Safaris to Victoria falls Zambia & Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls also is known as “Mosi oa-Tunya” (“the smoke that thunders”) is positioned almost exactly halfway along the mighty Zambezi’s 2700 km journey from its source in Mwinilunga north-west of Zambia about 1500m above sea level in the marshy black wetland known as dambo in the centre of the iconic miombo woodland to the Indian ocean.Here the river plunges headlong into a 100m vertical chasm spanning the full one-and-a-half kilometre width of the river.
Creating the biggest curtain of falling water in the world and also one of the seven natural wonders of the world the mighty Victoria Falls.
The power of the falls is awesome with the highest ever flow recorded in 1958 when it reached more than 700 000 cubic meters of water a minute. The water in the gorges rose 18 metres (60 feet) above its normal flood level.
This constant pounding by the currents of the mighty Zambezi has, over the millennium, cut through the rock faults and fissures and carved out not one but eight successive precipices.
When our early ancestors inhabited this area some 1.5 million years ago, they would have seen a different Victoria Falls to the one we see today.
Being one of the greatest physical spectacles in Africa it stands to reason that it has attracted so much interest from us, humans, over time and therefore the area is steeped in history and mystery.
In November 1855, DR David Livingstone was transported in a canoe by the local Makalolo people to the very edge of these falls.
The sensitive Scotsman was so overwhelmed by his first sight of these spectacular falls, that he momentarily abandoned his scientific observations and recorded.
“It has never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so wonderful must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”.
Loyally the good missionary, whose heart lies buried in Africa, named this great wonder of the world after Victoria, his British queen
What to do at Victoria Falls?
Bungee Jumping at Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls Bungee Jump is undoubtedly the most scenic bungee jump in the World. With the Victoria Falls themselves as the backdrop, and the mighty Zambezi River flowing beneath you, this is sure to be the greatest bungee jump you’ll ever experience.
Bungee Jump off the famous Victoria Falls Bridge. Experience 111 meters of free-fall and 4 seconds of pure adrenalin! If the sheer excitement of bungee isn’t enough, this must be the most beautiful bungee on the planet. A spectacular backdrop of the epic Victoria Falls sets the scene. Move to the edge of the bridge, arms out and 5-4-3-2-1- BUNGEE. Leap off the bridge and plummet towards the rapids of the mighty Zambezi River and let the adrenaline flow.
You have to be at least 15 years old to do the bungee jump.
Although transfers are not included to the Victoria Falls Bungee Jump Bridge, there is a complimentary shuttle from the Shearwater Cafe in Victoria Falls town at 10 am and 2 pm daily. No visas or stamps are necessary for entry onto the bungee bridge, but please remember to bring your passport.
If you would like a keepsake of you 111m to plummet into the Batoka Gorge, personalized DVDs and photographs are taken of every bungee jump and are made immediately available for viewing and purchase.
White Water Rafting on the Zambezi River
The Zambezi River below the Victoria Falls is widely considered to be the very best White Water Rafting River in the world. A deep channelled, high volume river, the Zambezi has class 3 – 5 rapids interspersed with tranquil pools.
This enables you to marvel at the magnificent beauty of the Batoka Gorge between some of the most exciting and challenging rapids rafted anywhere on the planet.
Helicopter Flights over Vic Falls
Indisputably the best way to appreciate the true splendour of the Victoria Falls is to view them from the air. Zambezi Helicopter Company (ZHC) is the largest private helicopter company in Zimbabwe and has been operating scenic tours over Victoria Falls for over fifteen years.
Zambezi Helicopter Company’s customised helicopters have specially designed ‘Bubble shaped’ windows perfect for panoramic viewing purposes which provide wonderful views and visibility from all seats… the ultimate photographic opportunity.
Flight of the angels
Enjoy a 15-minute helicopter flight over the Victoria Falls.
Enjoy a 22-minute helicopter flight over the Victoria Falls and Batoka Gorges
Zipline, Gorge Swing & Flying Fox
Experience the adrenaline rush of travelling at a speed of 106 km, hurtling 425m across the gorge, while suspended 120m above the breath-taking beauty of the Zambezi water below!
The zip line runs 120m above the Batoka Gorge, spanning 425m from one side of the Zambezi to the other.
On the zip line ride, real adrenaline high, you are harnessed and then launched into the deep gorge, rushing across the scenic chasm at speeds of up to 106 km’s on a pulley. This is the longest zip line in the world and is suitable for all ages.
The experienced guides will make you feel at ease as you take a leap of faith knowing that they are backed up with a 100% safety record, 17 years of experience under their belt and a team willing to make this adrenaline kick a breeze.
Please note long hair must be tied back.
With prior notice, the team does its best to accommodate the special needs of physically challenged individuals.
Clients are advised to leave their valuables at their accommodation.
The team can pick you up anywhere within the Victoria Falls area.
Swim on the Edge of Victoria Falls
Splash in a rock pool on the very edge of Victoria Falls! This exciting and unique Vic Falls activity is definitely one of the best.
You can take a guided trip to Devil’s Pool from the Zambian side of Vic Falls. his is one of the best spots for marvelling at Vic Falls. Plus, splashing in the pool is a thrilling and invigorating way to admire the natural wonder.
The Devil’s Pool activity is only done during the dry season (from about September to December) and/or when water levels are low enough for swimming.
Zambezi River Canoeing Trips at Vic Falls
There are a few good operators offering canoeing or kayaking trips on the Upper Zambezi, above Victoria Falls. You can also try more challenging river boarding, jet boating and rafting options below the falls.
Victoria Falls Canopy Tours
This one is perfect for families in search of a milder adventure for kids and seniors. Explore a network of nine elevated slides and a bridge walkway suspended between platforms in the forest canopy. The canopy tour is great for soaking up views of the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls Bridge & the spray of Vic Falls.
Abseiling at Vic Falls
One of the softer adventures at Victoria Falls is rappelling. Abseil 53m down Batoka Gorge! And take in the spectacular views of the Eastern Cataract of Vic Falls, with the Victoria Falls Bridge in the distance and boiling pot rapids below.
Zambezi River Sunset Boat Cruises above Vic Falls
One of the best things to do at Vic Falls is a Zambezi River Sunset Cruise. If you’ve seen photos of the sunset boat cruise then you’ll know why this activity is a real gem. The setting is magnificent and the sunsets are spectacular, Keep an eye out for wildlife along the banks and in the shallows of the Zambezi.
How to Get to Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA) is 11 miles south of the city and the Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) is located three miles north of the city across the border with Zambia. If you land at the Victoria Falls Airport, you can get to town by taking a shuttle or a taxi. A shuttle should cost US$24 and taxi fare should cost between US$30 and US$40. If you land at the Livingstone Airport in Zambia, you will have to take a taxi to the border for US$25, clear customs, and catch another taxi to town for US$5. A shuttle or private transport from Livingstone Airport should cost US$15.
There is an overnight train between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. A first-class ticket costs US$12, and you ride in British coaches from the 1950s through breath-taking scenery.
Victoria Falls is 68 miles away from Hwange and 270 miles away from Bulawayo and the roads are not well maintained. If you decide to rent a car at Livingstone Airport to drive to Victoria Falls, keep in mind that you will have to pay taxes and insurance at the border as well as obtain a temporary import permit for the car.
The Pathfinder Bus Company can take you from Harare to Victoria Falls for US$35 but keep in mind that the trip lasts for 12 hours since the bus stops in several smaller towns. Extra city Luxury is a more direct option that costs US$30.
Where to Stay in Victoria Falls
Batonka Guest Lodge
This environmentally-friendly lodge is more entry-level compared to the other lodges on our list but offers great value for money with an excellent level of service. Batonka is just 2.2 km from the entrance to Victoria Falls and its rainforest. The charming town, sharing the same name as the nearby natural wonder, is also close, only 1 km away.
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Set high on a plateau adjacent to The Zambezi National Park, victoria falls safari lodge is ideally located just 4 km from Victoria Falls. With free shuttles into town and to the Falls, you’ll have the best of both worlds – a safari lodge near to the majestic Victoria Falls. The 72-bedroomed, eco-friendly lodge has an on-site watering hole, which attracts a wide variety of game ensuring stunning views of the African bush.
Victoria Falls Hotel
Established in 1904, victoria falls hotel was the first hotel built in these parts and is set in the Victoria Falls National Park. It even has a private path leading directly to the entrance gate of the Victoria Falls. With epic views of the Victoria Falls Bridge, gorges below and spray from the Falls, the grand dame of Victoria Falls is steeped in history and plenty of colonial grandeur.
Ilala Lodge is the closest hotel to the mighty Victoria Falls, where attentive service is the order of the day. The National Park borders the front of the small property, with the spray of the Falls as the backdrop to the wildlife grazing on the lawn.
Royal Livingstone hotel offers more colonial elegance overlooking the Falls, but this time from the Zambian side. It’s located within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, a World Heritage Site overlooking the mighty Falls. From the banks of the Zambezi River, you can see the spray rising above the bushveld and feel its thundering sound reverberate in your chest.
Best time to see Victoria Falls
The falls look more impressive between the rainy season, which lasts from December to March. The downside of seeing the Falls during the rainy season is that you won’t be able to get too close because of the spray. The dry season lasts from April to October, which means the water volume will be a lot lower. Seeing the falls in November is ideal if you want to see water volume and still be able to see the rocky ledge of the falls.
THINGS TO DO
|Wildlife safaris in South Luangwa national park Zambia|
|Wildlife safaris in Hwange national park Zimbabwe|
|Hiking to the Victoria falls|
|Zambezi river expeditions|
WHERE TO STAY
|Victoria Falls Safari Lodge|
|Panusha Lodge Victoria Falls|
|Thorn Tree Safari Lodge|
|Bayete Guest House|
|Aha the David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa|
WHEN TO GO
|Best time to visit Victoria falls Zambia & Zimbabwe|
|3 Days Victoria & Chobe Safari|
|4 Days Zambezi White water Rafting & Chobe|
|6 Days Victoria & Hwange National Park Safari|
|8 Days Victoria Falls, Chobe & Okavango Delta Safaris|
|9 Days Victoria Falls, Hwange & Kariba|
|Fly-in Safari to Victoria Falls & Chobe Safari|
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