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Zambezi River, Victoria Falls

You may be wondering what’s so special about a river and yes, it’s a fair point we suppose. But not when it comes to the Zambezi, because this is Africa’s “River of Life”. 

Flowing through a total of six countries, Africa’s fourth longest river is quite literally a source of life for the communities that reside along its meandering banks, and is of course home to its more famed counterpart, the mighty Victoria Falls. The world’s biggest waterfall may be the biggest draw here, but you can guarantee that holidaymakers will snap away at the Zambezi too – the river’s choppy, croc infested waters, flanked by the craggy gorge that makes the natural border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, definitely call out to be photographed in their own right. 

And it’s here, at the dramatic plunge of the falls, that the Zambezi truly comes into its own. Tumbling rapids crashing with an almighty force demonstrate the power of its waters and make for a whole host of opportunities for water-related fun. If you’re into watersports, the Zambezi welcomes you into its tempestuous arms.

Why you should add Zambezi River to your itinerary

Rivers are just rivers, except when they’re not. First stop on your trip to the Zambezi, is of course to take in the incredible thunder of its world-renowned waterfall: the Victoria Falls. You could spend hours getting lost in this dramatic spectacle, but when you can peel your eyes away, the Zambezi has a whole lot more to offer you.

Where there’s water in Africa, it’s likely that everyone’s favourite villain, a smiling crocodile, will be lurking nearby and this river is most definitely teeming with the teethy fiends. But, they’re not the only underwater ‘baddie’ that you’ll find here. You’ll need to keep your eyes out for a tell-tale fin because of bull sharks – yes really, sharks – frequent these waters too. Oh and there’s hippos too, which may often be portrayed as cuddly creatures but you most definitely don’t want to come across one of these when you’re in your canoe. You’ll also come across elephants, lions, hyenas and, of course, baboons – they’re everywhere aren’t they – at home along this winding river’s banks.

To truly get to grips with this “River of Life”, you need to get on it. Take your pick from navigating its rapids on a white-water rafting experience or sipping a few cocktails on a languid river cruise, both will definitely have you enjoying life’s best bits.

Being the home to one of the world’s greatest natural phenomenons definitely puts the Zambezi up there as a site to tick off that ever-growing bucket-list. To take in its fast-flowing waters, simply add Victoria Falls to any of our South Africa itineraries.

Explore our South Africa holidays.

Zambezi River essential information


Forming a free-flowing, natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Opening times

Grab lunch at the Lookout Cafe for the best views of Zambezi River’s turbulent rapids.

Getting in

As you're getting in, you'll need a good head for heights as it’s likely that you’ll be taking in this sight from the top of a dramatic gorge. 

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