Victoria Falls is one of Africa' top tourist attractions. Find out what to do and what you need to know before you travel
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Falling For Victoria Falls | What To Pack For Victoria Falls | Victoria Falls Quick Travel Tips
With around a million visitors to Victoria Falls every year, this is an African destination with a special magnetism. Whether you take in the sights on a day trip or fill your time with adventure and adrenaline-packed activities, it is sure to be an unforgettable stop on your Southern African safari adventures.
When you're planning travels online, a little bit of advice can go a long way. In this story, we give some general travel tips for visiting Victoria Falls. We also give advice on what to pack, so you can concentrate on making memories with the assurance that you have the essentials in your suitcase.
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Quick Tips For Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls has accommodation options for camping or backpackers to ultimate luxury and high-end experiences. There is plenty on offer at and around the falls - and this story will help you know what to expect. Our Vic Falls quick travel tips are general advice for anyone heading to the falls as part of a package tour, as a stop on a multi-country Southern African safari, or on a luxury holiday.
Get answers to FAQs about Victoria Falls and Victoria Falls quick travel tips.
FAQs Answered: Victoria Falls
- Is Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe or Zambia?: Victoria Falls is located on the Zambezi River as it flows along the mutual border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The town of Victoria Falls is located in Zimbabwe, while the town on the Zambian side of the falls is called Livingstone.
- Victoria Falls - in which country are the better views?: There are viewing points for Victoria Falls from both Zimbabwe and Zambia. Both sides offer different and beautiful views of the falls. There are features of both countries, which we look at in more detail below. Whichever side you choose to visit, it is certainly worth visiting both sides for the full experience.
- Why is Victoria Falls so famous?: When you start to look at facts about Victoria Falls, there is so much about it that makes it special. What are 3 interesting facts about Victoria Falls? It is a World Heritage Site, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and is the largest curtain of falling water in the world.
- Can you swim at Victoria Falls?: On the Zambian side of the Falls, there is the option to swim at Devil's Pool - and there are also swimming activities available at the foot of the falls. These are guided tours that take place in low-water conditions. There are crocodiles in the Zambezi River, as well as sometimes strong currents, so let guides direct you around safety.
- Is there malaria at Victoria Falls?: There is a risk of malaria all year round at Victoria Falls. During the wet season, the risk is especially prevalent, but it is a good idea to take prophylactic medication and avoid insect bites all year round. This means investing in top insect repellent sprays and anti-insect clothing for your trip.
- Is there safari near Victoria Falls? In both Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is located within national parks. In Zambia, this is Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, where there is the chance to see a variety of large mammals (but not predators). In Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls National Park, together with Zambezi National Park, provide a safari offering that includes the chance to see elephant, buffalo, lion, and occasionally leopard, as well as a range of other species. Victoria Falls is a common stopover on Southern African safari itineraries, with easy access to other parks including Chobe National Park, Hwange National Park, and the Caprivi region in Namibia.
- What is the best month to visit Victoria Falls? If you are hoping to see the Falls at full volume, your best chance will be between February and May. The best time of year for Victoria Falls low-water activities is between August and January, with the lowest water in December and January. Summer temperatures are a little higher - sometimes up to 30 degrees Celsius. High-water season is when the spray is its most dramatic. This occurs between February and July, reaching its pinnacle between March and April. If Vic Falls is a single stop on a safari adventure, winter makes for more moderate temperatures and accessibility of some camps in Southern Africa, some of which close in the rainy green season.
- Is Victoria Falls a World Heritage Site? Yes, Victoria Falls became a World Heritage Site in 1989. It is the world's greatest curtain of falling water and features exquisite riperian forest, trans-boundary national parks, and wonderful bird species. The falls sculpt the rock around them, which have changed significantly over the ages - with the presence of tools showing the presence of Stone Age humans too.
- What Should I Pack For Victoria Falls? Ultra-lightweight safari clothing that dry quickly and offer sun and insect protection, a waterproof layer, sun protection accessories, and bug spray are among the top essentials for Vic Falls. Read our detailed Victoria Falls packing advice.
Dressing For Victoria Falls:
Whether Victoria Falls is one stop on a Southern African safari adventure or the final destination, use our advice to pack light with all the essentials. Do you need waterproofs? What is the best clothing for the falls and beyond? Read our Victoria Falls packing advice and shop the products.
Travel Advice: Victoria Falls
- Book In Advance: The popularity of Victoria Falls can mean busy tours and attractions. If there are particular accommodation options and activities you have your heart set on, the best approach is to book in advance to avoid disappointment. No matter your budget, there are options for everyone at Victoria Falls.
- A Wanderland for Walkers: Whether you go on a group guided tour, private guided tour, or explore on your own, walking is the best way to experience the wonders of Victoria Falls. No matter your level of fitness, you can choose to dip in to selected viewpoints or walk into the gorge to the 'Boiling Pot' for as many views as possible. Just a note that rocks and bridges may be slippery from the spray, so watch your footing from viewpoints - and take along waterproof gear (especially if you plan to photograph your holiday).
- View From The Top: Add a view from the air to your memory bank and take in the falls in as many ways as possible. Helicopter rides are on offer - or, if you are staying on the Zambian side, microlight flights for scenic aerial views.
- A Fix For Adrenaline Junkies: If you're looking to have an adrenaline-fuelled African travel adventure, Victoria Falls is an amazing destination. Victoria Falls bungee jumping is a 111-metre plunge off the bridge - with some incredible views. White water rafting on the legendary Zambezi River on class 3 to 5 rapids through Batoka Gorge also ranks highly as one of our founder's top experiences.
- Activities For All: There are many immersive experiences on offer at Victoria Falls. The Devils Pool swim on the Zambian side has become a major attraction. Exploring Livingstone Island is another. A Zambezi River cruise is an amazing way to experience the river. There are also horse safaris, bike trips, bridge tours, steam train rides, and day trips to Chobe National Park as options for visitors to the area. It's advisable to see the falls from both countries if you can too. Try to plan your activities in advance. This will ensure you book a long enough stay - and won't miss out on bucket list stuff.
- Culture Vulture: If learning about people enriches your understanding of places, you're in for a treat. Victoria Falls holds plenty of legend and myths - and there are many opportunities to learn more about the people in the area and their traditions - and eat local cuisine.
- Visa Requirements: Liaise with your travel agent, tour operator, or hotel to find out about visa requirements - especially if you are moving between countries. The KAZA Univisa will be of interest - allowing free passage between Zimbabwe and Zambia for 30 days for eligible countries. These are only available at certain ports of entry if not obtained online - and be sure to familiarise yourself with the terms of condition of travel before applying and booking tickets to prevent travel stresses.
The Smoke That Thunders
There are nearly a million visits to this natural marvel every year. Read about our visit to both the Zambian and Zimbabwean side of Victoria fall in the Victoria Falls story.
Victoria Falls: Features From Both Sides
The Zambezi River is the natural border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The countries share Victoria Falls as a major tourist attraction. As mentioned above, our recommendation is to see the falls from both sides for a full view of the place. If time is limited or Vic Falls is a quick stopover before, after, or in the middle of your safari, the question of which side to visit is a little more weighty. Keep reading for info that can help you choose.
- Victoria Falls Views: 75% of the Falls are visible from the Zimbabwean side with 16 viewpoints along a trail for you to take in the curtain of water. 25% are visible on the Zambian side. During the dry season (May to October), there is a possibility of the Falls drying up completely on the Zambian side, whereas the waterfall is usually visible all year round in Zimbabwe. Both sides feature beautiful riverine bush.
- Victoria Falls Activities: Most activities are available in both countries. However, certain activities - like microlight flights and Devils Pool swims - are exclusively available on the Zambian side. Zimbabwean national parks extend kilometres down the river for more easily accessible game-viewing opportunities.
- Livingstone vs Victoria Falls Town: The town of Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side is very small, but bustling. The Falls themselves are easily accessible by foot from most major hotels and accommodation providers. Livingstone on the Zambian side is more of a centre. Things may be more spaced out. For overlanders and self-drive 4x4 adventurers, this may be the preferred stop for resupply, mechanics, etc.
Hwange National Park:
On both luxury safari itineraries and the self-drive safari circuit, the proximity of Victoria Falls to Hwange National Park make these a natural pair. Read our Hwange National Park story.
Zimbabwe Safari Links:
Falling For Victoria Falls | What To Pack For Victoria Falls | Quick Travel Tips for Victoria Falls | Hide and Seek in Hwange National Park | What To Pack For a Safari To Hwange National Park | Hwange National Park Quick Travel Tips | Zambezi Expedition
Zambia Safari Links:
Falling For Victoria Falls | What To Pack For Victoria Falls | Quick Travel Tips for Victoria Falls | Kafue River Recce |