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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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