Victoria Falls

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Linda Kaye on May 14, 2002

One channel of the Great Zambezi River flows over the world’s largest curtain of falling water known as Victoria Falls. It is actually five separate falls, Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Armchair Falls that make up this incredible spectacle plunging 100 meters into a sheer-sided chasm separating Zambia and Zimbabwe. During the rainy season (April and May) these five falls can form a solid curtain of water.

The Falls are called "smoke that thunders" because from miles away, it appears as billowing white smoke on the horizon. In reality, it is the spray of water and vapor rising 1500 feet in the sky. Our first glimpse of this phenomena was from the airplane at about 10,000 feet. We thought it was smoke from a fire. Boy, didn’t we feel silly to find out it was Victoria Falls !

These massive falls were first documented by Dr. David Livingstone (Dr. Livingstone, I presume) in 1855 and named it for the British Queen, Victoria. There is a statute of Dr. Livingstone down a path to the left as you enter the Falls area. Looking at the Falls from the Livingstone statute about mid-afternoon on a sunny day you will see the most beautiful rainbows. The Falls and the surrounding rain forest it has created is listed as a World Heritage Site and is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

There are no facilities, other than bathrooms, at the Falls. There is a small information center just beyond the entrance gate, where you can buy a soda or bottle water. There are a maze of paved walkways along the route, many lead to the edge of the chasm for a better view of the Falls.

Be prepared to get wet. It is inevitable. Outside the Falls, there are many vendors that will "rent" you a raincoat. It is a good idea to get one especially if you are carrying a backpack or camera equipment. Don’t pay more than $1 USD for each. Bring an extra plastic bag to wrap your camera in. There are many area where you will be standing, looking up at a blue sky and it will be raining- not just a soft mist- rain! If you don’t have anything with you that will be ruined by the water, just get wet, enjoy the falls, you will cherish the memories. AND, you will dry quickly in the Zimbabwe sun.

The signs on the ticket booth said it was $20 USD per person for entrance. However, we paid in Zim Dollars and it was equivalent to about $4 USD.

Victoria Falls (Mosi-O-Tunya)
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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