Adrenalin-filled adventures around the Victoria Falls

by Neville Williams

Fly over the Victoria Falls

Fly over the Victoria Falls

Adrenalin-filled adventures around the Victoria Falls

As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls is not only one of Africa's most significant landmarks, but also a hotbed for activities of all kinds. With all the adventures on offer, it will quickly become clear what an awe-inspiring place this is.

The Victoria Falls are found between the southern African nations of Zimbabwe and Zambia, the vast curtain of water surging into the Zambezi River, some 108 metres below. From the Zimbabwean side, the falls lie within a national park of the same name, while to the north is Zambia's Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, which translates as 'Smoke that thunders'. At 1.7 kilometres wide, the sight alone draws visitors throughout the year and you don't need to arrange a tour to enjoy a day's walking around the viewpoints with your camera. However, to get the most out of a stay in this unique spot, there is a myriad of activities to try, both in and around the water.

Wet and wild:

As you might expect, down-river from the Victoria Falls is the perfect place to have a go at white-water rafting, since the rapids of the Zambezi offer a breathtaking ride at no less than Grade 5 level. Consistently hailed as one of the must-do rafting trips of the world, options are available for one day or several, depending on whether you want to include a camping expedition as well.

Animal adventures:

It's possible to get the best of both worlds here and combine your Victoria Falls trip with the exciting wildlife of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Canoe up-river and you might come across grazing elephants, the African finfoot bird and even a hippo or two in the water. On land, you can take a ride on the back of an elephant itself, get close to the local lions or book a dinner and drive to experience the thrills of the bush at night-time.

The falls from above:

Although the helicopter rides over the Batoka Gorge are an incredible introduction to this part of the world, this is not the only way to see the Victoria Falls from a different angle. Many come here to take the plunge with a bungee and get the ultimate rush as they jump from the bridge. If you're still not satisfied, you can up the adrenaline with a gorge swing, bridge slide or zipline adventure.

Most adventure trips run on both sides of the river and accommodation is easily found at both Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia, although the latter is located 10 kilometres away from the falls, so you will need to factor in daily transport. Victoria Falls truly lives up to its World Heritage status and there may be more activities here than you have time to try. But the sheer thrill of swimming in rock pools on the fall's edge and feeling the spray on your cheeks is certainly excitement enough. Just don't forget your waterproofs.

Neville Williams is a travel writer and adventure sports enthusiast, testing out activities in various international locations when he's not blogging for the web. Using sites such as http://www.grandamericanadventures.com/ for inspiration, he's ticked off everything from canyon swinging to river-boarding, but his high-octane list continues to grow.

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