10 Things To Do at Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Based solely on its width, it is the largest sheet of falling water on earth. Also called Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders), the falls can be viewed from either Zambia or Zimbabwe. Here are 10 things you should definitely do on the Zimbabwean side before you leave:

1. Explore the falls About two-thirds of the Victoria Falls frontage is on the Zimbabwean side and most of the Falls plunges down this section. Walk around and make your way through lush rainforest before emerging on to 16 viewpoints along the gorge edge, starting with the one with a statue of David Livingstone on the western edge of the chasm, before passing the thundering Devil’s Cataract and the Main Falls. Danger Point is the last point on the path from where you can take a path to the right for a view of the Victoria Falls Bridge, where you may even see some bungee jumpers. In the wet season, the spray from the falling water is so dense that it’s almost like walking in a tropical thunder storm. If you are lucky to be there on a full moon day, take a night tour to see a lunar rainbow.

2. Take the plunge Victoria Falls is also a popular adventure sports hotspot. For the ultimate thrill, fling yourself over the Victoria Falls Bridge 111m above the Zambezi River. For a white-knuckle ride, take a white water rafting trip along violent Class V rapids and gorge swing (fling yourself off the edge on a body harness) or zip-line across the gorge. Finish with a 12-minute helicopter ride called the Flight of Angels, which takes you high over the falls, giving you an incredible view of the Devil’s Cataract, Eastern Cataract and swirling mist.

3. Walk with lions Getting up close and personal with the king of beasts is the ultimate experience offered by an ambitious conservation and preservation project aimed at repopulating lions into the wild. Imagine walking with year-old free-roaming lions, accompanied only by guides and handlers. And if you’re really lucky, you may even witness the lions stalk and hunt bushbuck, impala or wildebeest. Don’t leave without a photograph with the lions. (www.lionencounter.com) Priced at Rs8,76

4. Have afternoon tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel This is the grande dame of hotels around Victoria Falls. Built in the early 1900s, Victoria Falls Hotel is surrounded by tropical gardens and lily ponds and has a great view over the Zambezi Gorge and the railway bridge from its large terrace. Over the years, famous celebrities, actors and royalty including Queen Elizabeth have stayed here. The rooms have been recently refurbished with charming colonial details like chintz curtains, old-fashioned bath tubs and antique wooden furnishings. Have high tea at the terraced Stanley’s Bar with its elegant spread of sandwiches, scones and cakes. (www.victoria-falls-hotels.net)

5. Shop for souvenirs The main town is a great place to pick up souvenirs and art. Head to the Elephant Walk Shopping Village, where you can interact with various artists who work on beaded wire creations, portraits and stone sculptures. There is also a museum which gives you a peek into Shona tribal culture. Behind the complex is a chain of small stalls selling local souvenirs where bargaining is de rigueur for the tribal necklaces, pottery, wooden animal statues, batiks and masks on display.

6. Ride the tram Step back in time and take a trip on a replicated 19th century style tram car at sunset or in the morning from the Victoria Falls Station. Make your way through the town and pass through the African bush and the Victoria Falls rainforest before ending up at the Victoria Falls Bridge. Passengers can watch a thrilling demonstration of stunt jumping and a short presentation on the history of the bridge while sipping on champagne. (www.shearwatervictoriafalls.com

7. Cruise the Zambezi The great Zambezi River starts in northwest Zambia and meanders for over 2,700km through six countries before emptying out into the Indian Ocean at Mozambique. Take a cruise down the river on Zambezi Explorer—an eco-friendly luxury catamaran service that uses green technology and solar power—to see hippos lolling about and huge crocodiles sunning themselves on the rocks. Splurge on the Signature Deck on the boat’s third level which serves hors d’oeuvres like crocodile mousse paired with premium alcohol.  Take your drink out on to the deck and enjoy the African sunset of ilala palms silhouetted against a flaming orange sky. (http://zambeziexplorer.com)

8. Luxe out For a river experience, stay at the A’Zambezi River Lodge (http://azambeziriverlodge.com.) It’s located right on the banks of the mighty river and is in fact the only Victoria Falls hotel with its own jetty. Stay here and go on a sunset cruise, watch tribal dance performances and sample traditional cuisine. Also try and spend at least one night at the Victoria Falls Safari lodge (www.victoria-falls-safari-lodge.com), a multi-level tree house rustically decorated in traditional African style. It’s location is pretty unbeatable too—on a plateau overlooking the bushveld and a watering hole that attracts wildlife like kudus, impala and elephants.

9. Spend an evening at The BOMA – Place of Eating restaurant For a traditional sensory African experience, head to The Boma at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, a tall conical structure, where the guests are dressed in chitenges (traditional robes), treated to local millet beer and a grand buffet with local delicacies like impala and kudu steaks and crocodile stew as well as crunchy mopane worms served on cast iron plates. Enjoy lively dances and drumming with audience participation, fortune telling by a traditional healer called the sangoma and face painting and hair braiding sessions. (www.victoria-falls-safari-lodge.com)

10. Enjoy the joys of Animal Kingdom  Head to the Elephant Wallow, which is part of the Wild Horizons Wildlife Sanctuary and Orphanage. Ride the gentle giants and then feed them treats as well as watch them perform small tricks. This is part of a program that takes in hurt and orphaned elephants from all over the country and rehabilitates, trains and breeds them.  Follow it up with a visit to the 12-acre Spencer’s Creek Crocodile Farm situated around a natural creek where a guide explains their life cycle and gives you a chance to touch baby crocodiles. You can see different types of Nile crocodiles including albinos, some of which may weigh over a ton. The farm raises crocodiles for commercial purposes and also releases some back into the Zambezi. (www.wildhorizons.co.za)

- Kalpana Sunder


What do you think of this story? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter


Kalpana Sunder

Latest News

  • Oscars producers out after three years and a TV ratings drop
    Oscars producers out after three years and a TV ratings drop

    Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the producers behind the last three Academy Awards telecasts, will not be returning for next year's Oscars, the ceremony organizers said on Thursday. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts Hollywood's biggest night each year, declined to say why Zadan and Meron were not invited back. Their departure comes after the television audience for the 2015 show dropped 16 percent from the previous year and first-time host Neil Patrick Harris received …

  • Vice expands HBO deal and ventures into daily newscast
    Vice expands HBO deal and ventures into daily newscast

    Vice Media, known for its coverage of current affairs for the Millennial generation, will expand its partnership with Time Warner Inc's premium cable network HBO to include daily newscasts and more weekly series and specials, the network said on Thursday. Vice's half-hour show on weekdays will present news reports from journalists in bureaus around the world, the first time HBO has offered a daily newscast. The weekly Vice series, currently seen on Fridays, will expand from 14 to 35 shows a …

  • Final curtain for 'Downton Abbey' after Season 6
    Final curtain for 'Downton Abbey' after Season 6

    By Michael Roddy LONDON (Reuters) - The hugely successful British period drama "Downton Abbey" will wind up after the sixth season, its executive producer said on Thursday, but a possible movie version cannot be ruled out. "There's so many different explanations" for the decision, Gareth Neame said in a conference call with reporters. "I think our feeling is that it's good to quit while you're ahead." Creator Julian Fellowes, the sole writer of the drama about an aristocratic British …

  • Pope Francis meets homeless on private visit to Sistine Chapel
    Pope Francis meets homeless on private visit to Sistine Chapel

    Pope Francis made a surprise personal visit to 150 homeless people on a special tour of the Sistine Chapel on Thursday, in the latest nod to his vision of creating a church for the poor. Francis greeted the visitors in the chapel where he was elected pope during a private viewing of its ceiling frescoes painted by Michelangelo more than 500 years ago. "This is everyone's house, it is your house," Francis said, according to a statement from the Vatican spokesman about the event at which no …

  • It's in the grape: NZ vintners pioneer low-alcohol techniques
    It's in the grape: NZ vintners pioneer low-alcohol techniques

    By Naomi Tajitsu WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's cooler climate is giving its winemakers an edge as they seek to exploit growing global demand for lighter, premium wines, as rising temperatures push up the alcohol content of wines from rivals such as Australia and the United States. The 2015 vintage of the country's flagship Sauvignon Blanc will be the first produced under a government-backed initiative to research and produce wines that dispel the image of low-alcohol, low-calorie wines …

  • Yash Raj Films Collaborates With East India Comedy For 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!'
    Yash Raj Films Collaborates With East India Comedy For 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!'

    Content marketing is rare. Movie marketing as we know it has evolved. In a recent initiative by Yash Raj Films, they released a digital video in association with one of the leading YouTube Creators in the comedy vertical – East India Comedy. It's an uncommon noir-mystery-comedy sketch featuring Sushant Singh Rajput and Anand Tiwari, released ahead of its upcoming film – Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!. …

  • 'Broken Horses' game to be unveiled in Los Angeles

    Mumbai, March 26 (IANS) Indian filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra's maiden Hollywood movie "Broken Horses" will not just have a novel version, but a mobile and computer game as well. The game will be launched in Los Angeles around the film's release on April 10. The recently released trailer of "Broken Horses", launched by Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, is creating buzz globally for movie-goers. Set in the shadows of US-Mexico border gang wars, "Broken Horses" is a thriller about bonds of …

  • Sushant Singh Rajput to visit Old Delhi Railway Station

    New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) A lover of history, actor Sushant Singh Rajput will on Friday make his trip to the capital more fruitful by visiting the Old Delhi Railyway Station to promote his forthcoming movie "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!". Sushant, who will be accompanied by the film's director Dibakar Banerjee, enjoys reading history and he likes to visit places of historical importance and other landmarks in the cities that he visits. "He is excited to visit the Old Delhi Railway Station," a …