A World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls is chock-full of history, beauty, and adrenaline-filled adventure. With a width of 5,604 feet and height of 354 feet, Victoria Falls forms the largest sheet of falling water in the world! Long before Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone found the falls in 1855 and named it after Queen Victoria, it was called Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning “the smoke that thunders.” The powerful rush of water over this broad ledge creates a towering cloud of mist and a thundering roar.
This adventure-packed destination is on many bucket lists, and rightly so. Its endless variety of activities include bungee jumping off of the Victoria Falls Bridge, white-water rafting down the Zambezi Gorge at the base of the falls, zip lining across Batoka Gorge, taking a boat cruise down the Zambezi as the sun falls, and bargaining for curios at its local markets. The Zambezi River creates the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and Victoria Falls Bridge connects the two countries. Transitioning between the two countries is relatively easy and can be expedited with a local touring company.
While Victoria Falls is a spectacular site to see throughout the year, the amount of water falling down the face of the falls fluctuates depending on the timing and extent of each year’s rainy season. Its flow is at its highest after the rainy season, from February to May, and its lowest at the end of the dry season, from October to November.
At its greatest flow, the falls’ mist is at its mightiest and most thrilling. This wonder’s spectacular power is definitely tangible, and the mist can make it difficult to capture photographs without getting wet! By June, the water flow has slowed a bit, providing panoramic views and great photographic opportunities. From October to November, temperatures rise and the falls’ flow slows. The Zimbabwean side offers great views of the western side of the falls, where most of the water falls during this time of year.
The forested habitat around the falls shelters many small mammal species, including baboons and vervet monkeys. A river cruise down the Zambezi River will reveal the regions’ hippos, crocodiles, and elephants. The lively birdlife around the river and falls flies by.
Nearby, Zambezi National Park is home to Africa’s larger mammals, including elephant, lion, leopard, and buffalo out of the Big Five. Large and small antelopes can be seen in its plains and forests, as well as giraffes and zebras.