The Victoria Falls

The Smoke that Thunders. Image thanks to Jimmy Saville and Wikipedia

One of the top tourist attractions in Southern Africa is Victoria Falls. It is the world’s largest fall and is found on the Zambezi River which borders along Zimbabwe and Zambia. The story goes that it was a Scottish missionary outside of the natives, who first saw the waterfalls in 1855. However, David Livingstone saw the waterfalls from a not too distant island that is now known as Livingstone Island. He gave it its name, Victoria Falls in honor of Queen Victoria although the local name, Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders) is still used up to now.

Tourists know or learn about Victoria Falls because it is one of the original 7 Wonders of the World. Much has been said and written about this 1,708 meter wide waterfall that spans the height of 108 meters. The view of the sheets of falling water and the thunderous sound it makes is breathtaking. Part of this wonder is that the river comes from a wide plateau without the usual barriers of mountains, valleys, or escarpments. As can be imagined, the falls are definitely a photo opportunity you’d like to capture on you Samsung Galaxy s4.

The two closest islands are the Livingstone Island and the Cataract Island which is located along the west bank. The falls peaks in water flow from February to April midway through the rainy season.

Adventures to Enjoy At Victoria Falls

Aside from being a world wonder, Victoria Falls is also ready to offer you different types of adventures ranging from the child-safe activities to heart-racing and thrilling extreme sports.

First there are white water river rafting and river boarding for the adventurous spirits. You can also go bungee jumping and helicopter sightseeing which is a little expensive. For the less adventurous, river cruises, sunset cruises, game fishing, kayaking, horse riding, canoeing, or swimming in Devil’s Pool are just some of the things you can do.

A majority of tourists hike to see the this tourist attraction in South Africa. There are many hiking paths that all lead to a spectacular view of the falls and each one from a different angle. Some of the trails are so close to the waterfall, you can expect to be fully drenched after a few minutes.

National Parks

There are two national parks close to Victoria Falls. They are the Victoria Falls National Park and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Both are relatively small if you compare them to game parks in South Africa but they have wild animals with the white rhinos of South Africa, elephants, giraffe, antelopes, and zebras being a few of the main tourist attractions.

Safety in the parks is relatively good because of the presence of Tourism Police who roam the area to make sure tourists are secure and not threatened in any way.

Happy 200th Birthday David Livingstone and Victoria Falls!

This year, 2013 is the 200th birth year of David Livingstone. There are scheduled celebrations and special events throughout the year. Many tourists are planning to see the falls this year because of the extra attraction that the government and tourism boards are planning. The festivities started in March and will culminate in December 2013. Some of the activities planned are medical missions, arrival of the direct descendants of David Livingstone, and the main bicentennial celebration.