The town of Victoria Falls is buzzing in anticipation of the annual Victoria Falls Marathon – which takes place on Sunday, June 29 this year. The marathon is not only a worthy challenge for athletes, and a spectacular way to view the beauty of the region, but it is also a worthy cause – held in aid of several local charities encompassing conservation, ecological and social issues.
The specific route followed for this AIMS (Association of International Marathon and Distance Races) registered race, differs according the distance run. The full 42.2 km marathon race is a ‘double loop’, which begins in the car park, outside the entrance to Ilala Lodge. Runners will cross over the massive Victoria Falls Bridge, before briefly darting into Zambia. The route then continues through the stunning Zambezi National Park, ending at Victoria Falls Primary. The route is both relatively flat and fast, and is conveniently supported by regular water points.
Along the way, the best of Victoria Falls is yours to behold. The Zambezi Drive section of the race, in particular, boasts spectacular views of the Princess Victoria Island, Cataract Island and Livingstone Island, which are found in the Zambezi River. As the venue name suggests, the route also boasts incredible views of the Falls themselves – thundering in all their glory. What’s more, your run through the Zambezi National Park may just allow you to catch a glimpse of some of the region’s finest wildlife – so keep your eyes peeled.
The 21.2 km half marathon, on the other hand, consists of just one loop of the aforementioned route – allowing runners much of the same natural beauty. The 7.5 km fun run does not allow for the brief Zambian visit, and journey onto Bridge. Rather, runners make their way along Zambezi Drive, looping around onto Mosi-Oa-Tunya, before making their way back towards Victoria Falls Primary.
Getting to Victoria Falls
It is easy enough to get yourself to the marathon, should you be participating or merely a spectator. There are daily flights held between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls through airlines such as Fly Africa, South African Airways, British Airways and the country’s national carrier – Air Zimbabwe. FlyAfrica, in particular, offer extremely competitive rates and are a new player on the low-cost carrier scene in Africa. There are also daily flights between Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe’s Capital – Harare, which is serviced by a host of domestic and international airlines. Elsewise, the town is accessible by several major roads, should you be renting a car and driving in for the weekend.
Visiting Victoria Falls for the marathon? Take the opportunity to explore the area further, by tackling any number of many Victoria Falls activities on offer. Adventurous outings include bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge, canoe trails along the Zambezi River, white-water rafting and enlightening game drives through the national park. Simply visit the activities desk at Ilala Lodge, or your accommodation of choice, to find out what else there is to do in Victoria Falls.