You don’t need many reasons to visit the Victoria Falls. This majestic waterfall on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe is rightly named the ‘smoke that thunders’ and deserves to be on everyone’s travel buckelist.
Where the calm waters of the Zambezi river meet a jagged edge marking the borders of two countries, you’ll witness the power and might of the largest sheet of falling water in the world. The Victoria falls cover a width of more than 1000 metres, with a drop of more than 100 metres. During the wet season which spans mid November through to late March, around 5 hundred million cubic metres of water fall per minute.
With the ferocious force of the water, the ground practically shudders and the waters’ spray engulfs the air. The mist rises around 400 metres into the sky, and is visible from a distance of 50 kilometres away. Yet the sound of the falls can be heard up to 40 kilometres into the distance.
Nestled in the heart of nature, makes Victoria Falls that much more spectacular surrounded by rain forests. The Victoria Falls National Park is home to more than a few coveted wildlife species. These include elephant, cheetah, lion, buffalo, giraffe and zebra to name a few. It’s unlikely you’ll spot these majestic creatures near the falls itself, but it’s likely you’ll catch sight of them on your way there. The Victoria Falls National Park is also filled with many unique activities, ideal for adventure travel in Africa. You can expect to find safari tours, sunset cruises along with a wide variety of water and land based activities. Helicopter, micro-light flights and even bungee jumping from Victoria Falls bridge are top highlights!
Here are our top six reasons to visit the great Victoria Falls:
1. It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World
The Seven Natural Wonders of the World have been singled out in an effort to acknowledge and appreciate their unique natural beauty and the great phenomenon of their existence. The Victoria Falls joins the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon and Mount Everest to name a few. Each of the seven listed have one thing in common, they are all unbelievable natural attractions unique to a specific area of the world. The majestic Victoria Falls is certainly a treat to the senses and an extraordinary encounter you shouldn’t miss while touring Africa.
We at African Overland Tours are passionate about exploring and couldn’t think of a better experience than ticking off one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World! Join us on our Victoria Falls adventure tour.
2. It’s famous for being the largest waterfall in the world
Interestingly, even though the Victoria Falls is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, it’s the largest waterfall on earth. This is because it’s the largest sheet of falling water dropping a staggering 108 metres into the Zambezi Gorge and stretching over 1708 meters. When compared to the Niagara Falls, the Victoria Falls is nearly double the height and half a kilometre wider. This is just one of the many reasons why the Victoria Falls is a sight and experience unlike any other – in fact, the numbers prove it!
3. Experience once in a lifetime water-based activities
You could be thinking the Victoria Falls is the only great attraction to be found in the Victoria Falls National Park, but you would be wrong. It’s the ideal locale for adrenaline junkies and those looking for the ultimate ‘off the beaten track’ adventure!
Within the Victoria Falls National Park, you are spoilt for choice with the many incredible water and land based activities. The best and most popular water activities include:
White river-rafting through some of the craziest rapids in the world
There aren’t many places in the world to go white river-rafting and certainly few places with rapids as lively and exciting as the Zambezi River. Travelers come from all over the world to experience the thrill of these rapids, which rate class four and five during the dry months (January to March) and class nine during the wet/rainy season (April to December).
While there are a few different tours available to you, the most popular is a full day rafting trip just below the Victoria Falls. Batoka Gorge is another well known stretch, yet just like the rest of the Zambezi, it’s completely dependent on rainfall. During the high water season it’s best to skip the first ten rapids due to their difficulty, while the dry season may affect the water flow.
Canoeing down the Zambezi River
If you are eager to enjoy the Zambezi waters, but are not the biggest fan of adrenaline watersports then canoeing is a fantastic alternative. This excursion is relaxing but still loads of fun and gives you the opportunity to soak in the beautiful surroundings. You’ll pass the thriving rain forests that make up the region and you may even catch sight of the wildlife, especially elephants bathing in the river. This trip is fun, fascinating and unique – a ‘canoeing safari’.
Enjoy a sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi
Africa is popular for its breathtaking sunsets offering a kaleidoscope of red, pink and deep orange hues spilled across the sky. There are many ways to marvel at the beauty, but by far the best is while on a sunset boat cruise down the Zambezi River. Not only are the sights magical, but you may spot a few wildlife species too! A sunset boat cruise is the perfect way to end your action-packed day.
4. Experience extraordinary land based activities in Victoria Falls National Park
Bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls bridge is a bucket list activity for many adrenaline seekers. The bridge is one of the highest in the world reaching 111m high. The gorgeous waters of the Zambezi River rush below while the rain forest enclose the region. It is certainly one of the most beautiful places in the world to bungee jump!
Another adventurous activity to enjoy in the Victoria Falls National Park is Abseiling. You have the rare opportunity of abseiling 53 metres down Batoka Gorge. You’ll enjoy unparalleled views of the Eastern Cataract of the falls as well as Victoria Falls bridge and the vicious rapids of the Zambezi below.
Zipline Gorge swing
Ziplining is so much fun and caters to all ages and preferences. It offers yet another fantastic perspective of the park. The zipline tour takes you across the gorge and promises to offer views of the falls, the rainforests and the Zambezi river.
If you’re a nature lover, exploring the area on horseback would likely be right up your alley. Horse riding in the Victoria Falls park is very different as you’ll make your way through the grasslands and rainforests and catch sight of wildlife from afar. You can call it a horse riding safari!
5. Swim in the Devil’s Pool; the very water that makes up the falls
For the daring, there is arguably nothing more extraordinary than swimming in the famous Devil’s Pool. The pool is at the top of the falls, on the water’s edge as it cascades to the depths below. This is the most exciting way to experience the falls and possibly the most intimate too. You’ll be able to see the largest sheet of falling water gush over the edge of the pool and plummet into the gorge below.
The pool is on the Zambian side and requires that you to take a short swim in the Zambezi River. It’s best if you are able to swim though you don’t have to be a very strong swimmer. The excursion to Devil’s Pool includes a guide and forms part of a Livingstone Island tour. However bear in mind that a visit to the pool is not possible during the wet season of Feb to June due to the higher water levels so plan your tour between August and January if this is on your bucket list.
6. See the falls from two different perspectives – Zambia and Zimbabwe
One of the best things about visiting the Victoria Falls is the opportunity to see it from all angles and perspectives. As it’s on the border, you’ll be able to view the falls from the Zambian and Zimbabwean side. This is on condition you’re in possession of the Kaza Visa (Univisa). Both sides are equally incredible, with well situated lookout points for your viewing pleasure.