Victoria Falls Zimbabwe and Zambia

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Victoria Falls is a waterfall on the Zambezi River in southern Africa and is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is considered to be one of the world’s largest waterfalls due to its width of 5,604 feet. The two closest cities are Victoria Falls/Folosi in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia. David Livingstone is believed to have been the first European to view the Victoria Falls on 16 November 1855. Livingstone named his sighting in honour of Queen Victoria, but the Sotho language name, Mosi-oa-Tunya “The Smoke That Thunders” continues in common usage.

Visitors

You can obtain a UniVisa for a thirty day visa for both countries. Zambia is one of Africa’s most stable democracies and the Zambia side at high flow (February to June) is an exhilaratingly visceral experience. In the dry season, because the falls are at an incline, portions of land stay dry. The Zimbabwe side tends to offer the more picturesque views because the viewpoints are farther, offering perspective.

Aerial view of Victoria Falls.
The Falls

The Victoria Falls are roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and well over twice the width of its Horseshoe Falls. The falls are formed as the full width of the river plummets in a single vertical drop into a transverse chasm. The River Zambezi, upstream from the falls, experiences a rainy season from late November to early April, and a dry season the rest of the year. Close to the edge of the cliff, spray shoots upward like inverted rain, especially at Zambia’s Knife-Edge Bridge. As the dry season takes effect, the islets on the crest become wider and more numerous. At this time it becomes possible (though not necessarily safe) to walk across some stretches of the river at the crest. It is also possible to walk to the bottom of the First Gorge at the Zimbabwean side.

Victoria falls at sunset.
Wildlife Parks

Victoria Falls has more Zimbabwean and Zambian visitors than international tourists. Both countries permit tourists to make day trips across the border to view the falls from both viewpoints. The two national parks at the falls are relatively small – Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia is 25 square miles and Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe is close to 9 square miles. In Zimbabwe an additional park is Zambezi National Park which was once apart of the Victoria Falls National Park. Animal movement is allowed between the Zimbabwean parks, Matetsi Safari Area, Kazuma Pan National Park and Hwange National Park to the south. On the Zambian side, fences and the outskirts of Livingstone tend to confine most animals to the Mosi Tunyas National Park.

African giraffes in the wild along the Zambezi River, Zimbabwe, Africa.

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Victoria Falls Zimbabwe and Zambia

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