The Victoria Falls were the starting point of my trip through southern Africa, which started at the beginning of August 2017 and led from Zimbabwe, via Botswana and Namiba to South Africa in just under three weeks. Of course, the goal was to take home as many memories as possible of the varied landscape, the countless animals and interesting people.
However, the visit to Zimbabwe was quite short and was limited exclusively to the region around the Victoria Falls. They are the widest continuous falls on earth and lie between the border towns of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia. The falls of the Zambezi River have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989. David Livingstone was the first European to see the falls in 1855. He named the falls “Victoria Falls” in honor of the then British Queen Victoria. The local Kololo call the falls “Mosi-oa-Tunya”, which means “thundering smoke”. The name refers to the water spray that can rise to a height of up to 300 m. The waterfalls extend over a length of 1708 m and plunge into a 110 m deep and approx. 50 m wide gorge.
At a total of 15 vantage points, you always get new views of sections of the waterfalls. However, seeing them in all their glory is only possible from the air.
After the first visit to the Victoria Falls, I went to the Zambezi River in the late afternoon. From the boat one could see elephants roaming the tall grass, hippos resting on the river bank, crocodiles and various birds. The highlight of the boat tour, however, was the fantastically beautiful sunset, which covered the Zambezi river bank in a deep red-orange.
I definitely didn’t want to miss the Victoria Falls at sunrise. And so I went to the national park the following day at 6.30 am (opening time in winter). Getting up early was rewarded with a spectacularly beautiful sunrise. The sun rose directly over the waterfalls and colored the sky first in a delicate pink-red, later in a strong red-orange – just lovely! The low sun created rainbows with the help of the spray, which fell vertically into the gorge. A sight that I had never experienced in this form.
In the afternoon I did a short stroll through the village of “Victoria Falls”. However, it is not particularly interesting. It basically consists of a few hotels, shops, many service providers offering a variety of different activities and quite a lot of street vendors.