4 Things to Do During Full Moon in Victoria Falls
Lunar Rainbow at Victoria Falls
by Jess White
26 February 2018
There are many Bushmen tales about the sun, the moon and the stars. My personal favourite tells that the sun is a man who lives in the sky and sends light down onto earth. At night time when the air gets cooler, he throws a blanket over himself to keep warm. However, the blanket is old and covered in small holes that the light escapes through, giving us the stars and the moon. The full moon in Victoria Falls is as fantastic as this tale.
The next full moon is on March 2nd 2018, and if you are going to be in Victoria Falls, there are a few activities we recommend you do to take full advantage of this beautiful spectacle.
A full moon tour of the Victoria Falls
Each full moon, the National Parks open their gates to the rainforest in the evening so that visitors can view one of the most precious gems Victoria Falls has to offer - the Lunar Rainbow. The Victoria Falls rainforest is one of the few places on earth where this silver rainbow can be witnessed, and it is a natural wonder in itself. When a full moon takes its place in the sky, enough light is filtered through the mist to create a rainbow, or "moonbow". They stretch like an ethereal arc between the waterfall and the gorge, shrouded in wisps of mist.Although the moonbow appears to be silver to the naked eye, the different colours of a rainbow will come through in photographs with long exposure.
During full moon, the Lunar Rainbow can also be glimpsed from the Victoria Falls Bridge. The best time to see the rainbow is during the early hours of the night after the moon has risen, but before it gets too high in the sky as too much light will dilute the moonbow slightly. The moon is brightest the night before, the night of and the night after the full moon, and between April and July the waterfall is at its fullest and most impressive flow, making the night time excursion all the more magical.
Full Moon Dinner at the Lookout Cafe
The Lookout Cafe is perched over the edge of the gorge, adjacent to the high wire activities that thrill adventure seekers during the day. It has a magnificent view of the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge, which becomes awash with different coloured light in the early evening. The raging rapids below create a unique and exciting ambience as the churning water sends a subtle roar up the walls of the gorge to the diners above.
Every Full Moon, the restaurant offers a special dinner where diners can enjoy a meal as they watch the moon rise up from behind the bridge, before it sits gracefully between the stars. You can choose whether you want to sit in the restaurant or on the lawns that spill out next to it. The sweeping views are as breath taking from each seating area, and the open plan design of the restaurant allows the night air and scenery to flow serenely through it. The special opening times for the Full Moon dinner are between 8pm and 10pm, and Wild Horizons do offer a free shuttle service to and from selected hotels. The upcoming 2018 dates for the full moon dinner are 2 March, 31 March, 30 April and 29 May. A full list for the year can be viewed here.
Steam Train Dinner Experience
In a world vibrating with hum of underground tubes, speeding cars, double decker buses and enormous aeroplanes, the sight of a classic restored steam train evokes a sense of mystery and allure. The train not only whisks passengers through striking scenery, it transports them into a bygone era of romance and old world charm. The Moonlight Dinner Run travels from the station and onto the Victoria Falls Bridge to watch the sunset. The golden glow of the setting sun spreads through the tendrils of mist onto the bridge, where passengers are served drinks and canapés. The train then continues its journey into the Mosi-oa-Tunya National park for a six course gourmet meal that can be enjoyed in the luxury carriage or under the blanket of stars. For this opulent dinner experience, guests are collected from the Royal Livingstone Hotel at 5pm and transferred to the Bushtracks Private Station, where they board the first-class lounge carriage to be transported back to a time of colonial splendour.
Night time game drive
The sight of the African wilderness painted silver by a full moon is too beautiful not to share, and so during the full moon period, the rhino encounter game drive begins before sunset, so that guests can watch animal migrate towards the Nakavango Dam for a drink. Once the sun has set and the full moon has risen, the vehicle proceeds with a night drive through the park, aided by the light of the moon and a spotlight. After the game drive, guests return the Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve's reception area to savour dinner under the stars.
Victoria Falls appreciates and celebrates the full moon in a variety of wonderful ways, and if you are fortunate enough to find yourself there during this time, then you should too.
Special Moon Events in 2018
We have already experienced the super full moon, a micro full moon and a blue moon in January, but there are a few more to look forward to this year.
February: Black Moon
This year, February will not experience a full moon! This happens about once every 20 years. Instead, we had two full moons in January and we will have another two in March (on the 2nd and the 31st). The last Black Moon was in 1999. Due to time zone differences, this won't be a worldwide phenomenon.
March 31: Blue Moon
A Blue Moon is the second full moon in a single calendar month. We have had two Full Moons in January, and there will also be two in March for our time zone. This is sometimes called a double Blue Moon. Blue Moons happen once every two or three years, but two Blue Moons in one year is a very rare event.
27 July: Micro Full Moon
A Micro Moon happens when a Full Moon or a New Moon coincides with apogee; the point in the Moon's orbit farthest away from Earth. Because a Micro Moon is further away, it looks approximately 14% smaller than a Super Moon, and because the illuminated area appears 30% smaller, so it might look less bright.
July 27-28: Total Lunar Eclipse
A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and covers the Moon with its shadow. The Moon does not have its own light but shines because its surface reflects the Sun's rays. So, during a total lunar eclipse the Sun casts the Earth's shadow on the Moon's surface.
August 11: Super New Moon
This is when a new moon and a full moon occur simultaneously.