“It has never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so wonderful must have been gazed upon by angels in flight.” Thus spoke Dr. David Livingstone, the first European to visit Mosi-oa- Tunya, which he named Victoria Falls. I cannot help but agree with him as setting eyes on the falls – Mosi -oa- Tunya which translates to “the smoke that thunders”, is a breath taking experience. The falls are located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia and hold the distinction of being the largest falls in the world.
The recommended route is set up as 16 viewpoints starting at the statue of David Livingstone and ending at the Railway Bridge. Viewpoint 3, the Devil’s Cataract is the lowest of the falls, separated from the rest by Boaruka Island and this is where I started.
Next is the Main Falls, then Livingstone Island from which Dr. Livingtone first viewed the falls. I visited during the rainy season and was unable to see it as the sprays were too dense. Horseshoe Falls, named for their shape and Rainbow Falls are next but once again dense spray made these impossible to see.
Viewpoint 13 lies diretly opposite Rainbow Falls, the highest of the falls and was continuosly pelted by rain so much so that the path to the falls was coated in algae. I made several attempts to walk all the way down the path towards the falls but each time the downpour chased me back without having gained anything for my trouble.
After exiting the park, I walked down the road to the bridge which was created as a link between Zimbabwe and Zambia and is considered no man’ land as it spans the 2nd gorge over the river.Thrill seekers have the chance to bungee jump from the bridge and I was momentarily tempted but for the $160 fee.
A Zambian who was selling wares on the bridge offered to take me off the beaten path to see breath taking views of the gorges the Zambezi River has created on its journey to Mozambique.
As an impulsive traveller it wasn’t until I spoke with my Zambian guide that I realised that the falls can be accessed from both Zimbabwe and Zambia. While a majority of the falls lie within Zimbabwe, seeing them from Zambia affords for unique and one of a kind experiences and is definitely on my bucket list now! Fun facts about the falls:
- There is no shortage of rainbows. They are everywhere!
- It rains 24/7. The Victoria Falls Rainforest is the only place in the world where it rains 24/7
- The sprays from the falls can be seen 50 km away.
- When the water levels are low enough in Sept-Dec, you can swim in the falls. The Devil’s Swimming Pool is a natural pool in the falls with a rock ledge on the lip which prevents you from falling over. New bucket list item!