Travel to Victoria Falls – Zambezi Waterfall
Bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular and memorable sights in the world. The Zambezi river widens to 1,700 metres at the falls and then plunges down a chasm 70 to 110 metres deep across its entire width. The wide basalt cliff, over which the falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a wide placid river to a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges, in the process making an adventure-seekers playground.
Victoria was the name given to the falls by a Scottish missionary, David Livingstone, in 1855. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘the Smoke that Thunders’. The force of the falling water – estimated at around 545 million litres per minute during the flood season – sends clouds of spray up to 500 metres into the sky and sustains a lush rainforest all around.
On the opposite cliff, facing the falls, you can take a well marked and paved walk through the rain forests. Every so often the path will open out into a clearing for a view of the falls. Further along this path is the Knife Edge Bridge which affords an impressive panorama depending on the time of year. Although less can be seen of the width of the Falls during the wet season, the intense spray provides welcome relief from the heat, but don’t carry anything you don’t want to get wet!
During the dry season, be sure to take a walk along the lip of the Falls themselves. Sometimes the water is low enough to walk all the way across to Livingstone Island, the place where David Livingstone had his first glimpse of the Falls. This is one of the most magnificent views in the area.
Another interesting perspective is deep within the gorge into which the Falls descend. From the parking lot, look for the signs pointing to “The Boiling Pot.” It is quite a steep climb, but well-worn steps make it a fairly easy descent. Coming up is of course a little more strenuous, but the view from below of the wide Zambezi thundering over the cliff, then compressed into the deep thin crevice turning into the Batoka Gorge, crashing and swirling over rapids, is quite spectacular. From this vantage point one can also see up to the impressive Victoria Falls Bridge, spanning the gorge over 100 m above.
Many travellers just make a whirlwind walk along the trails to the various viewpoints. There is a better way to appreciate one of our planet’s greatest natural wonders. Take a picnic, some drinks and be the first to arrive, or last to leave – don’t rush a visit, linger a little longer.
Travellers without private safari vehicles can hire taxis around town and from hotels to and from the entrance to Victoria Falls. The Falls can be approached from the town of Livingstone by travelling south on Mosi-oa-Tunya road for some 11 km. Just before the border, there is a turning to the right which leads to a parking area. From the entrance footpaths lead to various viewpoints over the Falls. If approaching from Zimbabwe, cross the border at the town of Victoria Falls and watch for the left turning just after the Zambian customs post.
- Just a glimpse of one of the great natural wonders of the world is a highlight in itself – view the Falls from both the Zambian and the Zimbabwean side
- The Victoria Falls area is now regarded as the ‘Adventure Centre’ of Southern Africa, with various adrenaline activities
- Take in an aerial view of the Falls to fully appreciate their incredible size, and the awesome power of the water as it carves into deep gorges