Victoria Falls - Abbey Travel, Ireland

Victoria Falls


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Welcome to Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is one of nature's greatest spectacles, and one of the few attractions that exceeds even the wildest expectations of its visitors. The town itself, referred to locally simply as 'Vic Falls', straddles the banks of the Zambezi River, in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland North province. It is a pleasant place from which to base oneself, home to a number of hotels and lodges, a couple of good restaurants and some great bars to enjoy.

Known as both an adventure centre and romantic getaway, there is an excellent selection of things to see and do in Victoria Falls, from walking to the viewpoints that run the length of the falls to white-water rafting and bungee jumping. There are canoe trips, river cruises, safaris and fishing trips available in Vic Falls, as well as first-rate national parks to visit nearby. A day-trip across the border into Zambia is also well worth doing.

There are buses, trains and airlines that travel to Vic Falls and, once there, the town is easily walkable but also has plenty of minibus and regular taxis available for visitors to use. A popular holiday destination since the 1930s, Vic Falls is a must on any African travel itinerary.

Information & Facts


Victoria Falls experiences hot summers from September through to April, and mild winters from May though to August. The summer rainy season in Vic Falls lasts from November to March, and the rain usually comes in the form of afternoon thundershowers and weather can be fairly unpredictable. Visitors should note that there is a considerable difference in the flow of water over the Victoria Falls from the rainy to the dry season when planning their holiday.

English is the official language in Zimbabwe, although it is only spoken as a first language by a tiny percentage of the population. Several indigenous languages are spoken including Shona and Ndebele.

The official currency is the US dollar (USD). The Zimbabwe dollar (ZWD) was effectively abandoned as the official curency in early 2009. Major credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard, are accepted in most of the larger hotels, restaurants and shops; Many smaller establishments still do not have credit card facilities; Diners Club and American Express are sometimes not accepted. ATM facilities, dispensing US$, are available in the cities.

Local time in Zimbabwe is GMT +2.

A popular but somewhat risky Vic Falls attraction is Devil's Pool, a naturally formed swimming spot righton the edge of the falls. The pool is only 'safe' to swim in during September and December, when the river flow is at the right level, but even then this is quite a daring adventure - not for the faint hearted! Aside from the thrill of swimming on the edge of the falls, Devil's Pool is also a great spot for those once-in-a-lifetime holiday photos. Ferries from Livingstone Island take visitors to this exciting attraction whenever the water levels are deemed safe enough, however this activity is predominantly accessible only from the Zambian side of the Falls.

There are three national parks to explore while on holiday in Vic Falls - the Victoria Falls National Park, the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park on the Zambian side of the falls and, about 120 miles (193km) further south, the Hwange National Park. These parks feature a vast selection of wildlife including elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra and various antelope; there are also occasional sightings of lion and leopard. There are a number of operators in Vic Falls town offering safaris to these national parks, as well as elephant-back safaris on Nakavango Estate and the 'walking with lions' experience at Masuwe Estate.

The majestic Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders), are located on the Zambezi River, between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Explorer David Livingstone named the falls for Queen Victoria when he first saw them in 1855. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the falls have been attracting travellers and adventure seekers for decades, its pounding waters creating a mist that can be seen for miles and the sound of the falls, especially in the rainy season (November to April), making it difficult to hear anything else. There is a trail that runs along the cliff adjacent to the waterfall which visitors can use to reach the scenic viewpoints, and the Flight of Angels helicopter tour is a phenomenal way to see the falls from above. Guided tours are also available, which include collection and drop off from your hotel.

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