Victoria Falls

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in Africa, Play-by-plays, Zambia, Zimbabwe | 0 comments

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Victoria Falls was our second huge waterfall experience (after Iguassu) and it was totally unlike the first. The Zambezi River falls into a gorge–literally into a deep canyon and then winds its way through it.

Because of the narrow gorge, it is nearly impossible to see all of the falls, whether you are on the Zambia or the Zimbabwe side. In low water season, you can at least see where the waterfall is theoretically, but in high water season I.e. when we visited–you know there is a waterfall because you can hear the roaring water and you get drenched immediately when you get close to the gorge. You can see the mist nearly 50km away in wet season. No wonder it is called “the Smoke that Thunders” in a local language.

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We went to both the Zambia and Zimbabwe side of the falls. Not sure about the park entrance on the Zambia side because it was included in our tour, but the Zimbabwe side is $30 (Zimbabwe uses US dollars) and the day visa ism$30 for Americans and most other nationalities, except for Brits for whom it is $55 and Canucks $75.

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Both sides are worth a visit, and the bridge that connects the two counties (the border no mans land) is an experience all in itself. From there you can buggy jump or canyon swing into the gorge or watch others scream as they plummet down. You can also see parts of the falls, the mist, and the steep gorge walls. If you’re lucky as we were, you will see a double rainbow. Whoaaaaa!!!

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Because the falls are on the Zambian side, you theoretically see more of them from Zimbabwe but realistically in this season (March) it is all mist and torrential downpour. Everything gets drenched and a couple of people in our group wrecked their nice cameras. And although I saw less of the falls than I did in Iguassu, the experience felt more genuine. There are paths in the parks in both countries, but no railing, no colorful buses or tourist trains. It actually feels like you are in nature. Which also means nothing prevents you from slipping and falling into the abyss, so we all had to be super careful.

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I loved chasing the rainbows and getting continually drenched, and would also recommend the cafe on the Zimbabwe side. Best cappuccino I’ve had in weeks (a very legit one overall) and a delectable warthog wrap. The Zimbabwe side also has an old school British style Victoria Falls Hotel, where you can hang out at the bar, have Afternoon Tea, and be generally classy if you so choose.

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