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Tour Of Victoria Falls
There is nothing quite like the heart-pounding sensation of actually standing on the edge of these magnificent falls and being drenched by the never ending spray...
You may decide to take a guided tour of Victoria Falls with one of the tour companies or you might decided to explore and appreciate the sights, sounds and feel on your own.
But no matter how you decide to visit "The Smoke That Thunders" very few people are ever really prepared for the incredible beauty and mesmerising strength and power of the mighty Victoria Falls.
The heart-pounding sensation of actually standing on the edge of the precipice above the raging Zambezi waters is something quite unforgettable.
Spray from the pounding water rises more than 60 feet into the air before tumbling down to create 24 hours of solid rain...
The Falls are literally at the end of the main street through the town centre. Of course the ever present 'Smoke' (rising spray) will very soon have you orientated as to its location. It is a very walkable distance from town centre and closer hotels (see our map) – Please bear in mind that in summer at mid day it can get very, very hot.
You will find that you are able to hire rain coats and maps of the Falls from vendors in the car park. If you do not have a good water proof cover for your camera or you really don’t want to get soaked raincoats are a good idea for the tour of Victoria Falls. But I personally love the feeling of being drenched by natures own rain from the Zambezi River.
Entrance is through the Victoria Falls National Park entrance gate – where you are required to pay a US$30 entrance fee per person ($20 for Regional visitors). If you are a local or regional visitor, they like to see your Zimbabwe ID or passport for proof of residence. So please remember to put it into a water proof bag for the rest of the trip as you really don't want it getting wet.
The edge of the falls is reached through the cool, moist tunnels of the rainforest. Always shrouded in fine spray, the forest is a fairyland of exotic plants thriving in the humidity. Concrete paths have been made to stop sightseers trampling away the lip of the gorge.
Parts of the precipice opposite the falls have been cleared of undergrowth to give a clear view, but the falls can also be seen from the depths of the forest through glistening, dripping, spray soaked leaves.
Us with the falls in background
Early morning is a magic time to see the falls, as the sun rises it tints the plumes of spray pink and gold. There is a statue of David Livingstone (Sculptured by Sir William Reid-Dick) on the western end of the chasm, over looking the Devils Cataract.
Sunrise over the Victoria Falls
You will also find a set of stairs going down to a view point called the "Chain Walk" – where you will be able to look into the Devils Cataract – I would say this is definitely well worth doing and is personally one of my favourite places to enjoy the view on the tour of Victoria Falls.
View from the "chain walk" set of stairs
You can make your way along the designated path which takes you to the various 16 view points along the edge – some of them are better than others and as you come along to the main falls some of them are wetter than others.
You might find the path a little slippery along the way and I would encourage you to where suitable walking shoes. The sheer magic of the Victoria Falls is that you will not find big barriers or walls to keep you away from the edge and one can really experience the sheer might of them – up close!
Wonderful spray from the Victoria Falls
Danger Point is the far point at the end of the path and from here you can look across into Zambia – sometimes depending on the time of year you may be lucky enough to see a rafting trip starting far below in the gorge.
From Danger Point there is a path to the right that takes you to a view point of the bridge. It is a great place to see the structure of the Victoria Falls Bridge and also to see some of the bungee jumpers – from their platform which is in the middle of the bridge.
You are able to walk back along the path you came to the entrance or there is a back path on which you will find the toilets not far from the entrance gate. If you are lucky you may very well see some monkeys and a bush buck or two in the rainforest on your tour of Victoria Falls.
Read a personal account on visiting the Victoria Falls Rainforest
See a Moonbow...
A surreal and magical night experience awaits those who are lucky
enough to plan their Victoria Falls trips to coincide with the full
moon. For three nights each month (one on either side of the actual full
moon date), the Rainforest is open for a dramatic lunar rainbow –
a rare natural phenomenon (also known as a moonbow or lunar bow or white
rainbow) produced by the moon rather than the sun (a solar rainbow).
The View Points On the Tour of Victoria Falls
1) Devil's Cataract & Livingstone's Statue – Dr David Livingstone is reputed to be the first European to see the Victoria Falls on 16th November 1855
2) The "Chain Walk" – This leads down into the gorge where one gets an excellent view of Devils Cataract and Cataract Island.
3-7) Devil's Cataract & Main Falls – This is a true Rain Forest with many types of bird life as well as flora and fauna, this runs through to view point eleven.
6) Viewpoint 6 – Best for views of Devil's Cataract, especially in the morning, Livingstone's statue is visible above the falls.
7) Viewpoint 7 – Provides the best views of the Main falls. From the right hand corner of the viewing area it is possible to see the river at the bottom of the gorge.
8) Main Falls – When the river is in flood there is very little to see but torrents of spray!
9-12) – Main Falls/Livingstone Island/Horseshoe Falls
11) Viewpoint 11 – Provides wet and intermittent views of Livingstone Island and rainbow Falls. It was from the grassy ledge above Livingstone Island precipice, that David Livingstone first saw the Falls.
14) Rainbow Falls – The Rainbow Falls is the highest point of the Falls.
15) Danger Point so named because this leads along the cliff edge. It is from this point that one can see the Eastern Cataract on the Zambian side.
16) Boiling Pot – one looks down into the boiling, turbulent waters far below.
Bridge Viewpoint – from this point one looks onto the Victoria Falls Bridge, linking Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Safety Along the walk - on the tour of Victoria Falls
You are very safe in the National Park, and your greatest danger is probably your own lack of good judgement. The Zimbabwe National Parks has chosen not to spoil your view of the Falls, by putting up short barriers all along the edge. At most lookout points there are just some piled branches preventing you from crossing over and approaching the sheer cliff. DO NOT CROSS these barriers! If you do you will find yourself on wet, slippery rock or grass that often angles downward toward the precipice. Do not be tempted to cross these barriers to get a great photo of the Falls.
Click here for lots more pictures of the Victoria Falls and advice on how to take them