The Mighty Victoria Falls


Although my G Adventures 35 Day Overland Truck Adventure was challenging because of the long bumpy driving days, the lack of creature comforts while camping, and being in close confines with a diverse group of people (ages, nationalities and personalities), the rewards were tremendous!  By day 19, some of the highlights had been Fish River Canyon in Namibia (see my post here); Dune 45 and Deadvlei Salt Pan in Namibia (see my posts here and here); Etosha National Park in Namibia (see my post here); visiting the San Bushman in Botswana (see post here); the Okavango Delta in Botswana (see posts here and here);  and Chobe National Park in Botswana (see post here).

Today, we drove four hours from Chobe National Park in Botswana to Livingstone, Zambia, where the mighty Victoria Falls are.  After crossing the border into Zambia, we arrived at the Zambezi Waterfront Campsite, where we would stay put for four nights (a welcome change after moving almost every day).  I paid $10 to upgrade to a tent with electricity and a bed (see below)!  And for the first time on the trip shared my space with someone (lovely Kelly from Australia) for two evenings!  Here’s a photo of her in Botswana after a dog went wee wee on her leg…

Her trip was ending here, so the last two evenings, I had the tent to myself and had to pay $15 per night.  There were only 5 of us from the original 17 that were going all the way from Cape Town to Zanzibar or Nairobi, and we were getting a new Overland Truck, Tour Director and driver, along with some new passengers.

The following day, Kelly, Timo (from Germany) and I left at 8am for Victoria Falls on the Zambia side (it’s a full day excursion if you visit both sides like we did – we didn’t return until 4:30pm).  The falls are over a mile wide and 354 feet deep and are also known as the “Cloud (or Smoke) that Thunders”.

Here is one of our first views….

We crossed the “Knife Edge” bridge and were drenched from the spray of the pounding water.  I felt like I was part of the falls!  There were rainbows everywhere!!

Next, we hiked down over 350 feet to the “Boiling Pot” at the water level and watched the swirling water!

There were quite a few baboons on the trails and suddenly one of them jumped up at Timo and scratched his arm.  It thought he had food.  He was quite shocked and a bit concerned afterwards about disease.  We gave him a wet wipe and some hand sanitizer for it.  Later we heard another one of the girls in our group had one jump on her backpack and try to scramble away with it.

After consulting with a few people, including our Tour Director, we decided to pay the extra money to walk across the bridge into Zimbabwe to view the front side of the falls.

I had read that it was a must do!   When we inquired of a local which side was better, he said it was similar to asking which side of his face was better.  If I remember correctly, I had to pay $30 extra for a double entry Visa for Zambia, $30 for a Visa to enter Zimbabwe, and $30 to enter the falls on the Zimbabwe side.

We decided to walk across the bridge rather than take a taxi (no man’s land – since you’re really not in either country) and we stopped to watch a girl bungee jump.  This was the bungee jump that broke a while back and a girl broke her collar-bone, but survived!

Here she’s ready to jump.

And here she is dangling down below….

As you can see, the falls are spectacular!  Although photos don’t do it justice…the spray from the water doesn’t lend itself to great photos!  From September to January you can see the falls really well because it during the dry season.  But then you miss the experience of the thundering powerful falls.

I was surprised at how few people we encountered!  If you are able to visit Victoria Falls, I definitely recommend seeing them from both sides!

 

54 thoughts on “The Mighty Victoria Falls

  1. wow!! this is absolutely gorgeous! I made that same jump a few weeks before that girl who fell in water did .. i jumped from Zambia, but was returning from Zimbabwe .. with no visa : ) Glad you saw the falls in full bloom, but you can’t swim in the Devil’s pool at this time of year.. Did you manage to walk with Lions?

    Love your tent!!

    ps – off to Uganda for Gorilla trek at the end of August and then a month in Morocco : )

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  2. Pingback: Broke down in Africa | Fabulous 50's

  3. Hi,
    They certainly are magnificent falls, and what a great idea to walk across the bridge, you only get one chance to do something like that.
    Fantastic photos. 😀

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  4. I found your blog’s link through Madhu’s …
    I love traveling too, but now I do it less adventurous 😉 (with two kids is a great responsibility).
    I’ll read and look at your beautiful photos with marked pleasure!
    See you soon
    serenity
    🙂 claudine

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  5. Wow!! (I know I’ve overused that word in my comments, but I can’t think of another to do your posts justice) … love that you really are taking us along with you on the ride! What an experience to get to see the Falls… from both sides! (But as for that bungee jump? no thanks — I actually saw the video on a blog from a girl who’d done the jump the week before and then posted the one of the girl’s rope breaking and that just about did it for me with the bungee jumping temptation … )
    GREAT to hear you are home safe and sound … let’s TALK! I get home from Romania tomorrow!!

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  6. This tour of the Africa I have been experiementar too, since one of my greatest joys is to know Africa. But with their photos and their experience also told through this wonderful blog, has blown up a world of fantasy and extreme beauty. Thanks for giving us this wonderful space.

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  7. Sherry, I absolutely LOVE all of your photos and blogs! You are such a fabulous writer….I felt as though I was in Africa with you while reading your blogs. And your pictures are “National Geographic” worthy! So happy you had such a rewarding and enriching experience in Africa.

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  8. I must catch up on you blog soon! Been busy with my friend and catching up on life! lol What I’ve read so far sounds amazing!!!!!

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  9. I am a born and raised Niagara Falls girls and along with many others have never quite captured the essence of “The Falls” on camera. I think you did a great job, but TheSweetKitten says it best…”I think the smile on your face says it all!”

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