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You will need to hire a car as it's a bit out of town, but we recommend staying at The Stanley and Livingstone Hotel (if you don't want to rent a vehicle, there are several shuttles a day and taxis), mainly because of the views of wildlife (like zebras, baboons, buffalo and even elephants) around the watering hole. Do the lion walk. Go for the honeymoon suite, which offers more privacy and has its own jacuzzi. If you're a Livingstone/Stanley fan, you'll enjoy the photos in the hotel of the men.

There are a number of hotels at Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side, and in Livingstone on the Zambian side of the border. If you prefer staying on the Zambian side, we recommend The Royal Livingstone Hotel. In the evening you have the feel of the wild, listening to the insects buzzing outside. The monkeys are very cheeky, so do remember to close your windows! Outside you may also see impala, giraffes and zebras - for best photos find out the positioning and timing of the feeding station. Spend time relaxing by the pool. Ask for a room on the top floor with a view of the river.

Cheap Victoria Falls Holidays

Mother nature is a spectacular builder. Victoria Falls in situated on the Zambezi River, and can be viewed from the Zambian or Zimbabwean side. The falls no place to go for a swim - they are the largest in the world, not in terms of height or width, but rather a combination of the two making it the largest curtain of water falling in the world (height is 108m and width is 1708m). The native people refer to Victoria Falls as "mosi-oa-tunya" (or "mosi-o-tunya") meaning "smoke that thunders." 

Breaking news: 25 Jul 2017 : Enock Kufandada, who works for Adventure Zone, is torn apart by a supposedly "domesticated"bull elephant

9 Nov 2014 - Reinhard Kleindl from Austria has become the first person to walk across Victoria Falls on a slackline.


  • 24 Dec 2013. Zanu-PF plans to rename Victoria Falls with its traditional name, Mosi-Oa-Tunya.

  • 13 May 2013. The Zambesi river is dangerous - whilst basking on a rock, a strong current swept Esther Chama, a 17-year-old girl from Livingstone, into the gorge.

Getting to Victoria Falls

Flights to Victoria Falls

You can fly to Livingstone on the Zambian side, or to Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side.

Johannesburg to Livingstone

Johannesburg to Victoria Falls

Nelspruit to Livingstone

Windhoek to Victoria Falls

Train to Vic Falls

Try steer clear of using the National Railways of Zimbabwe. If you have to, then make sure you ask for a first class compartment, but don't expect too much from it. The heading of James Murua's account of a train trip to Victoria Fall says it all: "National Railways of Zimbabwe make me love Kenya Railways". He found the fare reasonable for 2nd class, but....his carriage had no lights! "Then the biggest shock as far as I was concerned. No blankets and bed sheets". And don't expect much in the way of food either: "all you get was alcohol – Carling black label or Chibuku and a soft drink – coca cola. There were some snacky things – biscuits in a little pack, that sort of thing – that made me wish I had thought ahead and brought some food." On his return trip James tried out first class: "I suspect whoever had last used this place had smoked some very illegal substances and there was little issue with cleaning up".

About the falls

Above the falls the Zambezi River is slow-flowing, shallow, wide and teeming with wildlife. As the water thunders down Victoria Falls it throws up rainbows and a permanent cloud (and the only thing which beats a rainbow is a moonbow - for that special experience visit during full moon!). Below the falls the Zambezi River flows into the Batoka Gorges, and is fast flowing, narrow and without much wildlife. They say that above the falls the crocodiles have teeth, but below the falls it is the Zambezi that has the teeth.

When the Zambezi River is full the Victoria Falls becomes a monster, whilst the low season offers the opportunity for the brave & reckless to swim to the edge of the falls and sit in the Devil's Armchair.

From March the rains stop and the land slowly dries out. As the Zambezi quietens, above the falls elephant venture to the islands in the Zambezi to feast on the lush grass next to the river. In May the Zambezi's power grows weaker and fishermen, fisheagles and kingfishers return to fish from its waters. Many fishermen prefer fishing below the falls to avoid the dangerous hippos (& some at the edge of the falls).

From below the falls the Zambezi flows through Zimbabwe to Mozambique, where it forms a delta and drains into the Indian Ocean, north of Beira.

Zambia or Zimbabwe?

What's the difference between seeing Victoria Falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe? "The president, say people, only half-joking"! Traditionally, visitors have stayed on the Zimbabwean side in the town called "Victoria Falls", but since the turmoil in Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe's rule, the Livingstone side has flourished.

Which side has the better view

The Zambian side is above the falls, so you watch the water flowing downwards from the top, whilst the Zimbabwean side is below the falls, so you have a view of the water falling towards you. The view is better from the Zimbabwean side and there are clearer paths to walk, but you should go view the falls from both sides (and from above as well!). Here's a video which gives a good idea of what it's like to see the falls from the Zimbabwean side (with the Zambesi in full flow):

Which side to stay on?

Because the view is better on the Zimbabwean side, it's more convenient to stay on the Zimbabwean side, unless you've got specific activities you're focussing on, on the Zambian side - e.g. swimming in Devil's Pool. Both sides are similar from a safety and friendliness point of view.


7 April 2013. Samora Mukombwe, a tour guide based at Victoria Falls who worked in the Zambezi National Park at Pioneers' Camp, is killed by a crocodile after his canoe capsizes and he falls in the Zambezi River. Henry Mudenda, a seventeen-year-old fisherman, witnessed the mauling and called other coworkers of Mukombwe at Pioneers' Camp, who found Mukombwe's body in the jaws of the crocodile about 200m from Pioneers' Camp. The crocodile was frightened away and Mukombwe's body recovered.

By bus to Victoria Falls

You can travel by bus from Cape Town to Victoria Falls via Windhoek (so also Windhoek to Victoria Falls), with the Intercape bus.

Canopy Tour

From 1 June 2013 Wild Horizons are opening a Canopy Tour of Victoria Falls, which will consist of a tour of the Zambezi's Batoka Gorge & the forest via rope bridges, slides & trails - suitable for all ages.

Bungee Jump

For a change it's a lady bungee jumping!

Mark completes a successful scream and bungee jump at Vic Falls (some footage of Victoria Falls Hotel in the distance).

Kiran makes it back alive from his bungee jump at Vic Falls (almost touching the water on the way down!).

Magnifique! Sanda from Norway pushes through his nervousness to do the bungee jump at Vic Falls.


Gorge Swing Jump

Face-first cliff-jumping!

Brendan goes for a bridge swing off Victoria Falls whilst holding a GoPro camera! "WhooHoo! Oh Yes. WhooHoo. That was fantastic, oh that was good, that might have been better than the bungee, oh that was fun. That was incredible."

Dacia Durham does the bridge swing at Victoria Falls - one can cut through the tension with a knife as we see her prepare and then jump through a light rain - footage from various angles (first part is a promo video, footage of Dacia starts at 1:18).

Norbert Figueroa's swing jump from the bridge at Victoria Falls (probably not what Livingstone had in mind!)

Victoria Falls National Park

Most people go view the falls from the Zimbabwean side in the Victoria Falls National Park. You can buy raincoats, as if it's that time of year you will get wet! This video clip gives a good idea of what it's like viewing the falls from the cliffs, with the sound of rain coming down on occassion and a beautiful rainbow:

Here's another clip:


Elephant Ride Safari

Step on top of one of these mighty beasts and go on safari, seeing the bush from high up - elephant safari at Victoria Falls.


Shearwater also offers elephant-back safaris at Victoria Falls: "An elephant-backed safari is an adventure you'll never forget. A chance for a unique safari on top of the bush's own 4x4. Interact with our herd of gentle giants and learn about them from the knowledge of our indonas."


Lion Encounters

Here's footage from a walk in the bush with Lion Encounters of a brutal killing of a monkey by a lion, it takes some 11 minutes, with the l ion toying with its prey. Not the way anybody would want to die.

Microlight flights

Here's a photo by April Gilbert of her microlight flight over Victoria Falls: "I had heart palpitations as we were going up but quickly got used to it and was able to enjoy the amazing views of the cracks in the earth (visible at left in photo) that resulted in the falls along with the falls themselves. The current location is the eighth for these falls and they can predict where the next one will be in 20,000 years or so!  I also was able to see giraffe, elephant, hippo and crocodile in and around the Zambezi river from the air."

microlight flight over the Victoria Falls

Photo sequence of a microlight flight over the Victoria Falls:



Victoria Falls is in a malaria prone area, so be sure to check with your doctor before you go and start prophylaxis before your arrival.

Flying Fox


Top things to do at Victoria Falls


Helicopter or microlight flight above the Victoria Falls. Note that for safety reasons you wont be allowed to take camera-equipment with on the microlight flights (Microlight flights are only from the Zambian side - Livingstone).


View the rainbows through the spray in the sun and if it's full moon and the Zambesi is at its most thunderous, view a lunar rainbow at night (moonbow). Walk across the bridge at the falls.


Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, keeping an eye out for crocs, hippos and birdlife.


Bungi Jump, zip line, abseil and gorge swing


Visit the Crocodile Ranch and nature sanctuary


Picnic on Livingstone Island in the middle of the falls, and Swim in devil's pool, right next to the falls (only in the dry season and only with an experienced guide). This is usually only possible during the months of September and December.


White water rafting or canoeing in the Zambesi River. In March during the high water flow you can usually only run rapids 11 to 25 - if you want to tackle all the rapids then visit in September or October.


Wild Horizons Elephant Back Safari


Visit the Victoria Falls Crocodile Ranch.


High Tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel, enjoying the views of the bridge.


Victoria Falls Tram Bridge Tour over the Victoria Falls Bridge, which is 111m above the river, with lovely views of the falls.


John Robson published this video of Victoria Falls in January 2013:

Victoria Falls: Zimbabwe & Zambia from John Robson on Vimeo.

Victoria Falls: Zimbabwe & Zambia from John Robson on Vimeo.

BBC Victoria Falls documentary released in October 2012:

Devil's Pool

The Devil's Pool is a naturally formed infinity pool sitting right at the top of Victoria Falls. At the right time of year (usually from September to December) you can swim to Devil's Pool, after canoeing to Livingstone Island and seeing the spot David Livingstone himself stood (at other times of the year you'd be swept over the falls). Swimming at the top of the world's largest waterfall is quite an experience - it takes a combination of bravery, suicidal tendencies and recklesness! You can sit on the Devil's armchair, and avoid doing the "no-rope bungee jump". In fact, getting to the Devil's pool is just as dangerous as the pool itself, having to avoid stagnant pools which may have crocodiles in them, and cross channels with much stronger currents.

Cameron Mackie gets up close and personal with the Devil's Pool:

Living on the edge :)

Here are the latest crazies to upload footage of them visiting the Devil's Pool:



Devil's Pool at Victoria Falls

14 Nov 2009. One off the bucket list.

5 Jan 2009. Two ladies jump into the Devil's Pool.

When to go

Here's footage which shows the difference in the falls between April and October:

Avoid going at Christmas/New Year when Victoria Falls and its hotels are at their busiest.

rainy season
November to March

The water volume is higher and the waterfalls more dramatic. However, the spray obscures viewing and you will get wet as you walk along the paths near the Victoria or if you cross the bridge.

dry season
April to October

The water volume is lower and the waterfall might just be trickling over. However, you get a clear view of the ledges beneath the falls.

Time your visit for a full moon. Victoria Falls is one of a few places in the world where you can regularly see a moonbow. If you go during full moon you may see a rare lunary rainbow (moonbow). The spray from Victoria Falls creates a rainbow when the sun is out. At night, the rainbow usually vanishes, except when there is a full moon and a clear sky, and when the Zambesi river is at its most thunderous (January to July). It's best to view the moonbow from the Zimbabwean side (you need to look at the spray with the moon behind it). During full moon the Rainforest Park is opened for a several hours during the evening.

Rainbow Paradise

Victoria Falls is a rainbow paradise. The spray at Victoria Falls pretty much always creates rainbows, although when the water's lower it's not as spectacular. If you want the best view of the rainbow, try a microlight flight. During full moons, at night you can often seen moonbows. Try a bungie jump to see a rainbow from upside down.

Dry Season

Here's footage of the Victoria Falls at the end of the dry season (late September):


The currency in Zimbabwe is US dollars. Whilst South African Rand are generally acceptable, traders often don't have change and convert at an unfavourable exchange rate (often multiplying the dollar price by 10).

Top Victoria Falls blogs

29 Mar 2010

Drew experienced the Victoria Falls at their maximum during the peak of the rainy season, with the thunderous sound of the falls being easily audible from the Zambesi Sun Hotel at which she was staying. The Zambesi Sun Hotel is well positioned, with an entrance straight into Mosi-o-Tunya National Park and the entrance to the Victoria Falls.

photo of person posing in front of Victoria Falls

Rapid Run

Steve Fisher's ultimate ride on the rapids below Victoria Falls.

Top restaurants

The Victoria Falls Hotel's Livingstone Room, Boma - Place of Eating and the Llala Lodge Hotel's Palm Restaurant.

Map of Victoria Falls



Baboon troops live in the valley next to the falls, and are known for their snatch-and-grab tactics, if they see a plastic bag on you they may think it's got food in it and try to get it. Rather take a backpack around with you to carry things.

Charities in Victoria Falls

Merely be visiting Victoria Falls you make a huge difference in the lives of some very por people. If you want to do a bit more, here are a couple of charities you may want to consider:

Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit

This non-profit organisation mounts active patrols, finds employment for ex-poachers, carries out education for the local community, and assists in the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife injured by humans. Contact: Charles Brightman at

Rose of Charity

Assists kids who have been orphaned, abandoned are living with a disability or HIV / Aids. The organisation is situated in the Chinotimba Township.

1204 Chinotimba Town Ship
Victoria Falls, 00000
(071) 251-5826 or 0712337028

The Anglican Street Children’s Programme, Zambia

This programme words to help give the under-privileged children of Zambia an education, and support them throughout Zambia. Contact:


Here's footage of Elephants Walk Shopping Centre:

History of Victoria Falls


Zambia restricts border crossings at the Victoria Falls, in response to Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence, not opening the border crossing until 1980.


The Victoria Falls bridge is opened, and a railway is built to the Victoria Falls, as part of Cecil John Rhodes vision of a railway from Cape Town to Cairo. Commissioned by Rhodes in 1904, he had insisted that they  “Build the bridge across the Zambezi where the trains, as they pass, will catch the spray of the Falls”. Before the bridge was built the Zambesi was was crossed above the Victoria falls at the Old Drift by a barge towed across the river with a steel cable or by dugout canoe.

building the bridge at Victoria Falls


The possibility of using the waterfalls for hydroelectric power is explored.


Czech explorer Emil Holub makes the first detailed plan of the Victoria Falls and its surroundings, which is published in 1880.


David Livingstone returns to the falls with John Kirk, to make a detailed study of it.

17 Nov 1855

David Livingstone is believed to be the first European to have viewed the Victoria Falls, which he did from Livingstone Island in Zambia. When reading that David Livingstone "discovered" the Victoria Falls you might be forgiven for thinking there was nobody around in the area...clearly not the case (the falls were well known to local tribes, but Europeans were sceptical of the claims thinking that the lack of mountains on the plateau made a waterfall unlikely). Livingstone names it Victoria Falls in honour of his Queen. Livingstone says of the Victoria Falls: "No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight."

3m years ago

Stone artifacts around the falls indicates the presence of Homo habilis. There are also 50,000 year old middle-stone-age tools and late-stone-age (2000 to 10,000 years ago). Khoisan hunter-gatherers displaced the Stone Age people, and the Khoisan were later replaced by Bantu tribes such as the Batoka/Tokalea. The Batoka/Tokalea named the waterfalls Shungu na mutitima. The Matabele arrived later and called the falls aManz' aThunqayo. The Batswana and Makololo call them Mosi-oa-Tunya - all these names essentially mean "smoke that thunders".

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