The Iconic Victoria Falls
About Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls, UNESCO World Heritage site
Victoria Falls is a world-famous UNESCO World Heritage site and must-see destination for all who travel to Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Not only is this massive sheet of falling water acclaimed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, it’s also a top spot for high adrenalin activities, and superb photographic opportunities.
Don’t miss the chance to explore this natural playground during your African travels.
Where is Victoria Falls Exactly?
Victoria Falls spans the breadth of the Zambezi River on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. You can visit the Falls from either side, and even both sides without having to fill out too much paperwork, thanks to the KASA Univisa.
The closest towns to Victoria Falls are Livingstone in Zambia and Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe.
The History of Victoria Falls
Nature began working its magic on the Victoria Falls over 150 million years ago. During this time, volcanic activity deposited a thick crust of basalt over the Earth’s surface.
As this lava cooled, it began to crack, and these cracks subsequently filled up with clay and lime. The Zambezi River made its way across this soft surface, whittling away at these top layers, transforming them into the series of waterfalls that remain today.
Archaeological evidence suggests Homo habilis first discovered the Falls around 3 million years ago. Archaeologists have also unearthed Middle Stone Age tools from about 50 000 years ago, as well as 10 000-year-old late stone age tools, in the vicinity of Victoria Falls.
Eventually, the Khoisan, close relatives of Namibia’s San people, moved into the area, and they, in turn, made way for the Batoka tribes who still reside around these parts today.
David Livingstone was the first European to mention this massive spectacle of water after stumbling upon it on 17th November 1855. However, the French cartographer, Nicolas de Fer’ shows the falls in their correct location on his map of Africa dated 1715.
Visiting Victoria Falls
From luxury hotels to riverside campsites, there are plenty of places to spend a few nights around Victoria Falls.
Some of Africa’s most luxurious hotels overlook this natural wonder. The top hotels all have state of the art facilities manned by experienced event coordination teams to service your conferencing needs.
You’ll also find several caravan parks, B&Bs, condos and self-catering options lining the riverfront, or in the nearby towns.
Day visitors are welcome in Victoria Falls, too.
Things to Do at Victoria Falls
The list of things to do around Victoria Falls goes on and on. Try some of these top activities during your visit:
Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe both border the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls.
You can explore these wildlife treasure troves on morning and afternoon guided game drives, as well as self-drive excursions. The area’s known for abundant Big 5 sightings and a wealth of incredible birdlife.
Adventure Activities at Victoria Falls
If it’s adrenaline you’re after, Victoria Falls will not disappoint you. Be sure to try one of the following exciting activities during your trip to the Falls.
- Bungee jumping
- Whitewater rafting
- Hiking into Batoka Gorge
- Helicopter and aerial flips
- Power/Jet Boating
- Swimming in Devil’s Pool
- The Gorge Swing
The less energetic and not-quite-so-adventurous will find there’s plenty to amuse them in this part of the world, too.
Entertainment for the Less Courageous
Some of the more sedate activities on offer at Victoria Falls include:
- Sunset boat cruises on the Zambezi
- Tiger fishing
- Wellness treatments at luxury spas
- Trips to the Big Tree
- Shopping at local curio markets
- Night-time hikes to see the lunar rainbow
- Dining on board the Livingstone Express
- Golf at Elephant Hills
Other activities include amazing photographic tours to 15 viewpoints spread across the breadth of the Falls and a snake and dinosaur park beloved by children.
In the unlikely event you tire of spending time in this action-packed destination, you’ll find the following attractions within easy reach for a day trip.
- Chobe National Park
- Cultural Villages showcasing a traditional way of life
Dining at Victoria Falls
Dining at the enigmatic Boma restaurant is a must-do during your stay in Victoria Falls. Here you’ll get to sample local delights and be entertained by traditional tribal dancers while you eat.
International dining is offered at all the hotels in the area, with many of them featuring the added bonus of river views to admire during your meal. There are plenty of restaurants and takeaway diners available in Livingstone and Victoria Falls for meals on the go, too.
Fauna and Flora
The Fauna and Flora of the Zambezi River
Birds, mammals, reptiles, and plants abound near Victoria Falls, and you’ll see hippos basking in the depths of the Zambezi almost everywhere.
The area boasts the full complement of Africa’s most desirable species, from tiny antelope across the full spectrum of predators to huge elephants and giraffes. The painted reed frog, Cape clawless otter, and rhino are some of the rare species that call this area home.
In addition, BirdLife International recognized Victoria Falls as an important birding area. You can look forward to seeing raptors, cuckoos, swallows, warblers, Cape cormorants, African darters, and little egrets on the riverbanks. Further afield, you are bound to see fork-tailed drongos, hornbills and white-browed sparrow weavers.
You will marvel at the magnificent specimens of ancient teak, mopane, baobabs and Brachystegia in this unspoiled environment. The Victoria Falls rainforest boasts an incredible array of tropical vegetation that features 400 species.
What to Pack
When you visit Victoria Falls, you’ll need all the usual items for an African safari. These include:
- Sunglasses, lip balm, moisturizing lotion and sunblock
- Swimming costume and towels
- Comfortable walking shoes
- A torch
- A map and guidebook, or the latest app
- Mosquito repellent and anti-malaria medication
A camera and charger, as well as binoculars are vital to make the most of your trip.
Travelling to Victoria Falls
It’s easy to find Victoria Falls from Livingstone or Victoria Falls after landing at Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe or Zambia’s Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, formerly known as Livingstone airport.
From Victoria Falls Airport – Zimbabwe:
Depart from the airport along the A8, which leads directly to the Falls.
From Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport – Zambia:
Depart from the airport along Airport Road and turn right onto the Mosi-Oa-Tunya/T1. Continue along the T1 to Victoria Falls.
Always check the local travel regulations and restrictions with a travel agent or reputable website before you book your trip to Victoria Falls.
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