Victoria Falls is one of the natural wonders of the world, lying between Zambia and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa.
My father was in the police force and so when we were growing up we moved around Zimbabwe quite a lot, giving me the advantage of exploring some exciting areas including Victoria Falls.
About 10 years ago Zimbabwe was facing a number of problems, but for the past 2 years we have seen Victoria Falls resurfacing. There is a lot of activity occurring in Victoria Falls, hotels and lodges are being refurbished, tourists are flocking from all over the world and with a number of airlines flying in daily the Falls have never been easier to reach.
My holidays were spent visiting Victoria Falls, canoeing the Upper Zambezi National Park and rafting the Zambezi River. I also explored the Falls in a helicopter and an ultraflight. Nothing compares to seeing these magnificent waters as a whole, by air – the sheer volume of water is staggering and makes for a truly dramatic scene set against the African landscape.
One of my favourite experiences was when I did my first rafting trip in the 90s. I remember my mother contacting me early in the morning just before I was picked up for the rafting trip. She sounded very apprehensive that I was doing something that she thought was so dangerous, but I was too excited not to do it. The ride was so exhilarating and the noise of the ‘smoke that thunders’ only added to the thrill. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to do it all again and took my husband and did it for the second time. In fact I loved the whole experience so much that I have since taken my 3 teenage children to Victoria Falls and they had a fantastic time too.
David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view Victoria Falls. He named it in honour of his Queen and called them ‘ The Victoria Falls’. The falls are just over 1 mile wide and 355 feet high and during the wet season over 500 million litres of water flows over the edge into the Zambezi River. This incredible amount of water generates a huge amount of spray which shoots nearly 1,000 feet into the sky and can be seen 25 miles away; this is where the name Mosi-oa-Tunya (Smoke that thunders) derives.
The Victoria Falls can be visited all year round, with July to September being the best time to see them. October to November is usually the driest and least impressive period on the Zambian side. Zimbabwe has two thirds of the Falls and so during the dry season one should visit the Zimbabwean side, or be prepared to travel for a few hours from the Zambian side.
Victoria Falls and Livingstone are the perfect hub to connect to Hwange National Park, Botswana parks, Zambezi National Park, South Luangwa National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park, Kruger National park and other South African places of interest.
There is so much to do and you can easily spend five to 7 nights in this area. Activities include white water rafting, canoeing, helicopter flights, boat cruises, elephant back safaris and more.
Please take a look at our journey ideas for Zambia and Zimbabwe for a taste of what we could arrange for you. If you would like any further information on your African holiday please contact our Africa specialists.