Victoria Falls is a spectacular site that is regarded as the world’s greatest curtain of falling water, a natural wonder seen from great distances in both Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Zambezi River is the fourth largest river in the world - flowing through six countries and covering an amazing distance of 2 700 kilometers. The water plummets over a cliff that is 1,708 meters wide and 108 meter high, creating a spray of water that resembles smoke and seen for miles. To truly discover the wonder of Victoria Falls and the mighty Zambezi River, here are our Top 5 Victoria Falls Experiences.
1. Upper Zambezi Canoeing Safaris
Canoeing safaris on the Zambezi River are perfect for both the adventurous and the composed traveler. This experience is a great way to see a variety of wildlife; including hippo, crocodile, elephant, occasional rhino sightings, lions and other large mammals gathered along the river bank. It is a great way to go bird watching; with frequent sightings of various bird species, particularly aquatic birds. This safari experience is led by qualified canoe guides and can be booked as a half day trip, an 18-hour full day trip, or overnight canoeing safaris which afford travelers the opportunity to explore islands and enjoy amazing game viewing.
When staying at one of the lodges that nestle on the Zambezi River, canoeing excursions are generally one of the experiences included during your stay. Canoeing safaris are active but no prior canoeing experience is necessary, although a reasonable degree of fitness will be beneficial.
This experience is possible all year round and includes the use of either a fiberglass canoe or inflatable canoe that seat two, making it an awesome activity for a couple or friends to do together. Some lodges positioned on the Zambezi River even offer fishing expeditions in canoes which is a firm favorite among fisherman.
Are you looking for a lodge along the Zambezi River?
2. Chobe National Park Day Trips
Chobe National Park is a big five safari destination that is well-known around the world as having one of the world’s largest concentration of wild elephant. The Chobe River is the main source of water for the animals inhabiting the park, so it is not unlikely to see large herds of animals congregated at the river's edge, particularly elephants who love to bathe and play in the river on hot summer days. Chobe National Park is only 80 kilometers from the falls in Zimbabwe and is accessible by vehicle. From Zambia, you would need to travel by road to the Kazungula Ferry and then travel across to Kasane which is the closest entry point to Chobe National Park. This trip does require you to pass through immigration who will check your passport to ensure that you have the necessary visa to enter Botswana.
Arriving in the park, your first activity for the day is a scenic three-hour boat cruise along the Chobe River. During the boat cruise, you will be able to see an abundance of wildlife but common sightings include elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and various bird species. After a tranquil boat safari experience, you will settle down to a sumptuous lunch before climbing into an open safari vehicle and venturing into the bush. Game drives are led by professional guides who are trained to track animals by observing their spoors and feaces. It is here that you will encounter wildlife up-close, and possibly even see the famous big five. You arrive back at your hotel in time for dinner, recapping the day’s events and the unforgettable experiences had. It is important to note that you will need to pay park fees in cash on arrival as this is not included in the cost of the excursion.
3.White Water Rafting
White water rafting is an exhilarating adventure that is offered all year but is dependent on the water levels. There is no better way to feel that adrenaline rush than to ride the rapids of the mighty Zambezi River. Travelers interested in experiencing white water rafting should be in good health and have a reasonably good level of physical fitness because the distance between rapids can range from 100 meters to a distance of 2 kilometers, and the depth of the river between rapids can be as much as 230 meters. The low water season runs from mid-August to the later part of December, whilst the high water season runs from the later part of December to mid-August. The rapids during a white water rafting experience are graded according to their difficulty, with Grade 1 being easy to Grade 6 being extremely difficult. During the low water season the rapids are graded between 2 and 5, whilst during high water season, they are graded 3 and 4. The attire for a white water rafting experience includes swimsuits or lycra shorts, t-shirts, and rafting shoes or trainers. Most white water rafting operators provide wetsuits in the winter months of June to August as well as a helmet which must be worn during the activity. Applying sunblock and lip balm is also recommended as the climate can be harsh in the summer months. Visitors will need to pay park and river usage fees in cash on arrival as this is not included in the cost of the excursion.
4. Livingstone Island and Devils Pool
Livingstone Island nestles in the center of the Zambezi River on the Zambian side of the falls and is only a few minutes from the Royal Livingstone Hotel. Positioned exactly where the water plummets down the steep drop, access to Livingstone island is by boat and is dependent entirely on the water level of the Zambezi River. The island is generally open from late June to early March.There are five time slots during the day to visit this unique attraction with a maximum of 24 visitors at one given time. The island is safe and open to everyone, including children, and has no fitness requirement other than the ability to swim. Visitors spend approximately two and a half hours exploring the island and includes breakfast, lunch or high tea. The island can also be booked on a private basis which is great for families and groups. The attire for this excursion is swimwear, easy wearing clothes, and comfortable walking shoes. One should also bring along sunscreen, a swimming towel, hat, sunglasses, and a camera to capture those unforgettable moments. Just a short swimming distance from Livingstone Island is Devil’s Pool - a natural infinity pool unlike anything else found in the world. Devil’s Pool is a thrilling experience, affording visitors the opportunity to peer over the edge of falls during the drier months of the year, usually between mid-August and mid-January, when the water levels are relatively low.
5. Flights over Victoria Falls
The best way to appreciate the beauty of the falls is to view it from the air. Helicopter flights offer panoramic views and incredible photographic opportunities! There are two helicopter flight options that operate throughout the year, except during thunderstorms and heavy rain. The first flight option is 12 to 13 minutes in duration and is known as the ‘flight on angels’, flying over the Victoria Falls in both directions before taking a trip up the Zambezi River and back over the Zambezi National Park. The second flight option is 25 minutes in duration and covers more ground, flying over the Victoria Falls, along the mighty Zambezi River and over the Batoka Gorge, before heading back along the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls National Park which is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Both these flights are filmed so that visitors can purchase a DVD once they are back on the ground. For those travelers wanting to get their heart pumping a little more, there is also the option of microlighting over the falls. Provided the weather conditions are fairly good with no signs of a storm or high winds, you will climb into a microlight with a qualified pilot and head out on a 15-minute flight over the Victoria Falls, the islands near the falls, and the Zambezi River.
The views are breathtaking and are captured from the wing-mounted digital camera that is operated by the pilot during the flight. Due to safety reasons, visitors are not permitted to bring cameras along with them on the microlights, so photos can be purchased on your return.Visitors will need to pay park fees in cash on arrival as this is not included in the cost of the excursion.
Victoria Falls is without a doubt, one of Africa’s top adventure destination and a popular choice for international and local visitors. There is a wide selection of hotels and lodges, as well as various activities to suit everyone.
Let us help you plan an unforgettable vacation in this incredible destination.