David Livingstone first saw Victoria Falls in 1855. In awe, he wrote that 'angels in their flight for his queen, the Kolala name, 'the smoke that thunders, is more evocative. Here, the Zambezi races over a cliff barely 2 km (1.2 mi) wide and plunges into the Batoka Gorge more than 100 m (325 ft) below. When the river is in flood, the spray can be seen from miles away.
The falls must be seen, felt and heard from close quarters. At the Victoria Falls World Heritage National Monument. Site a walk over a narrow footbridge leads to a buttress, the Knife Edge, with a dizzying view of the falls and the sheer drop. A steep track leads down to the river and a whirlpool called the Boiling Pot. There are advantages to visiting in both the wet season - the falls are at awe-inspiring full flow - and the dry when, though the flow is reduced, the size and structure can be seen clearly.
The range of adventure activities on offer around the foot of the falls includes abseiling, bungee jumping and river boarding as well as white water rafting. However, a river cruise is a leisurely and luxurious way to see the falls from the top and, on the stately progress upstream, watch for watch life in the parks on both sides of the river. Various cruises are on offer, but the double-or triple-decker craft has a certain style. They leave from the Royal Mile, named for George VI, who visited the falls in 1947. there is a choice of sunrise and sunset, breakfast, lunch and dinner cruises.
By river cruiser
When to visit
Duration of the cruise trip
Most cruises last one to two hours
- A sunset cruise with cocktails has a touch of colonial elegance.
- Livingstone Island is in the middle of the river, right by the falls.
- Wildlife - from the river you might be lucky enough to see a rhino as well as elephants and hippos.
- The Monument Site Park opens during full moons for the mysterious lunar rainbow.
You should know
Prepare to get soaked while viewing the falls.