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Overview

One of Africa’s absolute "must see" scenic attractions, Victoria Falls National Park is a small rainforest-swathed protected area facing the spectacular waterfall for which it is named. About a mile wide, and similar in height to Niagara Falls but channeling a greater volume of water, Victoria Falls is a truly primal and phenomenal sight – and sound – not least because it remains surprisingly unspoiled, especially at sunrise when the light is stunning, Bambi-like bushbuck trot delicately between the trees, and most tourists are still in bed. The adjacent Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River – the latter a wide, sluggish ...

One of Africa’s absolute "must see" scenic attractions, Victoria Falls National Park is a small rainforest-swathed protected area facing the spectacular waterfall for which it is named. About a mile wide, and similar in height to Niagara Falls but channeling a greater volume of water, Victoria Falls is a truly primal and phenomenal sight – and sound – not least because it remains surprisingly unspoiled, especially at sunrise when the light is stunning, Bambi-like bushbuck trot delicately between the trees, and most tourists are still in bed. The adjacent Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River – the latter a wide, sluggish and archetypically African waterway above the waterfall, but a seething succession of gorge-bound rapids below it – also form the adrenaline-pumping heart of southern Africa’s adventure tourism industry. Popular activities include white-water rafting through the steep and narrow gorge below the falls, canoeing or cruising between crocs and hippos on the calmer Upper Zambezi, and what is reputedly the world’s "Highest Commercial Bridge Jump" from the bridge below the falls. At a price, the waterfall can also be viewed from above, whether by fixed-wing, seaplane, microlight or helicopter, while the Zambezi National Park a few miles out of town is home to lion, elephant, buffalo and much else besides. The river and gorge are also great for birding, with Livingstone’s flycatcher and Taita falcon ranking among the most sought after species in the area.

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

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Philip Briggs for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Victoria Falls National Park is in north-western Zimbabwe. A notable feature of the park is the rainforest which grows in the spray of the falls, as well as elephant, cape buffalo, white rhino, hippos and crocodile sitings!
  • Language: English, Shona and Ndebele (two Bantu languages)
  • Currency: Zimbabwe Dollar
  • Research: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Every season has its advantages. The falls are at their highest and most powerful in late summer/autumn (March to May) but often the spray is too high for good visibility. Water levels are low and the phenomenon is least impressive in late winter to midsummer. May to August are the optimal months, especially as wildlife viewing is also good at that time of year.