Victoria Falls : The Smoke that Thunders

Twice as tall as Niagara Falls, located on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, Victoria Falls, for its sheer magnanimity and grandeur of breathtaking views has rightly been listed as one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. Described by the local Kololo tribe in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’, which translates into ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, Victoria Falls plummets more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute over the edge. That is not it, there are more shocking dimensions to follow. This five hundred million cubic meters of water is spread over a width of nearly two kilometers and ultimately falls into a gorge over one hundred meters below. The massive sheet of falling water and the spray that it produces has resulted in Victoria Falls being known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.

Scottish missionary David Livingstone was the first European to hear about Victoria Falls. In order to reach Victoria Falls, there are a couple of options available. By air, one can either land on Victoria Falls Airport or the neighbouring Livingstone Airport. From the town of Livingstone, tourists need to travel some 11 kilometers south to reach Victoria Falls. If planning a road trip, the most direct way to Victoria Falls is from Bulawayo. However, reaching by road is not highly advisable as the roads within Zimbabwe are not very good, with potholes being commonplace.

As far as the best time period to visit Victoria Falls is concerned, every month has its own variety of experiences to offer. Victoria Falls is most flooded around March and April. The spray rises to a height of over 400 metres in this period. This is the time when the Falls are at their glorious best, with clouds of spray rising high into the sky. The aerial view is spectacular at this time. If visitors opt for the months of November and December, they can enjoy the splendid view of the cliffs that form the Falls’ wall. This is because as the floods abate, the Falls create little rivulets which is why one can also appreciate the magnitude of the Falls’ abyss. From September to January, the half of the rocky face of the falls tends to become dry, which is why a visitor might find the falls to be slightly underwhelming.

There is no dearth of activities and opportunities available in and around Victoria Falls. Thus, planning is essential in order to make the most of your experience. Listed below are a set of activities and tourist haunts you might like to incorporate in your itinerary:

• Flight of Angels: To witness a breathtaking vista of the falls, opt for the ‘Flighjt of Angels’.

• Game viewing: You can either do this via boat or open vehicles. Among the popular activities in Victoria Falls.

• Rafting the wild rapids below the Falls is a very popular adventure.

• Victoria Falls National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the notable feature of Victoria Falls National Park is its rainforest, which grows in the spray of the falls. The park also contains abundant wildlife including sizable populations of elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, and a variety of antelopes.

Other interesting activities which attract a lot of tourists here are Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Fishing, Hot Air Balloons, Sun Downer Cruises on the Zambezi, Scuba Diving among others.

So for a holiday packed with a plethora of activities, plan a trip to Victoria Falls.