Mosi-Oa-Tunya - The smoke that thunders!

Kirsty Heath on 18 June 2018

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A trip to Victoria Falls should be on everyone’s bucket list. The ‘smoke that thunders’ is such an apt and descriptive name for what is likely one of the most awe-inspiring places I have ever been lucky enough to visit – and I’ve been three times!

Victoria Falls is easily accessible, just 2 hours by air from Johannesburg and a short road transfer from either Livingstone airport in Zambia or Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe.

What many people don’t realise is there are two sides to the Falls, a small but significantly beautiful section of the Falls can be seen from Zambia – while the larger Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park is located on the Zimbabwean side of the Falls and is roughly a one-hour walk – depending on how much time you take to marvel and stand in awe of the beauty that is the thundering water of the Victoria Falls.

The best time to visit the spectacular Victoria Falls is from February to May, directly after the region's summer rains, when you'll see the world's largest sheet of falling water flowing at its greatest volume. While it is still a marvel in the drier season, the full effect is seen once the rains have been. I have visited during peak and off season and both times it was a wonderful trip. The only downfall with peak season is that when the Falls are at their fullest there are some areas of the Falls that the view is hidden by the immense spray.

The Kingdom Hotel – located on the Zimbabwean side of the Falls is a personal favourite of mine both for location and the room size and comfort levels. The A’Zambezi River Lodge is also a lovely choice and is further from the Falls it is located right on the river banks so the game viewing and evening views are to die for.

Crossing over to the Zambian side of the falls - another favourite of mine was the Royal Livingstone Hotel – this hotel is not only on the banks of the river with a gorgeous cocktail deck jutting out over the water – it’s also within walking distance of the Falls and the cost to enter is already included. When we stayed here – not only did the roaring of the water make the most pleasant back drop to fall asleep to, we were also able to visit multiple times a day and see the Falls in all lights, and all levels of flow at no extra expense.

For the adventure lovers Victoria Falls offers a multitude of things to do – the sunset cocktail cruise is not to be missed (we had the pleasure of seeing a snorkelling elephant), the helicopter flight over the Falls offers you sights you cannot compare with anywhere else in the world, and for the braver a swim in the Devils Pool is a must! The Devils Pool is an enclosed section of water just above the lip of the Falls. There is elephant back safaris and lion walks, canoe safaris and hiking and even white water rafting for the adventurers.

Explore local craft markets and try the local beer and breads, hike through the park, and don’t forget the obligatory pose at the statue of Livingstone, or just relax with a cocktail at the river banks. Victoria Falls has something for everyone and as one of the Natural Wonders of the World and is something every traveller should see! Contact me now to get your next family adventure vacation booked to the Mosi-Oa-Tunya – The Smoke that THUNDERS!

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