All Posts By: sayote

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is a larger waterfall on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Locally it is known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, which translates into “smoke that thunders.”  Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Wonders of Nature and it also serves as the Ambassador to Africa’s Seven Wonders of Nature.

The majority of the falls are experienced on the Zambia side of the falls, however Zimbabwe offers the most panoramic view of the falls.  Zambia and Zimbabwe both provide national parks to protect Victoria Falls and the surrounding area.

What makes Victoria Falls a natural wonder?

Statistically speaking, Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world.  The statistic is referring to a single sheet of flowing water.  As the largest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls measures one mile (1.7 km) across and 360 feet (108 m) high.  Collectively, this creates the largest sheet of flowing water and the largest waterfall in the world.

There are other falls that are larger by volume of water such as Niagara and other falls that are larger based on complexity or combination of falls such as Iguassu Falls.  But Victoria Falls as the distinction of being the largest waterfall in the world based on a single sheet of flowing water.

What are the best ways to see Victoria Falls?

Victoria Falls is best seen face to face and from up in the sky.  In order to have the face to face experience, travelers will need to enter into the gates of Victoria Falls national park and explore the variety of trails that visit the top of the falls as well as the face of the falls.  The main trail transcends through the rainforest on the other side of the gorge that follows along the face of the falls.

This trail provides an intimate encounter with the power and majestic nature of the falls.  A helicopter ride over the falls provides visitors with a scope of the size of the falls.  It is imperative that travelers explore both perspectives of the falls.  You will be missing out on the splendor and grandeur of the falls.  If you only elect to do one of the two.

What are the best ways to experience Victoria Falls?

It is a necessity that you walk the trails of Victoria Falls.  Ideally, you will cross over into Zambia and experience the entirety of the falls for the complete face to face encounter with the world’s largest waterfall.

The most exciting way to capture the scope, size and grandeur of the falls is through a microlite.  Basically, these are go-carts with wings.  This small pilot and guest aircraft are open aired allowing for a fresh air encounter as you gaze over the magnificent Victoria Falls.  If you want to capture the similar views but prefer a more sound option, you may elect to leverage a helicopter ride to give you the bird’s eye view of the falls.

Other adventures include rafting or canoeing the river, or bungee jumping over the falls.  These are great ways to add adventure into your falls vacation.  These also make great ways to help engage your teenagers who were previously wanting to text their friends.  Safaris, elephant rides, and horseback adventures also await the family vacationers who want to spend more time at Victoria Falls.

When is the best time to visit the Victoria Falls?

May and June are great months to visit the falls if you like the mighty rush of the water.  These months are after the rainy season concludes providing visitors with sunny and dry days, but water levels that are higher creating the fuller curtain of water.  The downside is that the mist or “rain” that falls on the other side where the trails are is higher too making sure you get wet.  This also creates greater challenges for taking pictures and videos.

If you travel to Victoria Falls in August, September or early October you will be finding the falls with much less flow.  For some this is more aesthetically pleasing because of the rock cropping facets that stand out amidst the flows of water.

What is Victoria Falls weather like?

The weather does not vary temperature wise much at Victoria Falls.  The primary thing you will be concerned with is the rainy versus dry season.  The rainy season occurs from late November through mid April.  The weather is warmer during these months, but the rain can hamper your experience.  This creates higher water volume over the falls.

Jun and July are probably the best months because it is warm enough during the day to wear shorts, there is no rain, and the falls are usually exhibiting a fair amount of flow making for a beautiful scene.

Photography Tips for the capturing Victoria Falls.

The rainy season creates more magnificent volumes of water over the falls edge, however the extensive mist that rises from the base of the canyon makes it hard to capture the splendor of Victoria Falls.  It is easy for pictures to look like a big white cloud, when there is no cloud in the sky.

Late June through early August usually gives photographers fair amounts of water falling into the canyon floor.  Rainbows will be found throughout the day and even more so when the water levels are higher creating more mist to reflect the light of the sun.

Take umbrellas and other protective wears for you equipment.  The mist is falling and flowing with the breeze so it is easy for your equipment to get wet.

Travel tips for visiting Victoria Falls

Although you can see the falls in a day, you should plan for at least 2 if not 3 days.  This will give you a better chance to experience more of what the falls offer.  A helicopter or microlite flight over the falls, a Zambezi sunset dinner cruise over the falls, walking the trails, crossing over into Zimbabwe for more of the falls experience, and hiking to the canyon floor.

You can also plan for a half day safari right there at the falls or a full day Chobe safari into Botswana that is worth every penny. Chobe is the capitol of elephants.  You can also adventure into an elephant safari although this may prove to be more of an excursion on the back of an elephant than a wildlife viewing experience.