Victoria Falls (Zim)

 view of Victoria Falls through the gorge from Zimbabwe.
A gazillion tonnes of water thundering over a sheer cliff drowns all other sounds. The swirling mist hides all sign of human activity. Beyond your rain forest sanctuary people are hurling themselves off bridges, across gorges, into walls of raging water and out of aircraft.
A view of the falls and the spray of Victoria Falls at sunrise from the gorge.

Victoria Falls is a paradox of tranquil beauty and exciting adventure.

Mosi-oa-Tunya, 'The Smoke that Thunders' is undoubtedly Zimbabwe's finest and most well-known attraction. It is one of the Seven World Wonders and considered to be one of the world's largest waterfalls. It's not the widest or the highest, yet it is considered to the largest based on it's combined width, at 1,708 metres wide and height, at 108 metres. Impressively it takes the title for the largest sheet of falling water.

Also dubbed by Livingstone as Seongo or Chongwe, which means 'The Place of the Rainbow', it's not uncommon to see one form above the falls, above the mist, which often rises 400 metres above the falls and in high water season sometimes even twice as high and visible from up to 50 kilometres away. At full moon, you may even spot a "moonbow".

The water levels depict your experience of the falls. High water (peaking in April) means you're bound to get wet. You may not even actually see the falls from up close as the water comes crashing down. You certainly won't see the foot of the falls, but it's quite the experience. As the water levels drop, so too the spray and the falls become more visible with rock face showing. The lowest water flow is experienced around November. An entirely different experience as the falls see around a tenth of the volume of water. The question is not whether to go, but rather when to go. When is best?

Activities abound and they span the gamut of experiences from serene nature, like bird hides, nature walks and restorative spas, to wild action, like white water rifting, bunji jumping and high wires. The rickety railings at the sheer precipice are excitement enough for some. Others take it to the extreme, swimming in a whirlpool at the falls' edge (only done from the Zambian side). Either way Victoria Falls will enthral you with its might and multitude of picturesque vantage points.

Scenic flights over the falls, dubbed the “Flight of Angels” after Livingstone's famous words, offer a staggering perspective of this mile-wide phenomenon. A must do activity. A new perspective of the falls in their sheer glory.

Along the Zambezi River and surrounding Victoria Falls is all National Park and there are several excellent game reserves nearby making a wildlife safari and Victoria Falls combination a popular option.

The art and craft markets have equal shares of vibrant colours and vibrant traders; museums (some are exhibits in their own right) offer a sober look at the natural and political history of this significant region.

Most of the hotels have excellent restaurants and themed bars some of which extend to casinos and cabaret shows. For a hint of local and authentic culture, a dinner at the Boma Restaurant is a given. Have your face painted, play drums and try Mopane worms if you're up for the challenge. Not everyone does so if you do, you'll get a certificate to prove your exotic cuisine preferences or rather your bravery.

Sport is popular everywhere in Africa and at Victoria Falls, Gary Player has designed a championship golf course complete with the wildlife grass-cutters and the occasional lion kill. There's also horse riding, mountain biking, fishing, skydiving, abseiling, tennis, squash and more.

There's loads to do here. Make sure you have enough time to enjoy it all.

Victoria Falls (Zim)

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