There is no place on earth that can be compared to Victoria Falls as there is nothing like it in the world. The Falls, called “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (the smoke that thunders) by the locals, have been named as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. Its magic is manifested in the sound of the thundering water as it hurtles down into the terrifying abyss and the spectacular column of spray it creates as it hits the river. Upstream, where the lagoons become tranquil, dangerous hippo and deadly crocodiles lurk.
The waterfall is located on the Zambezi River in Southern Africa at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. With a 1,780 meter wide curtain of water and a drop of 90 meters to 107 meters it has been declared the largest waterfall in the world. Every minute an average of 550,000 cubic meters of water plummets down into the Zambezi Gorge.
Remarkably this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been preserved in its natural state since the 1860s when David Livingstone was so inspired by its breathtaking beauty that he named it after Queen Victoria, the reigning queen of England at the time. Having been declared a World Heritage Site and National Park, Victoria Falls and its surrounding area is thankfully protected from excessive commercialization.
Victoria Falls Town is conveniently situated for exploration of neighboring Zambia and Botswana. It is also well-known for its variety of water- based adventures such as river rafting and bungee jumping. Two of the most popular ways of seeing the falls are by boat on a Zambezi sunset cruise or an other-worldly view from a helicopter flight. That said, nothing is more impressive than standing close to the falls where you can feel its power and hear the roar while getting completely soaked. A truly magical experience.
Top 4 Hotels in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
1. Victoria Falls Hotel
Built in 1904 by the British, the Victoria Falls Hotel is one of the oldest and certainly the most elegant in Africa. It is like stepping back in time as you wander around, gazing in awe at the colonial architecture of this classically designed hotel with genuine antique furniture. From some of the rooms overlooking the extravagant gardens, you can sometimes experience the spray from the falls. A private path leads from the hotel grounds to the falls and the amenities include a marvelous Victorian-style pool, well-appointed restaurants with lavish buffets, and ridiculously nice rooms. At Stanley’s Terrace overlooking the Victoria Falls and Bridge, you can relax and enjoy the amazing view while having a light lunch.
2. The Elephant Camp
This classy lodge with its marvelous camp site is very close to the falls on a private concession on the Masuwe River. This exclusive location takes luxury to a whole new level with its 12 luxury tented suites, resplendent with plunge pools, private lounges, and outdoor showers, in addition to the elegant main lodge. It is a great honeymoon destination with buffet breakfasts at the lodge and intimate candlelit dinners prepared with fresh produce from the lodge garden. Embark on unforgettable journeys from bird watching to elephant meets and a stop-over for drinks overlooking Batoka Gorge. The Elephant Camp Lodge is also where you will meet and interact with the ambassador cheetah, Sylvester.
3. Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and Club
Tucked away in the African bush and yet close to the mighty falls and the bustling Victoria Falls Town, this gorgeous Victoria Falls hotel with its two-tiered pool and multiple restaurants boasts lovely, spacious accommodation and fantastic service. The Lodge offers a butler service for a more intimate experience of colonial living as well as free cocktails and afternoon tea on the terrace. Both the Lodge and the Club share a wonderful sunset-facing location that overlooks the Zambezi National Park and a private waterhole. A must-do is dining at the authentic Boma Restaurant, an interactive buffet extravaganza with indigenous food that ranges from Mopane worms to warthog steaks. Entertainment ranges from fortune tellers to traditional Amakwezi dancers who will soon have you drumming and dancing along and having outrageous fun.
4. Zambezi River Lodge
Situated on the Zambezi River on beautiful grounds teeming with multiple animals, this lovely lodge offers a wonderful African experience. Well-appointed rooms have lovely balconies with tranquil views of the grounds and the possibility of spotting animals including warthogs, rhinos, and monkeys on the lawns. The sunset river cruise is a must-do or you can just relax beside the lovely pool.