The Victoria Falls are on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe in southern Africa.
A mile wide and 420 ft high, they are far bigger than North America's Niagara Falls, forming the largest vertical sheet of water in the world.
They were "discovered" by David Livingstone in 1855 and named for Queen Victoria.
Before that, they were known locally by the more apt and romantic name - Mosi-oa-Tunya, or "Smoke That Thunders"
The falls are part of two national parks, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia and Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe.
They are one of Southern Africa's major tourist attractions. They are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Victoria Falls is the greatest waterfall in the world.
Fly from Johannesburg Airport to Livingstone Airport (Zambia).
Flights take around an hour and a half. Livingstone Airport is a 20 minutes drive from Victoria Falls.
Most flights leave Johannesburg early in the morning – so you will need a hotel at Johannesburg Airport for the night before.
Several companies organise overland trips to the falls. These can be anything from a couple of hours in a bus from
Botswana, to a full-on several-week safari from Cape-Town. The longer trips can be a fabulous way to see Africa.
As you would expect, the quality, safety and price of these trips varies enormously.
TIPS, HINTS & WARNINGS
Visa regulations change in Zambia on a regular basis.
Also, Victoria Falls is right on the border with Zimbabwe, and you may want to see the falls from both sides. Probably more than
once! We advise you to arrange multiple entry visas for both countries before you embark on your journey.
Zambia's unit of currency is the Zambian Kwacha, which is divided into 100 Ngwee.
Notes are issued in denominations of 10,000; 5,000; 1,000; 500; 200; 100 and 50.
There is no limit on how much currency you can bring into Zambia - but you must declare it when you enter the country.
Most visitors will find the exchange rate is in their favour. US Dollars, Pounds Sterling and Euros all attract good exchange-rates.
Travellers cheques (US Dollars) are widely accepted. Entrance to game reserves etc can only be paid in Kwacha.
Most hotels, restaurants, and large shops will take credit cards. Most of the bigger banks will advance local currency against a
credit card. Standard Chartered and Barclays Banks have ATMs which accept Visa cards for cash.
Tipping is discouraged in Zambia. A service charge goes on your bill. Haggling over prices in local markets etc is acceptable.
It is advisable to take anti-malarial tablets before visiting the Victoria Falls area.
Victoria Falls enjoys a mild, dry season from June to August. The temperature then rises steadily until the rains start in November.
It is then hot, wet and humid until the rainy season ends at the end of April. If you don't like heat and humidity - avoid the rainy
Late October is known as "Suicide Season" with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees! The Falls are at full power during the
March and April floods but the immense amount of spray obscures the view and can make you very wet!
For a mild, pleasant visit - come between June & September.
Most of the people you meet here will be wonderful. And they are keen to promote this area to tourists - so crime levels are
generally very low. But don't tempt fate by flaunting your wealth. Remember - this is an area of extreme poverty.
Zambia or Zimbabwe?
Many people have asked me this - so here goes! It would be great to see Victoria Falls from BOTH sides.
But these days I feel safer, and far more welcome in Zambia.
You must, must, must visit Victoria Falls!
And try to see the surrounding area too. Take some local excursions - overland and on the river.
The people, the culture, the scenery, the wildlife - will leave you wide eyed in wonder. And they will live in your memory forever.
|We strongly advise you to make use of our "Recommended Tour Operators".
They are on this site at our invitation - because they are the best in the business.