Nestled between the wilderness of Zambia and beautiful Zimbabwe, this iconic natural wonder has, since it was first discovered, been a destination that people have flocked to. A place where the mighty Zambezi River plummets off the edge of a cliff, into the deep gorge below, the Victoria Falls are the ultimate iconic African destination, and a non-negotiable must-visit when you are planning a Zimbabwe tour.
To help you with your planning, we have some invaluable tips to keep in mind to ensure that you have the best Zimbabwe tour to Victoria Falls.
About the Victoria Falls
As you stand before the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, knowing some of the cultural history of the area can give you a greater appreciation for the historical significance that permeates the air.
Known locally as “Mosi-oa-Tunya,” meaning “The Smoke That Thunders,” the falls have long been a spiritual and cultural place of incredible importance for the indigenous people who lived in the area for an incalculably long time before it was “discovered” by European explorers.
David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, was the first European to lay eyes on this natural wonder in 1855, and he named it in honour of Queen Victoria.
Today, the falls continue to have a magical effect on visitors. And if this is your first time visiting the Falls, you can bet there is nothing quite like this place.
Our Top Tips for Planning the Best Zimbabwe Tour
A Zimbabwe tour is something every adventurous soul should do once. The people are warm and the cultures are rich. But the biggest attraction is, without a doubt, the falls. Here’s how you can plan your trip.
Choose the Right Time to Visit
The beauty of Victoria Falls varies throughout the year.
To witness the falls at their most spectacular, you must plan your Zimbabwe tour during the peak flow season from March to May. Keep in mind though, that this is an exceptionally popular time of year to travel there, so you will have crowds.
Should you prefer a quieter experience and if you want the chance to explore the surrounding areas more intimately, consider the dry season from September to December. The falls might not be as majestic since the majority of the rains have not yet fallen, but it is still well worth the trip.
Book Accommodation with a View
Your Victoria Falls experience will be that little bit more magical when you book accommodation that offers a front-row seat to the falls. There are many hotels and lodges in both Zambia and Zimbabwe that provide stunning views of the falls, allowing you to wake up to the sound of rushing water and lookout on the breath taking vistas.
Explore Both Sides
The Victoria Falls straddles the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, creating unique perspectives from each side.
Since you might only ever come here once, make sure that you plan to explore both countries so that you can see the falls from various angles. The Zimbabwean side is renowned for its panoramic views and walks through the forest, while the Zambian side provides opportunities for thrilling activities like microlight flights over the falls and for the more adventurous at heart, you can even take a dip close to where the falls plummet into the gorge.
Must-See Places at Victoria Falls
To make your trip that little bit more unforgettable, here’s what you should do while you are at the falls.
Swim in the Devil’s Pool
A visit to Devil’s Pool, on the Zambian side, is a must if you are brave enough. During the dry season, a natural rock pool at the edge of the falls appears, allowing you to swim right at the precipice. You shouldn’t just go there though, rather look for an accredited guide to take you there.
Walk the Victoria Falls Bridge
A visit to the Victoria Falls Bridge, a true masterpiece of engineering that spans the Zambezi River, is the ideal trip for the history fans. From the bridge you can enjoy truly breath taking views of the gorge and, for the adrenaline junkies, you can even go bungee jumping from the bridge!
Go for a Rainforest Walk
On the Zimbabwean side, you can take a leisurely stroll through the most beautiful rainforest which sits adjacent to the falls. There is lush vegetation, a vibrant birdlife, and while here you can catch glimpses of the rainbow-laden spray that adds to the ethereal atmosphere.