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Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls, also known as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ or the Smoke that Thunders, is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Spanning the width of the Zambezi River and straddling the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, the jaw dropping scale of the Falls is impossible to imagine. Hearing the spine tingling roar of the Zambezi as it plummets over 100 meters into a deep gorge below is a definitive tick off the bucket list, yet, which side is for you? We’ve broken down the fundamental differences between experiencing Victoria Falls from either the Zimbabwean or Zambian side.

Why choose when you can do both? Accessing both sides of the Falls can be easily done by purchasing a Univisa on arrival, a single visa which grants visitors access to both the Zimbabwean and Zambian sides of the Falls.

At a Glance

  • When to go

    High water levels are between February and July when the Zambezi River swells and the volume of water forced through the gorge rises massively. The sheer power of the Falls is mesmerising as it throws up a dense cloud-like spray that drenches delighted bystanders and is interlaced with rainbows.


    Low water levels occur between August and January. Very little spray means you now get an excellent view of the Falls' ancient geological details to appreciate the magnitude of the chasm. It is at this time of year that the Zambezi River is transformed into one of the best whitewater rafting destinations in the world. Whilst Zimbabwe enjoys spectacular views throughout the whole year, it is worth bearing in mind that Zambia can completely dry up at this time of year.

  • What to do

    Adrenaline junkies: Enjoy a white knuckle rafting trip down the rapids of the Zambezi, take a helicopter or microlight flight through the spray of Victoria Falls for an unbeatable bird's eye view, bungee 111 meters off Livingstone Bridge or don a harness and zipline serenely across the gorge for the ultimate adrenaline fuelled adventure.


    Mellow souls: Swim in the rock pools below the Falls, paddle across the 'Boiling Pot' in an inflatable raft directly beneath the falls, take a dip in Devil's Pool or back on terrafirma explore Livingstone Island or hop on board the Royal Livingstone Express for a leisurely way to explore the region.

Zimbabwe

For the classic Vic Falls experience, head to Zimbabwe. With views of over 70% of the Falls, the Zimbabwean vantage point is perhaps the most iconic. With a myriad of viewpoints from which to appreciate the falls, and great views even during periods of low water, a quintessential Victoria Falls experience is almost guaranteed. With a number of accommodation options located on the periphery of the Falls themselves, you can catch your first glimpse of them from the doorstep of your hotel. If combining the Falls with Botswana, it is slightly easier to reach Kasane, and thus the Chobe National Park, from the Zimbabwean border. This side offers much in the way of comfort and convenience, from it’s enjoying afternoon tea to exploring the surrounding Zambezi National Park, Zimbabwe has got it all for the ultimate Victoria Falls experience.

Zambia

Whilst the views from the Zambian side are perhaps more limited, they are certainly no less impressive and stationing yourself in Zambia allows you to get up close with the billowing mist at the basin of the Falls. Cross the Zambezi along the vertiginous Knife Edge Bridge, take a trip to Livingstone Island or peer over the edge of the Falls from the ominously named Devil’s Pool for the very best of experiential Vic Falls. The array of accommodation options on the Zambian side, including charming river front lodges, combined with its catalogue of exclusive activities confirms Zambia as an equally brilliant place to experience the wonder of Victoria Falls.

Did you know?

Upon his first sighting of the Falls, David Livingstone wrote, "It has never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so wonderful must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight".

Unique ecosystem

The national parks are home to elephant, buffalo, giraffe, Grant's zebra, variety species of antelope, vervet monkeys, baboons and honey badgers. Lion, leopard and cheetah are occasionally seen. The Zambezi River itself contains plenty of hippos and crocodile, with elephant crossing in the dry season.

Did you know?

Victoria Falls is one of the few places in the world where you can see a 'moonbow' or 'lunar rainbow'. The light of a full moon in a cloudless sky is refracted and reflected by the ever-present water particles from the spray of the Falls.

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A Week in Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls & Hwange National Park

This week long itinerary combines two of Zimbabwe’s major highlights, the raging waters of UNESCO world heritage site Victoria Falls and the wildlife rich Hwange National Park. Explore the Zambezi river by canoe or motorboat, visit the awe-inspiring falls, go in search of wildlife on 4x4 game drives and jump aboard the elephant express on a unique train journey through Hwange National Park.

Best for: Honeymoon, Adventure, Beach, Couples

Highlights of Victoria Falls & Botswana

Victoria Falls, Linyanti and Okavango Delta

This exciting safari combining Zambia and Botswana offers some of the highlights of each country. Explore the spectacular Victoria Falls whilst staying at a quiet spot along the river before flying into the remote wetlands of Linyanti where your brilliant safari experience begins. End your vacation in the heart of the Okavango Delta where you can enjoy searching for some incredible wildlife.

Best for: Adventure, Couples, Wildlife, Active & adventure

Luxury Southern Africa: Victoria Falls, Sabi Sands and Mozambique beach

Victoria Falls, Sabi Sands and Bazaruto Archipelago

Experience some of the very best Southern Africa has to offer, from the thundering Victoria Falls, a big five safari in the Sabi Sands and relaxing on an idyllic beach in Mozambique's Bazaruto Archipelago. Ideal for a special celebration or honeymoon.

Best for: Adventure, Couples, Off the beaten track, Wildlife

Botswana for Teenagers

Makgadikgadi Pans, Linyanti & Victoria Falls

This thrill seekers safari through Botswana is perfect for families with teenagers. With activities galore, the whole family will get out and about on an active exploration of some of the most incredible and scenic areas that Botswana has to offer. Watch wildlife from a canoe or by foot, gallop on horseback through the beautifully eerie Makgadikgadi Pans before rounding off your adventure at the mighty Victoria Falls for a grand finale.

Best for: Adventure, Off the beaten track, Riding, Couples

A Week in Zambia

Victoria Falls, Lower Zambezi & South Luangwa, Zambia

If you're short on time but still want to see the highlights of Zambia, this week-long itinerary is perfect. Starting in Livingstone explore the impressive Victoria Falls and surrounds before heading to the Lower Zambezi National Park in search for game and then ending at the stunning South Luangwa National Park on a famed walking safari to get up close and personal with the bush and game like never before.

Classic Botswana & Victoria Falls

Okavango Delta, Linyanti & Victoria Falls

This classic itinerary takes you across Botswana’s lush Okavango Delta with its palm fringed islands before moving north to the game rich Linyanti wetlands to capture the true wilderness of Botswana offering an excellent mix of scenery, changing landscapes and unbeatable wildlife opportunities. End with a few days relaxing at the mighty Victoria Falls, considered one of Africa’s most impressive sights.

Best for: Adventure, Honeymoon, Wildlife, Active & adventure

Essential Botswana

Okavango Delta & Victoria Falls

Enjoy this week-long itinerary as you explore the wonders of the Delta to enjoy game activities galore. Head out on game drives to find some incredible wildlife, explore the waterways by boat or morkoro and even head out on foot to get up close and personal with the bush. End your trip at Victoria Falls to enjoy the force of the Falls and the tranquil beauty of the Zambezi River.

Grand Tour Of Southern Africa

Cape Town, Sossusvlei, Skeleton Coast, Okavango Delta, Linyanti and Victoria Falls

Perfect for families, couples or groups this epic journey will take in iconic destinations in Southern Africa and its most interesting and beautiful scenery. Begin your journey in the lush Okavango Delta and visit the spectacular Victoria Falls, then travel through the mind-blowing landscapes of Namibia before ending in Cape Town.

Off the Beaten Track Zambia

Livingstone, Liuwa Plain National Park & Kafue National Park, Zambia

Visit the lesser known and lesser visited, but no less impressive Liuwa Plain and Kafue National Park to experience an almost exclusive game experience in some beautiful wilderness settings. Located in western Zambia, both of these parks are characterized by wide open plains, perfect for photo opportunities and to spot some of the game that lives there. This itinerary is ideal for those returning to Zambia and want to explore somewhere completely new.

Zambia for Families

Zambia

This concise Zambian itinerary is perfect for young families who want a combination of exciting safari activities and a relaxing end to a vacation. Staying in two private houses lends privacy, exclusivity and complete freedom to decide what to do when. Robin's House offers activities galore to keep young children entertained, while Waterberry Farmhouse offers beautiful gardens and space for families to relax and enjoy some privacy.

Zambia Safari for Teenagers

Livingstone, South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi

This superb itinerary, ideal for families with teenagers visits three of Zambia’s highlights whilst staying in luxurious private houses. With activities galore, the whole family will be entertained throughout this exciting and adventurous vacation. You could explore the parks on foot, take lunch on an island, or head out at night with a spotlight to see what kind of nocturnal animals are lurking in the dark.

Best for: Family, Wildlife, Couples, Active & adventure

Zimbabwe by Canoe & Victoria Falls

Mana Pools National Park & Victoria Falls

Embark on a unique journey through the heart of the wildlife rich Mana Pools National Park, with the Ruwesi Canoe Trail. This canoe safari covers a distance of 40 miles over four days, camping at remote spots on the riverbank along the way. After your Mana Pools adventure, head over to Victoria Falls and visit the awe inspiring 'smoke that thunders'.

Best for: Adventure, Wildlife, Off the beaten track

Zimbabwe for Teenagers

Victoria Falls, Mana Pools & Hwange

Zimbabwe is a fantastic destination for a family vacation to Africa with your Teenagers. This stunning country offers fantastic safari, highly qualified guides, as well as exhilarating activities such as canoeing on the Zambezi or visits to the the awe-inspiring smoke that thunders, the famous Victoria Falls. This action-packed itinerary will cater to a family looking to experience a true African a

Best for: Adventure, Family, Wildlife

Zimbabwe in Ultimate Luxury

Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba & Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve

Zimbabwe has attracted vast amounts of attention within the luxury travel market in very recent years. This itinerary combines some of the most luxurious accommodation options on offer, which boast stunning facilities as well as impeccable service. Not only are the properties highly luxurious but they are also in regions not typically visited by the general public giving you a feeling of exclusivi

Best for: Adventure, Family, Wildlife, Eco/ethical tourism

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