Victoria Falls: everything you need to know!

victoria falls
Victoria Falls Bridge
Victoria Falls Bridge plus Rainbow

Why should I go?

The majestic Victoria Falls, fed by the Zambezi River, are one of the Seven Natural Wonders. Although not the tallest or the highest, the combination of height and width makes them the largest sheet of falling water in the world. Trust me, you don’t wanna die without experiencing them, it’s a multisensory experience. Also, prepare yourself for the most beautiful rainbows you’ve ever seen!

Where do I fly to?

The falls are located in Zimbabwe and Zambia. You can chose to fly and stay in either! In Zambia, the city you would fly to is Livingstone and the airport is also called Livingstone. In Zimbabwe the town is called Victoria Falls and the airport well, Victoria Falls as well!

victoria falls
Rainbows! Rainbows everywhere!

Where should I stay?

I stayed at the city of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and loved it! It’s a cute little town which at least near the falls is very touristy but still quiet. Plus, you will most likely be able to walk to the falls as they are so close to the town. Both to the Zimbabwe and Zambia side of them. Staying in Vic Falls is a no brainer! If you are as lucky as I was, you’ll see elephants feeding on your walk to the falls. This is not typical – the locals seemed pretty impressed. They were just passing by a few blocks away from the town center, feeding on the vegetation.

Regarding hotels, if you are on a budget then stay in the N1 Hotel. It’s super nice, very cheap, super close to the falls, town and restaurants. If you can stretch a bit, then I’d recommend the Victoria Falls Hotel. This historic hotel with Edwardian style is truly beautiful and has a terrace with great views. If you are not staying there you can still stop by the Vic Falls Hotel for a Mojito! If none are available there are a couple more hotels (not a ton) which you can check out here.

vic falls bridge
Victoria Falls Bridge

How many days do I need to visit the falls?

If you are the active type and your only interest is the falls, one day is enough! You can easily do both sides of the falls – Zimbabwe and Zambia – in just a day and still not end up super tired. For the falls themselves you don’t really need more than two days to take them all in.

victoria falls
The falls at full force, it’s a multisensory experience!

Tell me about visiting the Victoria Falls?

The falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia are two separate entities. This means they are separate from each other (about a 30 min walk which includes an immigration post) and you need to pay fees for each of them. Fees are valid for the day only (about 20 to 30 USD per person per park). To go to both countries you will also require a multivisa which you’ll need to pay for in the border. Most, but not all, countries can apply for a multivisa. Always check your visa requirements in advance.

The time it takes to visit each of the falls’ parks is 2 to 3 hrs, so, as I said before you can fit them in a day. Please make sure you bring a raincoat or something waterproof for your valuables. YOU WILL GET WET. If you go in the wet season, very very wet.  At first, it seems like the heaviest rain you’ve ever seen but it’s just the falls water mass bouncing everywhere. At some point, you cross a hanging bridge and feel the full power of the falls: you are standing in the bridge, a few centimeters of water running past your feet and so much water falling down you can’t keep your eyes open. It’s a unique experience. Unfortunately the excessive water prevented my GoPro from capturing it decently.

In the drier months (Aug to Jan) you can do a trip to the Devil’s Pool and Livingstone Island. The Devil’s Pool is a natural rock pool formed right at the edge of the falls, which basically allows visitors to swim right at the edge of the falls without well, dying of a tragic death. Makes for pretty awesome pictures. I think I’d still prefer the wet season in order to see the full force of the huge mass of water falling down. Your choice!

victoria falls
Boyfriend almost at the edge of the falls

What else is there?

Other than the falls, Vic Falls town is nice to walk around and buy some souvenirs. There are various small markets with crafts. Elephant’s Walk was particularly charming. There are also loads of activities, which you can either book in advance or do so in the town or your hotel (everyone sells them!). Unless you are planning an overnight activity there is no need to book them in advance. There are many options: white water rafting, hi-wire gorge swing, zip line, canopy, canoe trails, crocodile diving, bungee jumping, helicopter over the falls etc. You can also chose to cruise through the Zambezi river with dinner & drinks included.

Last, Vic Falls is really close to Botswana and the Chobe Game Reserve, both famous for it’s unique game viewing. You can arrange a day or multi-day safari to Chobe from Vic Falls or simply arrange one from the city of Kasane and take a transfer from Vic Falls to Kasane (which takes little over an hour). In my case, I decided to do self-drive safari in Chobe (only for the brave) and picked up my self-drive 4×4 in Kasane. Transfers to Kasane are expensive for such a short trip, I managed to find this one which was relatively cheap (35 USD PP).

 Where do I eat?

Literally just go to The Three Monkeys every night. It’s awesome. If you are vegan like me then they’ll do a vegan pizza. If you are not, there is well plenty of options like a trio of Wildebeest, Zebra and beef which my boyfriend is still talking about . Take a pic with the “I <3 Vic Falls” sign when you are there!

Author’s note: Looking for other adventures in Africa? Botswana is just an hour from Victoria Falls. But beware! It’s only for those seeking thrill and adventurers. You can learn about it in this post. 

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