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Victoria Falls: Africa’s Adventure Capital

For action-seekers and adrenaline junkies, there are few places that tick as many boxes as Victoria Falls. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, it is, statistically speaking the largest waterfall on earth (an accolade that results from combining its height and width together, resulting in the largest single sheet of flowing water). A mammoth 1 708m wide and 107m deep, at its maximum flow, it sees 550 000 cubic meters of water plunging into the gorge every minute. 

Known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya (‘the smoke that thunders’), it sets the stage for a staggering number of adventure-oriented activities that thrill-seekers can fill their itineraries with. 

The most obvious are the plentiful watersports available, in the vicinity of the falls and on the river that feeds it. From white-water rafting on the Zambezi (an action-filled route though masses of rapids and amazing scenery), to swimming near the edge of Devil’s Pool (a famous spot on the Zambian side, close to Livingstone Island and beloved by the brave), to a more gentle canoe safari up river (accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who will share insights into the surrounding environment and wildlife), immersing yourself in the water is one of the best modes in which to experience the awe and majesty of the falls.

Victoria Falls

Keen fishermen too, will have great scope – with over 75 species of fish, including tiger fish, bream and nembwe, the Zambezi is a great year-round fishing destination, and with the bush and game viewing scenes as a backdrop, it’s arguably up there as one of the most unforgettable ways to indulge in this popular pastime. 

But you can also survey the scene from above. Bungee jumping with the majestic falls in the background and the Zambezi 111 metres below, or a gorge swing or zipline over the Zambezi are sure to satisfy even the most experienced adventurer, while the Flight of the Angels microlight trips over the falls give an exhilarating vantage point from which to take in the landscape and appreciate the scale of this natural wonder. 

In the surrounding areas, safaris of all varieties illustrate this destination’s multifaceted nature. On foot or horseback, at night, or from a traditional 4X4, the game viewing in the parks surrounding the falls is an ideal low-key complement to the more heart-stopping pursuits on offer. 

The falls form a natural boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe, with both countries offering exceptional views of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and easy access to tourists. Timing wise, Victoria Falls is a great all-year destination but certain months are better for certain activities, so plan your trip according to the itinerary you’d most like to experience. 

For the most spectacular view of the falls, it’s best to visit between February and May, just after the rainy season when the water flow is at its greatest (and the spray reaches upwards of 1.7km into the sky). The falls are conversely at their least impressive between October and November (drying up almost entirely on the Zambian side), as it comes to the end of the dry season and this time of year also sees very high temperatures. But if you want to get involved in the many activities at Victoria Falls the best time to visit is actually when the Zambezi levels are not too high (usually between July and December). The winter months (June to October) are best for game viewing in the surrounding game parks, and if safari is your primary reason for a visit, it is recommended that you schedule your trip at this time.