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“Unforgetable experience. Stunning, magical views. Surprisingly slick and efficient operation.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shearwater Victoria Falls - Helicopter Flights

Shearwater Victoria Falls - Helicopter Flights
1 Sopers Arcade | Parkway Drive, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
+263 13 44471
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Sydney
Top Contributor
190 reviews 190 reviews
62 attraction reviews
Reviews in 80 cities Reviews in 80 cities
228 helpful votes 228 helpful votes
“Unforgetable experience. Stunning, magical views. Surprisingly slick and efficient operation.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

We took the 25 minute flight which included both the Falls, some gorges downstream and a flight over the National Park upstream. Cost at US$265pp was expensive but from my point of view we were only going to be here once so we just went for it. Cost included pick-up and return from our hotel to the helicopter base in a reasonably clean and comfortable passenger van. Time from our hotel, the Ilala Lodge, to the helicopter base was about 10 minutes. We chose the 11.00am flight as we thought that this would mean that the sun was largely above us and therefore would not interfere too much with either our view or our photography. This pretty much worked out well and we still saw a number of rainbows. There do not appear to be as many 25 minute flights as the shorter versions so advise booking a few days beforehand to secure a place.

Once at the helicopter base we were weighed (if you together with your bags/camera equipment etc weigh over 95 kilograms you cannot sit in the front seat next to the pilot), given a quick safety briefing and shown on a map were the flight would take us. The helicopter we were in was a 5 seater with 2 in the front (including the pilot) and 3 across the back seat. We were then lined up at the gate onto the helipad, person sitting in the front at the head, where we waited for the helicopter to land. Once it landed and the doors were opened to let out the passengers on the flight before us we were directed to move towards the helicopter such that we passed the passengers from the previous trip midway between the helicopter and the gate. We were quickly seated, our belts checked then we were away. During this process i.e. arrival at the helicopter base till the departure of the helicopter we had been filmed.

The helicopter pad was upstream from the Falls so that our approach was along the Zambezi River where you could clearly see the mist from the Falls rising to a great height. Within a couple of minutes we were over the Falls looking down at what I believe is one of the most magnificent and stunning sights that nature has to offer. The pilot did a couple of figure 8's over the Falls in order that those of us in the back got a view of the Falls from either side and then took a quick diversion down a couple of the gorges downstream from the Falls where the water rapidly zig-zags away. We then flew back over the Falls, on this occasion I felt some updraft, before flying over a section of the National Park upstream where we looked down at herds of giraffes, buffalo and elephants. Unfortunately it was over all too quickly.

Similar efficient unloading before we were taken into a small viewing room to see both a short video on Victoria Falls that contained some spectacular images followed by a video of our group of 4 that had been filmed before our departure on the helicopter but also contained some slides taken of us as we disembarked and walked back from the helicopter to the gate. Cost of the first video was US$30 and of the second US$15. Once viewing and purchases had been undertaken (there was also a small shop at the helicopter base) we were taken back to our hotel.

I was a little concerned prior to our departure regarding this flight, in part because I am not great with heights and secondly because of where we were. I was advised by the ground staff that the pilot was an ex-Zimbabwe Air Force pilot and that the helicopters were routinely serviced by fly-in/fly-out South African personnel. Not sure if this is correct or not but the pilot on our flight was certainly excellent and the flight, apart from once hitting an updraft, was very smooth.

Highly recommended.

Visited May 2013
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English first
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“A must”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

After seen the falls from the ground this experience increase our whole perspective. We saw all the falls from the sky several times. Make sure to seat next to the pilot and point him to go back and forth where you want it. They will do it. It was fantastic.

Visited September 2013
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Miesau, Germany
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“You'll wish you could hover there!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

Yes, this attraction is definitely on the pricey side, but also one that is definitely worth the price. Phenomenal views of the falls and the river from the air that you just cannot get anywhere else. The only thing I wish is that you could hover there for several minutes instead of flying the predetermined circuitous route. Before seeing the falls from this vantage point, I never realized they flowed into such a narrow canyon gorge. I was envisioning something more like Niagra Falls, so the perspective from the air is fantastic. You can also see some of the local lodging facilities from the air. A very unique activity to participate in. You won't regret it. Just try not to sit in the middle seat in the back - harder to get your photos from that location. Perhaps they should not fill that seat (just a suggestion).

Visited August 2013
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Vancouver
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Highlight of my trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

So I actually didn't plan on doing this trip, because my traveling companion is afraid of small planes/helicopters.

BUT we ended up getting lucky and somehow getting a voucher for a free trip.

And I am SO glad we did. I should have planned on this in the first place. Seeing the falls from the air was incredible, definitely even better than seeing them from land. Plus you get to see the whole area - up the Zambezi. Makes for some GREAT photos and a truly amazing experience.

Most people only get to Victoria Falls (an amazing place on its own) once, so you better do it right!

Good service, no issues with the flight, friendly staff.

Can't go wrong, do this!

Visited December 2012
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Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
338 reviews 338 reviews
54 attraction reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Helicopter + Sunset Cruise = GREAT!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

At the end of our safari we had two days in Vic Falls. We had seen all the animals and we were excited about the opportunity to see the falls and relax a little. We booked the helicopter and the sunset cruise.

The sunset cruise is very relaxing. Cruise down the river with free drinks and wait for the sun to go down. We were picked up at our hotel and returned promptly. The boat was not crowded and we had great seats upstairs and just relaxed.

The helicopter was a great way to experience the magnificent falls. We got to see where we had cruised (the boat does not go near the falls for obvious safety reasons) but it gave us the context of the whole experience. I had the co-pilot seat and my wife had the middle seat behind. Both of us enjoyed it immensely and came out with lots of pictures and memories.

Visited September 2013
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ShearwaterVicFalls, Manager at Shearwater Victoria Falls - Helicopter Flights, responded to this review, December 13, 2013
Thank you so much for the pat on the back.
It's great to know that we added to your already fantastic holiday. After the walk through the Falls, the Cruise and the Helicopter indeed complete the perspective of the Zambezi in relation to the Victoria Falls.
Wishing you a beautiful festive season.

The Shearwater Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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