Did you know, the majestic Victoria Falls is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s also one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World? This 1 700m wide waterfall, renowned for being the greatest sheet of falling water on earth, has become a worldwide phenomenon. The falls, situated on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and formed by the Zambezi river, attracts millions of visitors a year – and there’s no wonder why!
Some have described the falls as (arguably) the most breathtaking sight in all of Africa – which makes it a sight not be missed when visiting the continent!
Now, because the falls are situated between Zambia and Zimbabwe, there is, of course, two different viewing points; both of which offer visitors unique perspectives, and exhilarating experiences. However, many people still ask the question: ‘Which side offers the best views of the falls?’ or, ‘Which side is the most popular with adventurous tourists?’ To answer these questions, we’ve put together a comparative summary which we hope will assist you in your decision on whether to enter through Zimbabwe, or Zambia.
Many believe the Zimbabwean side has better, and more unobstructing viewing points than that of Zambia. This is due to the various paths that pass by Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Rainbow Falls – all significant, and utterly beautiful sections of the falls.
This side is also known to offer year-round viewing, regardless of whether one is visiting in high or low water season. The high water season, which is between the months of February to July, offers spectacular sights, and is certainly a mesmerising experience, as the falls thunder from the immense pressure and extraordinary amount of water. However, sometimes the pressure can be so intense that the mist from the water obstructs one’s full view of the falls.
The Zimbabwean side also offers easier access to the renowned Livingstone Island, home to the Devil’s Pool (which can also be accessed from the Zambian side). The Devil’s Pool allows you to catch sight of the falls from above, as you peer over the edge and swim in the very water that’s making its way to the edge of the cliff. (Adventure junkies – this one’s for you!)
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Zambia also offers breathtaking views, though it has fewer viewpoints. The views, according to those who have experienced both sides, cannot be easily compared. There are indeed mixed opinions regarding which side offers better views – there is no definite answer.
The views from the Zambian side, however, are dependent on season. During low season, which is from September to December; one can often be left disappointed as the water is much less intense. Sometimes there’s no water at all in some sections! The peak of the high season which is from March to June, is definitely the best time to visit the Zambian side, as you’re sure to see once-in-a-lifetime sights.
With regards to sights; both have their advantages, however, the Zimbabwean side is not as affected by the change in seasons, as the Zambian side is – so if you’re planning on entering through the Zambian side you may want to consider visiting over the high water season.
You may also be pleased to know that one is able to get a KAZA Uni-Visa, which allows you to move from the Zimbabwean side, to the Zambian – and vice versa – as many times as you wish, while in the Victoria Falls National Park.
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Both the Zimbabwean, and the Zambian side offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
All of the below activities can be accessed from either side. These popular experiences include:
Helicopter rides: this offers travellers the opportunity to view the falls from above; a complete 360 degree perspective.
Bungee Jumping: Within the Victoria Falls National Park, one is able to go bungee jumping. Unfortunately, you won’t get much of a view of the falls, but the surrounds are spectacular!
Sunset boat cruises on the Zambezi River: The Zambezi is absolutely magnificent; and even more so over sunset. Nothing can beat the deep-orange African sunsets; especially when you’re cruising on the majestic, calm waters of one of Africa’s most loved rivers.
White water rafting on the Zambezi: This adrenaline-pumping activity is a not to be missed experience. The Zambezi is known to have some of the best rapids in the world, and you can just imagine how thrilling this would be over the high/rainy season!
Devil’s Pool (Zambia): As we’ve mentioned, the Devil’s Pool allows one to practically swim in the very water that makes up the majestic Victoria Falls. It’s a bucket list experience, for sure! Accessed from the Zambian side.
Accommodation in Zimbabwe is better suited to those on a tighter budget, as most of them come with special offers. There are beautiful, comfortable places to stay for reasonable rates.
Zambia is a little pricier, however, this depends on your preferences. Zimbabwe is known for a better selection of reasonable priced accommodation options compared to Zambia – however, there are some hidden gems in Zambia too. This is why you should trust African Overland Tours to book your trip!
Ready to enrich your life, and experience the mighty Victoria Falls? Visit our Victoria Falls tour page and let’s start planning together!