Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is open to visitors. Image via Pixabay

The Smoke that Thunders: Victoria Falls ready to welcome visitors

Famously known as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls on the planet.

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is open to visitors. Image via Pixabay

Forming the border between Zambia in the North and Zimbabwe in the South, waters from the mighty Zambezi River spill into a 100-metre-deep canyon over 1.7-kilometre-wide to make Victoria Falls the largest waterfall on the planet. 

History of Victoria Falls

It was discovered by the famed Scottish explorer David Livingstone in 1855 while attempting to find a route to the East Coast of the African continent.

Led to the magnificent falls by the Makalolo tribes people in a dugout canoe, he named them after the British Monarch, Queen Victoria. Known by the locals as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or the “The Smoke that Thunders”, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1989 for being one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world.

Where to stay

The small town of Victoria Falls is less than two kilometres south of the border to Zambia and the Zambezi River and can be comfortably reached from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia.

The vibrant town is close to the Victoria Falls International Airport and is the perfect base for visitors to the Falls and a good departure point for safaris into Botswana.

The town has several hotels, including the famous Victoria Falls Hotel, which serves a famous “tea on the terrace”.

Budget – Adventure Lodge

Adventure Lodge is in a national park and conveniently situated within proximity to Victoria Falls National Park, Victoria Falls Bridge, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, and Devil’s Pool.

Mid-range – Ilala Lodge

A classic, colonial relic that is adorned with mounted rifles, hunting trophies, faded oil paintings, Oriental rugs, and period-piece furniture and beautifully decorated rooms that face out towards the manicured lawns and elaborate gardens.

Luxury – The Victoria Falls Hotel

Built in 1904, this historic hotel (the oldest in Zimbabwe) oozes elegance and sophistication, with magnificent views and superb service. High tea at Stanley’s Terrace is an institution.

Things to do

Spend a day enjoying the Falls — enjoy a leisurely morning exploring the rainforest paths, and viewing the magnificent wall of water from the numerous different viewpoints with the backdrop of chattering monkeys.

Also known as the “Adventure Capital of Africa”, it offers adventure-lovers, adrenalin junkies, and outdoor enthusiasts a myriad of exciting activities to try. So whether you are looking for the thrills and spills of white-water rafting, heart-stopping gorge swings or a more sedate river cruise on the mighty Zambezi, this vibrant and energetic locale has it all.

Swim the very edge of the Falls in the naturally-formed Devil’s Pool and watch the main torrent of water gushes over the basalt precipice to create heart-stopping views.

Bungee-jump off the famed 111m Victoria Falls Bridge; and soak up amazing birds-eye views of the turbulent rapids, the Victoria Falls Bridge and spray of the Falls from the lofty heights of the trees.

Also read: Regional travel: Zimbabwe to open for tourism on 1 October