Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls.
Overview

You can't fail to be impressed by the thundering torrents of the Victoria Falls. Stay in the small town of Victoria Falls nearby to be close to the action. For trips out to the falls or to see the elephants in the Victoria Falls National Park, organised trips are advisable.

Travel Alert

Zimbabwe is undergoing a time of continuing political and economic tension and the advice of the British Foreign Office is against all but essential travel. In the current climate, visitors should exercise extreme caution, and avoid remote or farming areas, demonstrations in high density suburban areas and public transport. Contact the embassy for up-to-date advice on Zimbabwe.

Background

David Livingstone discovered the Victoria Falls in 1855 on his expedition down the mighty Zambezi River. Most visitors stay in the town of Victoria Falls, just over one mile from the falls themselves in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland-North province. The southern bank of the Zambezi forms the border with neighbouring Zambia. You can cross into Zambia via the impressive Victoria Falls Bridge, which was devised, but never seen, by Cecil Rhodes. The bridge opened in 1905 and today hosts bungee jumping and both countries' border-control posts.

First-time visit

The Victoria Falls, known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya or 'the smoke that thunders', is the point where the Zambezi River cascades off an almost 1.5-mile-wide cliff into a series of basalt gorges. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Victoria Falls is protected on the Zimbabwean side by Victoria Falls National Park, where you can spot rhino and elephant out on safari. You can experience the adrenaline rush of a bungee jump or go white-water rafting along the Zambezi River. Enjoy a sundowner at the colonial Victoria Falls Hotel and some traditional Shona dancing.

Return visit

If you're on a return trip to Victoria Falls, look out for the eerie moonbow during full moon. Check visa requirements and take a trip across the Victoria Falls Bridge to explore the Zambian side of the falls and nearby town of Livingstone. There are organised trips along the Zambezi River, where you can relax on a houseboat on Lake Kariba. You can also take a safari to Zimbabwe's largest game reserve, further south at Hwange.

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