The Africa Cafe and Elephant’s Walk-Victoria Falls for Introverts

Our lodge’s shuttle driver dropped us off directly between our two shopping choices, the very authentic, locals’ market, and the Elephant’s Walk Shops.

“I recommend the local market, you can haggle and get a very good price,” said the driver.

As soon as we emerged from the van, several sellers from the local market made a b-line straight towards us. They were already trying to convince us to part with our dollars, and we hadn’t even crossed the entrance.

“We’re going to go have some breakfast before we shop,” we announced, it wasn’t a lie. That was our plan. We promptly fled into the Elephant’s Walk Shops.

I read great things about The Africa Café before our trip, and was eager to give it a try. It was a colorful, friendly, happy, place.

We started out with coffee, which came with a delicious little cookie.

I couldn’t remember why, whether I heard it on a podcast, vlog, or read about them recently on someone’s blog, but I had toast soldiers on the brain. It was fortuitous that they were on the menu.

My toast soldiers came wrapped in bacon.

The egg holders were adorable.

It’s always satisfying, when you have a certain food on the brain, and then you get to eat it.

Shannon got a dazzling open breakfast sandwich. I had a bite or two.  It was super yummy.

The Africa Café sits in the middle of the walk. We watched shop owners stop by for a cup of coffee and a quick chat.

We took extra time to nurse our caffeinated beverages, after two days packed with activity, having a lazy morning was just what we needed.

To be fair, we are not shoppers. Unless it’s a bookstore, food market, or what I assume will be my feelings in Japan, where as a fangirl, I will want to buy all the things, we consider shopping more of a mission. We had one mission, find the one souvenir we try to acquire on every trip, a Christmas ornament. We didn’t care about haggling. We just wanted to get done what needed to be done.

We are introverts. I also deal with some social anxiety. I don’t do well with having strangers purposefully invading my personal space, speaking to me in loud, rapid speech, shoving items at me. I get overwhelmed.  It short wires my brain and I can’t think. Instead of being like, why yes good sir or madam, let me take a moment to consider this purchase, it’s more like Monty Python, Runaway, Runaway! And that’s exactly what I do.

High pressure sales tactics do not work on me.

There is controversy surrounding the Elephant’s Walk Shops at Victoria Falls. It’s too fancy, it’s built specifically for tourists, and it takes business away from the local market, but after the previous day, where we had to fend off endless touts, I just needed some space. On a different day, maybe I could have braved the local market.

The shops contain everything from basic souvenirs, to antique books, to fantastic art.

The grounds are tranquil, and there are sculptures dotted here and there.

It didn’t take long to hit Christmas ornament pay dirt. The artist was very nice, and we were happy that it was mission accomplished.

When you travel to an area that is a hive of tourist activity, and is filled with people determined to obtain your money, you may need a little time to recharge your mental health.

I’m sure when someone developed the Elephant’s Walk Shops at Victoria Falls, they weren’t thinking, some people are socially anxious, we should build a place where they can escape and have some quiet and space to eat or shop, but I’m grateful that The Elephant’s Walk exists for introverts.

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11 Comments

  1. Jaynie

    January 19, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    This is so interesting! It’s nice they have an option for everyone. The food looks delish. 🙂

  2. Lisa Grabelle

    January 19, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Food looks spectacular! I love how you wrote this article and explained your view about these sights. I think the decorated elephant statue is beautiful, too.

  3. Eric Gamble

    January 19, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    So I am definitely not a shopper in any ways and I kind of hate manufactured touristy shops cause they dont really promote local goods. However the Elephant’s Walk Shops at Victoria Falls does look cool and I love the art work surrounding the shops.
    Now the Africa Cafe looks awesome. I have never heard of Soldier Toast ever in my life but if it is wrapped in bacon, you had me at hello. Both breakies looked awesome!

  4. Mikkel

    January 20, 2018 at 3:58 am

    I remember stopping in a store in Belize that this reminds me of! I love the cute little egg holders too – they look like chairs!

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      January 23, 2018 at 12:39 am

      The egg holders were very cute. If I ate eggs more, I probably would have purchased a few.

  5. Esther

    January 20, 2018 at 7:45 am

    Oh this looks lovely. I have been to a village like this near Johannesburg, it was very nice.
    #WeekendWanderlust

  6. tracy collins

    January 20, 2018 at 8:00 am

    OH my goodness it is years since I was there and I am guessing none of this was built then – I must say it looks nice! And boy do i want some toast soldiers they look fantastic! And i know what you mean about touts and haggling its not my thing either!

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      January 23, 2018 at 12:38 am

      I wish toast soldiers were more popular in the United States. I can’t wait to visit the U.K. so I can eat lots of them for breakfast.

  7. Elaine Masters

    January 21, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Pretty sweet and breakfast first is always a good idea. I swing in and out of being an introvert but can fully appreciate your decision to shop in Elephants Walk. Haggling, persistent touts tire me or worse! Glad you found the perfect ornament. Getting those home must be challenging!

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      January 23, 2018 at 12:37 am

      I’m not big on breakfast when I’m home, but I love eating breakfast when I travel. The ornament artist did a great job wrapping the ornaments in a ton of bubble wrap and tape. I had an impossible time getting it undone, lol.

  8. Jillian

    January 25, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    You had me at “for introverts!” I feel the same as you, I enjoy the hustle and bustle for an hour, max, and then my poor brain is fried. The cafe sounds like the perfect time out!

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