The majestic Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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

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, Zimbabwe, Africa

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.

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The view from the Devil's Cataract, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Africa

The view from the Devil's Cataract

Entrance fee

For international visitors in 2019, the entrance fee to Victoria Falls is US$30.

Something to make your travels easier?

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, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Africa

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, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Africa

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 ,Victoria Falls,  Zimbabwe, Africa

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, Zimbabwe, Africa

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.

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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, Zimbabwe, Africa

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, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Africa

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, Zimbabwe, Africa

Water flowing over Victoria Falls

Fancy visiting one of ...

...the world’s great wonders.

Start creating your own adventure and visit the amazing Victoria Falls for yourself.

 We chose British Airways, and it was all done with a few clicks, a brief stopover in Johannesburg, and our luggage was there waiting for us on arrival at our end destination in Harare.

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, Zimbabwe, Africa

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 mist, Zimbabwe, Africa

The Victoria Falls and plenty of spray

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.

One of the many viewpoints, Zimbabwe, Africa

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, , Zimbabwe, Africa

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.

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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,  Zimbabwe, Africa

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, Zimbabwe, Africa

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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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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Comments

  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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