Mosi-oa-Tunya Overview

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, located in southern Zambia, is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for encompassing the majestic Victoria Falls, one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. The park covers an area of approximately 66 square kilometers (25 square miles) along the upper Zambezi River. It includes the falls and stretches downstream, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, wildlife, and adventure tourism opportunities.

The name Mosi-oa-Tunya translates from the Lozi language as “The Smoke That Thunders,” aptly describing the awe-inspiring sight and sound of the water plunging over 100 meters into the gorge below. Victoria Falls is the world’s largest sheet of falling water, based on its combined width of about 1,708 meters (5,604 feet) and height, creating a breathtaking spectacle that draws visitors from across the globe.

Beyond the falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is divided into two main sections: the Victoria Falls area and the wildlife sector. The wildlife sector, located upstream from the falls, offers a tranquil escape into nature, where visitors can embark on game drives or guided walks. Although smaller than Zambia’s vast wilderness areas, the park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, zebras, and a range of antelope species. It also provides a sanctuary for the endangered white rhinoceros, offering visitors a rare opportunity to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.

Activities within the park extend beyond wildlife viewing to include adventure sports such as white-water rafting, bungee jumping, and microlight flights over the falls, catering to thrill-seekers looking to experience the Zambezi’s powerful rapids and the falls from unique perspectives.

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park serves as a testament to Zambia’s natural heritage, offering a comprehensive experience that combines the unparalleled beauty of Victoria Falls with wildlife viewing and adventure activities, all within easy reach of the town of Livingstone, Zambia’s adventure capital. This blend of attractions makes the park a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to southern Africa.

advertisement banner
Park Map
advertisement banner

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park Highlights

A World Wonder

Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is a breathtaking spectacle located on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

It spans approximately 5,604 feet (1,708 meters) wide and plunges to a height of around 354 feet (108 meters), making it the largest curtain of falling water on the planet. Known locally as “Mosi-oa-Tunya,” meaning “The Smoke That Thunders,” the falls emit a majestic roar and create a misty spray that can be seen from miles away.

During the peak flow season from February to May, the Zambezi River cascades over the precipice with tremendous force, creating a mesmerizing display of nature’s power and beauty that leaves visitors in awe of its grandeur.

Falls Dry Season

During the dry season, Victoria Falls offers a striking contrast to its torrential flow during the wet season. With reduced water volume, typically from September to December, the falls’ width contracts to about 1,708 meters (5,604 feet), and its height remains approximately 108 meters (354 feet).

The decreased flow exposes more of the underlying rock formations, allowing visitors to witness the geological marvels carved by centuries of water erosion. The diminished spray also offers clearer views of the falls and surrounding landscapes, making it an ideal time for photography and sightseeing.

Adventurous travelers can explore the naturally formed rock pools and channels, and during periods of low water, some daredevils even venture to walk across the top of the falls, although it’s a highly risky and strictly prohibited activity due to the extreme danger involved.


Mosi-oa-Tunya, also known as Victoria Falls, is home to a variety of wildlife species however it is not known for having the popular predator species like lions and leopards.

You might see smaller predators like the crafty mongoose.

The park is small, however it still delivers biodiversity and a balance of wildlife encounters, showcasing the dynamic interactions between the wonders of the falls and the iconic African wilderness.


Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, also known as Victoria Falls, is renowned for its rich biodiversity, offering visitors the chance to encounter a variety of iconic African wildlife species. Among the most popular wildlife species found in the park are:

  1. African Elephant (Loxodonta africana): These gentle giants are the largest land animals on Earth and are often spotted roaming the park in family groups. They play a crucial role in shaping the landscape and are a highlight of any safari experience.
  2. Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer): Known for their imposing stature and formidable horns, Cape buffalo are among the Big Five game animals. They gather in large herds and are often seen grazing on the park’s grasslands and riverbanks.
  3. Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius): Found in the park’s waterways and wetlands, hippos spend much of their time submerged to keep cool. Despite their herbivorous diet, they are considered one of Africa’s most dangerous animals due to their territorial behavior.
  4. Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus): These ancient reptiles inhabit the rivers and pools of Mosi-oa-Tunya, where they lurk beneath the surface, waiting to ambush prey. Nile crocodiles are formidable predators capable of taking down large mammals and are a sight to behold during boat safaris.
  5. Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis): With their towering necks and distinctive spotted coats, giraffes are iconic symbols of the African savanna. Mosi-oa-Tunya is home to both Masai and southern giraffe subspecies, which can often be seen browsing on acacia trees.
  6. Zebra (Equus zebra): The striking black-and-white stripes of zebras make them instantly recognizable. These social herbivores form tight-knit groups and are frequently seen grazing alongside other plains game species in the park.
  7. Impala (Aepyceros melampus): Impalas are elegant antelopes known for their leaping ability and graceful movements. They are one of the most abundant antelope species in Africa and are a staple prey item for many predators in the park.
  8. Baboon (Papio spp.): These highly social primates are often seen foraging for food or grooming each other in large troops. They are known for their intelligence and adaptability to various habitats.

These are just a few examples of the diverse wildlife that calls Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park home, offering visitors unforgettable encounters with some of Africa’s most iconic species.

Engaging Mosi-oa-Tunya

Up Close & Personal

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia offers several walking paths near the iconic Victoria Falls, providing visitors with close-up views of this natural wonder.

While exact measurements in feet are not typically provided, these paths generally range from short strolls to longer walks along the gorge, offering varying perspectives of the falls.

Visitors can explore viewpoints such as Knife-Edge Bridge and Devil’s Pool, experiencing the roaring waters and misty atmosphere up close. Guided tours are available, providing insights into the park’s ecosystem, history, and the significance of Victoria Falls to local culture.

Birdseye Views

Flying microlites over Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Victoria Falls offers a unique and exhilarating perspective of one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. Located in Zambia, Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning “The Smoke that Thunders,” encompasses the magnificent Victoria Falls, known for its thunderous roar and towering spray visible from miles away.

Microlite flights provide an unforgettable aerial adventure, allowing passengers to soar gracefully above the falls and the surrounding landscape, witnessing the sheer grandeur and beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site from a bird’s-eye view.

As you glide through the air, you’ll marvel at the sheer scale of the falls, the lush greenery of the national park, and the meandering Zambezi River below, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Guided by experienced pilots, these flights offer a safe and thrilling way to experience the natural wonders of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Victoria Falls, providing a unique perspective that few are fortunate enough to witness.

Whether it’s a peaceful sunrise flight or an adrenaline-pumping sunset adventure, flying microlites promises an unforgettable experience, immersing you in the majesty of one of Africa’s most iconic destinations.

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park Trails

No Traditional Trails

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, situated in Zambia, offers breathtaking views of the iconic Victoria Falls but doesn’t have traditional hiking trails within the park boundaries.

However, visitors can explore designated walking paths near the falls. These paths provide close-up views of the magnificent cascades and offer opportunities for wildlife sightings, including baboons and various bird species.

While there are no specific rated trails with distances and elevation gains, visitors can enjoy leisurely walks amidst the park’s stunning scenery and natural wonders.



1. Is Victoria Falls more on the Zambia or Zimbabwe side?

Victoria Falls is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, with approximately 70% of the falls visible from the Zimbabwean side, and the remaining 30% from the Zambian side.

2. Where is the best view of Victoria Falls on the Zambian side?

On the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, the best view is often said to be from the Knife Edge Bridge and the Livingstone Island.

These vantage points provide close-up views of the falls and offer stunning perspectives, particularly during the peak flow season.

Additionally, the Zambezi River offers boat tours and helicopter rides, allowing visitors to experience the majestic sight of the falls from different angles.

3. Can you walk on top of Victoria Falls?

Walking on top of Victoria Falls is not possible for tourists. The falls are surrounded by steep cliffs, and attempting to walk on top of them would be extremely dangerous.

Additionally, the area is protected as a national park, and access to certain areas is restricted to preserve the natural environment and ensure visitor safety.

Instead, visitors can enjoy the falls from designated viewpoints and participate in activities such as boat tours, helicopter rides, and walking trails around the falls.

Although not sanctioned by the Tourism Authority, some local people will assist visitors to cross on top of Victoria Falls during the dryer low season.

  • Britannica, Victoria Falls,, retrieved March 2024.
  • Lonely Planet, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park,, retrieved March 2023.
  • New World Encyclopedia, Victoria Falls,, retrieved March 2023.
  • UNESCO, Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls,, retrieved March 2024.
  • Zambia Tourism, Most-oa-Tunya National Park,, retrieved March 2024.