Victoria Falls – Welcome, Tigashire, Sethule to Zimbabwe – A World of Wonders
There are certain places on earth you just have to experience for yourself. Places so unique in landscape and so rich in culture and heritage that only a firsthand encounter will do them justice.
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, an acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the largest waterfall in the world is the iconic and magnificent Victoria Falls. The Victoria Falls are located on the Zambezi River, the fourth largest river in Africa, that borders Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Victoria Falls is known as Mosi-oa-Tunya which is an adaptation of one of the local languages, meaning ‘The Smoke That Thunders’. The noise of Victoria Falls can be heard from kilometers away while the spray and mist from the falling water rises to a height of over 400 meters.
When to explore?
While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls is classified as the largest, based on its combined width of 1,708 meters (5,604 ft) and height of 108 meters (354 ft), resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Victoria Falls is the only waterfall in the world with a length of more than a kilometer and a height of more than hundred meters. The water level varies throughout the year; it is at its peak in April, at the end of the rainy season when on average 500,000,000 liters of water flow through the falls and it is at its lowest level in October and early November. Each season offers a different feel to the experience; most would imagine the rainy season would make the falls perfect for magnificent photos but alas, the mist in the air makes it difficult to see the base of the falls and the pictures can be a challenge for that memorabilia.
June, July and August would be the best times to view the falls as water levels would still be high enough to show the awesome wonder in full splendor but with less spray and more visibility.
The dry season presents more of rock face on the Zambian side of the falls and brings on unique, adventure thumping activities of walking across the falls and swimming on the edge popularly known as the Devils Pool. So in a nutshell Victoria Falls will be an exhilaration to the tourist at any time of the year.
What to expect
As one walks down a path towards the Falls, a veritable tropical jungle hems you in; tall swaying trees and thick branches and leaves cutting off the sunlight trying to sneak its way in. Water-drops sit on or droop thick green leaves, glinting like diamonds. The air is thick with moisture and the ground damp from the waterfall spray, while all around a thunderous roar hits the ears making one quick to understand the name, ‘smoke that thunders’. The noise increases with each step you you take towards the falls. There are various viewing points on the Zimbabwean side which provide visitors with the greater panoramic view of the falls.
Interestingly, during the dry season the water level in the Zambezi River drops sharply, and it becomes possible to walk through some parts of the waterfall adding onto the to-do list of the world’s adventure capital. However, during the rest of the year Victoria Falls is thunderous with a constant roar from the waters.
The Victoria Falls was first marketed to the world by the Scottish missionary and famous explorer David Livingstone in 1855 and named it after Queen Victoria. “…..…scenes so lovely must have been gazed by angels on their flight ’’ is how well he described the awe inspiring falls. A definitive example of breathtaking power and splendid beauty wrapped up in one package – a place which everyone should try see at least once in their life time. The view from the air is the most impressive and can be accomplished by a helicopter ride. There is a fair chance to view game during the helicopter ride.
What to do
The Falls themselves are not the only attraction in the area. With over 50 activities to choose from, Victoria Falls is truly the Worlds adventure capital. From Adrenaline rush activities that include the 111 meter bungee jump from The Victoria Falls Bridge, White water rafting in the Zambezi river gorge, Crocodile cage diving to High wire activities over the gorges. The power is ready to be unleashed on anyone who dares try. More sedate activities that include sunset cruises experiencing the breathtaking African sunset, golfing, game viewing, canoeing or simply relaxing having a cocktail or high tea overlooking the Falls are but a few activities one can choose from. A visit to the village adds to the list of the activities cultural enthusiasts would enjoy. Stop and gaze at century old majestic Baobab trees or be mesmerized by a pride of lions tussling over a morning kill or maybe just give way to herds of elephant crossing the road , such is the way of life in our world of wonders – in harmony with nature.
Where to stay
Ranging from backpackers to celebrities, Victoria Falls is the address for discerning travelers. Five star accommodation to camping facilities are available for all type of tourists to fit the different budgets. Excellent conferencing facilities are offered within the resort town which has emerged as a popular incentive travel destination. Visit and share with us our unique and diverse cultures, warmth, hospitality and friendliness.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority is a corporate body responsible for tourism promotion, planning and development, research and the enforcement of standards and services. To this end, the organiation’s mission is to promote the sustainable growth and development of tourism in Zimbabwe for the social and economic benefit of the nation through setting and monitoring of standards, marketing activities.