on December 7, 2006
There really is very little in the natural world that compares with the spectacle that is Victoria Falls in Zambia! There is a good reason why they are considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world - they truly are Mosi-Oa-Tunya: The Smoke that Thunders.Standing at about twice the height of Canada's famous Niagara Falls, the height of Victoria Falls is simply staggering. Add to that the fact that they are about 2km wide and you begin to understand the magnitude of the situation. The Zambezi river hurls itself downwards for over 100m before crashing to the floor of the spectacular Batoka Gorge that forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.The falls are bursting with water during the rainy season (December through April) - sometimes the spray is so intense that you can't even see the falls during this time! We went during the dry season - even then the sheer volume of watering plummeting over the falls was unbelievable. Rainbows abound and make for wonderful photographs for those with an artistic eye.Be careful around the edge of the falls - this is Africa, after all! There are few safety structures in place - you are responsible for your own safety (as you should be). If you so desire, you can walk through the river right up to the edge of the falls and sit in the water in the "Devil's Armchair", a small stone structure right against the edge - only six inches of rock separate you from oblivion!One of the most amazing things you can do at Victoria Falls is actually hardly ever advertised - if you time your visit to the full moon, you can enter the park at night and see a lunar rainbow! Hardly anyone seems to know about this - just take a taxi to the park gate and it should be open. However, getting back to town can be a real problem - the road is not really safe to walk at night (one of the few such places in Zambia) and there usually aren't any taxis hanging around at that hour. We managed to hitch a ride with some very friendly locals and had a great time trying to speak Nyanja with them!There's lots to see at the falls - spend some good time walking around the various trails and viewing the falls from different angles - every viewpoint brings new delights to your eager eyes. If you're in good shape, you can even hike all the way down to the river's level and see the Boiling Pot rapids - just don't fall in! After you're done viewing the falls, you can check out the many craft vendors just outside the park; there's some excellent wares available here at great prices. Adrenaline activities abound in the Victoria Falls area - the legendary bungee jump, killer whitewater rafting, the gorge swing and more await you: see my other reviews for more details. Enjoy!
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