Is it better to view Victoria Falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe?
Welcome, adventure seekers and wanderlust enthusiasts, to a captivating discussion that delves into the eternal question: Is it better to view Victoria Falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe?
Nestled between the borders of these two enchanting African nations, the majestic Victoria Falls reigns as a mesmerizing testament to the raw power and beauty of nature. Cascading with thunderous force, its roaring waters create an awe-inspiring spectacle that has captivated explorers, poets, and adventurers for centuries.
All travelers coming to see Victoria Falls for the first time, are usually asking the question of whether it is better to view Victoria Falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe. It was not different for us when we planned our first trip here.
Unfortunately, there is no direct answer to this question as each side offers a unique vantage point and a distinct array of adventures that promise to leave an indelible mark on your soul.
With swirling mist, lush rainforests, and the echoes of cascading water guiding your path, let us embark on this exploration together, as we compare the magic of Victoria Falls from both Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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Is It Better To View Victoria Falls From Zambia Or Zimbabwe?
View of Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side
About 75% of the falls can be seen from the Zimbabwe side. Therefore if you only looking to see the Falls, the Zimbabwe side could be the better option for you. Bear in mind that the view of the Falls is different during the low and high water seasons.
We visited Victoria Falls during the dry season in October and the view was spectacular. There were some points where we got a little shower from the falls as the power of the water is so strong.
Some parts were completely dry, so we saw only the rocky wall, which also has its magic. During the high water season, you need to take a raincoat as you will get completely wet.
The dry season is between May-October/November and the rainy season is from November to April. The peak of the high water season is from March to June when the power of the water is very strong, the path could be slippery and it may be even not possible to see the falls themselves.
When you come to Zimbabwe, the best thing is to accommodate in one of the hotels in Victoria Falls town that are close to the border, which is near the Falls.
We stayed in N1 Hotel, you can read about it in my article here, from where we walked only about 10 minutes to the Victoria Falls National Park. This is a National park where you have to pay the entrance fee and take a walk to see Victoria Falls from different angles and spots.
The walk through the National Park can take you a couple of hours, depending on how much time you spend on certain viewpoints, how many pictures and videos you take, etc. There are parts with rainforest and parts with the possibility to stand on the rock sides to see the Zambia side.
View of Victoria Falls from the Zambia side
To see the Falls from the Zambia side, you will need to come during the wet season, however, not at its peak as the power of the water is so strong that you may lose visibility and the paths are slippery.
During the dry season, there is no water and all you see is a rock wall. So if you are coming during the dry season, you should not come to Zambia as you will be disappointed.
However, there is one activity on the Zambia side that can be done only during the dry season when the water level is low and it is taking a tour to Livingstone Island which is the island where David Livingstone first time saw Victoria Falls, and you will be gifted with a breathtaking view of the Falls.
We were lucky to see it during lovely sunshine with a rainbow above it. You can choose a tour with breakfast or lunch on the island.
For the more courageous there is a possibility to go to Devil’s Pool where you can sit or lie down at the edge of the Falls where the water is falling down. It is amazing and for me one of the best experiences ever. Read about it in my article here.
The accommodation on the Zambia side is a little bit more expensive, however, you can find nice lodges for a good price. We stayed in Maramba River Lodge, which was a lovely lodge with a pool inside the National Park. You can read my review here.
Activities in Zimbabwe
When you come to see Victoria Falls, you want to do more than see the Falls, even if this is your main point of interest. There are many more activities to be done on both Zimbabwe and Zambian sides.
If you love to see some wildlife, then Zimbabwe is your better option. You can choose from horseback safaris, Zambezi National Park safari, or you can take a day trip to Chobe National Park in Botswana. Don’t forget to check the visa needs, depending on your nationality. The best time for safaris is from May to September.
For the beautiful views you can take a helicopter flight, lunar rainbow tour, steam train tour, or Zambezi river tour (we took this one and it was amazing with some food, drinks, and sunset).
If you love adrenaline, these activities are for you. White Water Rafting, High-Speed Jetboat, Zambezi Canoeing, Gorge Swing, Flying Fox, Zip Line, and Bungee jumping. Remember that water activities can’t be done during the high water season.
Activities in Zambia
There are a lot of activities to be done on the Zambian side too. As mentioned above, going to Devil’s Pool is the top activity, but this can be done only during the dry season when the water level is low. There is also Angel’s pool which is a bit smaller.
You can also do a Lunar Rainbow tour, helicopter flight, and even more Microlight flights. From water activities, there are White Water Rafting and Zambezi Canoeing.
If you want to see wildlife I recommend a Rhino Walk. We did and it was fascinating to be so close to such wild and giant animals.
Some other experiences include the Elephant Cafe, which is a restaurant with an elephant sanctuary. Here you can interact with gentle elephants and then enjoy your meal in the restaurant.
You can also take one day trip to Chobe National Park. One of the best activities we did was walking with cheetahs and lions. You can choose both or just one of them.
When it comes to booking activities on either the Zimbabwe or Zambia side of Victoria Falls, I recommend Victoria Falls Guide a trusted local agency that left us absolutely delighted with their services.
With an extensive array of activities to choose from, this remarkable agency provided us with seamless experiences that exceeded our expectations. From the moment we reached out to Stacey, our contact at Victoria Falls Guide, the communication was exceptional. Her assistance and guidance prior to our arrival were invaluable.
You can also use GetYourGuide company.
Accommodation in Zimbabwe
If you like to stay within walking distance from the Falls, then Zimbabwe is your right choice. Victoria Falls town is a small touristic town with many accommodations close to the Victoria Falls National Park.
We stayed in N1 Hotel, which was a 10-minute walk from the Falls.
📍Where to stay on the Zimbabwe side
The Victoria Falls Hotel
Shearwater Explorers Village
Accommodation in Zambia
Accommodation in Zambia could be a little bit more expensive but there is an extensive choice of beautiful luxury lodges. Also, accommodation in Zambia and Livingstone town is a little bit further from the Falls. Therefore you will need to use a taxi if you want to go to see the Falls or go to the town.
Nevertheless, the Royal Livingstone Hotel and Avani Victoria Falls Resort are located inside the National Park. Guests have free entry to the park to see the Falls whenever they want.
We stayed in Maramba River Lodge which is a nice African lodge with close distance to the town by taxi.
📍Where to stay on the Zambia side
The Royal Livingstone Hotel
Thorntree River Lodge
Shopping and eating out in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s side is a great option for buying souvenirs as there is a huge outdoor market where they sell everything from fridge magnets to huge wooden elephants. In this market, you need to be ready to negotiate.
However, there is also a big store with fixed prices called Elephant’s Walk Shopping and Artist Village where you can find clothes, sculptures, jewelry, and much more.
As Victoria Falls is a small tourist and friendly town, you will find many options for nice restaurants and cafes within walking distance.
Shopping and eating out in Zambia
Livingstone is also a nice small town, but you need a taxi to get there from your accommodation and also from the Falls. On one side of the road, you will find a market where you can buy souvenirs.
There are also a few restaurants, a supermarket, and a museum. However, the options are not as many as on Zimbabwe’s side.
Good to know
When you are considering which side of the Falls you will visit, you need to know that there are visas to be bought for Zambia and Zimbabwe each time you enter. Therefore the best thing is to get KAZA Visa which let you enter both countries multiple times in one month.
Zambia and Zimbabwe are connected by a bridge called Victoria Falls Bridge. You can take a taxi to the border on each side and then walk across the bridge if the weather is good or take another taxi.
However, I do recommend this little walk which will take you approximately 20 minutes and reward you with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding natural wonders. The unparalleled beauty of the scenery will leave you in awe as you traverse this iconic landmark.
Moreover, as you make your way along the Victoria Falls Bridge, you might catch a glimpse of courageous individuals indulging in the adrenaline-pumping activity of bungee jumping
Remember that some activities can be done only during low water season and some during high water season, therefore check those before you chose the time of your travel.
Conclusion-Is it better to view Victoria Falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe?
Whether you decide to go for the Zimbabwe side to see 75 percent of the Falls, stay in a small town within walking distance from Falls and restaurants and go for a game drive, or you will choose the Zambia side with Livingstone Island and Devil’s Pool, interacting with Elephants, cheetahs, or lions, you can’t get wrong.
Victoria Falls will leave an indelible mark on your soul no matter which side you choose. Its mesmerizing beauty, thunderous power, and captivating allure will forever remain etched in your memories.
If your time and budget allow you, I recommend visiting both sides when you are there as they are so close to each other and both sides can provide you with different experiences.