Seeing Victoria Falls for the first time is pretty epic. And admittedly, we couldn’t help feel a slight tinge of envy for anyone who has witnessed the Mosi-oa-Tunya (or ‘Smoke that Thunders’) in full force, following the rainy season. But if you can bare the sweltering dry season as we did in October, seeing the gigantic gorge, depleted of its great carpet of water is actually, really impressive.
As we plodded through the leafy paths in the sweltering 40-degree heat, our first sight of the deep ravine came into view. I could only compare this to the time I first saw the Grand Canyon – a vast, enthralling piece of Mother Nature’s work.
On the Zambia side, paths lead you to various look-out points and then to a footbridge which takes you over a deep green lagoon.
Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the only waterfall in the world that reaches a height of over 100 metres. At its fullest, the noise of the water can be heard from an impressive 40km away! If you want to see the Mosi-ao-Tunya in full force, visit in April, after the rains.
From Victoria Falls National Park, you can see the great Victoria Falls Bridge (whose parts were built in Darlington in the north east of England). This is the bridge that takes you from the Zambia side to the Zimbabwe side of the river. During the dry season, many people pay the visa fees to cross the bridge, as the waterfall is much fuller over on the Zim side at this time of year.
Oh, and if you are completely mad, you can also bungee jump off this bridge. Just watching someone else take the leap made me nervous!
The dry season is also peak time to enjoy white water rafting, river cruises and helicopter rides. Just after the rains have returned, many visitors come for micro-light flights through the mist.
But there are some other benefits of visiting Victoria Falls during the dry season. You can take guided walks over the actual river bed on the Zambia side.
And – here’s for the exciting bit – you can take a leap into Devil’s Pool.
Want to know more? Check out my post on Devil’s Pool – with video!
Entry into Victoria Falls, Zambia costs around $20 per person for a non-guided walk. It will cost you more for guided walks, extra activities and walks over the river bed. For more info, visit VictoriaFallsTourism.org and ZambiaTourism.com.