Victoria Falls is the largest curtain waterfall in the world and one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the world. Zambezi river drops down into the deep canyon called Batoka Gorge. The noise of Victoria Falls can be heard 40 kilometers away. The Victoria Falls can be seen from both the Zimbabwe and Zambia sides. The town in Zambia is called Livingstone and in Zimbabwe is called Victoria Falls. Both sides have international airports, plenty of accommodations to choose from, restaurants, shops, and markets.
When tourists come to see Victoria Falls for the first time, they usually ask the question of whether is it better to view Victoria Falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe. It was not different with us when we planned our first trip here. Unfortunately, there is no direct answer to this question as both sides have something special, and both come up with amazing experiences. Let me provide you with more information about both sides and let you decide.
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Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side
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 national park Mosi-Oa-Tunya. 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.
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 high water season is from March till 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.
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.
Victoria Falls from the Zambia side
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, you can read my review here and we were very happy with the choice.
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. Unless you go to Livingstone Island, which is the island where David Livingstone first time saw Victoria Falls. And I highly recommend that.
You can take a tour to Livingstone Island from where 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. You can read about it in my article here.
What other activities can be done in Zimbabwe
When you come to see Victoria Falls, you want to do more than just 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, there are several options for safaris, for example, horseback safaris, Zambezi National Park safari (I don’t recommend it during the dry hot season as animals are hiding in the bush from the heat. We did it and didn’t see much), 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.
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.
What other activities can be done 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 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.
You can also do White Water Rafting, and Zambezi Canoeing.
From Wildlife experience there is a Rhino Walk, which we did and it was amazing to be so close to such wild and huge animals. Then there is the Elephant Cafe experience and also one day 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.
You can book any of the activities on the Zimbabwe or Zambia side from this local agency Victoria Falls Guide that we used and we were very happy with them. They have all kinds of activities to choose from, I had great communication with Stacey before arrival and while in Victoria Falls, they are precise and very kind, or from GetYourGuide.
You can also walk through Livingstone town, which is a lovely clean town with a supermarket, shops, bank, market, church, and museum. And it is very safe here.
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, on which the bungee jumping is done, so they are very close to each other. You can take a taxi to the border and then walk through the bridge if the weather is good or take another taxi.
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.
Whether you decide to view Victoria Falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe, you can’t get wrong with any of the choices. However, I do recommend visiting both sides when you are there as they are so close together and also going for some other activities. Victoria Falls and both countries Zambia and Zimbabwe are amazing, rich in culture, and nature, and full of experiences. We had an incredible holiday here and if we have the chance to come again, we definitely will.