By Tichaona Kurewa
VICTORIA FALLS – As one drives from Victoria Falls International Airport or from Bulawayo or even from Kazungula Border Post into Victoria Falls heading towards the borders with Zambia, there is a railway crossing.
Just after crossing the railway line to the left, one catches the glimpse of the Three Monkeys Restaurant and Cocktail Bar and Victoria Falls Snake Park nearby.
The Three Monkeys Restaurant and Cocktail Bar and Victoria Falls Snake Park are in the heart of the resort town.
The restaurant and cocktail bar is a unique outdoor joint, covered by a Bedouin tent and located on an old railway carriage, which creates the perfect ambience for any occasion.
Established in November 2016, Three Monkeys features a full service cocktail bar, and a wood-fired and flame-grilled menu.
Chef and general manager Greg Paymans was trained in Cape Town at the Zevenwacht Chefs College and Wine Estate, and he holds an advanced diploma in Culinary Arts. He apprenticed under renowned SA chefs Bertus Basson and Rueben Riffel.
Three Monkeys floor manager Kimberly Dube says the aim of the restaurant and cocktail bar is to provide quality taste and the best of local cuisine, coupled with a wide selection of beverage options and top-notch friendly service.
“The Three Monkeys bridges the gap between locals and tourists, hotel residents and backpackers, with many exciting specials and future events in the works. This is definitely a place you’ll want to visit time and time again,” she says.
Opening times are 12PM until late every day. Apart from individuals, Three Monkeys can also accommodate groups and can also handle corporate functions and others.
Dube says the restaurant offers a wide range of menu items, both local and international.
“If you come in and request a certain flavour, we try as much as we can to accommodate your request. But for those we may not be able to provide, we are honest enough to tell our customers,” she says.
“We do try to accommodate our clients as much as possible, especially dietary requirements. These days, a lot of people have various dietary requirements and we can advise to a certain extent. We can tell our chefs what to include and what not to.”
Three Monkeys can accommodate up to 100 people at any given time.
Dube says the restaurant offers more than just dining.
“We run a fun dining restaurant. We don’t just save food, but we talk, we chat with you. We are not just people who serve you and go and wait for you to come back again,” she says.
“We interact with our guest, we have different personalities among our waiters. When you come back again, we recognise you and continue our stories from where we would have left.”
Going forward, Dube says, Three Monkeys would open branches in other places.
The restaurant also hosts live music on Monday nights.
Next to Three Monkeys is the Victoria Falls Snake Park, which opened its doors to the public around the same time with the restaurant.
The snake park houses over 20 snake species, both local and exotic. Among the exotic are corn snake (the United States), children’s python (Australia) and king snake.
The local species include cobra, green mamba, python, puff adder, Gabon viper and others.
“We don’t just show visitors snakes only, but we teach them about snakes, for instance, what ought to be done after a snake bite, when a snake can attack and what to do to avoid snake bites,” Victoria Falls Snake Park general manager, Abraham Singaro, says.
“We also teach people about where the snakes are found, where they originated from and what they eat.”
He says, the park would open more centres in other parts of the country considering that people still need to learn more about snakes.