The Cape to Cairo railway line was the vision of English-born businessman, mining magnate and politician Cecil John Rhodes. The Railway line pushed northwards at incredible speed but the Zambezi Gorge presented a huge natural barrier that they had to overcome if it was to continue on towards Cairo (Egypt).
The Victoria Falls Bridge built 1904-5 was to span this gorge. It was designed by Mr. George Hobson of Sir Douglas Fox and Partners. At the insistence of Rhodes it was to be positioned so that the spray from Victoria Falls would fall on the carriages as they crossed over the bridge. Read Experiences and Reviews from other travellers - or why not share your own Experience with us. Find out more...
In May 1903 Rhodesia Railways awarded the contract for the construction of the bridge to The Cleveland Bridge Company of Darlington, England, for a price of £72,000 pounds sterling. The entire bridge was fabricated in Darlington, England and then shipped in parts to the port of Beira, Mozambique and then transported by rail to Victoria Falls.
It is one of the many outstanding achievements - that the bridge, built in England, could be fitted together so perfectly more than 8,000km away in the heart of Africa.
This is just a snippet of the history surrounding this bridge and how it was built, so early in the 1900's. At the time of it's construction, it was the highest railway bridge in the world.
The Historical Bridge Tour unveils the whole history in an unusual and entertaining way and even if you weren't interested before, I would dare to say you will be afterwards.
You are collected from your hotel and transferred by vehicle through customs and immigration to the Victoria Falls Bridge Visitors Centre. After registration, the tour begins.
It starts with a very entertaining performance by an actor impersonating Mr Georges Imbault who was the chief engineer during the construction of the bridge (and also responsible for the Syndey Harbour Bridge in Australia).
This show last about 45 minutes as he regales stories of how and why the bridge was constructed, the enormous problems they encountered and how they overcame them. It's enthralling and fascinating.
After this is finished an informative guide shows you around the Visitors Centre, where information and pictures of the Bridge's history is displayed. This visual part of the tour enhances what was mentioned in Georges Imbault's theatrical presentation.
There is plenty of opportunity to ask any questions you might have. You will more likely than not, now be engrossed and fascinated by the history of the Bridge.
After the Visitors Centre walk is completed, there is an “optional” physical under the Bridge tour, where you get the rare opportunity to walk on the catwalks used in the original construction of the Bridge.
After a short safety briefing and the donning of a safety harness by which you attach yourself to safety ropes under the bridge, you are then led on a guided walk underneath the bridge which gives you a real opportunity to marvel at the Bridge's construction.
Once back at the Visitors Centre you have the opportunity to enjoy wandering around on your own for approximately 30 minutes before heading back to your respective pick up points.
The onsite thatched Bridge Cafe and Bar offers tasty burgers, a cold drink and respite from the baking sun. It overlooks the spectacular Zambezi gorge and you can enjoy watching the more adventurous throw themselves off the bridge doing Bungee, Bridge slide or Bridge swing. Of-course there's a shop with a selection of Clothing and Memorabilia to say you've done it.
There are 2 tours scheduled per day with approximate pick up times being 10h00 and 14h00. All Trips include courtesy transportation to and from all major lodges/hotels in Victoria Falls.
The Bridge is considered "No Mans Land" and therefore it does not count as an exit or entry into the country, therefore it does not affect your entry visa status.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Victoria Falls Bridge Tour and feel no trip to the Falls is complete without it.
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We travelled with Falcon Safaris in Zimbabwe and Botswana for 16 days. Falcon designed a wonderful trip with private guide to the most interesting sites in both countries. The organization of the whole trip was excellent, flights within the country, accommodation and activites. The guides were very knowledgable and told us a lot about the countries, their history, people, economy and much more. Wevisited the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, the Victoria Falls and a number of national parks in both countries.
Rhino tracking was a real adventure! We had tremendous further game drives and saw very many animals - we did the Big Five. We had much more activities than planned and enjoyed very much.We strongly recommend Falcon Safaris to everyone planning a trip to Southern Africa and East Africa.
Our Consultant Vimbai was very helpful and accommodating. We stayed at the Elephant hills hotel which was nothing short of amazing.Our activities included a helicopter flight, dinner cruise as well as a morning game drive. All the activities were absolutely amazing.
We worked with Gertrude to schedule and organize everything and she did an excellent job. I asked a lot of questions via e-mail and she answered everyone in a timely helpful manner. Our guide at Victoria Falls was also great. He met us at the airport, provided a thoughtful tour of the Falls and got us to our next guide in Botswana. Our lodgings at River View Lodge were just as described- very comfortable and excellent food. All the staff were so pleasant and helpful. If I had to do it again I would arrange a morning boat ride as well. We only did the sunset boat rides and they were the high point of our entire trip- we saw so many animals and our guide was very knowledgeable. Just a great experience. Our lodgings at Oddball's Enclave was rustic and we loved it. So great to disconnect from the world for a bit. Leo, our guide, was the best - got us out and about, saw fantastic wildlife and got back to camp safely each time. Doc manages the camp so well. This whole trip was planned and organized by Falcon Safaris and we could not have been happier.
Falcon safaris have given my the correct advice with excellent service. The only suggestion will be to work closer with the lodges to confirm bookings as soon as possible. We have booked and pay our deposit a year in advance. We have only receive our final convermation from Chobe Safari lodge a week before departure. I do realize its not within your controle but with limit alternatives and a group of 14 people it becomes an issue to find alternative accomodation if the booking was cancelled.
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