Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park

Eastern Cataract of the Victoria Falls

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is located on the Zambian side of the border so you will need a Zambian visa or the KAZA UNIVISA that covers both countries. The national park is bordered by Livingstone town, farmland, and the mighty Zambezi River. With 66 km2 (225 sq. mi) the park is one of Zambia’s smallest. Mosi-oa-Tunya NP is often neglected by visitors who prefer bigger national parks nearby which makes it a surprisingly untouched but beautiful park. Exploration of the park can be done by vehicle (self-drive or game-viewing safari), by foot on a guided walking safari with an armed ranger, and by boat on the Zambezi River. A place of historical interest within the park is the Old Drift Crossing Point where ox-wagons were floated across the Zambezi River before there was a bridge. Located within the park is also the famous Eastern Cataract, one of five falls of the Victoria Falls and the only one located in Zambia. It is highly recommended to visit the Knife-Edge Bridge constructed in the 1960s at the Eastern Cataract which offers mind-blowing views of the falls.

When to visit:

Wildlife viewing in the park is good all year round. The water levels at the falls are lowest from November to early December so the falls will be less impressive during that time.

Nature & Wildlife:

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park can be divided into the falls and wildlife section:

The falls section incorporates the Eastern Cataract of the Victoria Falls (called Mosi-oa-Tunya or the Smoke That Thunders in the Koloko or Lozi language). Here, the waterfall’s spray sustains a lush rainforest. It contains many plants that are rare in the area such as pod mahogany, ebony, ivory palm and wild date palm. The rainforest is home to smaller antelopes and warthogs and may be seen from the paths through the riverine forest that leads to the falls. The lower parts of the deep gorges below the Victoria Falls can be reached by road and walking tracks through the park. Here you have a good chance to see klipspringers, clawless others and 35 species of raptors such as as the Verreaux’s eagle, peregrine falcon and augur buzzard, all of which breed there.

The wildlife section is a mix of tall riverine forest with palm trees, mopane woodland as well as grassland. The variety of habitats hosts plenty of birds and mammals such as migratory elephants, white rhino (introduced), Southern Giraffe, Cape buffalo, Waterbuck, Impala, Sable Antelope, Blue Wildebeest, Burchell’s Zebra, Cape Bushbuck, Common Warthog, Vervet Monkey, Chacma Baboon and hippo. However, animal numbers have fallen in droughts since 2000. White Rhinos have been introduced from South Africa (the native Black Rhino has been extinct from Zambia). As of 2022, there were 10 White Rhinos in the park which are closely protected from poachers by the scouts from the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife. Elephants are especially seen during the drier months (June to September) when they cross the river from the Zimbabwean side. There are no predators in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park which makes it easier to photograph mammals.


The Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park can give you species such as Schalow’s Turaco, Olive Woodpecker, Collared Palm-thrush, Brown Firefinch, Northern Gray-headed Sparrow, and many others. The mighty Zambezi River above the falls supports special birds such as Schalow’s Turaco, African Finfoot, Rock Pratincole, African Skimmer and Collared Palm-Thrush.

Victoria Falls can also be birded from the Zimbabwe side. A good birding destination to visit on the Zimbabwe side is Zambezi National Park.