Zimbabwe – Victoria Falls
Today we journey from Lusaka and make our way across the border of Zimbabwe into Victoria Falls. When we reach the Falls, we are given time to plan the Optional Activities in which we wish to partake in the following day. There are various thrilling activities to choose from here, such as white water rafting or walking with the lions.
At 1700 metres wide and 108 metres high, Victoria Falls are said to be the biggest falls in the entire world. According to popular beliefs, Scottish explorer David Livingstone was the very first European to stand witness to the mighty Victoria Falls and wrote: “It has never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so wonderful must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” The local name of Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’, is used as the official name in Zambia. Because of its enormous power and size, the Falls are embellished with countless mythologies. It is believed by the local Tonga people of Zambezi that a river god, Nyaminyami, lives in the water in the shape of a gigantic snake. The Zambezi River flooded thrice when the Kariba Dam was constructed in the 1950’s, causing numerous deaths and much devastation. The locals believe that Nyaminyami became angry with the building of the Dam and thus was the entity that caused the horrendous floods. The peculiar form of Victoria Falls allows its entire width to be seen face-on from as near as 60 metres to the Falls due to the Zambezi River dropping into a deep and narrow slot-like fissure connected to a lengthy sequence of ravines. There are very few waterfalls in the world that permit this close of an approach on foot.
The Falls are created by the entire width of the river plummeting in a solitary vertical drop into a 120 metre wide chasm, whittled by the cascading waters along a breakage area in the basalt plateau. The chasm called the First Gorge varies from 80 metres deep at its west end to 108 metres in its centre. The only opening to the First Gorge is though a gap 110 metres wide, approximately two-thirds of the way across the width of the Falls from the western end, through which the entire volume of the river spills into the gorges of the Victoria Falls. Two islands, Boaruka and Livingstone, are situated on the peak of the Falls. They are big enough to divide the sheet of water, even at full flood. At less than full flood, other islands perform the task of dividing the curtain of water into dispersed parallel streams. The main streams are known as Leaping Water, or Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls (the tallest) and the Eastern Cataract.
Meals: Breakfast X2, Lunch X1
Accommodation: Elephant Hills Resort (day 21); A’Zambezi (day 22)
Route: Lusaka to Victoria Falls +/-500 kms
Travel Time: +/- 7-8 hours plus a border crossing
Optional Activities: Dinner out in Victoria Falls, Full day white water rafting, Flight over the falls, Full day low/high water river boarding, sunset cruise, bungee jump (solo), morning/afternoon lion or elephant encounter.