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 Zambia as the Zambezi cascades into a narrow gorge, is a wonderful start or end to a safari in Zimbabwe, Botswana or Zambia. Victoria Falls itself is a small town on the Zimbabwe side offering adrenalin-based activities as well as safari activities and, of course, the opportunity to marvel at the breath-taking Falls themselves. The Zambezi flows from the Zambian side and drops over 100m into a gorge in Zimbabwe, meaning the entire spectacle can be viewed from the Zim side.
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.
Certainly, prior to Covid, the town of Victoria Falls has bounced back as tourism returned to Zimbabwe. It has become, once again, a pleasant lively little town within walking distance of the Falls and its national park, enabling visitors walk around among some historic buildings, souvenir shopping and looking/booking the numerous local activities on offer. This has been assisted by the building of a new international airport which opened in mid 2015, aiming to encourage direct international flights back to Zim and develop as a hub for this entire Kavango-Zambezi region including not only Zimbabwe but parts of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and even Angola.
The Park around the Falls is well paved and accessible. 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. Although it certainly is not the main drawcard of this area, short game drives can be taken further within the park; often coming across elephant, buffalo, white rhino, eland, hippo, and varying antelope. The local activities include mesmerizing sightseeing flights by helicopter, microlight or ultralight, over the Falls. Further excitement can be obtained by bungee-jumping over the mighty Zambezi, zip-wiring or gorge-swinging across the Falls, or local canoeing on the Zambezi, viewing (or being viewed by) the residents, hippos and crocodiles! Alternatively, you can raft on one of the world's toughest stretches of white water.
There are some beautiful accommodations available in the area, from the sedate colonial Victoria Fall Hotel and the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, to luxurious lodges like Matetsi within the general area and the national parks. Making this an excellent base to get over a long flight – or rejuvenate after a safari.
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