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Victoria Falls in Zambia

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Victoria Falls in Zambia

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By Diane Du Plessis

Safari Travel Planner

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Arguably Africa’s most famous attraction, the 1.7km/1mi wide Victoria Falls, lives up to its hype, especially when viewed in full flow. At its peak between February and May, more than 550 million liters of water (enough to fill 220 Olympic-size swimming pools) spills into the Batoka Gorge every minute.

You can view the falls from Zambia and Zimbabwe, but Zambia tends to be quieter and more intimate. The flow may not reach the Zambian side from August to December, but day trips into Zimbabwe can be easily arranged.

Highlights of Victoria Falls in Zambia

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is well-geared for travelers, with an intimate network of pathways and viewpoints, a restaurant, and numerous information boards. The Zambian side also boasts what is probably the falls’ most dramatic viewpoint – the Knife Edge Bridge, which is completely shrouded in mist during peak flow.

knife's edge bridge victoria falls
knife’s edge bridge victoria falls

Above the falls, Livingstone Island and the Devil’s Pool are only accessible from the Zambian side, the latter a spectacular swimming spot right on the edge of the falls. It’s a major highlight, but for the brave only, and only open between August and January.

If adventure activities are your thing, there’s also skydiving, bungee jumping, abseiling, and white-water rafting. The rafting is also best between August and January when the river is lower, and the more difficult rapids are safe to run.

Travel Tips for a Victoria Falls holiday in Zambia
  • It’s difficult to recommend the best time to visit Victoria Falls. Swimming in the Devil’s Pool is only possible when the water level is low (from August to early January), and white-water rafting is also best during this period.
  • On the other hand, peak flow is incredible to see. These months, from February to May, give the falls its local name: Mosi-oa-Tunya, ‘The Smoke That Thunders’.
  • If you’re visiting Victoria Falls during peak flow, take a raincoat and waterproof shoes (or flip-flops). You’ll certainly get soaked if you don’t. Plastic ponchos are also available to rent at the park’s entrance; an extra one will help shield your camera.
  • There’s no shortage of hotels, lodges, and tented camps in the area. The upmarket lodges are generally along the upper stretch of the Zambezi River, above the falls, while more affordable backpackers and hotels can be found in Livingstone town.

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