What to do in Victoria Falls?

Beyond the spectacle of the Falls themselves, Victoria Falls has become a destination in itself, with a great deal to offer visitors on both sides of the Zambezi making it the perfect start or end to your safari.

There is something for everyone in Victoria Falls – solo travellers, couples, families and friends are all catered for. And while the area has become known for its adrenaline pumping activities, there are many wonderful gentle activities to be enjoyed too. From serene river cruises on the Zambezi to elegant dinners on a colonial stream train overlooking the falls from the iconic Victoria Falls bridge.

Victoria Falls is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and national parks on both sides of the Zambezi River, offering the perfect backdrop to a full range of outdoor activities. Both Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia offer good safari activities, such as game drives and tracking rhinos (in Zambia only) for those wishing to keep with the safari theme. These parks are home to some wonderful wildlife meaning the famous sunset cruises along the Zambezi river offer wonderful game viewing as animals come to drink from the river.

Of course it all begins with a tour of Victoria Falls. This can be done independently, as part of a group or on a private tour. The experience at the falls will vary with the season but it is always dramatic. Guided tours will offer insight to the Falls’ fascinating history. You will explore the rainforest as you discover birds, plants and flowers that occur in this unique ecosystem before making several stops at significant points along the way, giving you chance to capture photographic images of the falls from various vantage points.

Adding a twist to the Victoria Falls Tour is an evening option hosted over 3 nights of full moon and showcasing the unusual and irregular occurrence of Lunar rainbows – rainbows that appear by the light of the moon. The Lunar Rainbow Tour is weather dependent and provides the opportunity to capture rare images of this phenomenon.

When waters are low enough, a daring swim the edge of Devil’s pool, a naturally formed rock pool on the Zambian side of the falls, is an experience not to forget.

Seen from the air – Victoria Falls is spectacular. The explorer, David Livingstone noted ”scenes so lovely they must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”- and so these scenic flights have now become known as the Flight of Angels, a helicopter flip over the Victoria Falls. Flight times vary from a 13 minute, 26- minute flight or 40 minute flights which take in the surrounding gorges. Similarly, a 30 -minute flight by Microlight plane over the mighty Victoria Falls, manoeuvred by the wind invites you to experience magnificent views of the Batoka gorge, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and the mighty Zambezi River.

An iconic activity associated with the falls, and available year round to all -ages is an early evening Zambezi River dinner cruise. A number of vessels are available depending on the budget, from larger boats with a simple cash bar to smaller intimate luxury boats serving drinks, canapes and dinner. Such as the Malachite cruise boat or Zambezi Royal, offering sparkling wine on entrance, delicious starters and a full sdinner certain to satisfy the most discerning of tastes from all over the world. A lavish dinner on the Zambezi river, elephants wallowing on the side and hippos snorting around you, all warmed by the last of the African sun’s rays is a very special experience.

A memorable visit to the Elephant Sanctuary with its rehabilitated elephant herd is often on the top of a safari-lovers list and involves an introduction to the Wild Horizons’ herd. An elephant art safari is a unique activity run by the sanctuary which sees you spending an afternoon observing and painting the elephants, wonderfully relaxing and fun.

For those with a head for heights,  a gorge swing , suspended 120 metres above the falls, allows  you to freefall 70 meters before swinging across the gorge in pendulum fashion. Available for children from the age of 5 years, this is the perfect family adventure. For those with a need for speed, the Zipline is a winner, racing across the gorge at speeds of around 100km p/hr  while harnessed onto a system of pulley and cable-  is sure to get the heart racing, and can be enjoyed by children from as young as 2 years of age.

Abseiling and Canopy tours over the thick forest vegetation of the gorge are considered to be ‘softer’’ adventures suitable for young and old guests and includes 9 different platforms with a suspended bridge walkway in between when guests can pause to take in the surrounding views.

 

 

White Water Rafting is another adventurous activity, for experienced and strong rafters only. Riding the Grade 5 Zambezi river rapids is thrilling and challenging. Legend has it that the gorge and fast flowing river is the domain of the Nyaminyami, the River God of the Tonga people, angry at having been separated from his wife by the Kariba Dam wall. The excursion begins with a challenging walk down into Batoka Gorge – so this activity requires a good level of fitness – and ends at a water depth of over 200m. Walled in by huge formations of basalt rock, the gorge and its surrounds are exceptionally beautiful and form an incredible backdrop to one of the most adrenalin pumping activities in the world. Various rapids are taken on during different seasons of the years with the high-water rapids occurring from December to July or August. Excursions are approximately 6.5 hours in length and include lunch.

As for shopping – there are plenty of opportunities for guests to buy beautiful locally handcrafted curios and gifts from the side- walk markets in Victoria Falls.

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