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What to Expect When You Visit Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is in Southern Africa, on the Zambezi River which separates Zambia and Zimbabwe. Referred to as the Mosi-oa-Tunya or the Smoke that thunders, in local parlance, Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The name itself is ascribed to the first European, David Livingstone, who visited the falls in the company of native guides on November 16, 1855. He was so overwhelmed with its beauty and splendor that he stated: ‘It has never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so wonderful must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.’ He subsequently gave it the name in reference to Victoria, the then Queen of England.

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The sheer physicality of the Victoria Falls is a notable point. It is arguably the largest waterfall in the world with a width of 1,708 meters (5,604 ft) and height of 108 meters (354 ft), giving it the broadest sheet of any falling body of water. The noise of the fall can be heard from a considerable distance, while the waters create a spray and mist that can be viewed from over 50 kilometers away, rising to heights of over 400km, hence its local nickname mentioned at the outset.

Victoria Falls has been of benefit to neighboring nations, Zimbabwe and Zambia. An estimated 400,000 people visited Victoria Falls every year in the late 90s.

So if you have decided to experience one of the wonders of nature, then you can expect the following at the Victoria Falls:

Seeing a Lunar Rainbow

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If you are fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time, you just might be able to witness a Lunar Rainbow. A Lunar Rainbow is a natural phenomenon created when light from the moon is refracted by water particles in the air, and this is interestingly a common sight at the Victoria Falls. A lunar Rainbow is also known as a moonbow. Authorities at the Victoria Falls regularly reopen the Victoria Rainforest, so you may able to witness this on a full moon.

You may be drawn into the ongoing debate of which side is better for viewing the Lunar Rainbow. Is it from Zimbabwe or Zambia? While the choice of where to see the moonbow is left to you, you must be ready to adhere to standard safety measures such as joining a group, wearing reflective clothing, possessing good lighting and following all instructions to the letter. Stay safe out there at night!

Swimming in the Devil’s Pool

When water levels drop at the Victoria Falls, usually between mid-August to mid-January, there is a naturally occurring rock lip that becomes prominent and forms a natural barrier. As a result, a Devil’s Pool is created at the edge of Victoria Falls. You will find tourists and visitors swimming around in this pool and having fun. But there is a catch; a huge one! The pool is formed just before the edge of the falls, so there is the present danger of you being swept over if you are not careful, but it is a great adrenaline rush if you are the adventurous type, and tour guides are usually on hand to provide guidance and protection so that you do not get carried away (literally speaking).

Bungee Jumping at Victoria Falls Bridge

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Before the advent of the Bridge, travelers had to journey across the River Zambezi either using steel-cable barges or dugout canoes. The Victoria Falls bridge, along with the railway, was constructed and completed in 1905.

This bridge now serves other purposes (in a recreational sense). One of these is Bungee Jumping. It means an individual jumping from a tall structure while staying tied to a large elastic cord.  You are bound to see many tourists engaged in this pastime at the bridge because it stands at approximately 420 feet in height. You will witness cries and shrieks as participants plunge to the lengths of the elastic chord, get pulled back up and begin to oscillate until the kinetic energy of the chord dissipates. Some aver that the thrill of the bungee jump comes from seeing the Victoria Falls in the backdrop or sensing the movement of the mighty Zambezi River at the great depths.

Again, observing all standard safety measures is important before you take the jump.

A Tour Of The Victoria Falls And Surrounding Areas

visit victoria falls zambezi
Image Credit: Scotspower:

You can be one of those touring the Victoria Falls and adjoining areas by foot. As you walk along, you will be immersed in the sprays and mists of the Falls. You will also encounter the Rainforest that fringes the Victoria Falls while taking-in the sight and sounds of the great River Zambezi as it makes its way down basalt gorges. You will also enjoy a rendition of the history and stories behind the Victoria Falls.

A Helicopter Tour Of The Victoria Falls

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This kind of tour is a great opportunity for you to take breathtaking images of the Falls from the skies. Be prepared to feel the showers, sprays, and mist as you journey. You will appreciate the wonders of nature as you watch the Zambezi River course powerfully down below. If the torrents of water that gush toward the basalt gorges of the Victoria Falls do not captivate you, then nothing else will.

Experience an Elephant Safari

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Elephants are the largest mammals on land, right? How about seizing the opportunity to ride through the surrounding areas and parks in Victoria Falls, on the back of these majestic creatures?  The experience is guaranteed to be exhilarating. Under the close supervision of tour guides and rangers, you can feel the strength and gentle gait of the elephants as they carry you on a steady walk. The view from their backs is simply amazing, and you will be captivated when they stop to grab a bite from the surrounding vegetation or take a drink.

Again, you will be expected to follow all instructions relating to dealing with the elephants.