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Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is not only Zimbabwe’s biggest attraction, but also one of the whole most visited natural wonders. It is the biggest waterfall in Africa, and the second biggest in the world, and is simply so impressive that its dimensions are difficult to really comprehend: It is just over 1.7 km wide, it falls 108 meters at its highest point, and in the rainy season more than half a  million tons of water flow over its edge per minute.

It was named in 1855 in honour of Queen Victoria by the famous explorer David Livingstone, who was the first European to see this natural wonder. In the local language it already had the name Mosi-ou-Tunya, which means ”the smoke that thunders”, a name which must be said to be very fitting. During the rainy season in particular it sounds like there is deep rumbling of thunder coming out of the gorge, and when the mass of water hits the bottom, a cloud of water vapour is sent some 400m upwards form here. The cloud can be seen from a distance of up to 50 km, while the deep rumbling of the waterfall can be heard up to 40 km away. Although these facts are very impressive, it can actually be difficult to see the waterfall during the wettest part of the year. It is during the drier winter months when there is less water in the river that the visibility around the falls and the gorge downstream is at its best.

The small rainforest next to the waterfall thrives because of the constant drifting clouds of water vapour coming up from the falls, and here it is possible to see animals such as a number of baboons, merekats and large hornbills. The range of activities on offer around Victoria Falls is huge; you can enjoy a sightseeing flight over the falls in a helicopter, or a small open ultralight aircraft, you can take part in some world class white water rafting, or do a more than 100 meter high Bungee-jump from the bridge over the Zambezi River, to name but a few.

Downstream from the waterfall along the Zambezi  River is the small Victoria Falls National Park, while the somewhat larger  Zambezi National Park lies upstream. While these parks can’t quite measure up to the nearby Hwange National Park, there are many safari activities on offer and a significant amount of game animals. Elephants, buffalo, impala and warthogs can actually be seen in the town itself and around the waterfalls, while on a safari you can also see giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, greater kudu and sable antelope and with a bit of luck even lions and African wild dogs. Along the Zambezi River with its palm covered islands, you can see many species of birds together with crocodiles and hippopotamus.

Victoria Falls has an international airport with good connections to, for example, South Africa, so it is often used as a starting point for saris to both Zimbabwe and northern Botswana. The town also has a number of well-kept relics from colonial times, including the 198 meter long bridge that crosses high over the Zambezi River close to the waterfalls, the small railway station and the beautiful Victoria Falls Hotel dating from 1904, which is well worth a visit even if you are not staying there. From the station and the bridge you can often see lovely colonial style trains, which are often pulled by a recently renovated steam locomotive.


   •      A walk through the rainforest next to the waterfall and the gorge, which includes many good viewpoints

   •      A sightseeing flight offering outstanding views over a wide area around the waterfall and the River Zambezi

   •      Wide range of activities on offer around the falls, and an atmosphere reminding visitors of colonial time in town

High season: June to October, all year for the waterfall itself


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