A trip to Southern Africa isn’t complete without a jaunt to see one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, on a family getaway, or on a solo mission, stopping in to see the world’s largest sheet of falling water is essential. Here’s how to make the most of your vacation to Victoria Falls.
Victoria Falls straddles Zambia and Zimbabwe, and forms the natural border between the two countries. The Batoka Gorge is a deep chasm of basalt rock formed from the raging waters of the Zambezi River after it plummets over the waterfall and continues downstream, finally spilling into the Indian Ocean from Mozambique.
Livingstone is the quaint colonial town on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. On the Zimbabwean side, Victoria Falls town is more built up for tourism and has an increasing connectivity with international flights. For example, flying business class Lufthansa is now possible directly from Frankfurt to Victoria Falls, enabling visitors to arrive rested and ready for adventure.
While many nationalities can obtain their visa upon arrival in Zimbabwe and Zambia, it is a swifter and less stressful process if done in advance. In addition, Botswana is only an hour away. Chobe National Park is world-famous for its high density of African Elephants, and a side trip should always be included in every itinerary to Victoria Falls.
Understanding finances when in a foreign country can be intimidating. However, two important tips when traveling to the Victoria Falls area that will save you a lot of headaches are:
- Travel with United States dollars in cash; avoid euros, pounds, or other currencies
- Bring an assortment of smaller dollar bills as making change can be challenging
- Ensure all dollar bills are from 2006 or later
- Most hotels, larger restaurants, safari, and activity companies will accept Visa or Mastercard
- Don’t worry about having the local currency except for small items and markets
- Use any remaining local currency before departing as it can be difficult to change
Victoria Falls and Livingstone offer a plethora of accommodation options, from budget-friendly backpackers to lavish, multi-award-winning boutique safari lodges. One of the newest luxury stays is Mukwa Lodge, on the banks of the Zambezi River on the outskirts of Livingstone, Zambia. In addition to being wowed by the lodge itself, the food is second-to-none. The focus on elevating traditional, foraged ingredients will provide rousing dinner conversation and a burst of flavor.
When to Go
Weather in the Victoria Falls area is notably split between the dry season from April through late October and the wet season from November through late March. However, don’t be discouraged by the rain; oftentimes, this merely means an afternoon shower that offers a refreshing cool-down. June, July, and August are the chillier winter months, whereas October and November are the hottest time of year to visit.
For those up for partaking in the adrenaline-fueled activities that the Victoria Falls area is famous for, we recommend booking a holiday in September when white water rafting and swimming in the Devil’s Pool are at their best. In general, the cooler, drier months are ideal for safari-goers wanting to catch a glimpse of Africa’s big five.A short vacation to Southern Africa may seem far-fetched; however, with direct flights landing in Victoria Falls from Europe, it is more than doable. We are confident that once you visit Africa for the first time, you’ll be planning your next trip before you’re even back through your front door.