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The magical Victoria Falls lunar rainbow

Known to the locals as ‘Mosi-Oa-Tunya’ or The Smoke that Thunders – Victoria Falls is well renowned as one of the most breath-taking Seven Natural Wonders of the World. But there is a little known secret that the falls harbour – that of the lunar rainbow at full moon. It is a natural phenomenon that happens every full moon at the Victoria Falls rainforest in Zimbabwe. The rainbow can be seen more clearly at night due to the heavy spray of the falls and the cloud cover that persists.

The-Lunar-Rainbow-at-full-moon

The lunar rainbow at full moon taken by Scottyphotography

The lunar rainbow is one of the most magical spectacles to witness in Africa, a silver rainbow shrouded in mist from the falls. Visions like these can only be seen in a few places on earth. When the sky is clear enough to reflect light and create a rainbow, and a full moon presents itself, only then can we experience the lunar rainbow. Lunar rainbows, otherwise called ‘moonbows’, can also develop during the days of a full moon period, however cannot be seen easily as a result of too much light. While the moonbow appears silver to the naked eye, the colours of the rainbow can be seen in photographs with a long exposure.

Victoria-Falls-at-full-moon

Victoria Falls at full moon taken by Scottyphotography

If you’re wondering when the best time is to witness the moonbow of Victoria Falls, we suggest planning your trip for the high water period from April through to July. This is when the falls are full and at their most impressive, especially by the light of the full moon. The moon is at its brightest the night before, night of and night after the full moon. It is best to view the lunar rainbow in the early hours of the night, after the moon rise, but before the moon gets too high in the sky.

Brett Kotelko Photography shows a time-lapse video of the lunar rainbow at Victoria Falls:

For a safe trip to Victoria Falls we advise you to bring a strong flashlight for when it gets dark and wear non-slip shoes as a precaution to slipping around the falls. Providing that the weather permits, seeing the lunar rainbow can be the experience of a lifetime.

The-spray-from-the-Victoria-Falls-Hotel

The spray from the Victoria Falls Hotel

The majority of Victoria Falls is best viewed from the Zimbabwean side. Zimbabwe holds claim to two-thirds of the length of the falls, including the famed ‘Devil’s Cataract’. During the full moon, the lunar rainbow can also be seen from the Victoria Falls Bridge.

To experience this marvellous wonder, in combination with a high quality African safari adventure, book your trip with African Bush Camps, who have created a Lunar Rainbow Special Package combining their award winning Somalisa Camp with the iconic Victoria Falls Hotel.

Victoria-Falls-Hotel-Dining-Area

Victoria Falls Hotel dining area

Below are the dates on which the Victoria Falls National Park is open for lunar rainbow tours.

Year

2016

Night

Before

Full

Moon

Night

After

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

19

18

17

15

15

13

12

20

19

18

16

16

14

13

21

20

19

17

17

15

14

For more information on the Lunar Rainbow of Victoria Falls, visit The Victoria Falls Guide.

African Bush Camps

African Bush Camps is a small African-based safari company that speaks of the art of offering an authentic safari experience. Highly qualified professional guides and naturalist enthusiasts are at hand to ensure an intimate journey through some of Africa’s most untamed areas.

  • Ken

    Can be seen on the Zambian side much cheaper and better, also very old photo of yours showing the bridge lit up (2012)

  • Ken

    Couple of incorrect facts you wrote first Zambia has two thirds of the Falls not Zim (google it)
    the other is Zambia has the best viewing as you can look straight across the falls where in Zim you can’t see only thing but mist and get soaked. Also Zim side is in USD and Zambian side is in KWACHA or USD and has a special SADAC rate, no visa for SA citizens and no police harassment like you get in Zim . fuel in Zambia now cheaper than SA and Zim

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