Victoria Falls, one of the most spectacular falls in the world, is located at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, midway along the course of the Zambezi River. Described as by the Kololo tribe in the 1800s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya,’ – ‘The Smoke that thunders’, Victoria Falls is a magical phenomenon that needs to be seen to be believed. This curtain of waterfalls is the only one in the world with a length of more than a kilometer and a height of more than a hundred meters, making it the largest on Earth. The width and depth of these falls are double those of Niagara Falls. The spray and mist emanating from these tremendous falls can rise to 400 meters and is visible from as far as 50 km. You can hear the thunderous noise of the falls as far as 40 km. The falls’ mean flow is 935 cubic meters per second.
The falls are accessible from both the Zambian side and the Zimbabwe side; the latter being the preferred location. Victoria Falls town has an international airport where several flights ply daily. You can take a flight to Johannesburg or Cape Town from anywhere in the world and then take a connecting flight to Victoria Falls airport in Zimbabwe. You can get an airport transfer shuttle, or a taxi from the airport to Victoria Falls town. The town is close to the falls and you can walk up to them or get a cab.
There are many hotel options available on both sides of Victoria Falls. There are numerous hotels of different budgets all over the Zimbabwe side. Zambia is across the river and you can stay in one of the many hotels in the city of Livingstone.
Places to see
The Victoria Falls National Park covers 23.4 km of dense rainforests where trees like palms, ferns, vines, and mahogany stand tall. Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers 66 km of the beautiful Zambian landscape. These national parks support many wildlife species, the most notable being elephant, zebra, antelope, giraffe, and buffalo.
Flight of Angels
The “Flight of Angels” covers the waterfalls, the upstream river, and the several islands in the vicinity, all of which provide spectacular views.
When the water levels drop during summer, a rock lip at the top of the falls forms a natural barrier, creating a pool right at the edge. This is an amazing experience for people looking for adventure and the thrill of swimming 100 meters above the drop.
Victoria Falls is one of the few places on Earth where the mesmerizing phenomenon of Lunar Rainbow, or “Moonbow” occurs. The water particles suspended in the air refract the moonlight to create the moonbow. While its colors are quaint and difficult to spot, you can still make it out with the naked eye. Avid photographers use a long exposure to capture it and it appears vibrant in the photographs.
The roaring Zambezi river has long rapids, steep gradients, and some big drops. Adventure seekers enjoy the thrill of Grade-5 whitewater rafting here. Navigating the wild rapids of the Zambezi is an adrenaline rush and a popular activity in the Victoria Falls region. You can also canoe, kayak, and fish in the waters of the Zambezi river.
River Cruise and Safari
If you prefer a quieter and relaxing experience on the river, you can take a boat and embark on a safari. Different cruise boats run on the river and you can sit back as you enjoy a cocktail and spot wildlife along the riverbanks. The river hosts a variety of species, like giraffe, elephants, hippos, and crocodiles.
The bushland surrounding Victoria Falls plays host to a wide variety of animals. Modified 4x4s take you on a safari in these jungles where you can have close encounters with the wild animals.
To get a bird’s eye view of these magnificent waterfalls, you can take a helicopter tour. The sight of these colossal waterfalls and the spectacular views if other-worldly. The helicopter takes you upstream along the river and you can even sport hordes of animals running along in the forests.
Thrill-seekers love taking a 110-meter freefall plunge towards the roaring Zambezi river. The adventure of bungee jumping gets better when you have the majestic Victoria Falls in the background. You can also take part in other adventure activities like gorge-swing, flying fox, rappelling, and a bridge tour.
Victoria Falls Town hosts tourists throughout the year and is thus a center of activity. The streets are lined with art galleries, boutiques, jewelry shops, and antique stores. The shops sell some amazing paintings, local art, sculptures, and woodcarvings. You can take a little bit of Victoria Falls back home with you. The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge has a no knock-out casino on site as well for the gambling aficionados.
The town has eating options for all budgets. You can try the pocket-friendly restaurants like “In Da Belly” and “The Garden of Eat’n”, mid-range options like Palm Restaurant or The Rainforest Cafe, and the pricier ones like “The Boma”.
If you loved reading this story, then subscribe to our blog here (it will ask to verify your email) to get inspiring travel stories and trivia delivered to your email. Stories about wildlife trivia, cultural experiences, curated luxury hotel lists, underrated places to travel, polar journeys and much more.