A view of Livingstone Island sits in the flow of the Zambezi between the Victoria Falls. Behind the island, the main falls cascades over the edge underneath the deep blue Sky

The majestic Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

In Africa, En-Route, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel, Zimbabwe by JanisLeave a Comment

The Mosi-oa-Tunya truly is breathtaking

That's Victoria Falls traditional name.
As you stroll through the woodlands towards the falls no signposts are needed, your eyes and ears would have picked up the sensory trail already. We’re only about 100m along the path and the thundering of Victoria Falls, firstly at a whisper, begins to increase.
The lush green grass in front of the gorge and Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side
Victoria Falls at High water

We’d been lucky enough to visit the falls on two previous occasions over 20 years earlier; however, the anticipation of seeing them again had not waned my enthusiasm.

I could sense that my pace had become faster, this moment is special, I caught my first glimpse of the falls through the trees, and it was breathtaking.

Quick Links

The view along the gorge from the start of the Victoria Falls from one of the first viewpoints you come to from the park.
The view from the Devil's Cataract

Victoria Falls Entrance Fee

For international visitors in 2021, the entrance fee to Victoria Falls is US$30.

Discovering Victoria Falls

Dr Livingstone, I presume
You just need to take a moment, watch and soak up the vision in front of you. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how the Scottish missionary; David Livingstone must have felt, on seeing the falls for the first time.
A larger than life statue to David Livingstone, in his 19th-century attire, on a rock plinth in the Victoria Falls visitor park.
The monument to David Livingstone

It is believed that Livingstone was the first European to view the falls on 16th November 1855

We can only wonder what must he have thought on seeing that before him.

A little bit of knowledge

David Livingstone named his discovery after Queen Victoria, although it is also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya.

The UNESCO World Heritage List recognises it with both names.

A helpful guide

If you're considering an adventure around Zimbabwe, then your in for a holiday of a lifetime. I always find it incredibly useful to plan our trips with the help of a guide book.

Take a look at this informative Bradt guide, it will give you great tips and advice.

Victoria Falls over the year

Anytime is fine
On our previous visits to Victoria Falls, the water levels were reasonably low, as it was prior to the rainy season. This time the levels were incredible, the flow of the Zambezi River cascading down the Devil’s Cataract was astonishing.
The view at the Devil's Cataract as the Zambezi River flows into the Victoria Falls gorge.
Water flowing over the Devil's Cataract

Just opposite the Livingstone monument is a beautiful viewpoint which looks along the length of the falls. Here you are standing right next to the top of the cataract and the water just torrents over the edge.

We looked over another viewpoint, and a double rainbow had formed. The rainbows here don’t last long, as the wind slightly changes, along with the spray and it’s gone.

A look through the foliage at the Devil's Cataract to a double rainbow over Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
A double rainbow over the Devil's Cataract 
We then head along the main path to walk the length of the falls. Victoria Falls are actually on the Zambia side; however, to get the most spectacular view, it has to be seen from the Zimbabwe side. 
A view of Livingstone Island sits in the flow of the Zambezi between the Victoria Falls. Behind the island, the main falls cascades over the edge underneath the deep blue Sky
Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side

Good to know!

Quite a few small groups were taking one to one guided tours, this isn’t necessarily needed; however, the knowledge that the guides have is very informative.

What to wear at Victoria Falls

Poncho or no Poncho?
When we got off the shuttle bus outside Victoria Falls, we were advised that the spray from the falls was quite intense and it was going to be wet, so if we wanted, we could buy a poncho. We decided to ‘man up’ and chose not to, what’s a little water amongst friends. Well, we were soon to find out!
A group at a Victoria Falls viewpoint wrapped up in waterproof Ponchos against a heavy white mist.
Victoria Falls are here somewhere
As we walked closer to the central falls, we were starting to feel some of the spray, but this wasn’t too bad.

Enjoying Victoria Falls

Take your time
The route along the main path guides you to a view that looks back to the high point of the Zambezi and the Devil’s Cataract. In the distance we could see a local guy just standing in the middle of the Zambezi fishing, how mad is that.
Water flowing over the narrow Devil's Cataract at the far end of the Victoria Falls gorge
The Devil's Cataract

We keep heading along popping in and out of each viewpoint, and the views are equally incredible.

You need just to stop take a minute and enjoy the unbelievable natural wonder.

Wait a minute or two

Sometimes the viewing points are busy, but just hang around for a short while and they clear.
A section of Victoria Falls main waterfall taken in mid-April during the high water season. Despite the blue skies you're guaranteed to get wet from the mist generated by the falls.
Water flowing over Victoria Falls

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The layout of Victoria Falls

Where did the falls go?

It gets wetter and wetter the closer you get to the main falls; at some points, the spray is so intense you cannot see the falls on the other side. This is just the beginning of the walk-in shower experience.

The woodlands around Victoria Falls is also known as a rainforest and strolling through parts of it, you can understand why.

The view of the Zambezi River flowing into the gorge through the mist generated from Victoria Falls during the high water season
Heavy mist at Victoria Falls
It is incredible the intensity of the Zambezi is impressive, as you wander further and further along the noise is greater, and it’s no longer a spray you are getting, this is more like a downpour.
Standing at a viewpoint overlooking the main section of Victoria Falls. At high water season the amount of water cascading over the falls creates a heavy mist that hangs in the air.
The Victoria Falls and plenty of spray

Exploring Victoria Falls

Be careful
Along the many viewpoints, there are barriers to stop you getting too close to the edge. However, once you get to the last view, the barriers are gone, and you can climb the slippery rocks at your own peril. You really must take caution here.
An outcrop of rocks that lead to another viewpoint over Victoria falls from the Zimbabwean side.
One of the many viewpoints
There are not enough superlatives for this wonder, and it looks so different from when the water was at a low-level during springtime.
A heavy mist obscures the view back along Victoria Falls towards the Devil's Cataract
A view along Victoria Falls

Did you know?

The Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world; it is over 1,700 metres wide and with up to 500 million litres of water descending per minute.

Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls

Take me to the bridge
By the time we’d reached the end of the walk, we were absolutely soaked through, it honestly looked like we had been for a swim in the Zambezi River.
The iron bridge connecting Zimbabwe to Zambia over the Zambezi gorge in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The Victoria Falls Bridge

The last point on this incredible walk was to the Victoria Falls Bridge, which straddles the two countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

If you’re feeling brave (or stupid, you decide?) you can take a bungee jump from the top of the bridge.

A blue sign at the Victoria Falls Border post on the Zimbabwe side.
Victoria Falls Border Post

Also, from the bottom of the bridge, you can partake in white-water rafting. Gary and I actually did this 20 year ago, we still have the video/DVD evidence. It was unbelievably exhilarating, but this time we gave it a miss, I’m not too sure if I could have survived the climb in and out of the ravine.

Allow yourself a good couple of hours to enjoy this spectacle. Just before we headed away from the falls, we took one final look at the majestic wonder, who knows when and if we’ll ever return?

I cannot stress enough how you need just to put down the camera for a moment and enjoy what you see in front of you.

Our video of Victoria Falls

We have created a little YouTube video of our experience - would you like to check it out?

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  1. Excellent description, Janis. I can hear and feel the waterfall here at my desk. I would have loved to have seen a photo of the two of you soaking wet though. I’m fairly sure that, had I not read your post, I would certainly have said no to paying for a raincoat too! It’s something I’d love to do one day. My husband has been whitewater rafting here too, a long time ago. Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles

    1. Thanks very much Clare, the Falls are incredible. I don’t think it would have been a pretty picture of the two of us soaked through, but funny nonetheless.If you ever get the opportunity to go it’s a must and I’m not too sure if I would buy the poncho, it was all part of the fun.

  2. So this is what it looks like at full throttle. Was curious about that. I was there in September a couple of years back, and I was able to walk into the middle of the river and sit on the edge, cool 😀 #farawayfiles

    1. Wow, that would have been amazing, Yes, we went there once in November and it was so different, but equally stunning.

  3. What an incredibly beautiful sight – I cannot imagine what Livingstone thought all those decades ago when he first came upon them. Superb photos #farawayfiles

    1. Thanks very much Megan, it truly was amazing. Livingstone must certainly have heard it before he saw it.

  4. What an experience! Victoria Falls has been on my list since 1997 when I had to cancel a trip due to illness. This is a good inspiration to get booked up again #FarawayFiles

    1. Victoria Falls is incredible, I really hope you visit.That is such a shame you had to cancel, we have family in Harare so we were actually there in 1996 and 1998. We hadn’t returned back in 20 years.

  5. Wow, you actually did white-water rafting there – you were really brave then! 🙂 Did your cameras/phones get wet from the water spray during this trip? But still, amazing photos, and I can imagine the exhilarating experience seeing this massive waterfall and seeing it again after 20 years 🙂 #FarawayFiles

    1. Yes we did, although, that was on our visits 20 years ago. We weren’t quite up for climbing in an out of the ravine this time. Heading down the Zambezi was a fantastic experience though.Our camera lens did get wet, we had to keep wiping it with a cloth, but, perhaps not quite as wet as we got. Victoria Falls was incredible, so pleased we returned.

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