Victoria Falls: Visiting the World’s Largest Waterfall

Considered the heart of Africa, the Victoria Falls are formed right on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Listed among the 7 Natural Wonders of the Planet, this is the largest waterfall in the world.

The numbers involving these falls are impressive: the waterfalls reach 128 meters in height, and meet a 1.7 km long canyon on the Zambezi River, which lies between the two countries.

The Victoria Falls are part of both Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (in Zambia) and Victoria Falls National Park (in Zimbabwe). Together with the falls, the parks were chosen as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1989.

Why is the Cataract Known as Victoria Falls?

The discovery of this paradise happened in an unexpected and curious way. Scottish explorer David Livingstone was possibly the first European to encounter the beauty of these falls, in 1855. The waterfall was named in Livingstone’s homage to Queen Victoria, who held the throne in the United Kingdom until 1901.

According to historical accounts, David Livingstone’s first reaction upon discovering the waterfall was one of amazement, because of the smoke formed by the water droplets and the loud roar that came from the region of the cataract.

But make no mistake: this astonished reaction was not unique to Livingstone. Anyone is open-mouthed when faced with that immensity.

Although the name “Victoria Falls” has become official and internationally recognized, among the native population the waterfall is still called Mosi oa Tunya (the smoke that thunders).

Things to Do in Victoria Falls

Admire the power of nature: you can be satisfied with going there just to see that immensity up close.

You can get close to the falls from either Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (Zambia) or Victoria Falls National Park (Zimbabwe).

In about two hours, you can take a leisurely stroll through each one of them, although it’s easy to lose time admiring the landscape.

Activities in Victoria Falls

There are several activities that can be done there besides enjoying the beauty of the place. One of them is to take a walk through the forest that surrounds the Falls. The recommendation is to take a guided tour, which usually lasts 2 hours.

There is also the option of flying over the falls by helicopter on a tour that takes an average of 13 minutes and costs approximately 160 dollars. We didn’t take the tour, but from the images we were able to capture with the drone, we had no doubt that this flight should guarantee many moments of “wow.”

And if you took time, money and courage in your suitcase, here are two suggestions. You can go rafting, traveling 23 km along the Zambezi River. Or, how about a bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge, with 111 meters of free fall? The tours cost an average of 120 and 160 dollars respectively.

Another very popular activity is diving in Devil’s Pool, a natural pool located nearby the falls, 100 meters high. This tour is carried out only on the Zambia side and during the dry season (October and November, and may extend between August and January).

AND if you go? Let us know.

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