5 Breathtaking Things to Do in Victoria Falls, Zambia
After a long journey through South Africa, we have finally arrived at the last destination of my African trip, 2014. Victoria Falls at Livingstone, Zambia is the place I chose as my final entry to the Solo Traveler's Journal for Africa. The reason I chose Africa was to see this mighty waterfall with my own 2 eyes and now, from experiencing it first hand, I can say, it was worth the long hour's flight from Bangkok.
What is so special about this place? Everything. The sound roaring across the cliffs dividing Zimbabwe and Zambia, the strong current that even avid adventurers will be scared to jump in, the generally friendly people of Zambia, and the opportunity to jump off a 110m high bridge overlooking the Victoria Falls. What more can you ask for a 4 days getaway in Africa?
Still not convinced? Scroll down and see for yourself.
Note: Before you enter Zambia, you need to be Yellow-Fever vaccinated and you will be required to prove this at the airport with the yellow booklet the doctor gave you. They will ask for it.
Africa Travel Video
Where to Stay in Livingstone, Zambia
As I arrived at the airport, I was picked up by a driver from the hostel I stayed, the Jollyboy Backpacker Lodge. This place is one of the best hostels I've stayed so far. The photo above shows a very cozy common area where people come and socialize and of course, use wifi. This is the place where I met Bonnie, a British lady who suggested me to take a night trip to the falls right away and experience the lunar rainbow, a natural phenomenon that only happens during the full moon. I met up with Wade, a South African friend I tagged along with to go see the Lunar rainbow.
1. Witness the Lunar Rainbow
Me and Wade grab a taxi at 7 pm and there we went to the Fall. We walked around in the dark trying to get the best spot of the falls and the lunar rainbow.
After waiting for a couple of minutes for the clouds to go away, and let the full moon shined at the Fall, the rainbow started to appear. That was my first glance at the fall, an impressive one for sure.
That night, I met up with a couple of guys and girls at the Jollyboy's bar. They were having a couple of beers, grilling braais (African barbecue) and were about to head out to a local bar called Fez. And off I went with them, ended up competing in a couple of beer pong tournament and returned to the hostel at 2 AM. Slept like a baby.
2. Visit the Victoria Falls on the Zambian Side
As most of my friend went camping at one of the park under a gigantic baobab tree in the very early morning, I decided to dedicate this day to the Victoria Falls. I went out at 10 AM and arranged my taxi to pick me up at 5 PM. The Victoria Falls during the day are even more impressive!
I found a pretty isolated spot at the top of the fall where I sat and watch the violent current of the Zambezi river. It was April and the water level was at all-time high.
Surprisingly, I found solitude in the chaos of the current, watching each stream hit one another while the falls roared like thunders.
Because of the height of the falls and the level of the water during that time, the contact between the falls and the river down below caused a shower as high as the fall itself and even higher.
Same spot as the night before but during the day. Stunning to matter the time.
In my hand was a raincoat I prepared for the shower. Turned out, it was not enough to withstand the raw power of nature.
There was a bridge that goes right under the shower and I was completely soaked by the time I was halfway on the bridge. I quickly grab my camera and took this picture just to show you how powerful it was.
This is the amount of water during April. It was crazy and awesome at the same time.
This is the bridge that crossed between the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. This is also the place where people casually jump off to test their bravery and soon tested mine as well.
3. Hike Down to The Boiling Pot at Victoria Falls
Before jumping, I decided to survey the area and went to the bottom of the falls. It was a couple of minutes walk down the falls and I was able to put the height of the fall into perspective as I watched people almost plunged to their death as the bungee cord saved them right before they are crushed against the crazy current of the Zambezi river. I started to feel something in my stomach at this point.
Even as I walked further away from the fall, I can still see the shower blowing outward. It was mind boggling.
I decided to sit at the bottom of the fall to dry myself before doing the bungee jump. It was a breathtaking view.
Someone just jumped off the bridge and in a few moments, that would be me!
On the far left was the bridge I mentioned earlier.
I barely saw the fall up to this point and yet I still felt the power of it. It was really crazy to think that such amount of water flow like this all day all night.
As I walked back to the entrance the same way I came in to go out to the bungee jump bridge, I took another shot at the falls, this time to capture the full height of it.
The little orange dot at the bottom was where I was a minute ago. As I walked to the bridge, my heart sunk as I saw this. The bungee jumping seems like a bad idea at this point.
Damn.. maybe I should just watch..
4. Bungee Jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge
At the end of the day, my excitement trumped my fear and so after I ask for bungee jump pass at the immigration, I had lunch, registered for the jump and went for it.
The Zambezi river from the no man's land bridge.
And there it was, the platform where my body will free fall for 100 m straight down to the violent river of the falls.
After the instructor strapped me with hooks and they filmed my jump, I had to act like I didn't scare, but to tell you the truth, I was scared shitless.
After they made sure everything are in place, they directed me to the edge count down from 3 and there I went.
This was the moment when my body started to reject my action. It felt that something was wrong so it tried to convince me not to do it but it was all too late.
Everything happened so fast, it was impossible to realize what was happening.
The first fall was already scary but the second free fall after the first bounce was as scary as well.
The feeling afterward was so awesome, I got rainbows shooting out of my ass. :)
After the jump, I simply sat and watch the sunset at the falls, feeling all proud of the things I've done. It was a moment of epiphany.
5. Cruise Along the Zambezi River
On this last full day in Zambia, I decided to give myself a break and learn more about the people I hung out with at the hostel. We chilled out at the common area the whole day talking, and in the evening, I, Wade, and a couple of guys went on a sunset booze cruise at the Zambezi river.
We had braais for dinner as usual together with unlimited booze.
We drank and we talked and drank some more. It was a great epilogue to my glorious African trip.
Sunset and sunrise in Africa never disappoint.
And this was the last sunset I experienced in Zambia.. for now.
On the last day, I packed everything ready to leave and as I was about to leave, I decided to go for a little stroll with Bonnie, had one final Mosi beer at the local's watering hole and flew back to Jo'Burg. I ended up sleeping at the nearest hotel at the airport and headed back to Bangkok.
And that's the end of my 10 days first contact with Africa. The place and the people there left me impressed and I assure you, this will not be my last time. I hope you enjoy this little photo essay and if you are planning a trip to South Africa and Zambia and you need help, please do let me know in the comment below.
Next up, I'll be heading to Singapore for a few days to conclude my 10th country traveling alone in one year. Time flies isn't it? It felt like yesterday when I took the leap of faith and traveled to Cambodia alone.
The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by Pete Rojwongsuriya, the founder of BucketListly Blog where we will follow his solo journey around the world as he experiences different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.
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