With little awareness of what lies ahead, the steadily flowing Zambezi River casually approaches Victoria Falls, then topples out of control over a sheer 330-foot (100 metre) drop. This mile-wide (1,609 metre) curtain of water really is as spectacular as its reputation and can be viewed from various angles at numerous viewpoints.
It is the widest curtain of falling water in the world, and during the warm wet months of February to April, it cascades at over thirty times its dry season flow. The resulting spray can be seen from 20 miles (32kms) away and explains the local African name for the falls – Mosi-oa-tunya ‘Smoke that Thunders’
Around the falls is 9 miles² (23 km²) of riverine jungle with ferns, figs, ilala palms, vines, mahogany trees and patches of rain-forest, providing a tranquil setting from which to view the five cascades.
Antelopes can be seen in these areas and troops of nonchalant baboons patrol the walkways. Airborne droplets of fine mist creates an almost a constant rainbow, which can even be seen by the light of the moon.
The Victoria Falls are shared by both Zambia and Zimbabwe and is territorially divided by Cecil Rhodes’ famous bridge – which he never lived to see.
As well as a spectacular view down into the gorge, this bridge has more recently become famous for its adrenaline-pumping bungy jump with a fall of 364 feet (111 meters)! The other most popular adventure pursuit here is white-water rafting on the Zambezi.
Riverine bird life is plentiful with egrets, herons, cormorants, fish eagles and kingfishers.The Zambezi is renowned for its tigerfish, tilapia and giant vundu (catfish) over 6 ft long (2 metres).
Dry Season: May to October is usually dry and September and October allows better photo opportunities at Victoria Falls as there is much less spray, but the torrent is slightly less impressive. The dry season is also better for viewing game in the Zambezi National Park.
Rainy Season: It usually rains anywhere from November through to April, creating a hot and humid climate. The falls are at their wettest and most spectacular by the end of this summer rainy season.