious English buffet breakfasts and lunches, as well as buffet and á la carte dinners in a comfortable and informal setting. Amanzi Restaurant

Contemporary-chic décor, gourmet cuisine, a fine selection of imported wines and a relaxed ambience greet you upon arrival at Chatters Restaurant in Harare’s Cresta Lodge. The comprehensive menu offers delightful favourites, accompanied by excellent service with a smile.  Situated on the ground floor of the Cresta Oasis Hotel, Café Afrique also offers a wide selection of innovative and tempting Zimbabwean dishes, excellent wines and outstanding service.

Bulawayo

Exuding a cosy, old world charm with thick wooden ceiling beams and leaded-light windows, the Tudor-styled Inglenook, located in the Cresta Churchill Hotel, is one of best restaurants in Bulawayo. Upholstered ladder-back chairs and highly polished bench tables create a warm, English pub-type ambience with a comprehensive menu and wine list. Staff are friendly, service is excellent and meals are reasonably priced.Bulawayo Restaurants

Experience fine-dining at its best in the beautiful, long-standing Nesbitt Castle, surrounded by exquisitely landscaped gardens. Experience 21st century luxury, intertwined with the gothic, medieval feel of 12th century romance in Bulawayo’s most sought-after destination.

With glorious views over Bulawayo, Horizons is an upmarket and contemporary-chic eatery conveniently located in the heart of the city, close to your Bulawayo accommodation. Enjoy a drink at the sleek bar before dining on the outside terrace next to a tinkling waterfall and swimming pool.

Fine Dining in Botswana

There are a number of restaurants and eateries in Botswana that serve excellent cuisine, but the cream of the crop would have to be dining by candlelight in one of the many luxury game lodges in this exciting country.Botswana Restaurant

However, if you are simply passing through one of the big cities, there are a few upmarket establishments and hotels in Botswana that are worth a visit. Gaborone’s ‘The Mall,’ the central market district and the tourist town of Maun have the best selection of restaurants, with a varied choice of international and local cuisine.

The Beef Baron Grill and Rib Room (Grand Palm Hotel and Casino, Gaborone) is your best bet when it comes to fine dining in a luxury setting. This elegant eatery serves traditional Botswana cuisine, as well as steak and ribs, and is as opulent as it gets.

Rodizio (Riverwalk Shopping Centre, Gaborone) is another upscale eatery and meat-eater’s delight, with great service and catchy live music on weekends, while The Beijing Red Lantern Chinese Restaurant (5659 Legolo Road, Broadhurst, Gaborone) serves the best Asian cuisine in town.The small town of Maun, which is generally a hub for day-safari trips to the Okavango Delta and other north-eastern hotspots, offers a couple of good places to eat. Try Homey Hilary’s (Mathiba 1 St, Maun) for delicious vegetarian fare, which includes homemade bread, soups, salads and bean specialties. The well-known Sports Bar and Restaurant (Shorobe Road, Sedie, Maun) is a classy watering hole with chef-inspired dishes from an extensive Western menu, including pizza and pastas, while The Curry House Restaurant (The Mall, Maun) is unpretentious, inexpensive and serves delicious, authentic Indian curries.

Some of the best places to eat in Botswana are set in game lodges close to the major towns or in the national parks and wildlife reserves, the pride of Botswana Tourism. Serving mostly local cuisine with a nod towards meat-heavy Western dishes, settings range from simple to glamorous, depending on the accommodation itself.

Chobe Game Lodge (Chobe National Park) has a brilliant reputation regarding food, and famous names who’ve loved the place include Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, while the diminutive Tuli Safari Lodge (Northern Tuli National Park) is also beautiful and serves great food.

The Newly Refurbished Cresta Riley’s Hotel

The city of Maun, also known as ‘the ‘Gateway to the Okavango Swamps’ is fast becoming Botswana’s tourism capital, providing the perfect base and starting point for tours to the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi Pans.

While the town offers a comfortable range of accommodation to suit every budget, the newly refurbished Cresta Riley’s Hotel should be on the top of the list, offering both business and leisure travellers a comfortable, home-away-from-home retreat in the heart of the city.Botswana Hotel Located on the banks of the Thamakalane River, the elegant hotel offers three-star accommodation in the form of suites, twin rooms and double rooms.  Boasting private balconies with beautiful views of the river and the hotel gardens, each room features modern amenities, including air-conditioning, multi-channel television, tea/ coffee making facilities and direct-dial telephones, to ensure a comfortable and relaxed stay.

A variety of convenient services are on offer, such as a 24-hour reception service, Internet access, modern conference facilities and room service.  A sparkling swimming pool is the ideal place to relax and unwind with a drink from the outdoor pool bar, and Riley’s Grill serves delicious continental and full breakfasts, a varied a la carte menu for lunch and delectable dinners.Maun Hotel Stylish and modern conference facilities cater for up to 80 guests, with state-of-the-art technology and spacious boardrooms to ensure all business guests are comfortable.

The warm and welcoming hotel staff are at the ready to cater for your every need, such as assisting with the arrangement trips in and around Maun, including game viewing, mokoro and boat trips, birding and visits to the local Crocodile Farm.  They can also book trips further afield to the Okavango Delta, Moremi, Chobe National Park and Savuti, leaving guests to worry about nothing except relaxing in style.

The Cresta brand is synonymous with luxurious style and service excellence and promises unrivalled attention to detail for a happy and comfortable stay.

Traditional SeTswana Cuisine

The Tswana migrated into central southern Africa in the 14th century. As hunters, herders and agriculturists, they found the land abundant in game, lush grazing for cattle, and fertile soil for the cultivation of sorghum, beans, pumpkins and sweet melons. Maize, introduced later by Portuguese explorers, was also highly productive. Over time, these came to form the foundation of Botswana traditional cuisines.


With the country among the most developed in Southern Africa, visitors will find contemporary Botswana food to be a blend of external influences and traditional cooking. Mozambique king prawns, smoked salmon and a variety of European and Eastern dishes can be found, but experiencing local foods is something not to be missed!

Much like the rest of Botswana, Francistown traditional cuisine is based on lamb, mutton, chicken and other meats (beef being the most popular). Sorghum and maize are the main crops grown in Botswana and are popular for breakfast. The staple food is called Bogobe, made by pouring maize and sorghum flour into boiling water and cooking until a soft paste forms.

 

Francistown restaurants offer guests plenty of traditional dishes to choose from. Dried bean leaves are a popular SeTswana food. The national dish of Botswana is called Seswaa, a meat stew served over thick polenta or pap. The meat is boiled with onion and pepper (tradition mandates nothing else be added). Once the meat has cooked for about two hours, it is shredded and pounded with salt to add flavour. The final serving comes with thick maize meal and a leafy vegetable called Morogo.

 

For the more adventurous travellers, the Mopane worm, native to Southern Africa, is a common delicacy in Botswana restaurants. The caterpillar is cooked in hot ashes, boiled, or dried and fried.

 

The experience of dining in Francistown can be complemented by a sampling of traditionally brewed alcoholic drinks. Bojalwa ja Setswana (the beer of Batswana) is made from fermented sorghum seeds. A commercially produced and packaged beer, Chibuku, is a favourite drink in villages, towns, and in some parts of the city. Travellers staying overnight can look forward to tranquil accommodation, private space and evening entertainment after a day out experiencing the best traditional cuisine Botswana has to offer.

Harare Weddings at Cresta Lodge

Zimbabwe weddings are held in locations as diverse as the country itself. From the inner city to the majestic Victoria Falls, safari weddings or onboard the famous houseboats of Lake Kariba, these joyful occasions are characterised by a wealth of destinations and exciting activities for the choosing.

 

Amongst the Harare wedding venues, the Cresta Lodge is surrounded by beautiful gardens and set in a tranquil environment. Situated just outside the city centre, the hotel is ideal for the bride and groom wishing to experience an outdoor event without having to voyage outside of Harare.

Just a few kilometres away, the Cresta Jameson hosts an in-house chapel, greatly simplifying the event planning for the big day. Receiving guests from outside the capital is not the only advantage conferred by the short distance from the airport – deciding on a honeymoon getaway is one of the most exciting things when planning a wedding, and close proximity to the airport means you can rely on a speedy departure. In fact, the entire concept of a honeymoon is to get away from it all and at Cresta Jameson, you can!

 

The modern, yet stylish, conference centre at Cresta Lodge can seat several hundred guests, making the venue ideal for large wedding parties; while the nearby Cresta Jameson is an option for more intimate events. With a range of menus to choose from, the dedicated food and beverage team are able to satisfy all tastes and budgets.

Both venues offer complimentary amenities and 4-star Harare accommodation for the days before and after the big event. Visitors can look forward to round-the-clock buffet catering and à la carte lunch and dinner; while drinks and light snacks can be enjoyed over jovial conversation at the Continental and Chatters bars, which is open until late.

 

With top-notch reception, accommodation, dining and hosting facilities, whether you plan on grand splendour or a more personal wedding reception, these hotels are sure to exceed all expectations. A warm welcome, exceptional service and a charming atmosphere all go a long way to ensure that any wedding held in Harare is a unique experience with memories to last a lifetime.

Weddings at Cresta Marang Gardens

With summer garden weddings being all the rage these days, Cresta Marang Gardens have been a hot choice for couples wanting a high class experience under the trees and surrounded by gorgeous African landscape.  It is conveniently located just 5km out of Francistown, a thriving and bustling town some 400km north of Botswana’s capital city Gaborone, 500km south of Kasane and 200km west of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.

Located on the beautifully scenic banks of the Tati River, it is an ideal location for a dream garden wedding.  Guests will be collected from the airport in Francistown, a complimentary service, and accommodated in the 105 rooms available.  If there is an overflow, the well-maintained campsite can accommodate those who don’t mind a slightly more rustic stay in the heart of nature’s finest offerings.  The rooms in the hotel are air-conditioned and all of them, with the exception of the budget rooms, have coffee and tea making facilities as well as a television.  There is Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Most wedding couples choose to celebrate for an entire weekend, and the festivities flow freely from the cocktail lounge to the pool bar and to the casino in the evenings, according to the guests’ wishes.  On the big day, everyone can relax while the bride and groom get ready for their big day.  There is a flurry of activity as staff set up the wedding reception under the shade of the trees on freshly cut and manicured lawns, while in the kitchen; staff will be preparing five star cuisine suitable for the couple’s perfect day.

In the unlikely event the weather turns and the reception cannot be held under the trees outside, the hotel will ensure that one of its conference rooms is transformed into a room reflecting the essence of romance that will ensure that the day more than meets expectations.

Accommodation is arranged as follows:

  • 12 rondavels which have king-sized beds.
  • 14 chalets with king-sized beds and can sleep up to five people each, these are perfect for families.
  • 22 executive rooms with twin ¾ sized beds.
  • 8 budget rooms.
  • 1 cottage with a kitchenette and a small lounge.

 

If you have guests coming from around the world, Marang Gardens is the perfect place to impress your guests with an African garden wedding.

Camping in Francistown

Francistown, founded in 1897, is the second largest city in Botswana, and is often referred to as the capital of the north.  Once a gold mining mecca, named after Daniel Francis, an English mining concessionaire who acquired prospecting licenses in the region in 1869, the town is dotted with abandoned mines reminiscent of its glory days.


Today Francistown is a hub of textile milling and leather manufacturing, but is often used as a stopover for travellers through Botswana, and is a particular favourite for those who love the outdoor camping style, with the two most popular spots being Marang Hotel and the Woodlands Stopover.

While it may seem strange to camp at a hotel, Marang Gardens offers the best of both worlds.  It has perfectly manicured lawns and offers shady campsites.  There are rustic tables and chairs set out under the trees for when the weather is good and you want to eat your meals ’al fresco’.  The shared ablutions are clean and comfortable.  There are two separate rates for camping, and for electricity, but the convenience of having the electricity far outweighs the nominal fee for it.

Your safety is number one priority here, so you will see guards patrolling the grounds 24 hours day and night.

If leaving behind all creature comforts is not your idea of a great camping experience, then this spot is perfect for you.  The pool bar offers televised sports action and drinks, and there is internet access from the hotel reception should you be unwilling to cut your ties with the outside world.

The Woodlands Stopover campsite is covered in lush grass and the sites are well spaced.  There is a swimming pool close to the campsite – a welcome respite for those who have travelled far, particularly in the summer months.  Electricity is paid for separately, and the ablutions here are clean and offer hot showers throughout the day and night.

Friendly staff is always on hand to assist you with any queries and each site has their own braai facility.

While there is not a lot to do in Francistown, camping here certainly offers plenty of opportunity to relax and take in the breath-taking scenery of the surrounding African landscapes.