Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe side or Zambia side?
Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, and it’s a must-see for any traveller to Africa. The falls straddle the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and both countries offer visitors a chance to see the falls up close. So, which side is the better choice?
This has been the ‘great Vic debate’ all along! The views of the Falls are generally regarded to be superior from the Zim side, particularly when the Falls are low. But the low-water period is by far and away the best time to pay a visit to Devil’s Pool, Angel’s Pool and Livingstone Island, which needs to be done from Zambia. However, one thing is not debatable – seeing Africa’s most magnificent waterfall, or the smoke that thunders, is a never-to-be-forgotten experience.
Is it better to see the Victoria Falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe?
Since both sides provide spectacular views of the Falls, this decision will more than likely be determined by what activities you have in mind and the kind of accommodation you prefer. Whatever your preferences, it is easy to cross the border via the Victoria Falls bridge.
However, you will need a multiple or double entry visa and your passport, of course. The necessary visas can be bought at the border control, but your travel agent or guide will generally sort this out for you. So if you’re staying on the Zim side and you want to see the Falls from the Zambian side, it’s easy to pop over and do so.
But which side has the better views?
Zimbabwe has the higher number of vantage points to see the Falls as three-quarters of the Falls are on the Zim side. Inviting footpaths wind their way through the drizzling rainforest of the Victoria Falls National Park. They will lead you to breathtaking gorge-side vistas of the main part of the mighty Falls as they thunder into the abyss, literally shaking the ground under your feet.
However, if you want to get really close to those massive cascades of water, it is better to go to the Zambian side. Here there are paved paths on the very edge of the Falls. Brave your way over the heart-stopping Knife-Edge Bridge during the high-water season, or take an invigorating walk along the edge of the precipice, more than 300 feet above the thunderous gorge. But you will get wet, so be warned!
If you visit during the low-water season, you have another treat in store. You follow a footpath down to a massive whirlpool at the base of the Falls, known as the Boiling Pot. If you look up from there the grandeur of this magnificent natural wonder will overwhelm you.
Seeing you can easily visit the falls from either country, your final decision might swing on the lodge you’d like to stay at. And again, both destinations offer plenty of options!
Accommodation options in Zambia:
There are a number of lodges in Zambia from which you can see Victoria Falls. If you’re looking for a luxury experience, the Royal Livingstone Hotel is an excellent choice. Another great option, especially if you’re travelling with kids, is the Lochinvar National Park. Here you can stay in Zambia’s only treehouse lodge!
If you’re on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the Victoria Falls Backpackers’. This is a great option for solo travellers and couples, as it offers dormitory-style accommodation as well as private rooms.
Accommodation options in Zimbabwe:
On the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls, there are also plenty of great places to stay. The Matetsi Victoria Falls safari lodge is a luxurious option, and if you’re looking for something a little more rustic, the Gorges Lodge is a great choice.
If you’re traveling with kids, Lokuthula Lodges offers childcare services and even an on-site casino for the grownups. There are also a number of budget-friendly accommodation options in Zimbabwe, such as the Victoria Falls Backpackers Lodge.
So, which is better? Seeing the Victoria Falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe? The answer is: both! Depending on your preferences, you can choose between a luxury experience or a more rustic one, and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy on both sides of the border.
Rest assured, however, that whichever side you choose, seeing the Victoria Falls will be rewarding and give you excellent value for money. So why not combine an exciting wildlife safari tour with a visit to Victoria Falls for the trip of a lifetime and memories that will enrich you forever?