Victoria Falls – Livingstone, Zambia
Botswana is one of the absolute best countries for safari and it did not take long to convince me of that. So I knew we would be going to Botswana for our safari. In Botswana, there are many regions to go on safari but I narrowed my search down to the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park. While we were in the area, I thought it would be awesome to add on a portion of the trip to go see Victoria Falls as well.
On the second day of our time at Thorntree River Lodge with African Bush Camps in Zambia, we had the opportunity to visit Victoria Falls from the Zambia side. The lodge is a twenty minute drive from the falls so we enjoyed the air conditioning in the van while we could – October is the hottest month!
We arrived at the falls early and the small parking lot was empty. Across from the falls entrance is a market-like area with plenty of people trying to persuade a visit to their stand – just be mindful when visiting.
Some fun facts about Victoria Falls that our guide Claudia explained during our morning tour:
- Victoria Falls divides Zambia and Zimbabwe and is iconic for this area.
- It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
- Dr Livingstone (of who the town is named after) was the first European to see the falls and named it after the Queen. Dr Livingstone has a very lengthy history in this area hence the many namesakes he holds (Livingstone, I presume?)
- While it is not the tallest or widest waterfall in the world, it is still classified as the largest waterfall in the world as it is the longest stretch of falling water with over 500 million liters of water falling every minute. When we visited, the falls were at their least flowing state of the year since it was peak dry season.
- The falls flow from the Zambezi River which is the fourth largest river in Africa (Nile, Congo, and Niger Rivers) at 2,700 kilometers long.
- The falls are actually located inside of a National Park – Mosi-Oa-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders” which perfectly describes the falls as the mist from the crashing thunderous water can cover the falls completely.
- While we got to see the amazing rainbows (best observed early in the morning), Claudia explained that lunar rainbows can occur here if the conditions are just right with a full moon.
- We were only able to see the waterfalls on the Zambia side due to our visa being single entry – note to those that are in Zambia (25% of viable length) and want to visit on the Zimbabwe side (75% of viewable length) that multi entry visa application is required. Still though, one of the best views is from the sky and we can thank our pilot for the thrill of seeing them from above.
We were so excited to be here and could not wait to see these falls up close. Our guide Claudia escorted us to the various viewpoints while giving us the history outlined above. Each area was a spectacular view! Even though the falls were at one of the driest points now, it was still amazing to see the span and scope. We walked along the opposite side – even over a bridge – to finish the loop on the Zambia side to view the falls.
There is a lot of activity around the falls that due to the set up of this excursion we were not able to include but if you are visiting, make sure to evaluate all options! You can take scenic flights over the falls, climb down and back up to the base of the falls, even take a boat on the Zambezi River – we saw a set white water rafting and another boat at the base of the falls. Oh, how could I forget to mention you have the opportunity to bungle jump here as well that measures at 111 meters / 364 feet.
Getting back to the car can be met with aggressive pushes to purchase souvenirs so I was happy once again to be with a guide and just jump into the van and head back to the lodge.
Enjoy all these wonderful photos!