You might have read somewhere that Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. Well, the truth is that it is not.
Victoria Falls is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, but it is still a true wonder of nature.
Where is Victoria Falls located in Africa?
You will find Victoria Falls in the South of Africa, sitting right on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Which country owns Victoria Falls? Zambia or Zimbabwe?
Neither. Victoria Falls is shared by the two countries: Zambia (to the north) and Zimbabwe (to the south). In fact, it is even possible to experience the Falls from either country’s side.
The Zimbabwe side offers a better viewpoint. You can take great photos of the Falls from this side.
The Zambia side offers a lusher flow of the water, in the months of February to June, that is.
In the driest months (October and November), you would find that the falls have dried up completely.
This doesn’t happen on the Zimbabwe side – the water flows all year round.
But the drying up that occurs at the Zambia side is made up for by the dip in the Devil’s Pool.
What is the Devil’s Pool?
The Devil’s Pool is a natural pool at the edge of Victoria Falls. You can take a boat ride on the Zambezi to Livingstone Island, where you can swim in a natural pool at the edge of the falls. You can only experience the Devil’s Pool from the Zambia side of the falls.
Why is it called the Devil’s Pool? Is it dangerous to swim in it?
On the contrary, it is actually safe to swim in the Devil’s Pool – a rock lip that protrudes upward keeps you from falling over the edge.
Noone is known to have ever died at the Devil’s Pool, by falling off the edge, but it is still important that you strictly follow the directions of the tour guides.
There are other unofficial natural pools around the Falls in which people have gone over the edge, so make sure you follow only licensed tours.
In 2009, an unofficial tour guide died while saving a tourist, but the accident did not happen at the Devil’s Pool as is often reported in the news. The tourist had slipped while leaping across a small water channel on the edge of the Falls and the guide saved him, and unfortunately in the process slipped into the water and was swept over the edge.
A witness told the Sunday Mail: “The tour guide quickly grabbed the tourist’s hand and successfully pulled him back into the pool but in the process, he slipped and fell into the gorge down below.”
What is the best way to visit Victoria Falls?
You can get to Victoria Falls through either Zimbabwe or Zambia. You can either fly in through the Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe or the Livingstone Airport in Zambia.
Norie Quintos of the National Geographic channels writes of the two entry points:
“Zimbabwe has historically been the more popular entry point, but political turmoil and hyperinflation in the 2000s made Zambia preferable.”
“Zambia,” he continued, “has been one of Africa’s most stable and understated democracies; its safari lodges are known for their old-fashioned hospitality and plentiful wildlife”.
When is the best time to visit Victoria Falls?
It basically depends on what you want. If you want to see a full flow of the falls, the water is lushest around February and March.
In the drier months of October and November, the flow is slower and slighter, but yet still makes for an impressive view as visitors may see the water curtain split into many smaller channels of falling water!
Are there other side attractions at Victoria Falls?
Certainly! You can join a luxury dinner train that crosses from Zambia to Zimbabwe over the Zambezi River and stops in the middle for a view of the Falls.
You can also take a microlight flight that lets you get an aerial view of the Falls. Bungee jumping is popular too.
There are also comfortable lodges and hotels near both towns which offer their own repertoire of pleasure treats.
However way you are coming to Victoria, just get ready to have mad fun!