Victoria Falls National Park-Zimbabwe.
Victoria Falls National Park is the most visited national park in Zimbabwe and perhaps one of the top 10 most beautiful places to visit in the world. The park is home to the largest waterfall in the world-Victoria Falls. The falls are also considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world and attract lots of tourists to the park annually.
Being the home base for the mighty Victoria falls, Victoria Falls national park has under its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mighty River Zambezi feeds the cascading sheet of water that plunders into a narrow gorge which creates one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders and landmarks.
Victoria Falls national park protects the east banks of the Zambezi River and is located in the Hwange district in Zimbabwe. The park spans over a radius of 23.4 square kilometers and is managed by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.
The main tourist attraction in the park is the falls which lots of tourists from different parts of the world come to see. However, there are also lots of wildlife animals that you can view in the park including hippos, crocodiles, zebras, giraffes, and even the highly sought after Big Five animals of Africa.
The terrain of Victoria Falls National Park is dominated by riverine, woodlands, and rainforest vegetation. Among some of the spectacular sights of the park are the unusual scenes of ferns, palms and water-adapted vegetation protrude from the sprays of the falls.
The falls can easily be accessed by tourists from the Victoria Falls Airport thus making it incredibly accessible and a convenient safari destination.
Major attractions in Victoria Falls National Park.
As earlier mentioned, the falls happen to be the main attraction in Victoria Falls National Park. The falls rest on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe making it the adventure capital of both countries. Although tourists can view Victoria falls from both countries, the Zimbabwean side offers the best views of the falls.
The Victoria falls are sometimes referred to as ‘the smoke that thunders’ which is a nickname from the locals because of the billowing clouds of mist that rise up and drench everything and everyone within its reach especially when the mighty Zambezi River floods.
Victoria Falls national park is home to a variety of wildlife animals including waterbucks, eland, impala, elephants, warthogs, hippos, crocodiles, giraffe, zebra and hyenas to mention but a few.
So far, 470 species of birds have been recorded in Victoria Falls national park, thus making the park a recognised birding destination in Zimbabwe. One of the most attractive birds-the Schalow’s Turaco can be sighted around the falls. Other common bird species found within the area include Cape cormorants, African darters, and the African fish eagle to mention but a few.
The drier areas of the park provide a safe haven for bird species such as the paradise flycatcher, hornbills, fork-tailed drongo, white-browed sparrow weavers, Marabou storks, the Verreaux’s eagle and the lilac breasted roller among others.
Activities carried out in Victoria Falls National Park.
Game drive safaris offer tourists an opportunity to view a variety of wildlife species in the park. Visitors also have a chance to view the protected enormous balboa tree which stands out from all the other flora in the park. You can also view the falls during your game drive which happens to be one of the most impressive views along the trail.
Guided Nature Walks
There are guided nature walk safaris that are available for visitors who wish to explore the park on foot. Some trails lead to stairways which take you to platforms where you can have an up-close view of the falls.
Helicopter tours in the park will give you an aerial view of some of the most astounding parts of the Victoria falls. Visitors can always take a helicopter ride up over the falls and really witness the majestic stretch of the falls which are a natural wonder.
Picnics in the park are conducted on Livingstone Island which provides visitors with a rare wilderness experience on the island which is located on River Zambezi. Visitors can also take a dip in the natural pools in the Devil’s cataract which is situated at the top of Victoria Falls.
Enjoy a sunset boat cruise along the Zambezi River as you look out for stunning birdlife around and wildlife on the river banks. You can as well opt for a morning boat cruise as you explore the beautiful scenery around the river and falls.
Other activities offered in the park include bird watching, and cultural tours.
Best Time To Visit Victoria Falls National Park.
The best time to visit the park is between February and June when the rains from Angola and the northern parts of Zimbabwe flood the Zambezi River causing it to thunder with water; and thus increasing the strength of the falls.
Accommodation in the park.
Victoria Falls national park has a wide range of accommodation options for visitors who wish to spend a night or two in the park. Accommodation facilities within the park range from budget to mid-range and luxury options such as; A’ Zambezi River Lodge, Pamusha Lodge, Penny Wise Cottages, and Gorges Lodge among others.
How to get to Victoria Falls National Park.
The national park can be accessed by either road or air transport means. The park entrance is about a 10 minute walk from Victoria falls town. It is located opposite the crafts market where you can buy many souvenirs. Visitors travelling from Zambia can access Victoria Falls national park by road. You will simply drive or board a bus or hire a taxi from Livingstone town.
Visitors can as well walk and cross the Victoria Falls Bridge from Zambia and into Zimbabwe. This option will offer you lots of up-close scenic views especially those of the mighty Victoria Falls.
The park can also be accessed by air from Victoria Falls Airport which serves the national park.