|Subject: Re: Seeking opinions on Africa vacation|
I was in Vic Falls 2 summers ago, a nice little town, very touristy now. For accomodations try the Sprayview Hotel - a little off the beaten path but by far the cheapest place to stay in Vic Falls. The hotel offers western style rooms complete with showers (forget having any water pressure in the mornings).
The best views of the falls are from the Zambian side, and it's cheaper to get into Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia. Watch out for baboons on the trails into the gorge (I use the term trail loosely) they can be aggressive especially with young.
I recommend going rafting down the Zambezi while there - a full day adventure and worth the money. Shearwater in town is the largest and most popular operator.
Vic Falls doesn't offer much in the way of safari's, however nearby are Chobe National Park in Botswana (excellent park for elephant, we also saw a large pride of lions there) and Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe (a decent park as well). If you want to view rhino then head down to Matopos Park near Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. We saw 6 rhino at the front gate waterhole all at the same time - which is pretty rare - and by the end of the day we had spotted a total of 12 - which is practically unheard of.
There are a lot of tour operators in Vic Falsl and its easy to hook up with an overland tour to just about anywhere in Africa from there. You can book over the net but you will have more options when you are there. You will find, however, that most operators have an age limit (usually 18 - 40) and most don't like children on the tours. So your options will be limited to the higher priced tours.
The parks in the south are just as good as the east and a lot cheaper. You see the same wildlife as in the east and the infrastructure is a lot better in the south. If you are not renting your own vehicle don't expect public transportation (except planes) to leave on time nor arrive on time.
Africa is a wonderful place and the people are very friendly and accomodating. Enjoy!