What do you need to know before visiting Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe?

Before we went for our volunteering program in Victoria Falls Zambia, followed by a holiday in Victoria Falls on both sides of Zambia and Zimbabwe, I did deep research about both countries and activities that can be done here.

In this blog post, I will provide you with basic information that you should know before visiting Victoria Falls in both Zambia and Zimbabwe.

 

Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zambia and Zimbabwe

 

All You Need To Know Before Visiting Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe

Many people don’t know where is Victoria Falls located and that it is part of two different countries Zambia and Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls is located in the southern part of Africa in Zambia and Zimbabwe separated by the Zambezi River.

Therefore you can see the Victoria Falls from both sides, Zambia and Zimbabwe. To find out more about which side to choose, read my article here.

 

Victoria Falls-Livingstone Town

Basic information about Zambia

Zambia is located in Southern Africa, bordering Zimbabwe. Actually, the borders are so close to each other that you can walk along the bridge to get from one country to another. The main river is the Zambezi River which falls about 100 meters creating the famous Victoria Falls.

Capital city– Lusaka

Religion– Christianity

Currency– Zambian Kwacha (ZMW) The best is to take USD with you and then change it there. However, many companies and hotels are accepting USD too.

Also, take your credit or debit card, it is accepted in hotels and some shops and you can also take money from ATMs there. However, don’t rely on cards only and take some amount of cash with you.

Time Zone– UTC+2

Driving side– left

Official language– English

Visa– Some nationalities are exempt from tourist visas, some can buy upon arrival and some have to request before departure. Please check them out here where you can also apply online.

There is also a KAZA visa which is for both Zambia and Zimbabwe for 30 days. The fee is $50. This is the best option when visiting both Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Also, your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your departure date.

Vaccinations– The routine vaccinations taken during our childhood are recommended (Tetanus, Hepatitis A, and B). Also, Typhoid especially if you are going to spend time in villages and rural areas.

You must have Yellow fever vaccination only if you are coming from countries with a high risk of Yellow fever, otherwise, you don’t need it as Yellow fever is not present in Zambia.

Rabies vaccination is advised to take if you are going to work with animals.

Malaria is present in Zambia and you need to take mosquito spray with strong repellents. Mosquito nets are in every hotel or lodge. If you are not staying in a hotel or lodge, but in some cheaper accommodation, it is advisable to take your own mosquito net.

Tablets against malaria are optional and could be necessary only during the rainy season. We visited during the dry season and only had mosquito spray and it was enough.

When it comes to Covid-19 vaccination, always check before your trip as this can change anytime.

Climate– Is mostly humid subtropical. There are two seasons, rainy and dry. The rainy season is from November to April. The dry season is from May to October/November. From May to August is cooler while September to November is hot.

 

Victoria Falls-Zimbabwe

Basic information about Zimbabwe

As well as Zambia, also Zimbabwe is located in Southeast Africa. However most of the Falls, which is 75% can be seen from the Zimbabwe side.

Capital city– Harare

Religion– Mostly Christianity

Currency– Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD). Bring USD with you, they are accepted almost everywhere or you can exchange them here. Also, bring a credit or debit card, but don’t rely solely on it. You want to have a good amount of cash with you, however not too much as that is not safe.

Time zone– UTC+2

Driving side– left

Official language– There are 16 official languages, including English

VisaThe same as in Zambia the visa depends on nationality in case you don’t have the KAZA visa. Also, your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your departure date.

Vaccination– apply the same as for Zambia

Climate– Subtropical, the same as in Zambia

 

Victoria Falls on Zambia's side

When is the best time to go

Given that the weather in these countries tends to be warm throughout the year, there is no specific period when you must visit. However, the ideal time for you to plan your trip will depend on what activities you want to engage in during your stay.

For instance, from November to April, the rainy season causes the Zambezi River to rise, resulting in a more robust Victoria Falls.

If your primary objective is to witness the falls at their most powerful, you should consider visiting towards the middle or end of the rainy season. It is advisable to bring a raincoat and a waterproof camera as some areas may get wet due to the falls.

Regarding safaris, I don’t recommend visiting during October and November since it is very hot, and animals are hiding in the bushes. During our visit in October, we spotted very few animals.

During the rainy season, the parks may be closed as the roads can get very muddy and also it is low season for seeing the animals as there is enough water everywhere and bushes are thick with plenty of greenery where animals stay.

The most recommended period to go on a safari is from June to September. You can explore parks in Zambia and Zimbabwe, or you may consider going to Botswana, which is widely regarded as the best option.

In case you would like to visit Livingstone Island and Devil’s Pool, you need to know that this is possible only during the dry season when the water is at its lowest. Otherwise, it would not be safe.

Usually, the pool is open from late August till the beginning of January. The pool is located on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. I do recommend planning your activities ahead and booking them in advance before you go.

To know more when is the best time to visit Victoria Falls, check my article here.

 

Giraffe in Victoria Falls

Is Victoria Falls safe?

Victoria Falls on both sides of Zambia and Zimbabwe is a very safe place. Both towns Livingston Town in Zambia and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe are very tourist places and you can freely walk around.

While working as volunteers in Zambia we and other volunteers walked to the village or took a taxi where we were teaching children. We felt very safe there during the day.

In case you would like to go out at night, take a taxi or rent a car as you are in National Park and animals can walk freely there. We saw some elephants, giraffes, and baboons on the road during the day.

Crime is very low there, but be always careful with your belongings, don’t wear shiny jewelry, and don’t carry a big amount of money with you.

While tap water is safe to drink, rather drink bottled water from the shop to be sure or boiled the tap water first.

 

What to pack to Victoria Falls

What kind of clothes to pack to Victoria Falls depends on the time of the year you are coming. During the winter the evenings and nights get cooler and you will need a jacket. During the rainy season, you will need a raincoat. During the summer don’t forget about sunscreen and sunglasses.

For safaris, your clothes should be natural colors, not bright colors. For evenings bring long trousers and long sleeves T-shirt to protect yourself from mosquitoes.

Don’t forget to bring a bikini for your hotel pool or to Devi’s Pool. In towns don’t wear very short shorts or skirts.

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Conclusion-What do you need to know before visiting Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe?

In conclusion, Victoria Falls is a remarkable destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Before embarking on your journey, it is essential to keep in mind the best time to visit, what to pack, what vaccinations to take, having your passport and visa ready and the various activities available.

With its breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and numerous adventure opportunities, Victoria Falls promises an unforgettable experience. By following the tips and recommendations outlined in this post, you can maximize your trip and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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