Visiting Victoria Falls

By: Steve JurvetsonCC BY 2.0

Africa’s Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. “Discovered” and named by British explorer David Livingstone between during his journey between 1852 and 1856, the massive falls measures a little over one mile across and over 360 feet high, making it the largest continuous sheet of water in the world.

About Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls are located on the Zambezi River, between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe, in the southern part of Africa. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Africa, the falls are flanked on either side by national parks–the Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe and the Mos’-oa-Tunya (the African name for the falls) National Park in Zambia.

Visiting Victoria Falls

The unique geography of Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River, with its many turns and gorges, makes it possible to see the falls up close and even feel the spray and see the rainbows it creates. The best time of year to witness the full glory of the falls in during the rainy season, from March to May.

Deciding which side to visit depends on your travel sensibilities and your budget. The most luxurious hotels–and the best falls viewing– are located on Zimbabwe side. However, that country’s political climate is not nearly as stable as its neighbor, Zambia.

On the other hand, Zambia offers more affordable accommodations, the chance to view the falls both from above and below. In addition, the town of Livingstone, the former colonial capital of Southern Rhodesia, is lined with gracious Victorian buildings and interesting shops and cafes.

There is a border crossing near the falls, and day visitors can walk across to the other country without having to get a visa in advance. The falls crossing is open every day from 8am to 6pm.

victoria-falls

Victoria Falls

Flying into Victoria Falls

The Zambian side of Victoria Falls is reached via Zambian Airways from the capital, Lusaka into Livingstone. Alternately, you can fly from Johannesburg via South African Airways.

To the town of Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side of the falls, you can fly Air Zimbabwe from that country’s capital, Harare, or take South African Airways from Johannesburg.

Staying at the Falls

Accommodations at Victoria Falls run the gamut from luxurious to basic. The most famous and most luxurious hotel is the Victoria Falls Hotel, built in 1904. The 161-room hotel offers guests views of the Zambezi River gorge as well as tennis courts, three restaurants, and a private path to the falls.

victoria falls

Sunset at Victoria Falls

Activities at the Falls

In addition to viewing the falls, visitors can enjoy championship golf, a nearby casino (on the Zimbabwean side), bungee jumping, flightseeing trips, wildlife viewing, and white-water rafting.

For more information on visiting Victoria Falls, see the Zambezi Travel Company Web site.

Tags: , , victoria+falls

(photo credit flickr cc)
(photo credit flickr cc)
(photo credit flickr cc)
(photo credit flickr cc)

By: Steve JurvetsonCC BY 2.0

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