Travel Tip

Victoria Falls: Zambia or Zimbabwe?

This is one of the most popular questions we receive when it comes to visiting Victoria Falls. The side of Victoria Falls that you end up choosing can have a major impact on the quality of your visit to this natural world wonder. So, it’s important to make sure you have all the facts to make the right decision because, well, no one wants to be the guy that chose the wrong side.

The first and most important element when deciding which side of Victoria Falls is better between Zambia or Zimbabwe is your view of Victoria Falls. When it comes to a better view of the falls, the Zimbabwe side is the outright winner. The Zimbabwe side is privy to about 90% of the total views of the Victoria Falls, which means that there are multiple viewing decks from which to admire this natural wonder. The Zambia side, on the other hand, has only about 10% of the view.

This doesn’t discredit Zambia entirely as an option though, as you’ll see from the head to head below there are many benefits to the Zambia side. It does however mean that it’s very important to time your visit to the Zambia side very well.

With limited viewing options of the falls, if you visit the Zambia side when it’s too dry you may be stuck viewing an empty gorge instead of the iconic rushing waters of the Falls.

When to visit Victoria Falls

Now you know how important it is to know when to visit the Victoria falls. Here’s your answer. The rainy season at Victoria Falls is from January – May. This is the best time to visit the Zambia side. The Zimbabwe side is more forgiving, with water falling throughout the year, although if you really want to see the falls in its full force, the rainy season is the time to go. By October the water levels are lower at the falls, and so this is when the white water rafting season hits its peak. This would also be the time of the year that the real adventurers have the opportunity to enjoy a swim in Devil’s Pool. It’s also important to remember that if you visit the Zimbabwe side during the height of the rainy season the spray can get so bad that your view of the falls is obscured.

Devil's Pool, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
“This would also be the time of the year that the real adventurers have the opportunity to enjoy a swim in Devil’s Pool.”

Feeling a bit overwhelmed?

The great thing about working with your Ker & Downey® Africa Adventurist is that we have people on the ground at Victoria Falls, which takes the guesswork out of planning your trip. We get on the ground, accurate information about the conditions at the falls and pass that onto you, so that you can make your travel decisions based on real time information. This is vitally important because each year has differing rainfall in different periods of the year and so no theoretical guidance is perfect.

Zambia or Zimbabwe? Head to head

If you’re the type of person that likes to keep your options open, you can always attain a KAZA Univisa upon arrival, which gives you access to both the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides of the falls, as well as day trips to Chobe National Park in Botswana.

Or, if you prefer to pick one outright destination and explore every corner of it, here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each side of the Victoria Falls:

“If you like to keep your options open you can attain a KAZA Univisa upon arrival.”

Zambia

  1. Single viewpoint of Victoria Falls
  2. Easier to do day trips to Chobe
  3. Microlight flights over Victoria Falls only available in Zambia
  4. Elephant Cafe experience
  5. Devil’s Pool

Scenic microlight flight over the Victoria Falls

Scenic microlight flight over the Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe

  1. Multiple viewing points of Victoria Falls
  2. The lodges and hotels on the Zambia side are situated closer to Victoria Falls
  3. Zip lining is available in Zimbabwe
  4. Elephant conservation at Elephant camp

Elephant Conservation at Elephant Camp

Elephant Conservation at Elephant Camp

barrons

barrons