Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by Angels in their flight’ was the often-quoted note that David Livingstone made when he first saw this breathtaking waterfall. Victoria Falls was formed where the Zambezi drops 100m into a narrow gorge. During the wet season over 5 million cubic metres of water cascade over the falls every minute. From the road, you can hear the roar and see the spray of this immense waterfall rising up towards the sky as you approach.
Victoria Falls is approximately 5600 feet wide, twice the height of Niagara Falls, and one and one half times as wide. It is divided into five separate waterfalls: Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Falls and Eastern Cataract, ranging in height from 200-355 feet. Fortunately the area immediately around the falls has not been commercialized, and there are unobstructed views from many vantage points connected by paved paths.
Be prepared to get wet as you walk through the rain forest surrounding the falls, a result of the continuous spray. A path called the Chain Walk descends from near Livingstone’s statue into the gorge of the Devil’s Cataract, providing an excellent vantage point.
A small town on the southern side of the falls, just across the river from the Zambian town of Livingstone, Victoria Falls is a crossroads for travellers who can participate in the many adventurous activities on offer, besides marvelling at the waterfall. These include enchanting sightseeing flights over the falls, called ‘The Flight of Angels’, which can be done by helicopter, microlight or ultralight. Those seeking further excitement can bungee-jump over the mighty Zambezi, zip-wire or gorge-swing across its vast width, canoe amongst its hippos and crocodiles, or raft down it on one of the world’s toughest stretches of white water.
The town itself has grown as tourism has returned. With a new international airport opening in June 2015, it will inevitably develop further as a hub for the entire Kavango-Zambezi region which includes parts of Namibia, Zambia, Angola and Botswana as well as Zimbabwe. After years of bleak business prospects between 2000 and 2010, Victoria Falls is now a pleasant, lively little town to amble around, with plenty of options for souvenir shopping, from lively craft markets to a modern shopping mall, and the mighty Falls only a short stroll away.
Should you wish to explore the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, the new univisa which was introduced in December 2014 makes this far easier and cheaper.