Visit spectacular Vic Falls for moonbows and cocktails
It’s revered as one of the natural world’s great spectacles, and the raw power of the mighty Zambezi River plunging 108m into the breathtaking Victoria Falls has spawned awe and legends for centuries.
The untamed energy of the waterfall once compelled tribes in the area to sacrifice jewellery to the river to appease it.
These days the only gold you’re likely to see cast into the river are the hues of the African sun in the spray of the falls.
But the folklore around the spectacular cataract is just one of many drawcards of this destination, along with renowned hospitality and activities to cater to every taste.
The area has the nickname “the Boulevard of Zs” because it is the part of the Zambezi River where zebras drink and Zambia and Zimbabwe meet.
Shaun Pozyn, head of marketing at British Airways (operated by Comair) offers these suggestions for getting the most from Victoria Falls:
Take a cruise
It’s become a rite of passage for visitors to take one of the many sunset cruises offered on the stretch of river above the falls.
There’s a good reason for that popularity: On this beautiful stretch of river it is common to see large herds of elephants of all ages drinking and bathing.
You can watch five generations of pachyderms – from long-tusked elders to fuzz-headed newcomers – relax.
You’ll be close enough to hear their splashing and distinctive, contented, deep-bass rumbling while you sip a cocktail or champagne and enjoy snacks. Some cruises offer a full supper aboard.
Tackle the wild waters
White-water rafting on the Zambezi has been described as the most exciting in the world and remains a drawcard for visitors looking for a once-off burst of adrenaline, as well as lifelong devotees to adventure-sports.
Excursions range from a morning in the waters of the Batoka Gorge, to five-night trips combining fishing, game-watching and camping with braving the Zambezi.
Step off the edgeSeveral operators on the Zimbabwe and Zambia side of the falls offer a variety of adventure sports, including bridge-swings, bungee-jumps and zip-wire slides.
All take full advantage of the chasm carved by the river and allow for stomach-swooping fun with a strong emphasis on safety.
One option that’s less intense than the free-fall of bungee-jumping is the Flying Fox, where you slide along a zipline in a horizontal position.
As the name suggests it feels a little like flying.
Get elevated in a forest
The mists of the falls have helped nurture the lush Batoka Forest, with dense, hardwood riverine vegetation that’s a haven for a beautiful bounty of wildlife.
The Vic Falls Canopy Tour offers a network of zipline slides, trails and rope-bridge walkways.
You are accompanied by guides and can expect to see a variety of animals.
Try a bit of luxury
The Victoria Falls Hotel prides itself on offering the best dining in the town.
The beautiful, Edwardian-era building has been updated with deft modern touches and facilities to suit your mood.
Fancy some fine dining? There’s a seven-course degustation menu and an acclaimed wine list.
For sundowners, Stanley’s Bar is the ideal spot for pre-dinner drinks with a selection of good local and imported beers and signature cocktails.
The hotel has relaxed its dress code a little over the years but retains a little of the dress-up-for-dinner style of the days of yore.
Catch the moonbow
The falls can send mist up to 800m in the air, which can be seen and appreciated from 50km away.
You might see multiple rainbows in a mesmerising dance of colour in the sky.
If you’re fortunate enough to visit the falls at full moon there may be a moonbow, a rainbow lit by the full moon. Unforgettable!
Brave the Devil’s Pool
In the dry season, stout-hearted visitors can slip into a pool at the very edge of the cataract at Livingstone Island and peer over the slippery lip of rock into the abyss.
Heed the experienced guides who escort you there to , take a deep breath and you can earn some serious bragging rights.