Visit South Africa’s stunning Victoria Falls

South Africa’s an amazing destination for a holiday, thanks to its combination of the scenic Winelands, spectacular national parks and vibrant cities. Personally, I think Victoria Falls should definitely be high on your to-visit list; read on to find out more.

Key facts about Victoria Falls

Before I get carried away with the finer details, let’s take a look at some of the basics – like where the falls are and other key facts. You’ll find Victoria Falls in the town of Livingstone in the west of Zambia, just across from Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls Zambezi
Victoria Falls Zambezi, South AfricaZest-pk / Foter.com / CC BY

They’re created by the Zambezi River which, by the time it tumbles down this series of basalt gorges, is an impressive 2 km wide – a size that really does have to be seen to be believed. In fact, it’s the sheer magnitude of this natural wonder, teamed with its natural beauty, that has made it such a famous and important site; indeed, it’s the largest sheet of falling water in the world.

The roar of the falls is incredibly impressive – not surprising considering around 546 cubic metres of water cascades every minute. Named after the reigning monarch of England at the time of its discovery by David Livingstone, Victoria Falls is often referred to locally by another name: Mosi-oa-Tunya. Translated, this means ‘the smoke that thunders’ – a wonderfully atmospheric name, don’t you think? And, considering the spray from the falls can be seen from a huge 20 km away, it’s also pretty apt.

Where can I stay?

Given that the falls are in the town of Livingstone, it makes sense to stay there for a day or two to make the most of your trip. Fortunately, Livingstone is home to plenty of gems of its own, including national parks perfect for safari trips and fascinating museums.

As an added bonus, there are some seriously luxurious places to stay in Livingstone, which I think means you can look forward to this leg of your trip being a truly memorable one. Among the top resort options to consider is The Royal Livingstone and the Protea Hotel Livingstone, both of which you book through companies like Wanderforth.

What can I do while I’m there?

While seeing the falls will no doubt be the highlight of your trip, you’re bound to be curious as to what else you can do in Livingstone. Here are a few of things that most appeal to me:

• Going on a cruise on the Zambezi River. To strike a romantic note, pick an evening trip.
• Visiting the Victoria Falls Field Museum. This is a great place to go if you fancy finding out more about the history of the falls, as it tells the story of how they were formed.
• Exploring Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. You can opt to explore this reserve – which at 66 sq km is fairly small – either in your own car (if you’ve hired one) or as part of a group tour. Giraffes, antelopes, zebra and elephants are among the animals you might be lucky enough to see.
• Taking a dip in the Devil’s Pool. To do this, you need to visit between September and December, when the river’s flow should be at its lowest. You see, this ‘pool’ is perched right on the edge of the falls, which means this is the only time of year you can use it without being tumbling down the gorge with the water! So, as you can probably tell, splashing around here is likely to be something you’ll never forget.

Why La Jolla is California’s Hidden Gem

Known as the Jewel of Southern California, La Jolla is a hidden gem that locals would prefer to keep to themselves. But, with so many great reasons to visit, La Jolla is quickly becoming a must-see vacation spot. With affordable flights to La Jolla from most Western U.S. cities, there’s no reason not to go.

La Jolla California
La Jolla California

A Walkable Village Area

While most of California centers around car culture, La Jolla is a town where people enjoy walking. Mere steps from the Pacific Ocean, La Jolla village is door-to-door designer boutiques and impressive dining. Girard Avenue and Prospect Street is where you will find the greatest variety of shops, ranging from top designers to popular affordable brands. Stop for a snack or meal at one of the several award-winning restaurants and cafes interspersed throughout the village.

Stay in the heart of this bustling village at the Grande Colonial Hotel. Well suited to the affluent vibe of the village, this hotel features stylish colonial furnishings, fine dining at NINE-TEN restaurant, and attentive concierge service.

Extraordinary Wildlife Sightings

It’s not often that you’re able to get up close and personal with wildlife, like you can in La Jolla. The 6,000 acre La Jolla Ecological Reserve draws divers and snorkelers from all over. Through the crystal clear water, you’re guaranteed to see fish of every imaginable color, lobster, seals, and leopard sharks. Enjoy the scenery without fear; the water in the reserve is just 15 to 30 feet deep.

The La Jolla Children’s Pool, originally designed as a protected and shallow swimming area for kids, is often visited by harbor seals. At any time of year, you can see dozens of seals basking in the sun on the warm sand.

Sunbathing Galore

The La Jolla beaches put the sparkle in this hidden gem. The wide stretches of sand mean never fighting for beach chair space, while the reliable, yet calm, waves make surfing a dream. There are several area beaches to choose from, but La Jolla Shores is best for families and sunbathers.

If you don’t feel like flaunting your bikini at the shore, pull-up a plush lounger at one of the many resort-style hotels with pool areas. La Valencia Hotel offers the best of both worlds. Get bronzed at the stunning outdoor pool or stroll to the beach in 5 minutes.

World-Class Golf

Play where the professionals golf at Torrey Pines. Offering two courses that hug the bluff and feature breathtaking views of the ocean, you’ll have a hard time keeping your eye on your ball. Despite hosting the PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open, both courses are open to the public.

Stay at the golf course at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. This hotel offers surprisingly luxurious amenities, despite its affordable room rates.

Share this post with others who want to travel! Also, send any additional tips about finding the best deals for La Jolla hotels in the comments below.

Australian Outback Creatures to Look Out For

Australia is an enormous country with a very small population compared to its size. Much of the land that is uninhabited includes long stretches of deserts that spread across most of the states in the country. When travelling through the outback you’ll witness impressive rock formations, a wide range of species of trees and plants and bodies of water you can dive into where numerous kinds of wildlife are bountiful.

Australian Outback Creatures
Australian Outback Creaturesdbking / Foter.com / CC BY

While all of this seems like an explorer’s paradise, there are precautions to take when travelling through the outback and certain animals to avoid.

Crocodiles

Only found in the northern region of Australia, the saltwater crocodiles are the largest living species of reptile in the world and some can weigh up to roughly 1000 kilograms. While they spend a lot of their time in the sea, the saltwater crocodiles are so dangerous because they will also swim into fresh water rivers and swamps that humans may be around.

Well known to attack humans, the crocodiles take numerous lives a year and the males in particular are aggressive to those species, including humans, which venture into its territory and will not hesitate to attack. While one of Australia’s most iconic species, they are also one to be very aware of should you be thinking of going swimming in the outback.

Brown Snake

Australia has such a wide variety of snakes that include 100 venomous species, and you should be wary of any snake you come across. 12 of the 100 venomous snakes in Australia are known to be extremely lethal should one bite you and one of these is the Brown Snake. Found largely in the northern regions, the Brown Snake is known by its brown colouring which covers all of its body.

Living around the rivers, swamps, billabongs and lakes, the Brown Snakes venom is extremely lethal and should you be beaten in the outback by one then immediate medical intervention is vital for you to survive. Be sure to avoid one of these snakes should you come across one while exploring. Be sure to check out flight deals to Australia at cheapflights.com.au.

Australian Outback Deserts

The outback is an enormous part of the country and you can go for days without seeing another person. The vast desert areas can pose a large danger given that the remote towns in the outback are so far apart, meaning if you do get in trouble, then you may have quite a distance to go before you find any assistance.

The deserts can become scorching hot during the summer time, and it’s not unusual for temperatures to rise above 100F, coupled with the fact that the climate itself its extremely dry. Heat stroke and dehydration are the most common afflictions in this environment if not enough water is consumed or accessible, and as such it is incredibly important that travellers through these parts of the country bring a large enough supply with them.

Also to consider due to the fact that you may not see another human being for days in the outback is to bring a very reliable car as mechanical break downs can leave you stranded for days.