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  • Writer's pictureranhyn

“Mosi-oa-Tunya” - “The Smoke That Thunders”

Updated: May 3

As part of our holiday to Zimbabwe and Botswana, we spent three days at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The Falls, on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, are considered to be one of the world's seven natural wonders. 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' is the name given to the Falls in the local language. Just to be clear the town in Zimbabwe next to the Falls is also called Victoria Falls.

Of course, the main item on our agenda was to visit the Falls themselves. Although it is possible to do a guided tour we decided to spend the whole day at the Falls on our own. This turned out to be a very good idea because we could take our time and enjoy each viewpoint, backtrack if we felt like it and take as many photos as we wanted! :-).

Our hotel offered a shuttle service to the entrance where you have to pay a fee (currently $50) and if you like there are rain ponchos for hire. Or else there is the possibility of getting absolutely soaked in the mist, which is an experience in itself!

The main path winds through the rainforest fairly close to the edge of the Falls, taking you along the length of the entire gorge. There are side paths which lead you to sixteen lookout points, ending at the 'Boiling Pot'.

The walk starts at the western end of the Falls, where you will find a statue of David Livingstone, who is thought to be the first European to have seen the Falls in 1855. A little further on you get your first view of the Falls in an area called The Devil's Cataract – and what a view it is! Each lookout point gives a different perspective of the Falls, and most of them are truly spectacular!

Besides the walk, there are many exhilarating activities one can do at Victoria Falls including bungee jumping, zip lining, the gorge swing, bridge swing, a swim in the devil's pool and even helicopter rides plus whitewater rafting. There is also another activity (which we did) but that will be another story.

After our day at the Falls, we relaxed at the Lookout Cafe with a cocktail. Again the view from the cafe is definitely not to be missed.

One excursion we did was a sunset cruise on the Zambesi River. This was a peaceful way to admire the surrounding scenery and spot some wildlife including birds and hippos. We opted for a cruise which offered an open bar making the experience even more relaxing!

Finally here is a short video we made from different lookout points for which we suggest you play as loud as possible to get a better idea of the atmosphere near the Falls!

(All photos Mark A. Bailey for Distant Horizons - except the ones I am in!)

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