Discovering Victoria Falls

Full Day Livingstone City Tour

Victoria Falls is one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders of the world, drawing travelers from around the globe to witness its breathtaking beauty. Discovering Victoria Falls, Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, this magnificent waterfall is renowned for its immense scale and the sheer volume of water that cascades over its edge.

At Nextgen Safaris, we specialize in creating unforgettable African safari experiences, and a visit to Victoria Falls is one of the highlights of our tours. In this comprehensive article, we will explore five fascinating facts about Victoria Falls, clarify its geographical location, explain why it is famous, and reveal its local name in Africa.

Discovering Victoria Falls

Five Fascinating Facts About Victoria Falls

  1. One of the Largest Waterfalls in the World: Victoria Falls is neither the tallest nor the widest waterfall on the planet, but it is recognized as the largest due to its combined height and width. The falls span approximately 1,708 meters (5,604 feet) in width and plunge 108 meters (354 feet) into the gorge below, creating the largest sheet of falling water in the world.
  2. A Natural Wonder: Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1989 due to its exceptional natural beauty and geological significance. The falls are a prime example of geological processes and continue to be a major subject of scientific study.
  3. The Smoke That Thunders: Locally known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya,” which translates to “The Smoke That Thunders,” Victoria Falls produces a towering plume of mist and a deafening roar as millions of liters of water crash into the Zambezi Gorge every minute. This mist can be seen from miles away, creating the illusion of smoke rising from the forest.
  4. A Haven for Wildlife: The areas surrounding Victoria Falls are rich in biodiversity. The Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia are home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, giraffes, and numerous bird species. The Zambezi River itself is teeming with life, supporting hippos, crocodiles, and an array of fish species.
  5. A Historic Site: The Scottish explorer David Livingstone is believed to be the first European to view Victoria Falls in 1855. He named the falls in honor of Queen Victoria. Livingstone’s statue still stands on the Zambian side of the falls, commemorating his contribution to the exploration of Africa.

Is Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe or Zambia?

Victoria Falls straddles the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, allowing visitors to experience its splendor from both countries. Each side offers unique vantage points and activities.

Zimbabwe: The Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls is famed for its panoramic views and extensive network of trails that provide access to numerous viewpoints. The Victoria Falls National Park, which encompasses this area, allows visitors to explore various sections of the falls, including the Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls. The Zimbabwean side is particularly popular during the high water season, from February to May, when the falls are at their most powerful.

Zambia: The Zambian side, located within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, offers a closer and more intimate experience. Key attractions include the Knife-Edge Bridge, which provides dramatic views and a refreshing spray from the falls, and Livingstone Island, accessible during the dry season. One of the most thrilling activities on this side is swimming in the Devil’s Pool, a natural infinity pool right on the edge of the falls.

Why is Victoria Falls Famous?

Discovering Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is famous for several reasons:

Spectacular Natural Beauty: The sheer size and power of the falls make them one of the most visually stunning natural wonders on earth. The combination of the thundering water, the mist rising into the air, and the lush rainforest that surrounds the falls creates an unforgettable sight.

Unique Geological Features: The geological formations that create Victoria Falls are fascinating. The falls are part of the Zambezi River, which flows over a basalt plateau and then plunges into a series of gorges. These gorges have been formed over thousands of years through the process of erosion, and their steep cliffs and deep canyons add to the dramatic scenery.

Rich Cultural and Historical Significance: Victoria Falls has a deep cultural significance for the indigenous peoples of the region. It has been a site of spiritual importance and is considered sacred by the local tribes. The falls were also a major landmark for European explorers in the 19th century, with David Livingstone being the most famous among them. His exploration of the falls helped to open up the interior of Africa to further exploration and colonization.

Adventure Tourism: Victoria Falls is a hub for adventure tourism, attracting thrill-seekers from around the world. Activities such as white-water rafting on the Zambezi River, bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge, helicopter flights over the falls, and safaris in the surrounding national parks make it a popular destination for those seeking an adrenaline rush.

What is Victoria Falls Called in Africa?

In Africa, Victoria Falls is known by its indigenous name, “Mosi-oa-Tunya,” which translates to “The Smoke That Thunders.” This name vividly describes the powerful spray and thunderous noise produced by the falls, which can be seen and heard from a great distance.

Experiencing Victoria Falls with Nextgen Safaris

At Nextgen Safaris, we offer curated safari experiences that allow you to explore the majesty of Victoria Falls in depth. Whether you are an adventure enthusiast, a nature lover, or someone seeking a serene escape, we have tailored packages to suit your preferences.

Guided Tours: Our guided tours provide a comprehensive exploration of both the Zimbabwean and Zambian sides of the falls. Expert guides share insights into the history, geology, and ecology of the area, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of this natural wonder.

Adventure Activities: For those seeking adventure, we offer a range of thrilling activities. Experience the exhilaration of white-water rafting on the Zambezi River, take a plunge into the Devil’s Pool, or soar above the falls on a helicopter flight. Each activity offers a unique perspective and unforgettable memories.

Wildlife Safaris: Explore the rich biodiversity of the surrounding national parks with our wildlife safaris. From game drives to walking safaris, you can encounter elephants, buffalo, giraffes, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. Our knowledgeable guides ensure a safe and informative experience.

Cultural Experiences: Engage with the local culture through visits to nearby villages, where you can meet the Tonga and Lozi people and learn about their traditions and way of life. Cultural tours can include visits to local markets, traditional dance performances, and craft workshops.

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

Conclusion

Victoria Falls is a destination that promises awe, adventure, and a deep connection with nature. Its immense size, spectacular beauty, and rich cultural and historical significance make it one of the most extraordinary natural wonders on earth. Whether you are 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 magnificent waterfalls, 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.

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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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