Of all the stunning places in Africa, and of all the wonderful things you can experience while touring the continent, there is nowhere as awe-inspiring, as spectacular, and as unforgettable, as the Victoria Falls. Forming a natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and offering the most striking scenes, the kind that deserve to be photographed and hung on your wall so you can reminisce on the experience for the rest of your life, if there is one thing that you should do when you are thinking about travelling to Africa it is to plan a visit to these Falls.
The Victoria Falls are a majestic natural attraction. Although the area is quite built up and has things like luxury accommodation and places to do some shopping, the scenery is what everyone visiting here comes to see. The Victoria Falls are best viewed from the Zimbabwe side, which has lookout points and walkways taking you down along the gorge, giving you ample viewing opportunity. The reason why the view from the Zimbabwe side is so popular is because this is the side from which you can actually see the cascades.
The Falls, which among locals are known as Mosi oa-Tunya, or the Smoke that Thunders, is situated about half way along the Zambezi River. This river is one of the most iconic in Southern Africa and once it reaches the gorge, the water drops some 100 meters into the chasm below. The full length of the Falls is one and a half kilometres, and when the water cascades, especially after good rains, it looks like a curtain. Over the past millennium, the Falls have cut through the rock which has resulted in 8 striking precipices, with a 9th one currently being formed.
A Victoria Falls holiday or a holiday that includes a night or two in the area, is something that every intrepid traveller should put on their bucket list. There are plenty tour options out there that you can book, if you want to see this part of the world, and in this guide, we are going to help you plan an epic trip to this out of this world attraction.
When is the best time to go to the Victoria Falls?
Choosing the right time of the year to travel to the Victoria Falls is far more important than you might imagine. The majesty of these Falls depends on the rainy reason. During the dry part of the year, the Falls are still quite something to behold but they are not quite as spectacular as they are when the rains have arrived.
At the same time, when travelling to any part of Southern Africa, it is important that you choose to travel during the drier part of the year, simply because it is more comfortable and also because you are likely to also want to go on a safari, in which case you don’t want to have to deal with too much vegetation which could end up completely blocking your view of the wildlife.
So, planning the right time of year to go to the Victoria Falls is a delicate balancing act.
Most travellers who have been here before, and most travel agents, will advise you to book your Victoria Falls holiday for between February and May. This is about directly after the summer rains have stopped, so the Falls will be in their full glory. The later your travel, in April or May, the drier it will be, so you can also do a little bit of wildlife viewing on a Zimbabwe safari.
That said July and August can also be a great time of year to visit the Falls, especially if there has been rain higher up. If you are travelling to the Falls at this time of the year, be sure to pack something warm as the area can get incredibly cold. As the Falls cascade down into the gorge, the spray is going to leave you drenched, and when that happens in the winter, you can be left feeling downright frozen.
How to get to the Victoria Falls
Most guests travelling to the Victoria Falls will more than likely fly in rather than drive. The Falls are a bit out of reach, in the sense that it will take some time to get to the destination if you were only driving, and since most guests are touring the area as part of another tour, flying to the Falls just makes better sense.
The Falls have become so popular as a tourist destination that there is now an airport right at the attraction. The Victoria Falls Airport and the Livingstone Airport are the two airports that are the closest to the Falls, and landing here will minimise the amount of travelling you need to do.
If you are going on a combined tour that includes time in nearby Botswana, you will more than likely fly to Kasane Airport and then drive the hour long journey to the town closest to the Falls.
What type of Traveller will enjoy the Victoria Falls?
Anyone with a love for the great outdoors, and who wants to see one of the 7 Wonders of the World, will absolutely love a trip to the Victoria Falls. This destination is one for the adventurer and it is also a great place to visit if you are a bit of a history boffin. The area is packed full of historical sites to explore and you will without a doubt find something to enjoy when you are travelling around this area.
Although you might think that this is a more rustic destination, there are both camping options and luxury accommodation options available, which means there is something here for everyone to enjoy, no matter which type of experience you are hoping to have.
Go on a Sunset Cruise
One of the most interesting and unforgettable ways to see the Victoria Falls is to see it from the Zambezi side. Sunset cruises are a wonderful trip to have and they are the ultimate experience for those who are going on a romantic holiday. These tours offer views of the river and the surrounds, and there are also generally all sorts of wildlife wading through the waters close to the shore that make for quite the sighting.
Go to Victoria Falls National Park
The Falls themselves are a sight to behold, but the surrounding area which is covered in a lush, thick natural rainforest, that thrives in the spray from the Falls, is quite magical too. From the park you will be able to see the Falls and you will also be able to hike around the area. You can go on guided hikes or you can go on a helicopter ride over the Falls, as such rides are offered in the area.
Go to Victoria Falls Bridge
When in the area, and if you are a thrill seeker, you can partake in an unforgettable bungee jump. This sort of trip will see you jumping off of the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge. As you leap from the bridge, you will be treated to the most incredible views of the Falls and the surrounding nature. This jump is definitely going to be a highlight of your trip to the Falls.
Go to the Batoka Gorge
While the Falls are the focus of all the attention when going on a Victoria Falls holiday, just down the gorge there are other interesting places to go, such as the Batoka Gorge. The gorge cuts through around 120km of mopane forests and rocky outcrops. Most guests, who come to the area, come here to hike but the experience is a very strenuous one, and it can absolutely take its toll on even the fittest of hikers. For those who run out of steam halfway through the trip, there is a cable car in one location that will give hikers a safe and easy escape.
Go to Bulawayo
The original capital of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo is a wonderful place to visit and it will give you a real taste of the culture, of the people and of the history of both the area and the rest of the country. The history of the area dates back to before the colonial days and the city is full of architectural wonders, so taking a walking tour is certainly something to consider.
Scenic, exciting, and truly a one of a kind destination, the Victoria Falls is the sort of place that is worth making your way to.
Two tours that you can enjoy when you are travelling with us include the Nabozi Roundtrip and the Three Countries Adventure Safaris.
At Namibia Safaris, we help our guests have the most exceptional holiday. Our tours are carefully curated to give guests the maximum amount of time in the area they are exploring and we include only the best accommodation as a part of each tour. You can contact us to book your tour or you can book a Victoria Falls trip through our website.