""The Smoke that Thunders"" Top 5 Page for this destination Victoria Falls by grets

Victoria Falls Travel Guide: 450 reviews and 1,089 photos

Victoria Falls

We spent a wonderful week in Victoria Falls taking side trips by car, mini bus, truck, jet boat, canoe, river cruiser, helicopter and on foot.

The following - as well as most of the tips - is an extract from my diary written at the time:

Immigration in Zimbabwe is very slow. David goes straight throuhg, but as a Norwegian passport holder I need a visa, so I have to queue with all the other aliens. The Americans in front of me are very confused about the price of the visa, it's $30 for a single entry or $45 for double entry, but the captain announced the airport tax on the flight as $20, which has totally mixed up the Americans. They try to argue the price, and then claim they don't have the money. Sad, but true. I have to translate for the Germans behind me as they are confused too. It takes forever. The cases have arrived and poor David is just standing there waiting for me to come tthough. There are no proper queues or little boxes with bars in front for the immigration officials to sit in, just one big room with a couple of desks and the luggage carousel.

Jojo meets us with a little mini-van. There are only us two for the transfer to town, which takes 20 minutes.

Our first task is to change some money. The official exchange rate is ZIM$51 to the US$, but we get 'highjacked' by some touts and taken to a Bureau de Change which gives us ZIM$250. I carefull check each note as I have been warned that you could end up with a roll of newspaper. It all seems OK.

We also find the Internet Cafe but there is a queue so we go off and have a beer in the Hunters Bar. We are the only white people in the bar, having said that, we haven't actually seen that many tourists (whites) in the town at all. Just a couple. The beer costs us 20p and we get chatting to a couple of the locals. They all seem genuinly friendly and we feel very much at ease.

The falls are ever so noisy in the night, I am awake for a while considering the reason why the locals call the falls Mosi Oa Tunya - the Smoke that Thunders. It sounds like a cross between thunder and a train in the still of the night.

While having breakfast one day we think we can hear an elephant trumpeting, but we can't see anything. Just as we are leaving the hotel, the receptionist points it out to us - three elephants just the other side of the road. What a wild place!

Another day, on the walk back to the hotel from town, one of the locals says something to us as we pass. I'm not quite sure what he says, it sounds something like 'elephant'. Sure enough, right there by the side of the road is a large, wild, African elephant. I thought those warnings about wild elephants in town at night was an exaggeration. Obviously not.%c*

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Plenty of activities on hand, excellent prices, great wildlife
  • Cons:Elephants
  • In a nutshell:One of our favourite destinations
  • Last visit to Victoria Falls: May 2002
  • Intro Updated Aug 5, 2004
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Reviews (31)

Comments (15)

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    wonderful trip

  • magor65's Profile Photo
    Jun 25, 2009 at 12:30 PM

    Great page and great adventure. I hope to see Victoria Falls next year.

  • nora_south_africa's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2008 at 10:52 PM

    thanx for the tips

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2006 at 6:22 AM

    Incredible page on Victoria Falls and adjacent parks of wild animals. Can hear the water and the elephants. Cheers, SL

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2006 at 4:26 AM

    Excellent page, Grete. Who was that lady having dinner with your husband?LOL

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2006 at 2:40 AM

    Grete! Don't you know there are animals in the water that will EAT you. That canoe is Not protection. Take care. nice shots. j

  • XtravelloverX's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2006 at 5:08 PM

    One week with Victoria Falls, that would be a dream come true. Great tips. Happy travels! :^)

  • cokes's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2005 at 9:46 AM

    I`m planning a trip here and I must that your pages is excellent :-).... I can`t wait to go.

  • johanl's Profile Photo
    Jan 18, 2005 at 8:35 AM

    Did you have high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel??

  • jag17's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2004 at 9:15 AM

    This looks like an incredible place to visit. Great page and very informative!


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