The Smoke that Thunders – Victoria Falls

What is it about water? We love it don’t we? It’s wet, I suppose. It’s fresh, clean, picturesque. It allows us to float and transport ourselves and our goods. It nourishes every living thing. It’s basically responsible for life on this planet. Water can be dangerous, vicious and relentless. But mostly – it’s just plain mesmerizing when it cascades down cliff faces and jagged rocks.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Victoria falls lies between the neighbouring African countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Zambezi River is the border between the two nations. This mighty river (the 4th largest in Africa after the Nile, Congo and Niger), plummets 100 metres down and spans over 1.5 kilometres wide making Victoria Falls the largest continuous curtain of water falling on the planet. The native people in this area call it: MOSI-OA-TUNYA – “The Smoke that Thunders”.

You will want to add a 2 day stop to Zimbabwe (the best place to view the falls), to your southern African vacation. We took a couple days here prior to heading down to Botswana which was a short drive over the border.

Colin with Victoria Falls in the background.

You can take a sunset cruise down the Zambezi river where you will see hippos, crocs, birds and, if you’re really lucky like we were, a herd of elephant swimming across from one side to the other!

Herd of Elephant Crossing the Zambezi River
Sunset on the Zambezi

The Victoria Falls Hotel is a lovely British Colonial edifice with magnificent decor and grounds. We enjoyed an el fresco drink on the patio before heading over to their Jungle Junction restaurant.

Victoria Falls Hotel

Jungle Junction was a delightful surprise with a sumptuous buffet dinner and a show of African dancers including the spiritual, masked Makishi. The outdoor dining experience was great fun!

Makishi Dancers

Besides the Victoria Falls Hotel, you may want to check out the Batonka Lodge which offers excellent accommodation at a more modest price. We stayed in one of the guest suites which are air conditioned with a full ensuite and mosquito netting around the king-sized bed. There is a swimming pool and restaurant on site. The staff are friendly and helpful with suggestions for activities and dining.

Any trip of Botswana or South Africa should include the magnificent Victoria Falls and a cruise down the Zambezi River. This waterfall should be on your bucket list!

 

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