Guide: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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Victoria Falls is the world’s largest waterfall by volume, 108 meters high and 1708 meters wide, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It sits on the Zambezi River, straddling the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. On the northern side is the Zambian town of Livingstone, on the southern side, the Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls.

David Livingstone is believed to be the first European that viewed Victoria Falls in 1855. He named the falls in honour of the Queen Victoria. However, the indigenous name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders” is also commonly used.

The Falls are a short distance north of the town of Victoria Falls. The best (and only) way to get close to the Falls from the Zimbabwean side is through the Victoria Falls National Park. Make sure to rent a poncho (just outside the entrance to the park) and bring a change of clothes! At certain parts of the national park, the mist will leave you as drenched as if you had been in a torrential rainstorm. You can also fly over Victoria Falls in a helicopter or a microlight, if you prefer not to get up close and personal with the mist.

Victoria Falls is not the only place you can visit in Victoria Falls. There are Boma Dinners where you can learn about the local indigenous cuisine and culture. River cruises take you down the Zambezi river, and usually you can catch a glimpse of various animals like elephants, hippos, and crocodiles. A wide range of safaris and game drives exist early in the morning and late at night. These are superb and well worth the money for the amount of wildlife they take you to see. Many other activities exist for a wide range of travellers, such as riding and fishing.

You can fly into Victoria Falls Airport, or take a bus or train in from larger cities. If you want to see Victoria Falls from both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides, the combined cost of visas will be less than 100 USD. It is best to visit during rainy season, December to March, when there will be more water in the Falls. However, visiting in the dry season is also fine, as there is usually more than enough water in the Falls until October, when the water may dry to a trickle.

Happy travelling!