AFRICA FOR THE OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST
VICTORIA FALLS EDITION
‘Outdoor enthusiast’ can be very loosely interpreted – for some of us, lying on the beach qualifies as being an outdoorsy; for others, outdoor enthusiast is synonymous with adrenaline junkie. This blog is focusing on the latter, specifically on adventure activities at Victoria Falls.
Victoria Falls is not only one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, but also Africa’s adventure capital. It’s the perfect destination if you’re looking to combine spectacular natural scenery with Big Five game viewing and a dash of adventure. There is definitely no shortage of adventure and the activities are certainly not for the faint-hearted (bridges, helicopters, terrifying precipices all feature at some point). Here is everything Victoria Falls has to offer the outdoor enthusiast (the adrenaline-junkie kind).
1. The ‘Flight of Angels’ Helicopter Flight
David Livingstone, after seeing the Victoria Falls for the first time in 1855, described it as “a scene so lovely it must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” This aptly inspired the name of this helicopter flight which takes you over the Falls and the Zambezi River. It gives perspective to the vast magnificence of this natural wonder. A flight upstream will also allow you to spot game, such as elephant and hippo, around the river.
2. Devil’s Pool
Jumping from the more relaxed helicopter flight to easily one of the most heart-racing experiences, Devil’s Pool is the ultimate bucket list item for adventure lovers. On the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls, after a boat ride to Livingstone Island, a walk over the rocks and a swim, you get to Devil’s Pool. Getting there is an adventure in itself. This swimming hole is separated from the 100m drop of the river by only a rock lip. It’s an exhilarating experience to feel the force of the Zambezi River and simultaneously immerse yourself in the true splendour of the Falls.
3. Bungee Jumping
The Victoria Falls Bungee is one of the highest in the world and has been voted as one of the top five adrenaline activities in the world. Like Devil’s Pool, this is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a 111m freefall jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge towards the tumbling waters of the Zambezi River. If you’re looking to conquer a fear of heights, this is the ultimate ‘go big or go home’ option.
4. Gorge Swing
A common theme you might have noticed with Victoria Falls adventure activities, is that many involve some variation of plunging waters or dramatic freefalls. This one is no different. The creators of the Wild Horizons Gorge Swing surely feature in the adrenaline junkie hall of fame for creativity. Stay with us, because this is slightly more complicated than your basic bungee jump. The swing begins with a three-second freefall down a 70m drop that then turns into a 95m pendulum swing. The jumping ropes pivot in the middle of a 316m long highwire connecting the cliffs, 120m above the rushing Zambezi River. If you’d rather be a spectator, the Look Out Café provides a fantastic view as well as delicious food.
5. White River Rafting
We finally move from the skies, bridges and precipices to the river itself. White river rafting is the best way to literally immerse yourself in the spectacular Zambezi River. But it’s not to be done lightly, the rapids are some of the best in the world but are ranked as some of the most difficult. The rapids’ names include Stairway to Heaven, Oblivion and Commercial Suicide, which is warning enough. It is a wild experience and definitely recommended for the adventure lover.
6. An Added Bonus
At certain times of the year, you can do something which arguably is the best way to immerse yourself in the magnificence of the Falls. From August until December (low water season) you can swim under the Falls. It is the ultimate adventure in the heart of one of the world’s most beautiful places. After paddling in rafts across the Boiling Pot, underneath the Falls, you’ll find yourself swimming in the rock pools surrounded by the cascading water. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone, not just adrenaline junkies.