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Destination inspiration: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Why go?

Beauty doesn’t have to be delicate. Just ask anyone who’s been to Victoria Falls. At this gigantic waterfall, the raw force of nature is laid bare as the thundering Zambezi gushes over a cliff-face in an exquisite blast of haze. Twice the size of the Niagara Falls, it’s a sight that’s inspired awe since time immemorial – in fact, its name in various local languages translates as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’.

But here’s the thing – waterfall watching isn’t even half the story in Victoria Falls. The sheer range of activities on offer is so overwhelming that it’s no wonder it’s known as Africa’s adventure capital. The long list of Victoria Falls experiences starts with a helicopter flight over the Zambezi. From the sky, you can really appreciate the enormity of the gaping chasms gouged into the basalt plain by millennia of rushing water. Then come the adrenaline-fests – white-water rafting, zip-lining and some of the most amazing bungee spots you’ll find anywhere on earth.

Animal lovers can sign up to a ‘Walk with Lions’ tour to come face-to-face with the king of the beasts, or hunker down in the Siduli Hide to watch elephants and baboons congregate at the waterhole. And for out-of-the-ordinary culinary escapades, look no further than dinner at the Boma. This all-singing, all-dancing restaurant serves up local dishes like warthog steak and Mopani worms – with traditional drumming and dancing for dessert.

When to go?

The best time to see the waterfall is from February to May, when the rainy season’s floodwaters magnify the awesome spectacle of the falls. If you’re keen to see Zimbabwe’s amazing wildlife, then the months between May and October are best, as the drier weather brings animals together near waterholes.

Where to stay?

The Kingdom at Victoria Falls – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Booking.com guests love the location of this hunting lodge-style hotel. It’s really close to the centre of town, but also within walking distance of Victoria Falls Bridge. So once you’ve had your fun at the on-site casino, it’s just a hop, skip and jump to one of the world’s natural wonders.

Ilala Lodge Hotel – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

This upmarket lodge gets rave reviews from Booking.com guests for its attentive staff and well-equipped rooms. Many suites have private terraces with views out onto free-roaming wildlife – so you can get into the safari spirit from the comfort of your own room.

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

One thing that Booking.com guests love about this hotel is its swimming pool. Not only is it a refreshing tonic after a busy day, it also overlooks a waterhole where you’ll regularly see elephants drinking. Aside from the animal views, it’s also popular for tennis, golf and horse riding.