Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Twice as tall as Niagara Falls, and many times longer; statistically speaking, it is the largest waterfall in the world.
Victoria Falls is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and travelers can access the falls through either Livingstone, Zambia or Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The falls are also close to the border of Botswana. The Zambezi River, which originates in northern Zambia, serves as the fall’s water source.
The name Victoria Falls was given to the falls by the Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone. He named the falls after the reining queen at the time. The locals called the falls Mosi-oa-Tunya meaning “smoke that thunders.” Many people still refer to this nickname, which accurately defines the falls.
There are numerous activities to add excitement and adventure to a trip to Victoria Falls. However, when it comes to viewing the falls, there are two unique and distinctive views of the falls that should both be explored to help you capture the true splendor and amazement of this wonder of nature.
The first, and potentially the most impressive, view of the falls comes from the air. You can accomplish this by leveraging a flight over the falls using either a helicopter or microlite. The microlite is the more adventurous route, but either will provide you with a breathtaking and spectacular aerial view of the falls and the surrounding area. You will have a fair chance of seeing elephants or other wildlife while taking in the awe inspiring view of the falls. Although there are no guarantees, witnessing wildlife along the way will enhance your natural wonders experience.
The second and almost equally impressive view of the falls comes from the various trails that follow alongside the falls. This unique trail places you face-to-face with the tops of the falls. The falls are head on and only about 200 feet (60 meters) away. As you enter the park and turn the corner you are instantly presented with the magnificence and glory of the falls. As you take the path and hear the water pounding and witness the vapor rising, you quickly understand the name, “smoke that thunders.”
The majority of trails occur on the Zambian side of the falls, however the Zimbabwean side of the falls provides visitors with the greater panoramic view of the falls. Sightseers and photographers can see approximately 80% of the falls as compared to about 25 to 30% from the Zambian side.
There are basically two seasons for the Victoria Falls area. The rainy season runs from late November to early April with the remaining months accounting for the dry season. One would imagine that the rainy season with more water would make the falls more spectacular, however the additional water and subsequent mist in the air makes it nearly impossible to see the base of the falls.
The months of June and July are probably the best time to view the falls. The water levels are still high enough to showcase the splendor of the falls, but the amount of water is less creating less spray and more visibility of the falls. Plus, you get to enjoy the outdoor activities fully, including such that gives Victoria Falls the title; Adrenaline capital of Africa.
There are several hotels and lodges to choose from for a great stay at Victoria Falls. Lodges and hotels are available on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides of the falls.
Daily flights are offered from Johannesburg, South Africa to the towns of Livingstone, Zambia or Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe which provides easy access to the falls. Easy access is also provided with flights from Windhoek, Namibia. Less inviting options include flights to Lusaka, Zambia or Harare, Zimbabwe with bus rides to Livingstone or Victoria Falls.
Seven Natural Wonders