If you don’t know, now you do. This is one destination in Africa you cannot miss.
Victoria Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage protected site that boasts the title as the world’s largest waterfall (based on width and height combined). You can visit Victoria Falls (the UNESCO site, not to be confused with the town of the same name in Zimbabwe) from both Zambia and Zimbabwe. Here’s a full guide to Victoria Falls to help you plan your trip to one of Africa’s most prized possessions.
How to Visit Victoria Falls
First things first: Zambia or Zimbabwean side?
This is the big question on most traveller’s minds – to fly into Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) or Livingstone (Zambia). Both airports are just a few minutes drive from the falls themselves, so it can be a little confusing if you don’t know some background info in order to make the best decision for your trip.
Two thirds of the falls and Livingstone Island (on top of the falls) are located in Zambia. You get a better ‘full view’ of the falls from the Zimbabwe side, but you an only walk down to below the falls from the Zambian side.
There is an option to purchase a dual visa on arrival to allow you entry into both countries, or you can enter one or the other on a single entry visa on the day, at the border. It’s all a little complicated and subject to change, but you can visit both sides for under $100 USD. Please note you can only use cash – ATM’s are available in the towns of Victoria Falls and Livingstone.
When to Go to Victoria Falls?
You can visit the falls year-round, but each season offers a very different experience.
You might as well say you have just two seasons – the rainy season and the dry season.
The Rainy Season (December to March)
The falls are more dramatic and full of water during the rainy season, so prepare to get yourself wet! This of course obscures your view as you walk across the bridge to view the falls, but it’s also a great chance to enjoy the experience of the falls themselves (these photos were taken at the end of the rainy season in April).
The Dry Season (April – October)
The water begins to slow down from April onwards, offering a completely different experience of the falls toward October. You can still visit the falls in November, but you are likely to find them somewhat underwhelming as there will not be much water actually falling from the falls!
When Can You Go to Devil’s Pool?
One of the most popular activities at Victoria Falls is to swim in Devil’s Pool – right on the edge of the falls and accessed from the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. You can only swim here with a trained guide during the drier months, from May through October.
The Best Experiences at Victoria Falls
There are so many ways to enjoy the falls. Here are the most popular:
Microlight flight over the falls
Helicopter flight over the falls
There are direct daily flights to both Livingstone (Zambia) and Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) daily from Johannesburg with South African Airways and British Airways. Lodges will be ready to pick you up from the airstrip and transfer you directly to the lodge.