The biggest curtain of falling water in the world has many names; Victoria Falls, Vic Falls, Mosi ao-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders”. It is also one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Victoria Falls spans the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
What to Expect throughout seasons – To Generalise: Directly after the summer rains, from February to May, the Falls are flowing at its greatest volume. During this peak water flow the Zambezi River is incredible creating and immense and powerful waterfall. This however is not the best time for viewing wildlife – animals are more widely dispersed due to easy access of water. Spray is thick and can be seen miles and the nearby rainforest benefits from the moist relief. During this time your best photography opportunities are from the air either helicopter or microlight!
Medium to high water flow is from June to August, September which also coincides some of the best game viewing time as well. How convenient to have some of the best views, best wildlife spotting and comfortable temperatures at the same time!
October through to November is the end of the dry winter months thus the Falls water level is at its lowest. The Zambian side of the falls can dry up completely but water will permanently flow on the Zimbabwean side. Although you will still see beautiful panoramic vistas, most visitors are wanting to see the water volume so it is not the recommended time to visit. During this time you can however partake in other activities like the Devil’s swimming pool where you can swim right at the edge of the falls!
Summary: The panoramic view of this 1.6 km chasm is spectacular regardless of season! The best time for a combined holiday including the Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park safari is during the dry winter period from June to September. During this time it is usual to expect fantastic game viewing, warm days, cool nights with little or no rain plus plenty of water thundering over the falls.
The Victoria Falls is located on the Zambezi River and forms the border between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. During the wet season the width of the Victoria Falls expands to over a 1 1/2 km wide (1609 meters)
Humans have lived around the Victoria Falls area for at least 2 – 3 million years and the locals speak Bantu, Portuguese and English.
Scottish explorer David Livingstone encountered the impressive waterfalls in 1855 while finding a route across Africa to the East Coast.
The spectacular Victoria Falls bridge was designed by Sir Ralph Freeman, who designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The 128 meter high steel bridge was built in 1905 and services cars, train and foot traffic as well as a 111 mt high bungi jump. The Royal Livingstone Express, a historic steam train offers a unique dining experience and luxury train experience over the Victoria Falls Bridge.
Declared as a World Heritage Site in 1989, the falls and surrounding rainforest make up a 23 km National Park.
There are definitely times where Victoria Falls performs to its greatest potential with a thundering roar and mist being sprayed high into the air. The rains or lack thereof will dictate this. Climate is something that we can only generalise and therefore the water flow will differ depending on that specific yearly trend.
There is so much to see and do here from the obvious of the mighty Victoria Falls, white water rafting, river cruises, canoeing, fishing, game drives, elephant back safaris, lion encounter/walk with the lions, helicopter flights, micro light flights, steam train – Royal Livingstone Express, market shopping, high wire activities, Bungee jumping, Devils pool swim, Boma dinner experience, crocodile farm tours, museums, Livingstone’s monument to high tea at the Royal Livingstone Hotel.
One of the most unusual experiences to be had while at the falls is to see the falls at night-time. If you are lucky to co-include with a full moon you can see a lunar rainbow shining through the misty spray. This is called a “Moonbow” – how cool is that!!!