Zambia’s borders are already open for international tourists and Zimbabwe is openings on the 1st of October 2021, and so with this in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to highlight Vic Falls, one of the SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD and discuss the differences between seeing the falls from Zambian and Zimbabwe.
The Victoria Falls straddle the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Here the mighty Zambezi river drops down a 355ft gorge and continues it’s flow southwards through the valley below. The Victoria Falls offer the unique opportunity to witness the same natural wonder from one of two countries or even both, if you would like to see the difference between the two sides.
The falls are fullest around June and lowest around November due to the annual rainfall. ‘High water’ occurs usually between February and July with the Falls at it’s peak between March and April. During this period, the water are forced through the gorge with the spray thrown up in a dense, drenching spray which are thick with rainbows – an amazing sight when viewed from the air.
The ‘Low Water’ period runs usually between August to January and it is at the lowest between November and early December. This is the time when there is very little spray and visitors are able to fully appreciate the geological formation of the falls and the full length and breadth of them. You’ll remember the various articles last year asking if the Falls have dried up, but this is a yearly occurrence. The water level in the gorge drops and the Zambezi River becomes most thrilling and deserving of its white water rafting reputation as being the wildest experience in the world.
But what are the main differences between the Zambian side and the Zimbabwean side?
The Zambian Side
The main town on the Zambian side of the falls is Livingstone, with access via Livingstone Airport (LVI). Livingstone is a mere 6.2miles from the falls and offers all the modern amenities that tourists require: shopping centres, banking facilities and plenty of local craftsmen selling curious plus for the cultural visitor, there are several museums to visit.
There are various properties to choose from along the river, from popular luxury lodge style properties or luxury hotels to more affordable midrange and entry level properties.
Livingstone For History Lovers
Livingstone has several museums including the Victoria Falls Field Museum, the Livingstone Museum, the Maramba Cultural Museum and the Railway Museum. Livingstone also offers the best access to Livingstone Island – one of two large islands in the middle of the river.
Livingstone Island & Devil’s Pool
Livingstone Island, which is famous for the Devil’s Pool and Angel’s Pool, is only accessible from the Zambian side of the falls during the low water season and many traveller has enjoyed the only “real” infinity pool of the world. Microlight flights are also only offered as an activity on the Zambian side of the Falls. If you opt to stay on the Zimbabean side of the falls, you will be able to visit the Zambian side of the falls for these two specific activities, one will just require a visa to travel between the countries, but that is easily possible with the Kaza-Uni-Visa, which allows entry to both countries.
For more Devil’s Pool action click on Livingstone Island on this brilliant Virtual Tour of the falls.
The Zimbabwean Side
The Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls offers something completely different to the Zambian side. Accessible from the Victoria Falls airport, the town is known as the adventure capital of Africa owing to the fact that it boasts some of the best white water rafting in the world, and one of the highest bungee jumps and various adventure activities on offer. A quaint town that is considerably smaller than Livingstone, Victoria Falls has no shortage of charm and welcoming attitude plus one has the best view of the falls, especially from the bridge that connects Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The town is said to have the best view of the falls, especially from the bridge that connects Zimbabwe and Zambia. During low water times, visitors are able to see right into the ‘skeleton’ of the falls – a truly remarkable site.
Victoria Falls also has one of the most famous hotels in Africa, the Victoria Falls Hotel. Steeped in colonial history, the 5 star Victoria Falls Hotel is fondly known as ‘The Grand Old Lady of the Falls’ and is situated in the Victoria Falls National Park and has the best view of the bridge.
Victoria Falls town is situated approximately half a mile from the falls with many hotels and lodge-style pproperties being within walking distance or short driving distance to the falls. Accommodation establishments range from top luxury style lodges to more affordable bed & breakfast options, catering for every budget.
When to visit
The best weather months would be April and May. In the hot summer months (October – March) it is the rainy season and so you can expect regular afternoon thunderstorms. October and November are dry and very very hot, and there is very little water coming over the falls.
Contact Us to make your dream of seeing Victoria Falls one day a reality – whichever side you choose!