There are many incredible places in Africa, and they are getting more popular thanks to the impressive natural locations and tourism activities the continent has to offer. A great example of this is the largest waterfall on the continent. This amazing location has everything you need and want for your trip. Are you interested? Well, here we brought you everything you need to know about Victoria Falls.
What is Victoria Falls?
Victoria Falls was first made worldwide recognized by David Livingstone, a Scottish explorer, and a missionary, who translated its original name in 1855 to honor Queen Victoria, who found it much more impressive than the Ngonye Falls located further upstream. After a while, word spread and Victoria Falls is currently one of the must-visit natural attractions in the continent.
Originally, this place -located in the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe- was called Mosi-oa-Tunya, which literally means the smoke that sounds really strong or thunders, and its 5,000+ feet wide and 350+ feet high makes it the widest waterfall and largest falling water sheet in the entire continent and the whole world.
This means that it is twice as high as the Niagara Falls and twice as wide as the Horseshoe Falls, rivaled only by the Iguazu Falls, located somewhere between Brazil and Argentina. That’s why both names of this place have been listed as part of the World Heritage.
What Makes Victoria Falls Unique?
Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. More than 550 million liters of water run through the 1-mile wide innate structure. Honestly, this is not something you’ll get to see in every corner.
As this is such a magnificent structure, this place attracts lots of wildlife and vegetation. So, many tourists visit this place to see some of the rarest animals in the world including the big five. There are nearby protect wildlife areas around Victoria Falls such as Victoria Falls National Park, Zambezi National Park, and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Game-viewing wildlife include:
- Multiple bird species
- Different kinds of fish
- If you are lucky enough, you might even get to see lions, cheetahs, and leopards -these last ones tend to be a little shy.
Those who like meeting other cultures can make some earrings and get to meet local native African people. Even though their mother language is Bantu, most of them also speak Portuguese and English. Getting to see how other cultures live is a great way to think about our own lives and the way everything is correlated in this world.
Honestly, there are tons of reasons that make this place unique and we barely named a few. You just have to look for the adventurer within yourself and see it with your own eyes. It will be an unbelievable and unforgettable experience.
Why Travel to Victoria Falls?
If everything that makes this place unique isn’t reason enough, don’t worry. There are tons of other experiences in Victoria Falls, but it will definitely depend on your likes and needs, some prefer to get the most adrenaline, while others prefer to make it more romantic. So let’s get a little deeper into some case scenarios.
For adrenaline-lovers, Victoria Falls can be a great place. Some people like rappelling or climbing the mountain, others will do rafting on the river and you’ll also get to see people doing bungee in the impressive bridge that connects both sides of the current. Just name it and you’ll probably find the exact type of extreme sport you are looking for.
If you are more of a romantic, there are also plenty of activities for you. For example, you can have a nice dinner on a river cruise, while you see the incredible African sunsets in the back. Also, you have many family-oriented activities, like canoeing or taking the historic tram and having lunch on the bridge.
It doesn’t matter if you go alone, with your partner or the entire family. There are a couple of activities that you should not miss. On the one hand, the helicopter flight over the falls. It will be magical and there are honestly no words to describe how beautiful and privileged is the sight. On the other, you cannot miss a Safari in this place. It doesn’t matter if it is a walking or driven safari, it will definitely worth it.
When is the Best time to Visit Victoria Falls?
There are many arguments about this question, but the answer is very simple: at the end of the rainfall – beginning of the dry season (February to May). The reason is that during this time of the year, the river will be plenty enough to see the fall in the best possible scenario and the weather is not as difficult for tourists.
This doesn’t mean that other seasons are bad. They are beautiful as well, but it is by far the best time of the year to visit the waterfall. If you are planning to visit Victoria Falls on any other season, the best you can do is look for professional tourism companies that will make the most out of your time for you to get the best possible experience during your trip.
Is There a Difference when visiting the Zambia Side Versus the Zimbabwe Side?
Both sides are incredibly beautiful! But sadly, there are differences in both of them. The Zimbabwe side tends to be a little bigger and the water flow is sustained throughout the whole year, while the Zambia side is easier to access and it has Livingstone, which is a large town with lots of history.
Now, this shouldn’t turn you off. This place is almost country-less and both sides will have incredible tourism offers you shouldn’t miss. In the end, they are a ride away from each other and you’ll get to enjoy them if you ask for a uni-visa.
Here are some activities or places and the side on which you can do them depending on the side you are:
- The Knife-edge bridge
- The Devil’s pool
- Livingstone, a large town with a bunch of other falls
- Riverfront lodges across the Zambezi
- More viewpoints of the Main Falls
- Elephant Hills Hotel with an 18-hole golf course and incredible accommodation choices
- A better option for shopping and taking a nice dinner
- You can pay in any currency, including dollars, euros, pounds or rands
Either way, you should consider taking a vacation to Victoria Falls. It is an incredible place and you will enjoy your trip! So, take out your passport and let us help you plan the experience of your lifetime.
Click the below activities to discover more!
- Helicopter Flight
- Flying Fox
- Gorge Swing
- Microlight Flight
- Sundowner Cruise
- Upper Zambezi Canoe Trip
- Tour of the Falls
- Canopy Tour
- Zip Line
- White Water Rafting
- Lunar Rainbow Tour
- Bushtracks Express Train
The 13 minute and 28 minute flights depart regularly throughout the day and offer spectacular photographic opportunities. Guests are collected from their hotels 30 minutes prior to their flight departure time and are given a safety talk on arrival at the Helipad, near the Elephant Hills Inter-Continental Hotel. After take-off on the 13 minute Flight of Angels, the helicopter turns out towards the Victoria Falls.
The pilot will fly circuits over The Falls in both directions giving guests the best viewing and photographic opportunities. A trip up river and back over the Zambezi National Park completes your flight. After take-off on the 28 minute ‘Zambezi Spectacular’, the helicopter flies over the Victoria Falls, continuing downstream over the Batoka Gorges. Heading back from the Batoka Gorges the flight takes you back over the Falls and the long island on the upper Zambezi towards the National Park, home to a wide variety of wildlife species and then back to the Helipad.
Experience the adrenalin rush traveling a speed of 106 km’s hurtling 425m across the gorge, while suspended 120m above the breath taking beauty of the Zambezi water below!
Imagine swinging in a child’s swing in the playground…now imagine a giant swing 95m long and 120m high above water…now imagine a 70m free fall before you begin swinging. Stop imagining and test your courage!
Gorge Swing is suspended across the gorge at a point where the width is 316m and 120m deep. A harness is attached to the jumper and then the jumping ropes, the other end of which is pivoted to the middle of the cable. The jumper leaps off the edge of the gorge, free falling about 70m before going into a 95m long pendulum type swing.
One person and an experienced pilot take a 15-minute microlight flight over the Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River. A 30-minute microlight flight will take you over the Victoria Falls, the Batoka Gorge, the Zambezi River and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.
The Zambezi River cruise is a superb way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the River. You may have the opportunity to see a variety of game; including hippo, crocodile and elephant in their home environment, as well as enjoy the many different bird species.
The Sunset cruise is very popular and includes finger snacks, beer, wine, local spirits and soft drinks. There are great photo opportunities against often-spectacular African sunsets.Flocks of birds skim the waterline as the sun sets behind the African skyline.
On these trips guests paddle their own canoes, following their qualified Canoe Guide. The Upper Zambezi River is a vast contrast from the rapids of the Gorge below Victoria Falls. The silence of the canoes makes them unbeatable for bird and game viewing. This is novice canoeing and no previous experience is required.
The Victoria Falls – Now In Its 150 Millionth Fantastic Year – Reaches Its Zenith In About May each year. It’s a truly awe-inspiring experience – the sight, the sound, the smell; the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature’s Supreme Masterpiece. No photograph can begin to depict the reality…and nothing prepares you for your first sight.
This tour is conducted in the morning and afternoon. En route, clients may be taken past the ‘Big Tree’ where they may stop and take photos. Clients will be accompanied through the Rainforest by one of our qualified Guides who will give a brief history of the Falls themselves as well as detailing the flora, fauna, bird & wildlife and other points of interest. Guides are also happy to assist clients with photographs whilst visiting this most spectacular of waterfalls.
To discover how the Falls were formed and what local customs and traditions surround them it is well worth booking a Wild Horizons tour of the Falls. Described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘the Smoke that Thunders’ and in more modern terms as ‘the greatest known curtain of falling water’, Victoria Falls are a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe. A path along the edge of the forest provides the visitor who is prepared to brave the tremendous spray with an unparalleled series of views of the Falls. One special vantage point is across the Knife edge bridge, where visitors can have the finest view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls as well as the Boiling Pot where the river turns and heads down the Batoka Gorge.
Other vantage points include the Falls bridge and the Lookout Tree which commands a panoramic view across the Main Falls. Different times of the year will provide completely different experiences of the Falls region. Peak flood season is around March and April and the full power of the falls can be experienced in all its glory. As the floods abate the view of the falls gets better and better through the year, but at it’s lowest, around November and December the Falls become little rivulets running over the edge and in some places along the 1,7km width no water falls at all.
Observe the riverine forest from a variety of different vantage points – from above, below and within the canopy itself. Experience forest birdlife, which can include the Knysna and Purple crested Turaco (Lourie) and Peregrine Falcons. The Victoria Falls Canopy Tour offers a network of slides, trails and rope bridge walkways within the canopy of the hardwood forest of the Zambezi gorges. This experience is suitable to adventure seekers of all ages including families and groups. This is family fun with a unique birds-eye view of one the seven natural wonders of the world.
The Canopy Tour consists of nine slides, varying in length and 1 cable bridge walkway. The longest slide is about 85 metres long and the shortest 40 metres in length. Our friendly and experienced staff will give you a detailed safety briefing before the canopy tour, taking you step by step through your upcoming adventure. There are two guides on each tour and the activity lasts for between two to two and a half hours.
Hurtle at 106 km’s across the 425m gorge. Experience the adrenalin rush traveling a speed of 106 km’s hurtling 425m across the gorge, while suspended 120m above the breathtaking beauty of the Zambezi water below!
As the river zigzags down the Batoka Gorges, our cable is suspended across from one side to the other. For this product you are harnessed and attached to a pulley, then launched over the edge picking up speed as you descend over the water and reaching a speed of 106 km an hour.
This activity is totally safe for children above 2 years of age. Smaller children are harnessed with their parent/guardian and can enjoy high wire.
Victoria Falls is a mile long curtain of water that stretches across the glistening basalt rock, erupts into spray, and then thunders into the canyons below. The walls of basalt rock that capture the mighty Zambezi form one of the great river corridors of the world. This is the domain of the Nyaminyami, the River God of the Tonga people and is the ‘highway’ for our rafts. The gorge is over 100 meters deep at the Falls and increases to over 200 meters by the end of a full day raft trip. Despite this rugged terrain, the gorges below the Falls are thick with vegetation and incredibly spectacular. Arguably the wildest white water in the world, rafting on the Zambezi River is an adrenaline rush not to be missed. Clients should be reasonably fit for this activity, as there is a steep walk into & out of the Batoka Gorge as well as the white water rafting activity itself.
Lunar rainbows, also known as “moonbows”, are rainbows that take place at night, when a rainbow is seen in the light of the moon. Victoria Falls is one of a very limited number of sites around the world, which are known for the occurrence of moonbows. The lunar rainbow is a spectacular event that can be seen only during the full moon.
The Lunar rainbow tour is conducted over a period of 3 days, during full moon at the Victoria Falls. Clients will be accompanied through the Rainforest by one of our qualified Guides who will give a brief history of the Falls themselves as well as other points of interest. Guides are also happy to assist clients with photographs whilst visiting this most spectacular of waterfalls. (The Lunar Rainbow Tour may be cancelled due to bad weather.)
Elegance and opulence marked the age of the steam train. Beautiful classic steam locomotives and carriages have been lovingly restored by Bushtracks Africa and Rovos rail. The carriages marry vintage luxury with a modern fine dining experience to recreate moments of bygone romance.
The train will travel on the “Cape to Cairo” mainline which will then take it to the Victoria Falls Bridge. Once on the mainline, the train leaves the outskirts of Victoria Falls town and travels into the Jafuta conservancy. Game such as elephant and antelope are often spotted en route.
The train comprises of three carriages: Dining Car, Kitchen Car, Observation Car
This experience takes you back in time to the early 20th century. Embark on a journey to the Victoria Falls Bridge while guests sit in the comfort of the Bushtracks stately carriages. The Bushtracks Express stops on the bridge under the setting sun with Victoria Falls as a stunning backdrop. It then steams out through the Jafuta conservancy whilst the guests sit and enjoy a five-course meal.