Where are the Victoria Falls?

Simon Jeavons

10 Nov 2016

Visiting Victoria Falls from Botswana

Victoria Falls is considered to be the world’s largest sheet of falling water. The waters of the Zambezi River, which forms a natural border between the southernmost stretch of Zambia and the north-western corner of Zimbabwe, split into three main arteries then spread out into numerous veins of water before plunging up to 108 metres over a fracture in the basalt plateau.

Higher than both Niagara Falls and Iguazu Falls and longer than the former, Victoria Falls is itself dwarfed by the spray it produces in the rainy season. 

This is evocatively captured by the indigenous name for the Falls – ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’, which translates as ‘the smoke that thunders’. It is, of course, considerably more descriptive than the English name, given in 1855 in honour of Queen Victoria by Scottish explorer David Livingstone, who is believed to have been the first European to see the Falls. Although Victoria Falls must be visited from either Zimbabwe or Zambia, the spray produced by the Falls regularly exceeds 400 metres in height and can be seen for miles around, including from the border with Botswana – some 50 miles to the west.

As this close proximity suggests, Victoria Falls is straightforward to visit from Botswana. From the town of Kasane near the border with Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Falls are a one-hour drive away; tourist visas are available at the Botswana-Zambia border. A trip to this awe-inspiring sight can be included on a number of our itineraries.

The Victoria Falls are a good place to start your trip, giving you a few days to relax before heading off on safari in Botswana. This is especially the case with honeymooners, as relaxing with a champagne picnic on an island in the middle of the falls is such a wonderful way to end your Botswana journey. Of course, if you would prefer to start your safari here, with such an amazing range of activities, from bungee jumping and kayaking to the Devil's Swimming Pool and cruises, it can be a great way to kick off the fun!

When planning your trip, bear in mind that the rainy season runs from November to April. Although the flow of water will therefore be greater during this period so will the spray – and this can sometimes obscure a full view of the Falls.

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