A key feature of The Falls is the classic historic Victoria Falls railway (and road) bridge that connects Zambia with Zimbabwe, paralleling the Falls a short distance to one side. Over a 100 metres below lies the turbulent waters of what is now the Lower Zambezi River, as it flows through the comparatively narrow Batoka Gorge. Needless to say, this environment lends itself to a number of exciting experiences.
Bungee Jumping ($150)
With the Falls in dramatic full view behind you and with the river rushing below, taking a bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge is therefore no ordinary experience. At over 100 meters it is also one of the highest jumps in the world and the adrenaline rush is as wild as the river itself. Tens of thousands of people have committed themselves to the thrill of jumping off the bridge, with - it is reputed - only 1% ever backing out..
Ankle and body harnesses are attached separately to clients. After jumping they are winched back onto the bridge. Photographs and video are taken of each jumper and are available for purchase. You are required to bring (passport) ID with you - just in case!
Other related activities are the Bridge Swing, in which you freefall for close to 70 meters before you fly out over the rapids of the mighty Zambezi in a huge arc. A tandem swing is also available. It is also possible to take a Zip Line slide across the gorge, from the Zambian bank across to the bridge, apparently noted for its splendid views of the river, the Batoka Gorge and the Falls themselves. Rather you than me!
Abseiling, Gorge Swinging etc ($100)
Below the Falls themselves, in the beautiful Batoka Gorge, there are several ways of launching yourself over the edge of the cliff face, if this is what turns you on. The classic abseiling experience involving sliding 53m down the gorge on the end of a rope either facing the cliff face or looking down into the void. The hike back out of the gorge (to try it all over again?) is up a steep slope which a person of average fitness can manage in approximately 20 minutes.
Gorge Swinging involves flinging yourself over the edge in a body harness free falling 53m of the 97m drop and swinging right across the gorge and back until the momentum runs out and you are lowered to the ground. Again, a tandem swing is also available. Then there is the 'Flying Fox' experience, in which you undertake a cable slide across the gorge high above its floor, and the somewhat similar Bridge Swing, Bridge Slide and Zipline activities (said to be the world's fastest growing such activity).
White Water Rafting ($150)
On the river down below itself, white water rafting is probably the best known activity. The Zambezi River is classified as a high volume, pool-drop River i.e. there is little exposed rock either in the rapids or the pools below the rapids. The distance between rapids varies from 100 meters to 2 kms. The river drops about 400ft over the 24km covered in the one-day raft trip and the depth of the river can reach 200ft. You are of course accompanied by professional guides. Although what they don't tell you is that an average of two people every year fail to make it back.
The “High Water” rafting season runs approximately from the middle of January to the middle of July, depending upon the water level each year. Guests hike down into the gorge at one of the many rapids below, and at the end of the trip at rapid a gondola cable car will transfer them back up the gorge. The “Low Water” Rafting Season runs approximately from the middle of July to the middle of April, depending upon the water level - each year this can change as and when levels increase or decrease. Then tandem kayaking provides an exhilarating alternative to rafting.
In addition to the classic rafting experience (involving an inflated rubber raft boat), it is also possible to undertake the same trip by jet boat - a somewhat faster experience. Then, if you are a strong swimmer, you can also choose to challenge some of these huge rapids with flippers and a boogie board – just you against the mighty Zambezi. Not all rapids are suitable for boogie boarding and therefore the day is usually combined with a Rafting trip.