Victoria Falls is the most spectacular sight anywhere in Africa. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, this huge curtain waterfall lies on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, where the mighty Zambezi River plunges 108 m down into a narrow gorge, creating a waterfall that is a mile wide.

A visit to Southern Africa is not complete without having seen the Victoria Falls. The falls can be visited from the Zambian or from the Zimbabwean side. The town on the Zambian side is called Livingstone, and the town on the Zimbabwean side is also called Victoria Falls. Both locations are safe, popular tourist destinations with good infrastructure and a variety of accommodation options.

Highlights
  • View the Victoria Falls up close
  • Easily accessible – by able-bodied and disabled people
  • See the falls from the Zimbabwean or Zambian side
  • Huge variety of adrenalin-based adventures
  • Great safari destination and close to Chobe National Park
  • Swim in Devil's Pool on the edge of the falls (seasonal)
  • Helicopter or microlight flights
  • White-water rafting
  • Safe to visit, open all year

We are often asked if we would recommend the Zambian side or the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls. In our experience, both sides are safe and worth visiting.

About two-thirds of the Victoria Falls can be viewed from the Zimbabwean side. From the Zambian side, you can see about one-third of the falls and this section dries up during October and November. High water is from December to July and in general, the views from the Zimbabwean side are more spectacular.

On the Zimbabwean side, access to the falls is wheelchair-friendly. On the Zambian side, you can visit Livingstone Island and Devil's Pool (in low-water season).

A wide range of activities on offer

  • A guided tour of the falls
  • Lunar rainbow tour of the falls
  • Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River
  • Devil's Pool on the edge of the falls
  • Horseback safaris
  • Helicopter or microlight flights over the Falls
  • White-water rafting
  • Cultural village tours
  • Bungee jumping and gorge swings
  • High-wire adrenaline activities
  • Game drives in nearby national parks
  • Walking safaris
  • Cultural dinner evening

... and much more.

Accommodation for all budgets

A large choice of accommodation options is available in both Livingstone and in Victoria Falls, to suit a wide range of budgets. Most hotels in Victoria Falls are booked on a bed-and-breakfast basis.

We would recommend a minimum stay of two nights and an ideal stay of three nights. If you want to experience everything this location has to offer and take part in various activities, you may even want to stay four nights or longer.

Easy Chobe or Hwange add-on

This destination can be combined with the Chobe National Park in Botswana, which is about an hour away by road. Chobe is one of Botswana's top safari destinations and we can highly recommend combining your trip to Victoria Falls with a few nights at the Chobe National Park. Alternatively, you can combine it with a safari in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park, about two hours from Victoria Falls.

Best time to visit the Victoria Falls

The falls can be visited all year round, but the most popular time is from June to September when the temperatures are mild, the risk of malaria is lower and the water levels are dropping, which means reduced spray and better visibility.

Once the water drops below a certain level, the famous Livingstone Island on the edge of the Falls is open to visitors from the Zambian side (the spot from where David Livingstone first viewed the falls). Here's where you'll find the famous "Devil's Pool", where you can swim and look over the lip of the Falls into the gorge many metres below.

The rafting season also opens around this time (usually in July). In low-water season, the Zambian side of the Falls dries up completely (October to November). In high-water season, the spray can be so tremendous that you get soaked and have limited visibility of the actual falls (March to May).

View calendar for when to visit Victoria Falls.

Money matters

The accepted currency in Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) is the US Dollar. Bring USD with you in cash, preferably in recent, small denominations; $1 and $5 especially. Avoid $100 bills because you can't get change. There is often a shortage of cash and credit cards (particularly Visa) are accepted at most hotels and restaurants. South African Rand (ZAR) is also widely accepted.

On the Zambian side, you'll need Zambian Kwacha although US Dollars are usually accepted. Money can be changed at the airport.

Streetwise

Street vendors (in Zambia and Zimbabwe) will try to sell you their curios and will not easily take no for an answer. At the markets, you can barter for curios with your socks, shoes, T-shirts and even underwear! Often they won't have any change so low-denomination US Dollars are very handy here.

Visa regulations

Be aware of visa costs for entering Zimbabwe and Zambia. Please ask us for details as these costs often change at short notice. Visa costs vary considerably, depending on your country of origin and can be paid in USD at the border. Check whether you'll need a multiple-entry visa, especially if you'll be visiting both Zambia and Zimbabwe and/or visiting Botswana.

The new Kaza Univisa is a good option but stickers aren't always available.

Getting there

The towns of Victoria Falls and Livingstone are both a two-hour flight from Johannesburg. The flights only depart in the morning, so if you arrive in Johannesburg during the afternoon from another destination (like the Kruger Park), you will need to spend one night in Johannesburg before flying to Vic Falls.

Our take on the Victoria Falls

Vic Falls is a must-visit destination on a longer itinerary in Southern Africa. We have personally visited most of the lodges and hotels in the Victoria Falls area and are able to offer you first-hand advice. Aim to spend at least two nights at Victoria Falls. Please contact us to request a competitive Victoria Falls safari package, with your choice of accommodation and activities included.

You can ask us to arrange flights from Johannesburg for you, or you can book them yourself online.

Victoria Falls
Feature Africa Travel Guide Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls is the most spectacular sight anywhere in Africa. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, this huge curtain waterfall lies on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, where the mighty Zambezi River plunges 108 m down into a narrow gorge, creating a waterfall that is a mile wide.

A visit to Southern Africa is not complete without having seen the Victoria Falls. The falls can be visited from the Zambian or from the Zimbabwean side. The town on the Zambian side is called Livingstone, and the town on the Zimbabwean side is also called Victoria Falls. Both locations are safe, popular tourist destinations with good infrastructure and a variety of accommodation options.

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Elephants in front of Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, accommodation

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, adjacent to the Zambezi National Park, forms a large open-plan treehouse among the indigenous trees. From here, guests can enjoy luxury accommodation, as well as a spectacular view of the African bushveld and wildlife. In addition to this wonderful African experience, the lodge is only 4 km away from the Victoria Falls rainforest.

The Victoria Falls Hotel
Victoria Falls Hotel Stanleys Terrace

The Victoria Falls Hotel is the 'grande dame' of the Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe. Established in 1904, royalty, celebrities and statesmen have visited the hotel to enjoy its tranquillity, elegance and privacy. More than a century old, the hotel combines its historical, Edwardian charm with modern comfort and convenience. It has its own private path leading to the beautiful Victoria Falls (15-minute walk) and offers a variety of activities to provide its guests with an unforgettable African experience.

The Kingdom Hotel, Victoria Falls
The Kingdom Hotel From Outside

The Kingdom Hotel is located in the Victoria Falls National Park, and is closer to the famous Victoria Falls than any other hotel in the area. It offers luxury 4-star accommodation at reasonable prices, and is in a convenient location near shopping centres, restaurants and Victoria Falls International Airport. The Kingdom is modelled after the great Zimbabwe monument, and features a beautiful man made lake set in lush tropical gardens. Completing this luxurious African experience, is the surrounding Park's wide variety of game, including elephants.

Ilala Lodge
Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls

Ilala Lodge is the closest hotel to majestic Victoria Falls. Dine al-fresco at their award-winning restaurant while watching the spray from the Falls and its thundering. It's an eight-minute walk to the Falls and all the fun and activities on offer at Victoria Falls are a stone's throw away.

David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa
David Livingstone Safari Lodge - Victoria Falls - Zambia

David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa is a luxurious five-star hotel, situated on the banks of the great Zambezi River in Zambia. The hotel is only 7km away from the breathtaking Victoria Falls and offers modern and stylish accommodation, great cuisine and a variety of exciting activities.

Royal Livingstone Hotel

The Royal Livingstone is a luxury, 5-star, colonial style hotel resort on the banks of the Zambezi river, on the Zambian side of the Falls.

Thorntree River Lodge
Thorntree River Lodge Drinks On Deck, Zambia

Thorntree River Lodge, situated in the Mosi Oa Tunya (Smoke That Thunders) National Park in Zambia, provides luxury accommodation in an area known for its abundant wildlife. Each modern tented suite sits right on the river bank with uninterrupted views over the Zambezi. The lodge is about 15 kilometres upstream from the breathtaking Victoria Falls and offers an extensive range of African experiences and activities.

Tongabezi Lodge
Tongabezi Lodge bedroom

The unique Tongabezi Lodge is tucked away in ebony trees on the banks of the Zambezi River, just upstream of Victoria Falls in Zambia. This exclusive lodge is ideal for an intimate romantic getaway. It offers warm Zambian hospitality, sweeping views over the Zambezi and luxury safari trips.

Avani Victoria Falls Resort

Previously known as the Zambezi Sun, the AVANI Victoria Falls Resort is a family-friendly hotel resort, and the closest hotel to the falls on the Zambian side.

The Elephant Camp
The-elephant-camp-dining

With beautiful panoramic views of the towering column of spray rising from the Victoria Falls, The Elephant Camp is the ideal intimate, peaceful retreat. Situated 10 km from the Falls on its Zimbabwean side, The Elephant Camp offers 9 exclusive, luxury tented suites and plenty of opportunities to get up close with the Wild Horizons elephants.

Hwange National Park
Hwange Hides - Zimbabwe

Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe's largest and most popular game reserve; arguably the best safari destination in Zimbabwe. There is a wide variety of habitats and vegetation types, including dry Kalahari-type bushveld, mopane shrubland, acacia savanna, huge open grasslands, vast wetlands and teak forests. This diversity attracts a variety of wildlife, making Hwange an excellent choice for an African safari. It's also close to Victoria Falls and the two destinations can easily be combined in one safari itinerary.

Kasane town - gateway to Chobe
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park, Botswana

The Chobe National Park is one of the most popular game reserves in Botswana. Situated in the far north of Botswana, Chobe includes the Savute and Linyanti regions which are known for high concentrations of lion and elephant. However, Chobe is best known for the Chobe River floodplain, where herds upon herds of animals gather in the dry season between June and October. The game reserve is most easily accessed from Kasane, a town just to the east of the park on the banks of the Chobe River, close to the border with Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls.

Elephant Hills Resort
Elephant Hills 02  Large

The Elephant Hills Resort offers four star accommodation that overlooks the distant Zambezi River, as well as the majestic Victoria Falls. On the Zimbabwean side, just 4 km from the famous Falls, it offers a wide variety of activities to enjoy including an 18-hole golf course, guests can experience Africa in comfort and style.

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