Known as ‘Moisa oa Tunya’ locally, this impressive waterfall shared by Zimbabwe and Zambia has captured the imagination of travellers for centuries. Wonderful river lodges dot the banks of the Zambezi while activities abound from walks around the falls to sightseeing flights and rafting.
The Falls are one of the most spectacular in the world - the 2km Zambezi River plunges over a series of basalt gorges with spray visible for more than 20km. The waterfall stands at an altitude of about 915m above mean sea level and spans around 1708m wide. The deepest point is 108m. Basalts have been cut by a river system producing a series of eight spectacular gorges. One of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, the Falls are the longest and most powerful waterfalls in the world and at full spate after the rainy season the noise is deafening and the spray soaks everything in the vicinity. There are many good walks for exploring the Falls and there are also various boat trips and guided tours you can take.
Victoria Falls is the name of the small town on Zimbabwe's side of the waterfall. This small and lively town has been the hub of the tourist trade in Zimbabwe and offers a wide range of hotels from five star luxury to more rustic small lodges. It is also the place to book a walking tour of the Falls, a rafting trip down the Zambezi or even a bungee jump should you be so inclined!
The Victoria Falls Hotel is the most famous hotel in the area and along with llala Lodge, is the closest to the Falls themselves. Many of our clients choose to stay here at this beautiful colonial property - enjoy a sundowner or afternoon tea from the lawns which offer a stunning view of the bridge.
However there are many lovely hotels and small lodges around Victoria Falls depending on what you want and how long you are staying - many of these, positioned along the river bank, offer the added benefit of game drives and other activities as well as courtesy shuttles to/from the Falls.
Livingstone is the gateway to the Falls on Zambia's side. Zambia's side of the Falls is characterised by lovely small river lodges, most of which are positioned just outside Livingstone upstream of the Falls themselves but still within easy reach for visiting.
What you see at the Falls depends on the time of year you decide to visit! Between around March and May the Falls are full and much of the view is obliterated by the spectacular volume of spray generated by the water gushing over the top. Walking near the Falls at this time of year is a very wet affair but you can be rewarded with a chance to see the mysterious lunar rainbow. A lunar rainbow or moonbow occurs when light from the full moon is refracted through the spray of the Falls. During full flood the spray can rise as much as 450 metres into the air and the thundering noise is something really special. However it is not simply a case of viewing the Falls during full flood. To maximise your chances of glimpsing a moonbow you need to be even more precise. The optimum time is during early evening, just after moon rise, on either the night before, the night of, or the night after a full moon. The Victoria Falls Rainforest opens specially on these nights to allow visitors to walk the pathways hugging the Falls and to view the lunar rainbow. It’s a magical experience and usually occurs in March, April, May, June and sometimes July (depending on local weather conditions).
The optimum months to visit the Falls are June to August-September when there is usually just the right amount of water in the Falls. Leave your visit until October-November time and water levels, at the end of the dry season are seriously depleted with the Zambian side often reduced to a trickle first, revealing the red rocks of the gorge.
A stay at Victoria Falls combines brilliantly with a safari in Zimbabwe, Zambia or neighbouring Botswana - Chobe National Park and Hwange National Park are just a short drive away. May to October, the dry winter months, is prime time to be on safari in these areas however visits at different times of year can be incredibly rewarding with fewer visitors to share the sights with, lower rates at lodges and lots of young animals and migratory birds to see. We love the Green Season month and the dramatic skies and the lush vibrant landscape which accompanies it.
Experience the thunder of Victoria Falls before safaris in both Hwange and Mana Pools.