Victoria Falls is known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, which translates as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ – and we could not think of a better name for it. You can hear the rumble of the Falls from up to 25 miles away and you can see the spray, which gets up to a quarter of a mile high, from a distance of 30 miles – it truly is an incredible experience!
Victoria Falls is an extremely popular destination due to the incredible list of activities on offer, making it suitable for every traveller. From helicopter and microlight flights over the Falls’ spray to getting right into the thick of the action on a raft, here are the top activities to experience:
HELICOPTER OVER VICTORIA FALLS
There are two types of helicopter flights available. The first, Flight of Angels, lasts for just under 15 minutes. It launches from Elephant Hills, situated 4km upstream from the Falls. It transports passengers back and forth over the Falls several times – and the pilot banks the helicopter to allow amazing views into all those chasms not visible from the ground! The second flight is longer, just under half an hour. It too performs the Flight of Angels, then moves upstream to take in the Zambezi River and adjacent National Park where you will get to see some wildlife from the air.
MICROFLIGHTS OVER VICTORIA FALLS
There are also two options for microlight flights – the 15-minutes Flight of Angels and a 30-minute trip performing Flight of Angels before venturing up the Zambezi River to the National Park. These flights accommodate just one traveller, plus the pilot of course!
WHITE WATER RAFTING
The Terminator… The Washing Machine… Stairway to Heaven… Judgement Day… Devil’s Toilet Bowl… Oblivion – merely the names of the rapids are enough to set your pulse racing, so imagine how exhilarating it is to encounter them on a raft! Of all the adrenaline-packed activities available at Vic Falls, white water rafting was the first, attracting intrepid adventurers from all corners of the Earth. And to this day, many reckon it is the best activity, beating gorge swings, zip lines, even bungee jumping! The rafting available is entirely dependent on the year’s rainfall, but low water trips typically run from August to late December and high water trips happen from January to July, with the exception of April, when it’s just too dangerous! The low water trips are longer, plus they are more exciting! But the highs contain plenty of thrills too.
WHERE TO STAY
Victoria Falls itself is the area’s obvious attraction, though we use a number of lodges located away from the Falls themselves – lodges that offer trips to the Falls, but are also destinations in their own right. When we have travellers who simply want to view the Falls and then move on to the area's safari parks, we recommend lodges and hotels close to the Falls, such as The Royal Livingstone.
Set farther away, up- and downstream from the waterfall (but still within reach) are a number of smaller lodges, similar in style to safari camps. These camps feel a world away from the tourist hotspot of Victoria Falls. Sindabezi Island Lodge and The River Club are two of our favourite properties for this kind of accommodation. We also recommend lodges and activities available on the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls here.