We arrived to the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls bright and early.
If you are staying in the town of Victoria Falls, you can walk to the visitor’s entrance from most accommodations. If like us, you end up staying outside of the town, almost all of the hotels have complimentary shuttles that drop you off at the entrance.
After paying the entrance fee, you enter an area that gives an overview of the falls.
You can purchase a map for $1.00.
There are plenty of signs, and the paths are well marked, so you don’t necessarily need a map, but we planned on visiting both sides of the falls in the same day, so the map helped us manage our time. Also, maps are fun.
Restrooms and a cafe (the real Rainforest Cafe) are located near the entrance.
There are plenty of tours you can take of Victoria Falls, but we were content to wander around on our own.
Victoria Falls is a popular attraction. It’s the main reason people visit the area, so there were plenty of people around. You may have to implement some patience at the main viewing points, waiting for people to move, so you can get a perfect view/picture.
It’s a sprawling area however, so it never felt overly crowded, and there were times when we were the only people on a path or taking pictures from a less popular viewing area.
There are pros and cons to visiting Victoria Falls during wet season vs. dry season. We visited during dry season, so although we didn’t get to see the falls at full water force, we could take lots of pictures without having to worry about the falls being obscured by massive amounts of spray. We also got some great, gorge views.
At one point we noticed rafters at the bottom of the gorge. It looked like an amazing experience. If we had an extra day, we would have looked into rafting.
The area is broken up into viewing points. Some spaces have more spray than others. It was a hot day, so we welcomed the cooling spray, but ponchos and rain jackets were not an unusual sight.
Some viewing points had benches, nestled under shade, that offered a nice little respite.
Victoria Falls is called, “The Smoke That Thunders.” It is an apt description.
The roar of the falls is the soundtrack of the day. It is the falls calling out its power.
It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to explore the falls. You’ll want to experience the falls from all of the different viewing points.
It’s hard to properly describe Victoria Falls. It’s massive, mighty, and expansive. It’s one of those places that make you understand just how vast and amazing the world is. It’s an impressive display of nature.
Along with all of the strength, there is also a peace. The white noise of the continually rushing water, and sight of the water tumbling and plummeting ever downwards, cleanses out the internal clutter.
If you plan on walking all the way to the end, to the Livingston Island viewing area, be sure to have sunscreen and a hat. You will want to spend time taking in the view, but there is no shade to offer protection from the blazing sun. It’s also a good idea to have some drinking water on hand. There are vendors along the paths that sell cold drinks.
I feel privileged that we had the opportunity to travel to Africa to visit Victoria Falls. Before our trip, I read a few posts of people who complained that Victoria Falls was too touristy and not worth the visit. True, the town of Victoria Falls is touristy, but the only thing that makes the falls itself touristy, is the well maintained environment, and the fact that there are many other visitors. I was overjoyed and overwhelmed, from a nature standpoint, by the experience, and I think that a visit to the falls is not to be missed if you are in the area.
For information regarding visa requirements for visiting both sides of Victoria Falls you can read: Africa Trip-Travel Days
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