The best thing about the Victoria Falls when you are a tourist is the white mist that enshrouds this amazing Natural World Heritage Site, the feeling of it falling into your hair, onto your arms and down your neck. You need a good raincoat or umbrella when you walk the beautiful paths beside the mountain of water that connects Zimbabwe and Zambia. This is the famous Mosi-oa-Tunya!
Victoria Falls in great Zimbabwe is an exciting destination for all levels of tourist – it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, a place of outdoor adventure activities, and a holiday setting offering a great range of accommodation. Book packages online to Africa and you will be caught between Zim, Zambia and Botswana. Go and see all three!
For many people, one of the main reasons why they come to Africa is to see Vic Falls. This is where the huge Zambezi River plummets head first into a canyon, creating a huge spray and noise that can be seen and heard from more than 20km away. At the falls, the river stretches nearly two kilometres, making the Falls all that huger and all that more deafening and more spectacular.
Natural heritage, natural global wonder
The IUCN considers Victoria Falls a national monument enriching the already wealthy Zimbabwe nation in terms of fauna and flora, natural heritage and culture. Surrounded by Miombo woodland and true savannah, Mosi-oa-Tunya is the heart of the national park of the same name. When the river is in full flood during the height of summer, there are about 540 million cubic meters of water falling every minute, over the 108 metre drop!
The border between Zambia and Zimbabwe runs mid-stream of this generous Zambezi River and visitors love to split their time between the spectacular sites of the two nations: Livingstone (now called Maramba) and the Dambwa Forest Reserve in the north and Victoria Falls town and National Park in the west. There is plenty of walking and exploring to be done in the protected areas from which many a postcard has been sent.
Look closely at the Falls and you will see just how erosive water can be – these deep chasms and gorges have been created over time by the weight and power of all that water falling all that way. There is huge conservation value here at the Victoria Falls, named by the renowned explorer, David Livingstone, after the queen of that epoch.
It is said that while Livingstone believed angels must have been admiring the Victoria Falls while flying around the natural phenomenon, he was also rather put out that the waterfall was in his way, blocking his path further into Africa. Tribal people feared the wrath of the mass of water and rather kept away from its fury and height, believing it had more than just natural powers.
Ancient Stone Age history, modern economic utilisation
Local people have named it “the smoke that thunders “- Mosi-oa-Tunya – and there is evidence that Late Stone Age hunter-gatherers lived here with their livestock. Their weapons have been discovered at this site, their iron tools and things they wore to enhance their appearances. These archaeological discoveries go back some three million years spanning the era of Homo habilis and Middle Stone Age people. Just as people relied on the Falls for water, so too did the lush forests growing opposite the waterfall on the basalt rock depend on the spray for its survival.
Today, modern man has made use of the waterfall, which is now an economic asset, supplying energy to several cities in the two countries that share its resources. It has only been since Zimbabwe gained its independence that tourism to Victoria Falls has been reignited and, now that this magnetising attraction is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it draws thousands of visitors every year who like to see both Zimbabwe and Zambia on their journeys to Africa.
Victoria Falls town is a major tourist attraction
If you are an adventure seeker, an adrenaline junkie and a passionate conservationist, you will love Victoria Falls town and you will find it hard to leave once you have met the friendly residents and tried some of the activities.
Found just across the border from Livingstone, Vic Falls town is a popular tourist attraction boasting a range of comfy accommodation, restaurants and activities for tourists of all ages and from all across the Globe.
Known aptly as the adventure capital of southern Africa, this small town offers the biggest bungee jump on the continent, from Victoria Falls Bridge! You can also white water raft on what is known as some of the hugest rapids this side of the equator. The gorges below the Vic Falls literally pump with action and rubber ducks ride the waves with gleeful passengers. Some prefer the higher route to see the white water and the bungee jump view – from a helicopter trip that flips over this World Heritage Site in Zimbabwe allowing its passengers to take photographs galore and to simply sit back and marvel at one of nature’s best sights.
Where to stay, what to do
Take a walk through the Victoria Falls National Park to see wild animals and birds then buy a few wooden curios from the local vendors to remind you of Africa. Accommodation in this small waterfall town varies from the very cheap backpacking variety to the very luxurious hotels and lodges made for those who love their comforts.
The Victoria Falls Hotel is a must-do experience, as you simply have to be there, in this legendary hotel that was built more than 100 years ago and is still known as “the grand old lady of the Falls.” Her architecture is Edwardian style and the recent refurbishment and renovations have brought her back to gracious life again. She has so much charisma and families through the ages have enjoyed her hospitality.
The best part of a holiday in the Vic Falls Hotel is imbibing cocktails and afternoon tea on Stanley Terrace overlooking the white spray of the natural wonder of the world. Enjoy cultural theatre in the Jungle Junction after a huge dinner buffet or if you prefer something less formal, then eat in the Livingstone Room.
Another accommodation in Vic Falls with the same name but with an entirely different atmosphere is the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, set back amongst mature riverine trees on the Zambezi River in the beautiful Zambezi National Park. From this wildlife camp, see wild animals and awesome vegetation from the luxury of your room or wander around to blend into the flora and feel the fauna.
This five-star Victoria Falls accommodation appropriately consists of luxury safari tents, elegantly decked in earthy tones and offering free standing baths, comfy lounges, indoor and outdoor showers and private viewing patios where you can unwind while watching hippo and elephants frolic in the waters of the river.
Suffice it to say that there are many hotels and lodges in these parts thanks to the existence of the majestic Victoria Falls. Choose something appropriate for you and your family and settle in to explore the two sides of the Zambezi River, Zambia and Zimbabwe! Enquire here today about your trip into East Africa…