Victoria Falls National Park is a protected area that encompasses the town of Victoria Falls, the Rain Forest and the riverine bush along the Zambezi River as far as the Big Tree. At a size of 2300ha (5680 acre) it extends along the Zambezi river below the larger Zambezi National Park from about 6 kilometres above the falls to about 12 kilometers below the waterfall.
Zambezi River Walk
The quiet peace of the Zambezi River above the Falls is in stark contrast to the power and noise of the waterfall a few kilometres down from the boundary of the Park. The numerous islands with their fan-palms allow easy access for the elephant to cross the river between Zimbabwe and Zambia, with the hippos using them regularly to feed and have a rest.
The walk takes you on a peaceful meander along the river bank and is a must for bird lovers. You may even come across some wildlife coming down to the river for a drink or sheltering in the undergrowth.
The Waterfall Path
The entrance to the walk along the waterfall is approximately 1 kilometre from the town centre. The walk takes you along the top of the gorge on a winding path facing the waterfall. There are 15 viewing points that open up to reveal the magnificent panoramas of the world-famous Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya. On standing in front of this thunderous spectacle, you will appreciate how apt is the description “the Smoke that Thunders”.
A point known as Cataract View is one of the most dramatic views of the walk with Danger Point coming a close second. This section has a sheer, unfenced 100m drop giving you a totally unspoiled view of the waterfall. From there, you can follow a side path leading to a view of the Victoria Falls Bridge.
The rain forest is one of the most interesting features of the walk. This is famous for the permanent spray from the waterfall creating the rain that creates this wonderful eco-system. This little piece of tropical paradise includes ferns, palms, liana vines, and a number of trees such as mahogany not seen elsewhere in the region. Be prepared to get wet, particularly in summer as you will get soaked. It is advisable to hire an umbrella or raincoat and remember to protect your cameras!
The park is open again in the evenings just before, during and just after a full moon to enable you to view the awe-inspiring phenomenon of the lunar rainbow. The rainbow occurs when the light from the full moon shines through the spray rising up from the gorge.
The park offers walking safaris and has a good road system for game drives on which visitors may view elephant, cape buffalo, eland and a variety of antelope. Crocodiles are a common sight on the river as well as hippopotamus and plenty of birdlife.
Visitors are required to take precautions against malaria.
The Victoria Falls National Park is open to visitors throughout the year from 6am-6pm.