The Victoria Falls on River Zambezi along the Zambia, Zimbabwe Border
Victoria Falls Facts
Located at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls has the largest falling water curtain in the world which is about 350fttall and more than a mile wide. The falls are on a part river Zambezi where water flows down over a cliff where different columns of the water are formed and stunning views of mist cover the area. The Kololo people who have lived in the area since the 1800s locally refer to the Victoria Falls as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” meaning “The Smoke that Thunders”.
It is believed that the first European to set his eyes on the Victoria Falls was a Scottish explorer known as David Livingstone who named the falls after the then Queen of England, Victoria.
Victoria Falls is a beautiful natural site and together with the surrounding parklands, the place was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1989. The water collects itself forming a wandering trench that starts Batoka Gorge. This gorge is traversed by a bridge known as the Victoria falls/Zambezi Bridge where you’ll cross to the other side for a thrilling experience of viewing the landscape. These amzing water falls are one of the most spectacular features in African safari countries and it is frequented by thousands of tourists from different parts of the world, hence a prominent attraction.
What to do at Victoria falls / Victoria Falls Activities
Flying above the waterfalls
Visitors who wish to view Victoria waterfalls from above have an option of using helicopters or microlights. The flight of about 15 minutes above the great mighty falls offers an opportunity of catching an aerial view of the wide wondrous scenery.
It is more thunderous when the water flow of the river is higher and the more the mist around the falls. The mist may sometimes make the view from above unclear but this remains you’ll still capture lovely views.
The experience of getting closer to the falls
Be brave enough and get closer to Victoria waterfalls for a breathtaking experience here. The falls are located in between two parks on either sides of the two neighboring countries; Mosi-oa-Tunya in Zambia and Victoria falls national park in Zimbabwe. It doesn’t matter which park you have gone through to watch the falls, the experiences are astonishing.
If you visit from Zimbabwe, you’ll go through the trail that will take you to a site where multiple sections of the waterfalls are clearly spotted. These sections include the Main falls, the Horse falls, the Rainbow falls and the Devil’s Cataract.
The experience at Victoria Falls depends on the time of travel. There are times when river Zambezi is at its peak, with a high water flow and massive mist. During the months of April, May and June is when the falls have more water and there are 5 sections flowing which will dry up in the dry season in November.
Besides watching the mighty Victoria Falls, there are a number of interesting activities for adventurous tourists. Bungee jumping is one of those activities you ought not to miss at this site. You jump from the Zambia side on the Victoria Falls Bridge towards River Zambezi.
Alternatively, you can swing above the gorge. This too requires brave people. You swing from Victoria Falls Bridge towards the gorge. Both of these activities are very safe and exciting and are so memorable.
Guests can swim at the Devil’s pool on the lip of the water falls especially between august and January in the dry season when the water levels are down. To reach the pool, you’ll first take a rocky walk and then into river Zambezi to the pool. You must be brave. It offers an opportunity to clearly see the water falling over to the bottom from just a few feet away from the pool.
More adventurous activities
Canoeing above the Victoria Falls is an extraordinary experience of touring areas on the upper Zambezi where there is abundant wildlife including birds like half collared kingfisher, African fin foot and mammals like hippos. The water is calm and beautifully spotted with several islands. To go for canoeing, one should be 7 years or above.
White water rafting on River Zambezi is conducted on both sides of river; Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is one of the wildest adventures to enjoy in the world. Do not miss out on this if you love adventure.
Sun set cruise on river Zambezi
The sun set cruise on river Zambezi is a fabulous way if experiencing the river and the surrounding. The boat takes you on a 6km long trip above the falls. You’ll watch the sunset glowing at 4pm in the winter around May-August and 4:30pm in the summer around September-April.
This takes place in the forest of the Zambezi gorge. It is offers spect6acular views of the Victoria Falls Bridge, the spray of the falls the bridge and the Zambezi rapids. A walk in the forest offers an opportunity of watching forest bird life. It is an interesting activity for families to have fun in the forest. There is a network of trails, rope bridge walkways and slides.
Where to stay
Whether you have visited the falls from Zimbabwe or Zambia side, you have a range of lodges and guesthouses to choose from on where to stay during your safari. Depending on your interests and affordability, you’ll select for the best of the experience. They all have superb quality of services ranging from the staff, comfort, meals and sceneries.
From the side of Zambia, some of the lodges there are; Wateberry Zambezi lodge, Victoria Falls Waterfront, Avani Victoria Falls Resort, Camp Nkwazi and more.
From Zimbabwe side; Guest Lodge Victoria Hotel, Victoria Falls Safari lodge, Batonka Guest lodge, Shearwater Explorers, Matetsi Victoria falls, Gorges lodge, The Elephant Camp and Ilala lodge.
The mighty Victoria Falls and the Victoria falls bridge
The Victoria falls are found on the 4th longaest river iin Africa-0 River Zambezi which forms a boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The famous part of it is that where water flows down over a cliff to form the Victoria Falls. The water then continues through a gorge that is right in front of the falls, where the Victoria Falls Bridge was built to cross from one side to the other and have breathtaking views from anywhere.
At the opposite edge of the falls is a site where you can go for one of the most popular activities at the destination- bungee jumping. In addition the bridge is a great spot for viewing the gorge and perfect for gorge swinging.
Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world and is divided into 4-5 sections; The Main falls, The Devil’s cataract, The Horseshoe Falls and The Rainbow Falls.
The Main Falls
At this point of the Victoria waterfalls, about 700,000 cubic sq meters flow every minute at a height of about 93m. it can be perfectly viewed at a location known as Viewpoint 3. The views of these falls are striking.
The Devil’s Cataract
This place got its name as a result of the sacrifices that the local people offered this area to seek for blessings and riches. When the missionaries arrived at the place, they discouraged the practices by the local people and it became history. When the water levels have decreased, guests swim in the pool at the Devil’s cataract and watch the water flowing down from a few feet away.
The Horseshoe Falls
These are seasonal falls on the Zambezi that you may not find during the dry season in October and November. It was named Horseshoe because it is in the shape of a horse shoe.
The Rainbow falls
These falls were named so because of the magical sightings of a rainbow that commonly occurs when the water levels are high on the river. Water flows over 108m down forming the deepest falls of all the above. This point is offers a very good background for photography.
Cruising on River Zambezi
The calm water of the Zambezi River of upper Zambezi have gorgeous areas for canoeing where a boat carries a minimum of 4 people and a guide takes you to areas where you’ll spot a different wildlife.
Famous Cruises on the river are those conducted in the evening targeting the spectacular views of the glowing sunset.
The Zambezi River has one of the best points where to do white water rafting and bungee jumping.
Zambezi National Park
Located upstream from the Victoria Falls, Zambezi national park is a wonderfully endowed safari park in Zimbabwe with interesting activities for tourists. Besides the prominent attraction- the Victoria water fall, there is a variety of wildlife including elephant, buffalo, lion, waterbuck, impala, crocodile, hippo and African dog among others. Bird lovers will also have a lot of bird species spotted.
MOSI-OA-TUNYA NATIONAL PARK IN ZAMBIA
Mosi-oa-Tunya national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the north of Zambezi River. Covering a small [portion of land of about 66 sq km, half of the Victoria Falls on Zambezi River cross through this park. Its different vegetation of grassland, miombo woodland and palm trees are habitats for numerous wildlife such as elephant, giraffe, cape buffalo, warthog, impala and lots of bird species including pallid harrier, Taita falcon and many more.
The Boiling pot
This is appoint where the Victoria falls and the Zambezi river meet to form a rough feature that appears like boiling water releasing a lot of smoke. This point exists seasonally depending on the amount of water and it is a good spot for scenic viewing.
Don’t miss out on visiting the statue of David Livingstone
The statue of David Livingstone is located on the Zimbabwean side of the Victoria Falls near the Devil’s cataract. This statue was placed there to commemorate the visit of the explorer/missionary believed have been the first European to have set his eyes on the mighty falls and renaming them to Victoria falls.
A tour around the rain forest and the Big tree
The rain forest in this region is composed of tall trees including palm trees and more and these are habitat for a variety of birds and other animals. A guided forest walk through the forest offers a magnificent opportunity to view the bridge from a distance and explore the forest’s flora and fauna.
The Big tree is located about 2km from the Victoria Falls. It is believed by the local people as the oldest tree in the world and is is good place to relax while a tour around this area. It is 20m high and has a circumference of about 16m.
The best time to visit Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls are always rewarding throughout the year. However, depending on your interests, you can choose to vast the falls at the convenient period. The dry season is good for most activities like swimming at the Devil’s pool, canoeing, white water rafting.
During the wet season, there is a high water level and the falls are more thunderous, stronger and mistier. During this season is when all the sections of the fall have abundant water and this is also when the rainbow at Rainbow falls is clearer. Contact Us to Plan your Zambia Safari or Zimbabwe Safari with Victoria Falls Tour