Victoria Falls, Zambia

Mosi-oa-tunya, which means the smoke that thunders is a much more appropriate name for Victoria Falls. From anywhere in Livingstone, Zambia or in its twin town in Zimbabwe, Victoria falls, you can hear an ever present rumble. As you approach the falls themselves, the rumbling intensifies until it is a deafening roar, which drowns out any other noise and demands your attention.

The view from the Zimbabwean side is slightly further away, but provides you with a stunning panoramic of the whole falls, which allows you to appreciate their full grandeur. From the Zambian side, you can get much, much closer to the falls and you get to appreciate their awesome power. There are paths that snake all throughout the area offering different vantage points and there is even a rather terrifying bridge that leads out to an isolated rock pinnacle in the middle of the Zambezi River. You leave thoroughly soaked from the ever present mist, but with a greater respect for the awesome power of nature.

After leaving Victoria Falls, the Zambezi River snakes its way through the Batako Gorge. The water is forced through this narrow gorge at great speed and makes for some of the most spectacular white water rafting on the planet. There are a series of about twenty rapids that have been given some rather terrifying names such as “oblivion” and “terminator”. It truly is one of the most exhilarating experiences on the planet. You will be holding on for dear life, but laughing the entire way.

Apart from the spectacular white water rafting, Victoria Falls is abound with other adventure activities such as walking with lions and for the really brave, bungy jumping over the Zambezi. There are also a plethora of markets where you can purchase a wide array of African arts and crafts.

The perfect way to cap off your time here is to take a sunset river cruise above the falls. It gives you the opportunity to spot crocodiles and hippos with a drink in your hand. Don’t worry, those dangerous animals aren’t found below the falls. Even they are not foolish enough to try and go over them.

Written by Joseph Ramsey for The Essential Destination

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