The world knows this gargantuan waterfall as Victoria Falls, but the name Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’ in local Makololo language, aptly describes this amazing wonder of nature. The cascading curtain of water, covered with mist, lures visitors from all over the world.
Time to visit
You can come to the Victoria Falls in any time of the year. However, the cool and dry months from May through August are the best time to visit the falls. The dry and short bushes and the somewhat bare tree, makes it easy to spot the famous African wildlife in the surrounding landscape. You can skip the monsoon season, between October end and April. During this time, the land is ruled by insects including mosquitoes and tsetse flies. Whichever time of the year you choose to visit the falls, remember to take adequate protection against malaria.
Victoria Falls is located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. The waterfall is flanked by the Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia. There are also two towns on either sides of the fall – Livingstone in Zambia and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. You can arrive in either of these towns to visit the falls. Livingstone has an airport. Victoria Falls in about 15 minutes drive from the airport.
The Zambian side of Victoria Falls is developing fast to accommodate tourists. The Zimbabwean side of the falls was once more popular for its impressive views. However, owing to political instability, nowadays visitors often avoid coming on this part of the falls. The national parks on both sides of the fall have some great safari trips.
From the town of Victoria Falls you can go on a trip to the Zambezi National Park. However, excessive poaching has stripped the park of most of its wildlife. Instead, Chobe National Park on Botswana, 70km away from Victoria Falls, is the best place for game viewing. You can also buy some great handcrafted ivory items from the shops of the town.
In Livingston, you can visit the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. You can stay in one of the several safari-style lodges, located along the bank of Zambezi River. The town has some quaint old buildings.