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Below are our recommendations for Victoria Falls. Contact us today or call 303-778-1089 to learn more about how we are able to customize the perfect luxury Victoria Falls safari just for you!
Zambia Side of Victoria Falls
Quieter and less developed, the Zambian side offers a closer but less scenic and much smaller view of the Falls. Base camp for falls visitors in Zambia is the town of Livingstone. Most activities covered below are also available in Zambia or by crossing into Zimbabwe on a day trip (separate visa required).
Zimbabwe Side of Victoria Falls
The base for visitors on the Zimbabwean side is Victoria Falls Town, a touristy but friendly place with plenty to see and do. After taking in the beautiful Falls, we recommend getting out to enjoy some of the fantastic activities available in the area. There are also many fun, delicious and interesting dining options in town. You can opt for an elegant afternoon high tea, stacked high burgers at a lively café, delicious river fish with a striking view over the Batoka Gorge, a multi-course lunch next to the Zambezi or even an interactive cooking class making traditional African potjie.
Top Victoria Falls Activities Include:
A walking tour of the Falls is a must for any visitor. In addition to learning a bit of history surrounding the Falls, travelers get up close and personal with the incredible majesty of this natural wonder. Breathtaking views of the cataracts and various natural features of the Falls inspire awe and lots of photography, while the surrounding forest provides inviting shade and glimpses of birdlife.
A cruise on the Zambezi is an unforgettable experience. You’ll have the chance to spot hippos, crocodiles, elephants, myriad birdlife and more while comfortably seated and sipping a cocktail and noshing on finger food. Everything from private, small boat excursions to large, multi-deck boats are available. Cruises are available for breakfast and lunch or for sundowners. We love a sunset/sundowner cruise best – discuss options with your Journey Specialist.
White Water Rafting
With names like “Devil’s Toilet Bowl” and “Gnashing Jaws of Death,” the rapids of the Zambezi below the Falls are big, fast and furious enough to thrill any person. The views through the Zambezi Gorge are fantastic and are as much a part of the rafting as the adrenalin rush! These guided whitewater trips provide both thrills and placid time on the river to recover from any excitement. Downstream, the water flattens out and you can enjoy a relaxing ride while keeping an eye out for the chance to see hippos and crocs! Single day and multi-day trips are available – ask a Journey Specialist for details.
Canoeing & Kayaking
For a more placid but still quite exciting experience on the river, consider a guided canoeing or kayaking trip. You’ll avoid the Zambezi’s more dangerous rapids, but still enjoy a bit of excitement and get the feel for the wildness of the water. You might see anything from river otters to elephants as you paddle.
It’s a long way down – more than 360 feet – from the Zambezi Bridge. To say jumping off the bridge is a thrill would be an understatement! Solo and tandem jumps are available.
Another exciting means of hurling yourself into the abyss, the Gorge Swing is a 3-second free fall before you swing across the gorge.
Victoria Falls National Park and some of the surrounding private game reserves are excellent places to see a variety of wildlife. You can choose a morning or evening game drive in the park or a reserve, or choose to stay in one of the private lodges inside. Choosing a lodge generally comes with included activities such as river cruises and game drives versus a stay in town where you add on activities a la carte.
Checking out the Falls from the comfort of a small plane, helicopter or microlight gives a true birds-eye view of the impressive size of the Falls and the volume of water flowing over the precipice.
Swim to the edge of Victoria Falls in this adrenaline-pumping swimming hole on the Zambian side of the Falls. It’s the ultimate Insta-worthy excursion and is perfect for our most adventurous travelers! In addition to taking the plunge into the Devil’s Pool, you will enjoy breakfast, lunch or high tea on Livingstone Island. Visiting Devil’s Pool requires crossing into Zambia and thus a separate visa which can be obtained on arrival if you are staying on the Zimbabwe side of the falls.
There are a variety of cultural activities on offer in the area. Some of our favorites include visits to nearby villages with local guides, trying traditional foods and even a local art workshop.
Everything from curios to boutique shops are on offer in Victoria Falls. Beautiful hand-crafted items, jewelry, stone and wood carvings and fabric are fun items to bring home as mementos or gifts.
When to Go
Visits to the Falls vary dramatically from season to season. Water levels in the river vary greatly depending on the rainfall in Zambia and Angola which feeds the Zambezi River. Many activities are water level dependent, so it’s imperative to plan your trip with one of our expert Journey Specialists.
Winter (May – October) is pleasant and dry. Mornings and evenings can be quite chilly. Winter’s dry season is best for spectacular views of the Falls as the water levels drop. This is the best time of year for rafting (mid to late winter) and a good time for wildlife viewing. It’s also the best time of year to try to see a ‘moonbow’ (lunar rainbow) at the Falls. September through November usually marks the Zambezi’s lowest flow of the year, making for less dramatic views of the Falls.
Summer (November – April) is much hotter and has higher humidity. The rains typically start in mid-November. Afternoon thunderstorms can be quite dramatic and impressive.
Water levels are very high from January to July, with the flow of the Zambezi River generally peaking in April. Views of the Falls can be obscured by towering clouds of mist driven by the huge amount of water cascading over the abyss, though you can still find nice views from the side and being immersed in the impressive spray can be fun. A visit to the Falls this time of year requires a poncho and the high level of moisture makes photography difficult to impossible. Aerial flights can be fantastic, as the impressive spray from the Falls can be seen for more than 40 miles away! Birding is excellent this time of year as well.