Victoria Falls marks a milestone in the Zambezi River, importantly this is Southern Africa’s primary safari hub.
Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is the largest sheet of falling water on earth – a spellbinding and mesmerising spectacle. The sheer mass of water cascading down the 100m drop across nearly 2km makes a thunderous roar and creates a magnificent spray of water that can be seen for miles – hence the local name ‘mosi oa tunya’ meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’. Water flow over the Falls varies throughout the year. The flood season is February to May when spray can reach a height of over 400m: this is spectacular from above but makes it very difficult to see the Falls at ground level as it is under a heavy mist. Water levels start dropping in August and are at their lowest from October to December when much of the rocky face becomes dry. At times of low water, the falls are best viewed from the Zimbabwe side or from Livingstone Island.
Above the falls on the upper Zambezi, boats cruise the tranquil water at sunset while the distant spray catches the fading light downstream. Below the falls, the Batoka Gorge’s rocky walls funnel the lower Zambezi into a chain of world-class rapids, perfect for thrilling white water rafting.
Aside from being a UNESCO world heritage site and a natural world wonder, Victoria Falls also forms a natural border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The falls can be seen from both countries, and mostly the same activities are offered on both sides, from helicopter scenic flights to village visits and souvenir shopping.
Whether your idea of getting away from it all is a relaxed high tea in colonial grandeur or a heart-stopping bungee jump off a bridge, Victoria Falls keeps both the faint of heart and the most insatiable of adrenalin junkies busy for days.
From Zambia, a side on view of the falls is on offer with views into the Batoka Gorge, as well as the possibility of perching yourself at the edge of the falls on the vertigo-inducing Livingstone Island. From Zimbabwe, you’ll get a full view of three quarters of the falls’ 1.7km wide curtain of water from viewpoints and footpaths meandering through a rainforest kept humid by the spray.