David Livingstone – “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by Angels in their flight….”
The world-famous Victoria Falls, forming a border between Zimbabwe and the far south of Zambia as the Zambezi cascades into a narrow gorge. It is a wonderful start or end to a safari in Zambia, Zimbabwe or Botswana. The Falls themselves tumble over a gorge from the Zambian side of the Zambezi. The area around the side of the Falls on the Zambian side is a small park and entry into the neighbouring country of Zimbabwe. The area on the Zambian side of the Falls and its closest town a very short drive away, Livingstone, has thrived since the early 2000’s as its neighbour suffered the fallout from its civil war.
You can hear the roar and see the spray of water from the Falls rising skyward well in advance of seeing the immense amount of water cascading over the 1,709 m wide gorge. This sound and vision of spray of the water has given the Falls the evocative local name Mosi-oa-Tunya or the Smoke that Thunders.
Along from the Falls in Zambia, the mighty Zambezi runs wide and majestic’ speckled with pods of noisy hippos, herds of ellies or crocodiles. This really is a beautiful setting for a sundowner or lovely leisurely sundowner boat trip, for the slightly more canoeing will get you quietly up close with the river’s range of wildlife or birds.
Along the Zambezi there are various luxurious lodges in which to stay a few nights, or a wonderful colonial style hotel, the Royal Livingstone offering fabulous hospitality and class. All of these spots enable you to or rejuvenate after a long flight or after a safari, and experience the real beauty of the Falls by sitting on its banks with a cold drink or an afternoon tea.
Additionally, although it certainly is not the main draw card of this area, short game drives can be taken in the neighbouring Mosi oa Tunya National Park, where you will see all the animals one might expect (except lion!) and adds to the overall nature experience of the area.
The whole area has been assisted by the building of a new international airport which opened in mid 2015, aiming to encourage direct international flights back to neighbouring Zimbabwe and develop as a hub for this entire Kavango-Zambezi region including not only Zambia but, obviously Zimbabwe but parts of Botswana, Namibia and even Angola.
It is possible and fairly easy (we recommend a guide) to cross the border between the countries to view the full beauty of the Falls. On the Zimbabwean side, the Park around the Falls is well paved and accessible and you can spend a few hours ambling around gazing at the magnificent Falls from different vantage points among a wild area with various antelope wandering around. Guided tours are also available.
Every part of the Zambezi and the area around and near the Falls is wonderful; by day, at sunset, in full flood or in quieter moments, it’s a beautiful place to visit to rejuvenate from a long flight or end a safari with a different pace.
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