More than twice the height of Niagara Falls, the magnificent Victoria Falls in Southern Africa, is the world’s largest waterfall. Powerfully cascading into the Zambezi River, the Falls can be seen from both Zambia and Zimbabwe. You might be wondering which country boasts the best views, well, Africa Travel Expert Kelly is here to give you an insiders perspective to getting the most out of a trip to Victoria Falls.
The answer that everyone wants to know when visiting the Victoria Falls is, which side is the best side? I am here to put an end to your sleepless nights and settle the argument once and for all.
Having traveled to both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides of the Falls, during two extremely different seasons, I am here to help. The answer is very simple and probably not what you want to hear, it all depends on when you want to go and what you want to accomplish.
Personally, I’m the adrenaline junkie type, so I like to pack my days with as many experiences as I can. That is why staying on the Zambian side during dry season was perfect for me. I was able to do activities like take a trip to Devil’s Pool, a small rock pool at the edge of the Falls. Here, you can pose for pictures right at the edge that’ll give your family and friends a fright.
I believe that the Falls are impressive no matter if they are at full flow or just a trickle down the side of the rock, but I understand that this is not the case for everyone.
If you are short on time, I recommend visiting the Zimbabwean side. It has the classic, iconic view of the Falls. On this side, you can meander along the sixteen different viewpoints that are neatly marked, and you’ll see all the main highlights such as the Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls and the Rainbow Falls.
If you want to see them in all their glory, the Zimbabwean side has the best views of the Falls. If you go between February and May, be prepared to get wet. My top tip is to step out from under your umbrella and put your hood down for few seconds just so you can say you’ve felt the spray from the magnificent sheet of water on your face. It’s a pretty cool thing to experience.
The Zimbabwean side also flows all year round. In the drier months (October to November), the Zambian side can entirely dry up, and you may find yourself staring a rock with a trickle running down it. However, I wouldn’t discount the Zambian side completely in the dry months, you can only take a dip into Devil’s Pool from this side and only during the dry months (end of September to middle January) for safety reasons.
The Zambian side is also a little bit wilder, you can walk across the famous Knife’s Edge Bridge, which gives you an incredible viewing of the Main Falls, as well as the Boiling Pot where the river turns and heads down to the Batoka Gorge. You can also take a trip out to Livingstone Island, where David Livingstone first saw the Falls, to get the up-close experience of the Falls and enjoy afternoon tea.
With so many choices, it’s worth it to take as much time as you can at the Falls. If you have a longer stay of about 3 nights or more your best bet is to visit both sides to get the full Victoria Falls experience. The Univisa which allows you to visit both sides is USD$50 and in retrospect totally worth it.
Whichever side you choose, you will have an incredible time ticking off a bucket list item and seeing one of the seven natural wonders of the world – truly an awe-inspiring experience. Just keep in mind the time of year you go and what you would like to do to enjoy the Falls flaunting all that they’ve got.