The Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) is a waterfall located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The falls are some of the largest in the world. Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view the Victoria Falls. He wrote of the falls, "No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight." While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, it is claimed to be the largest. This claim is based on a width of 1,708 metres (5,600 ft) and height of 108 meters (360 ft), forming the largest sheet of falling water in the world. The falls' maximum flow rate compares well with that of other major waterfalls.
Activities in Victoria Falls
There are currently 5 ways to enjoy the Falls:
- Guided tour to the Victoria Falls
The majority of the tour takes place on the other side of the gorge, which is the best for photographic reasons. The best seasons to see the Falls are roughly mid june to mid september (start of the dry season) or mid November to mid January (start of rainy season). Between mid January and mid June the Falls are at its highest, which also means the spray is enormous and part of the view is blocked. Mind your cameras, because you will get wet! As for mid September to mid November, those are the hot dry months and the Falls do dry up to a certain extend. During those months we do recommend to visit Livingstone Island (see below) to enjoy the grandeur of the Falls.
During the months when the spray is big and its full moon, the lunar rainbow is visible. It can be quite spectacular to see a rainbow at night! Usually this phenomena occurs from mid June to mid September and mid January to mid April.
- Livingstone Island
David Livingstone saw the Victoria Falls for the first time from precisely this island. You would step into his footsteps! Livingstone Island is unique and exclusive: you can only reach it by speedboat and once on the island you are standing amidst the Falls! In the months of august to december also the Devil´s Pool is open, a natural plunge pool right on the edge of the Falls. The island is usually closed between mid april to mid june due to high water levels, but please take into account that the periods mentioned might differ according to weather patterns, for both the Devils Pool as the Island itself. In the high season (july-november) Livingstone Island is very popular, so reservations before arrival are recommended.
- Helicopter Flight
Its truly spectacular to see the Falls from above. You have the option between a 15 minutes and a 30 minutes flight. The 15 minutes flight mainly focusses on the Falls themselves, but during the 30 minutes flight you also descend into the gorge (downstream) and you fly between the walls of the gorge about 6-7 meter above the water! During the high season (july-november) helicopter flights are very popular and reservations before arrival are recommended.
A more adventurous way to fly above the Falls is with a microlight. Just you and a pilot and some wings and an engine, all out in the open! Please be aware that on a microlight you are not allowed to bring your own camera and with a microlight you do NOT go down into the gorge.
The old steamtrain is running again from Livingstone! The train takes you slowly from Livingstone town to the bridge connecting Zambia and Zimbabwe. Once on the bridge you celebrate the view of the Falls and the Zambezi River with a glass of champaign. The steamtrain only rides on certain days.
You can have it exactly as you want: pure adrenaline or pure relaxing. Or both! Maybe you would like to have a massage after a bungee jump? It is all possible!
In the Livingstone area are numerous adrenaline sports available, too many to highlight all. The most popular are: bungee jump, gorge swing, firefox, abseil, riverboarding, jetboating, quad biking and clay pigeon shooting.
Victoria Falls Hotels, Zambia
Victoria Falls Hotels, Zimbabwe
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