Why You Should Add Victoria Falls to Your Bucket List

The roar from the mighty Zambezi River as it tumbles over a 108-meter high precipice straddling the Zambia-Zimbabwe border can be heard from miles away.

An ethereal sunset as seen through the cloud of spray at Victoria Falls.

Though it’s better known these days as Victoria Falls, the original Lozi name Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “the Smoke that Thunders,” is a far more alluring description for one of Africa’s most sought-after natural spectacles.

The roar from the mighty Zambezi River as it tumbles over a 108-meter high precipice straddling the Zambia-Zimbabwe border can be heard from miles away, and the veil of mist rising from a narrow chasm 1,700 meters across creates rainbows that can even be seen after dark in the light of a full moon.

May is the month to glimpse the falls at peak water flow: the riverside viewpoints in Zimbabwe generally offer better vistas with less spray, while a helicopter tour brings an even greater appreciation for the cascade’s sheer scale and power. It’s also prime time for trips to nearby safari areas and national parks—mostly in Zimbabwe—as the bush thins out with the onset of dry season.

Getting There 


Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe can be reached on South African Airways via Johannesburg, which is served by nonstop flights from Singapore and Hong Kong.

Where to Stay 


Built in 1904, The Victoria Falls Hotel (263-213/284-4751; doubles from US$432) is Zimbabwe’s oldest luxury lodging and a 161-room Edwardian gem that overlooks the Zambezi River.

Don’t Miss

A bird’s-eye view of the falls on the 13-minute Flight of Angels tour run by Zambezi Helicopters.

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2018 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Picking Up Stream”).

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