10 of the best: Natural wonders - 6. Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe
The wow factor: Victoria Falls borders Zambia and Zimbabwe and is known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or the Smoke that Thunders – an apt name, as the cascading waters of the Zambezi River create a misty plume that hangs over the falls and often catches the sunlight to produce rainbows. The UNESCO-listed waterfall, protected by national parks in each country, has the largest curtain of water in the world when the Zambezi is in full flood, usually February or March, at over a mile wide (1.7km) and dropping 325ft (99m) at Rainbow Falls in Zambia.
Did you know? Scottish explorer David Livingstone was the first European to see Victoria Falls, in 1855, and named the mighty waterfall after Britain’s reigning queen.
Experience: Stay at romantic hideaway Tongabezi Lodge, just upstream of Victoria Falls on the banks of the Zambezi, and take a thrilling boat trip to Livingstone Island, where Dr Livingstone first made his discovery where you can even swim right up to the falls’ edge in the Devil’s Pool. A two-night package at Tongabezi with two nights at Sindabezi Lodge, also on the Zambezi, costs from $415, with national park and falls fees plus Livingstone Island tour ($70) extra. You can also stay at the five-star Royal Livingstone Hotel on the Zambezi and take a microlight or helicopter trip over the falls. www.tongabezi.com, www.suninternational.com