Victoria Falls was a dream destination of mine for years. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, it is the largest waterfall on the planet and even more beautiful than I’d ever imagined!
While I visited in early 2017, we stayed at the Tongabezi Lodge and organized a visit through the lodge to see the falls from both sides — it was unforgettable. Ready to fall in love with one of Africa’s greatest sites?
Here’s my guide to visiting Victoria Falls from Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Getting to Victoria Falls
The best part about the location of Victoria Falls is that you can see it from both Zimbabwe and Zambia in one day! Start your day in either country and eventually make your way over to the other side.
From Zimbabwe: The quickest way, and most common way, to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is to fly from Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB), to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (VFA). The flight takes about two hours.
From Zambia: The main entry point to the falls in Zambia is Livingstone Town. You can fly from Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, or Johannesburg to Livingstone Airport, also known as Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI). Once you are in Livingstone, it’s just six miles into the park.
Taxis are only available on a seasonal basis, so be sure to plan before you go.
Getting a Visa to Visit Victoria Falls
Currently, US citizens can get a visa on arrival at the airport in both Zimbabwe and Zambia, and you’ll want to purchase the KAZA UniVisa visa, which allows you to cross both borders and move between both sides of the falls. If you purchase this visa, you’ll not only save some money, you won’t have to wait in line to cross over to the other side of the falls.
The KAZA UniVisa costs $50 USD, and you can cross the border as many times as you like, as long as you stay within Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The visa prices and requirements vary quite a bit for other nationalities (and are always subject to change), so do your homework. You can check out the Zimbabwe and Zambia travel sites before you go to confirm what you’ll need.
In the case that you cannot get the KAZA UniVisa on arrival, there are immigration offices conveniently located near the entrances to the falls so you can purchase a visa to the other country/side.
Helpful Tip: If you have luggage with you, I would suggest grabbing a taxi, otherwise you can just walk!
Victoria Falls From Zimbabwe
If you’re flying into and staying in Zimbabwe there are a few options of how to see the falls from this side.
Victoria Falls is a tourist hot spot, and it’s just over a mile from the entry into the park. And the area is way more than a photo op! You can go white-water rafting, hiking, or you can check out the local wildlife and so much more.
You’ll want to plan on plenty of time to take it all in. Three-quarters of Victoria Falls lies within Zimbabwe, and there are so many amazing views.
One of the best sights is from the truly breathtaking Devils Pool, where you can lounge on the edge of the world.
Border Crossing: Once you’ve seen all the sights from Zimbabwe, make your way to the Victoria Falls bridge where you can walk across onto the Zambia side. Be sure you have cleared customs on the Zimbabwe side and keep your stamped ticket that will get you back into Zimbabwe when you’re done.
Victoria Falls From Zambia
If you flying into and staying in Zambia, follow these tips on seeing the falls from the Zambia side.
I stayed on the Zambian side at Tongabezi Lodge and loved it. I also took a microlight flight over Victoria Falls, and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve done.
Whatever you do on the Zambian side, you have to check out the Knife Edge Bridge for a breathtaking view of Victoria Falls, but be sure to bring your raincoat! The Knife Edge Bridge connects to Livingstone Island. Located in the heart of the Zambezi River, this gorgeous island leads right up to the 335-foot drop of thundering water from the falls.
Border Crossing: When you’re done taking in the falls from the Zambia side, head to the Victoria Falls Bridge where (with visa in hand) you can walk across into Zimbabwe!
It’s a must-see!
What to Bring to Victoria Falls
When it comes to packing, think light. If you are going to be on small planes or taking a safari before or after the falls, your luggage space will be super limited. Hard-sided cases are often not allowed, and even a carry-on bag might be too much. Be sure to check the restrictions before you go.
When packing, focus on the essentials. Here’s what you’ll want to grab before you go.
Layers: It’s generally pretty warm at Victoria Falls. The winter here runs from May to September, and the average temperatures are in the sixties. In the summer, you can expect afternoons at eighty degrees or higher. Temperatures will regularly vary by twenty degrees or more in a single day, so you’ll want to pack layers.
Sun Protection: The rays can be intense here! Pack sunglasses and a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection. An oversize hat is also handy for your neck and face.
Comfy Shoes: There is so much to see around Victoria Falls. Pack comfortable shoes, and plan on doing tons of walking.
Waterproof Jacket: No surprises here! You can get seriously soaked at Victoria Falls, and waterproof gear is essential. I also advise against wearing anything jeans-like because it takes ages to dry.