The Mosi-oa-Tunya truly is breathtaking
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.
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.
The view from the Devil's Cataract
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Victoria falls from the Zimbabwe side
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!
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.
Take your time
The route along the main path guides you to a view which 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.
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.
Water flowing over 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.
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.
The Victoria Falls and plenty of spray
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.
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 view along 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 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.
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.
Inspired to visit Victoria Falls?
Do you want to experience the falls? Amaze at the sound of water crashing down into one of the natural wonders of the world.
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