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Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Things To Do In Victoria Falls

Things To Do In Victoria Falls

Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe ,

The mighty Zambezi River and the majestic Victoria Falls form a natural border between the countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia. Regardless of whether you choose to stay on the Zimbabwe side or the Zambia side, you can enjoy many different activities at Victoria Falls.

From adventure activities such as white-water rafting, bungee jumping and zip lining, to incredible game drives in Hwange National Park and sunset boat cruises on the Zambezi River – there are tours, attractions and things to do to suit every taste.

Keep in mind that your waterfall experience can be very different depending on when you go to Victoria Falls and if there are specific activities you’d like to include in your itinerary, you’ll need to choose the right time of year to travel.

For example, activities on the Zambezi River are best when water levels are at their lowest, otherwise the current is too strong, whilst activities on land or in the air are best when water levels are higher, as you’ll get the most dramatic views.

From white water rafting to swimming in Devil’s Pool, choose from a range of adventurous activities at Victoria Falls.

Best things to do in Victoria Falls

1. Enjoy a sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi river

Zambezi River Sunset Cruise

A late afternoon boat cruise is a wonderful way to enjoy the tranquility of the upper Zambezi and see a spectacular African sunset. During your two-hour cruise you can expect to see elephants, hippos, crocodiles, vervet monkeys, baboons and a variety of birdlife.

2. Visit Livingstone Island

Swimming at Livingstone Island

Livingstone Island is where David Livingstone, the explorer who was the first non-Zambian to view the falls, was standing when he made the discovery. Visitors to the falls can take a boat that goes to the island five times a day for a guided tour arranged by Tongabezi. The tour rates start from USD$115 per person.

Go back in time and enjoy a five-course meal on the 1922 and 1924 Royal Livingstone Express trains. The four-hour train ride begins from the Mulobezi railway offices and passes through the Mosi o Tunya National Park. The train makes a twenty-minute stop at the Victoria Falls Bridge. The trains operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 4.30pm to 9pm in the winter, and 5pm to 9.30pm at other times. Tickets cost USD$189 per person. Children under 3 ride for free.

4. Go white water rafting

White Water Rafting

Conquer the 13 rapids of the Zambezi River when the river is high from February to July, or the 23 rapids when the water level drops. White water rafting can be booked as a half- or full-day experience, with the full day lasting approximately six hours via Bundu Adventures. It costs USD$150 per person with a 10% discount if booked online at least two days in advance.

5. Cultural Things to Do in Victoria Falls

Traditional Village Tour

Visiting the area is not just about the falls and river-based activities. Livingstone and Victoria Falls are African towns in their own right. Both are inhabited by the indigenous Tokaleya who consider the falls sacred. Meet (and haggle with) them at Livingstone’s Maramba Markets, where stalls sell everything from craftwork to popular snack mopane worms. It’s possible to organize a guided visit to a traditional Tokaleya village.

The Livingstone Museum, Zambia’s largest museum, includes an exhibition of letters, photos and artefacts relating to David Livingstone. The Scotsman encountered Victoria Falls on his six-year journey down the 2,500km/1,553mi-long Zambezi. This made him the first European to traverse a significant chunk of Southern Africa. The river rises in marshy northern Zambia and crosses eastern Angola. It runs along Zambia’s borders with Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe to Mozambique, where it empties into the Indian Ocean. Such was Livingstone’s religious zeal that he regarded the falls as simply an inconvenient obstacle on his journey.

6. Bungee Jump the Bridge

Bungee Jump on The Victoria Falls Bridge

Add extra drama to the falls by hurling yourself 111m/364ft from Victoria Falls Bridge. The steel landmark arches high above the frothing Zambezi and crosses the international border. If that sounds a little too hair-raising, take the bridge tour or the 300m/984ft zip line. There’s also the bridge swing, consisting of an upright 80m/262ft freefall followed by an arc alongside the falls.

7 . Take a helicopter flight over Victoria Falls

Helicopter Flights Over the Victoria Falls

A fantastic way to appreciate the sheer size of Victoria Falls is with a helicopter ride. The 12-13 flight will take you over the cascades, soaring above the towering wall of mist that gives the site it’s local name, Mosi-oa-Tunya or “The Smoke That Thunders.”

You’ll enjoy scenic views of Batoka Gorge and look out for hippos or elephants as you fly over the Zambezi River. Once you’ve flown over Kalunda Island, your pilot will take a left turn and prepare for your landing.

A longer 25-minute flight offers the opportunity to see more of the Batoka Gorge and also takes you over Zambezi National Park

8. Learn about the history of the Victoria Falls bridge

Victoria Falls bridge

The Victoria Falls Bridge connects Zimbabwe and Zambia, and is an iconic part of the Victoria Falls landscape. Originally named the Zambezi Bridge, it took 14 months to construct and was completed in 1905.

The Historic Bridge Tour is a fantastic experience and includes an informative presentation on the fascinating history of this famous bridge.

You can also get harnessed up and walk under the bridge, where you can take in the spectacular 360-degree views and fully appreciate the immense depth of Batoka Gorge. You may even be lucky enough to see a double or full-circle rainbow, which is formed by the spray.

9. Explore the historical town of Livingstone in Zambia

historical town of Livingstone in Zambia

Livingstone is located 10 kilometres from the Zambian side of Victoria Falls Bridge and is the gateway to many of the attractions of Victoria Falls and Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park.

This historical town was moved from its original site at the Old Drift to Constitution Hill in 1905 due to malarial outbreaks. The new location was carefully planned with wide, tree-lined streets and buildings, high ceilings and mosquito-netted verandas.

Livingstone has preserved much of its colonial architecture, yet it also has a small-town African atmosphere. If you spend a morning strolling along the colonial streets, drinking a coffee at one of the pavement cafés and exploring the colourful local markets, you’ll get an interesting insight into this fascinating town and local life.

We also recommend that you visit The Livingstone Museum, which traces local history and the life of the Scottish explorer, David Livingstone, after whom the town was named.

10. Visit The Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls Guided Tour Zambia

The Victoria Falls are one of the natural wonders of the world, known as the Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “smoke that thunders” in the local language.

It is an apt name, something you will learn when the thundering roar surrounds you as the sparkling Zambezi River pours great cascades of white water over the lip of the falls. Walking along little paths to view this phenomenon of nature, you see trumpeter hornbills in dripping trees, darting out to fly across the water. Vervet monkeys and baboons chatter and a rainbow forms across the spray when the sun comes out.

It is possible to visit the falls from both the Zambian and Zimbabwean side. Our specialists can discuss the options with you and decide which is best for your stay, but often this comes down to the water levels at different times of year.

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