All To Know About Victoria Falls

Discovering the Majestic Victoria Falls: A Journey with Nextgen Safaris

All To Know About Victoria Falls, Victoria Falls is one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders of the world, is a destination that captivates the hearts of travelers from across the globe. Straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, this magnificent waterfall is a testament to the raw power and beauty of nature.

At Nextgen Safaris, we curate bespoke African safari experiences, and a visit to Victoria Falls is undoubtedly one of the highlights. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into various aspects of Victoria Falls, from its geography and geology to the best ways to experience its splendor.

Victoria Falls: Zimbabwe and Zambia

Victoria Falls, locally known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya,” which means “The Smoke That Thunders,” is situated on the Zambezi River, the fourth longest river in Africa. The falls are shared by two countries: Zimbabwe and Zambia. Each side offers a unique perspective and a variety of activities for visitors.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe: On the Zimbabwean side, Victoria Falls is encompassed within the Victoria Falls National Park. This side is renowned for offering some of the most panoramic and breathtaking views of the falls. Visitors can explore numerous viewpoints along the well-maintained trails, including the famous Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls. Zimbabwe also boasts a variety of luxurious lodges and hotels, providing an excellent base for exploring the falls and the surrounding wildlife-rich areas.

Victoria Falls, Zambia: The Zambian side of Victoria Falls lies within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. This side offers a more intimate experience with closer encounters to the cascading waters. The Knife-Edge Bridge is a notable attraction, providing spectacular views and a refreshing spray from the falls. During the dry season, visitors can venture to Livingstone Island and take a dip in the Devil’s Pool, a natural infinity pool on the edge of the falls. Zambia also offers a range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to charming safari lodges.

All To Know About Victoria Falls

The Distance to Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is relatively accessible from various major cities in southern Africa. The distance from major hubs like Johannesburg, South Africa, is approximately 1,300 kilometers (about 810 miles). This journey can be covered by a combination of flights and road travel. Flights from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe or Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Zambia typically take around 1 hour and 45 minutes. From there, it’s a short drive to the falls themselves.

For those traveling from Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, the distance is about 480 kilometers (300 miles), and flights take roughly 1 hour. Road travel from Lusaka to Livingstone, the Zambian town near the falls, is also a popular option, offering a scenic journey through the Zambian countryside.

Capturing the Beauty: Victoria Falls in Photos

Victoria Falls is a photographer’s paradise, with its majestic scenery and dynamic environment providing endless opportunities for stunning shots. Whether you’re an amateur shutterbug or a professional photographer, the falls offer a wealth of subjects and compositions.

Some of the best vantage points for photography include:

  • Knife-Edge Bridge (Zambia): Offers a dramatic and up-close perspective of the Eastern Cataract.
  • Main Falls (Zimbabwe): Provides a broad, panoramic view of the falls, especially during the high water season.
  • Livingstone Island (Zambia): Accessible during the dry season, offering unique views from the very edge of the falls.
  • Helicopter Flights: For a bird’s-eye view, capturing the full scope of the falls and the surrounding landscape.

Photographers should be prepared for the mist and spray, particularly during the high water season (February to May). Waterproof camera equipment or protective gear is recommended to ensure your gear remains safe and functional.

The Country and the River: All To Know About Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is located on the Zambezi River, which forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Zambezi is the fourth longest river in Africa, flowing approximately 2,574 kilometers (1,599 miles) from its source in Zambia to its delta in Mozambique, where it empties into the Indian Ocean. The river is a crucial lifeline for the region, supporting a diverse range of wildlife and providing water for millions of people.

The falls were named after Queen Victoria by the Scottish explorer David Livingstone, who is believed to be the first European to view them in 1855. Today, Victoria Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its exceptional natural beauty and geological significance.

The Height and Magnitude of Victoria Falls

All To Know About Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is not the tallest or the widest waterfall in the world, but its combined height and width make it the largest sheet of falling water. The falls are approximately 1,708 meters (5,604 feet) wide and 108 meters (354 feet) high. During the peak flow season, more than 500 million liters (132 million gallons) of water plunge over the edge every minute, creating a thunderous roar and a towering plume of mist that can be seen from miles away.

The falls are divided into several distinct sections by the geological formations of the basalt plateau. From west to east, these sections include:

  • Devil’s Cataract: Named for the island that separates it from the Main Falls.
  • Main Falls: The highest and most powerful section.
  • Horseshoe Falls: Named for its curved shape.
  • Rainbow Falls: The tallest single drop.
  • Eastern Cataract: Located on the Zambian side.

Experiencing Victoria Falls with Nextgen Safaris

At Nextgen Safaris, we specialize in crafting unforgettable experiences that connect travelers with the natural wonders of Africa. A visit to Victoria Falls can be tailored to suit your interests and adventure level.

Activities:

  • Guided Tours: Explore both the Zimbabwean and Zambian sides with expert guides who offer insights into the history, geology, and ecology of the falls.
  • Helicopter Rides: Experience the falls from above, providing a unique perspective and stunning photo opportunities.
  • White-Water Rafting: For adrenaline junkies, the Zambezi River offers some of the best white-water rafting in the world.
  • Sunset Cruises: Relax on a Zambezi River cruise, watching the sunset and spotting wildlife such as hippos and crocodiles.
  • Devil’s Pool: Swim in this natural infinity pool during the dry season, right on the edge of the falls.
  • Bungee Jumping: For thrill-seekers, the Victoria Falls Bridge offers a 111-meter (364-foot) bungee jump into the gorge below.

Accommodations: Nextgen Safaris offers a range of accommodations to suit all preferences, from luxury lodges with stunning views of the falls to more intimate safari camps that immerse you in the natural surroundings. Our selected lodges provide exceptional service, gourmet dining, and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Cultural Experiences: Engage with the local culture by visiting nearby villages, meeting the Tonga and Lozi people, and learning about their traditions and way of life. Cultural tours can include visits to local markets, traditional dance performances, and craft workshops.

Conclusion

Victoria Falls is a destination that promises awe, adventure, and a deep connection with nature. Whether you’re seeking the thrill of white-water rafting, the serenity of a sunset cruise, or the simple joy of witnessing one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, Victoria Falls has something for everyone. At Nextgen Safaris, we are committed to providing an exceptional travel experience, ensuring that your visit to Victoria Falls is both memorable and meaningful.

Join us on a journey to discover the majesty of Victoria Falls, where the smoke thunders and the adventure never ends.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: All visitors to Zambia must have a valid passport with at least 4 consecutive blanks pages.  Any applicable visa and/or relevant documentation are the responsibility of the traveler.  For further information on Visa requirements visitors are advised to contact their nearest Zambia Embassy or Consulate.

Check here for Visa info

LANGUAGE: English

TIME: GMT +3

VOLTAGE: 220 Volts/AC50Hz. Sockets are UK style, 3 pin square plugs. Power is from the government in the city/major towns and generator with inverter back up in the Safari Lodges and Camps.

CURRENCY: Foreign currency must be changed at the Bank, Bureau de Change, and Hotel/Safari lodge/Camp/Resort.   Major Credit Cards, Master card, Visa, American Express, are usually accepted throughout the country.  Where credit cards are accepted, the payment will normally be recorded in US$ regardless of the card’s default currency.

CLOTHING: Dress is mainly informal and should be comfortable as well as practical. Something warm should be brought along for early morning and evenings. Safari clothes are available from hotels/lodges/camps.

BAGGAGE: Where possible, travel light. Baggage space on safari is limited to medium suitcase or soft bag per person plus reasonable amount of hand luggage. There is 15 Kilogram per person limit on all flights to the wildlife sanctuaries. Excess luggage must be stored in your arrival hotel.

WATER: You will find many different of opinion of what is safe and what is not. We recommend for peace of mind, to drink local Bottled Mineral water. It is important to drink plenty of water especially during the hotter months. We would recommend that guests drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration.

HEALTH: Africa is a safe and secure destination; however, it is a good idea to take a few precautions.  Kindly consult your GP or local doctor at least 6 weeks before you travel, with regards: Malaria prophylactics. East Africa is a known malaria area and preventive measures are essential. You are advised to take one of the recommended anti-malarial drugs.  Be sure to wear long sleeved shorts and trousers after sunset and spray the exposed parts of your body with a mosquito repellent spray Remember to protect yourself from direct sun rays with sunscreen cream or safari hat.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS: For those guests with specific dietary requirement, please ensure we are notified prior to travel

GRATUITIES: As a guideline and dependent on how happy you are, we would suggest the following: The General Hotel/Lodge/Camp Staff – Approximately U$ 10.00 per person per day Driver Guides – Approximately US$ 15.00 to US$ 20.00 per person per day.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Please be careful when photographing public buildings, airports, bridges, the national flag and people in uniform.  Ensure that you have sought permission before photographing local people and their villages.  If in doubt, please check with your guide.

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