RE-IMAGINING VICTORIA FALLS
A visit to southern Africa isn’t complete without a trip to Victoria Falls, the majestic waterfall that serves as the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. British explorer David Livingstone put Victoria Falls on the map in the 1850s, and since then millions of visitors have been awestruck by the site’s tremendous size and depth. The Batoka tribe referred to the Falls as “the smoke that thunders,” a nod to the constant rumbling water and pervasive misty spray. Travelers today can also participate in a number of activities that include breathtaking helicopter and microlight plane safaris, swimming in the stunning natural Devil’s Pool at the edge of the Falls, and battling world class rapids down below in the Zambezi River – all while luxuriating at stunning lodges that combine style, service and wondrous views.
- Visiting Livingstone Island and swimming in Devil’s Pool is by far one of the continent’s highlights, as here is the closest one can safely get to the edge of one of the world’s most majestic waterfalls. Devil’s Pool is surprisingly free of currents, so a dip is actually quite safe, and affords plenty of opportunities to photograph the rainbows that often appear in the mist of the cascading waters.
- Helicopter rides combine uninterrupted views of Victoria Falls and nearby Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, filled with African game. Sunset flights are truly unforgettable, with colors that can only be seen in Africa.
- Serious white water rafters put Victoria Falls on their bucket list for a reason: the Class V rapids that rollick in the Zambezi River right below. For those more interested in observing wildlife than in perfecting their rafting moves, canoeing down the river is another more placid option.
- Elephant-backed safaris are an increasingly popular way to explore the beautiful grasslands of Victoria Falls National Park while enjoying exhilarating views along the edge of the Zambezi River Gorges. Everything looks better from the top of an elephant.
- For those who might want a slightly more thrilling ride, hop on board a Microlight plane. Microlights carry just a pilot and a passenger, who ride in an open cockpit, with the wind and sun directly in their face: an exhilarating and extremely unforgettable bird’s eye view of one of the world’s greatest natural wonders.
- The rim of Victoria Falls can be navigated by foot on the Zimbabwean side, and the path provides full length, fully-immersive views. An afternoon stroll will never be quite so spectacular.
REST & REJUVENATE
After a full day of exploring, you will need a comfortable place to lay your head. Luxury lodges like those below start at slightly less than US$500 per person in low season. Hotels can be booked on a full board or bed and breakfast basis.
WHAT TO KNOW
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