ONE of the best riders in American motocross history visited Victoria Falls River Lodge in Zimbabwe recently and tested out some of the adventure activities on offer – to see how these match up on the adrenaline scale.
Ryan Villopoto is an American former professional motocross and supercross racer who competed in the AMA Motocross Championships from 2005 to 2014 – where he raced to become four-time supercross and three-time motocross champion.
In October 2019 Villopoto stayed at Victoria Falls River Lodge with his wife, Kristen, during the couple’s first trip to Zimbabwe.
“Visiting Zimbabwe was unreal – very unique. The Lodge far exceeded my expectations! I would definitely recommend the Lodge to all tourists that are looking for that bucket list experience. The Lodge is hands-down unbeatable,” said Ryan.
While the American celebrity couple enjoyed a sunset river cruise, shopping at the village markets, had a massage, and went on a game drive, they also participated in the high-adrenaline activities offered at Victoria Falls.
“The Falls were jaw-dropping, something you have to see in person. On the first day when we went to check out Victoria Falls, peering across the Falls, we saw people in the water at the top. My wife immediately asked, ‘how do you do that?’ Our guide then explained that was the Devil’s Pool and we remembered reading about it,” said Ryan.
“We took a boat to get out to the island, and then it was all on us to swim out to the edge. It was nuts to hear and see the water pouring over the infinite edge as we swam out. It’s hard to gauge the danger perched on that edge if you had not seen the Falls from the other side but we did! Laying on that edge and watching nature at its finest was unreal,” said Ryan.
As if that wasn’t enough of an adrenaline rush, the Villopotos also decided to go zip-lining at the very end of the Falls over the gorge.
“My wife never really does that kind of stuff but insisted that we were doing it. So, I had no choice in the matter. As I strapped in, I started thinking of all the things that could happen, of course, but then jumped off the platform. The initial drop was intense as I swung down into the canyon and I may have lost my stomach at one point. The view was unreal and worth every second,” said Ryan.
In contrast to all this adventure, the couple enjoyed the tranquillity of the Lodge – a favourite being drinking their morning coffee whilst watching the hippos play in the mighty Zambezi River.
“Both the location and the Lodge are awesome, and the staff were fantastic. Back in the height of my professional career, we used to travel all of the time, but never for pleasure. Now we are making the time to travel the world and see all the amazing things it has to offer,” said Ryan.
And this Victoria Falls River Lodge adventure is one amazing trip they would want to repeat when they return to Africa next year with their 3-year old twin boys.