Best activities to do at Victoria Falls (Zambia Side)

JUAN MARTINEZ

April 21, 2022

Best activities to do at Victoria Falls (Zambia Side)

Rafting, bungee jumping, a helicopter flight, or a river cruise. These are the best activities at Victoria Falls in the Zambian side.


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Known as the adventure capital of Africa, Victoria Falls is more than a waterfall dividing two countries. It is a symbol of Africa, a place where the extraordinary becomes ordinary and one of the most stunning natural wonders in the world. It doesn’t matter if you stand at Livingstone Island and witness the most giant water curtain in the world, relax on a river cruise through the Zambezi river, or adventure yourself on a rafting tour through the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls will leave you speechless.

And yes, this is not a destination for those on a budget. Tours, accommodation, and activities are way more expensive here than in other parts of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Additionally, with dozens of different activities and options and the possibility of visiting the falls from two different countries, it feels very overwhelming to really get a good feeling of what activities one should book to make the most of a visit.

I visited Victoria Falls and tried a lot. In this guide, I want to guide you in selecting what should you do and what are, in my opinion, the best activities to do in Victoria Falls.

The view from Livingstone Island
The view from Livingstone Island is the best one.

When to go

Believe it or not, there is a time of the year when there is no water, and the Victoria Falls are completely dry. On the other hand, there is a time when the water flow is so high that the whole area becomes inaccessible and popular activities like the Devil’s Pool are closed to tourists.

Before you get to Victoria Falls and experience one of these two unpleasant surprises, it is essential to understand what kind of seasons Victoria Falls has and when is the best time to visit.

Rainy season (November to March)

While November and March can be considered a coin toss, when it comes to rain, expect to have mostly cloudy days and days where it rains non-stop from morning till evening.

December, January, and February are even worst, as rains go on for several days, and it is common to have constant thunderstorms and cancellations of flights and activities. Helicopter and microlight flights won’t run on most days, and from January until March, the Devil’s Pool is closed due to floods on Livingstone Island.

It can be a time to get an excellent sight of the falls, but definitely not for doing any activity around it.

End of the Rainy Season (April – May)

Even though the constant rain has stopped, water from the catchment area upstream in Zambia arrives in Victoria Falls and overflows the whole area. This is when Victoria Falls is at its highest water flow, with an average of 500 million liters of water per minute.

The temperature is hot, and scenic flights highlight those who want to see Victoria Falls at its best. Activities like the Devil’s Pool and rafting might still be closed due to the high water levels, but most other activities are available for visitors.

Beginning of the dry season (June – July)

At this time of the year, the water levels in the Zambezi River drop. Some sections of the waterfall gorge become exposed, and temperatures in Victoria Falls significantly drop at night. Some call with the winter season and a fleece jacket can be helpful.

Usually, all activities in Victoria Falls are available to the public at this time of the year. It is a great season to visit. However, prices increase, and Zambia and Zimbabwe get crowded.

Dry season ( August to October)

The winter season slowly ends, and temperatures slowly rise. Expect to have warm days and cold nights. Almost every day has a blue sky, and rain is highly uncommon. The water levels at Victoria Falls drop the most in the year, and in unlucky years the waterfalls turn into a long dry gorge.

It is considered the worst time to see the waterfalls, but one of the best times to try activities like bungee jumping, relaxing on a cruise ship, and going on the rapids.

View of the Victoria Falls from Livingstone Island
View of the Victoria Falls from Livingstone Island

What kind of tours are available?

Check out which tours Viator is offering. They have not only the best quality of service worldwide, but they also offer the most secure payment methods, as well as organization service.


| Tip

🗺️ Explore the Victoria Falls National Park unusually – take part in an exciting game drive riding an open four-wheel vehicle


Which side of Victoria Falls should I visit?

With Zambia to the north and Zimbabwe to the south, you must decide which side of Victoria Falls you want to see. While locals and most visitors agree that when it comes to view, the best viewpoint is from the Zimbabwe side, activities, prices, and services change from side to side. Even though visiting both sides of the falls are the end definitely worth it, it is good to know what you should expect from each side of it.

Besides entering the Victoria Falls National Park and doing a self-guided or guided tour (15-20 USD), you can do lots of activities without entering the national park and still feel and experience the Victoria Falls.

For travelers coming from Zimbabwe, you can organize tours from Victoria Falls Town (the city on the Zimbabwean side) through one of the many online and local tour operators from the hotel you are staying. The same goes for travelers in Zambia, where they can arrange everything from Livingstone through local and international tour operators and hotels.

Even though most of the activities are located on the Zambian side, there is plenty you can do only on the Zimbabwe side and both sides.

Memorial of David Livingstone in Victoria Falls
Memorial of David Livingstone in Victoria Falls

Activities on both sides of the Victoria Falls

River cruise & canoeing

Far away from rapids, zip lines, and bungee jumps, the river cruise is an activity to simply enjoy the good life and sip a drink while navigating on the Zambezi River. Most river cruises depart in the afternoon and would follow the Zambezi river up north, searching for elephants, hippos, and crocodiles. It is the best activity after an exhausting day and the most relaxing way to finish your trip to Victoria Falls. – remember, all drinks are included

Ask to join the African Queen, an over 100-year-old boat that will simply transport you back in time.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more independent (but also relaxing) kind of adventure, canoeing tours are the best. Simply sit on a canoe, explore the majesty of the Zambezi river, and hope to not encounter an angry hippo or a hungry crocodile along the way. You can also choose to do long canoe rides of 1-2 and even 3 days continuously.

The prices for these activities are:

  • Sunset cruise in Zambia or Zimbabwe – starting 35 -45 USD
  • Breakfast cruise at the African Queen (Zambia only) – 65 USD
  • Sunset cruise at the African Queen (Zambia only) – 75 USD
  • Upper Zambezi Canoeing – 155 USD per person
  • Overnight canoeing – 245 USD per person


river cruises in Zambezi Vic Falls
One of the multiple river cruises in Victoria Falls

Helicopter flights

A bit expensive, but definitely exceptional, going on a helicopter flight is definitely an experience of a lifetime. And with only a few places in the world as beautiful as Victoria Falls, doing a helicopter ride in this part of the world can be a good call.

Available from both sides of the falls, you can choose to do a 15-minute, a 22-minute, or a 25-minute helicopter ride. Additionally, you need a minimum of two people to book this activity.

The price for a helicopter ride with Bonisair in Victoria Falls are:

  • 150 USD per person for 15 minutes
  • 235 USD per person for 22 minutes
  • 277 USD per person for 25 minutes


Read more: Everything you need to know about traveling to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe Side)

Helicopter flights from Zimbabwe
Helicopter flights from Zimbabwe depart only on good days

Rafting

Located on the river below the falls, the Victoria Falls rapids are some of the best in Africa. Here, you can join a group of 4-6 people on a raft and spend half a day adventuring through the rapids and learning more about this fascinating sport.

Even though some rapids are Class V, no experience is required to do this activity. This is probably the best activity to make new friends and spend a day of adventure and fun. Prices for a rafting tour vary from group to group and operator to the operator but expect to pay anything between 110 – 150 USD for a day activity.



Activities from the Zimbabwe side

Bungee jumping, flying fox, and the gorge swing

Not recommended for the heart fainted, these are three different activities for those looking for a thrill in one of the most incredible places. 

Located right at the border bridge that connects Zambia with Zimbabwe, you will literally be at the limits between these two countries. You will free fall from 111m above the Zambezi river (the highest in Africa) at bungee jumping. Those doing the gorge swing will take a leap of faith and jump 80 meters into the nothingness, and for the travelers wanting to do the flying fox, you will have the chance to zip line from Zimbabwe to Zambia. When was the last time you ziplined between two countries?

NOTE:
Since you will be right at the border between both countries in “no man’s land,” you will have to pass next to immigration on the Zimbabwe side, present your passport and show that you will do one of these activities. They will stamp a piece of paper and let you pass through.

The prices for these activities are:

  • Bungee jumping – 160 USD for a solo jump, or 240 USD for a tandem jump (two people together)
  • Flying fox – 47 USD per person
  • Gorge swing – 99 USD per person
  • A combo of Gorge Swing, Zip Line, and Flying Fox – 155 USD

Read more: Which are the best national parks in Zambia

View from the Knife Edge Bridge at the Zambia side of the Victoria Falls
View from the Knife Edge Bridge at the Zambia side of the Victoria Falls – to get here, you need to enter the national park from the Zambia side.

Activities from the Zambia side

Canopy tour

Consisting of nine slides varying in length and one cable bridge walkway, the Victoria Falls canopy offers fantastic views of Zambezi rapids, the famous Victoria Falls bridge, and a glimpse of the magnificent Victoria Falls.

The longest slide in this activity is about 85 meters long, and the shortest is 40 meters in length. Doing all nine slides will take around 90 to 120 minutes, and it costs approximately 65 USD per person. Bookings can be made through your hotel or tour operator.

Rappeling Victoria Falls

With sharp, steep cliffs of over 75 meters, Victoria Falls is the perfect place for those who like abseiling or rappelling. Additionally, with the Zambezi River flowing under your feet and the sounds of the falls just meters away, this is an activity to get a good adrenaline rush.

Whether you are on the top, or the bottom, of the Batoka Gorge, the views are simply outstanding, and while you won’t be able to see Victoria Falls from there, it will be an adventure to never forget. Rappeling the Victoria Falls is also one of the most affordable and exciting activities, with prices starting at 65 USD.

Read more: Which are the top safari activities in Africa

Sunset at the Batoka Gorge
Sunset at the Batoka Gorge

Microlight

Looking for a more private and exciting experience from the air? A microlight is an excellent alternative for those considering doing a helicopter ride but wants to experience a bit more excitement. This open-air propeller-powered giant kite might sound scary the first sight. But don’t worry! The microlights in Zambia are flown by expert pilots, and the whole experience is simply incredible.

Batoka Fly is the only company riding these kites above the Victoria Falls, and if you want to go for a ride, expect to dig a tiny bit deeper into your pockets. A 15-min microlight flight costs 179 USD, while a 30 min microlight flight costs 360 USD.

The Devil’s Pool

The most famous place in Victoria Falls, the Devil’s Pool, is probably on the bucket list of every adventure lover. This deep, natural pool created by thousands of years of erosion is located right at the waterfall’s edge. However, what is unique about it is the rock ledge on the lip of the falls, preventing people from getting swept over the edge.

Swimming at the Devil’s Pool feels very safe. The staff will guide you continuously and inform you where to step, where to go and where not. If you are brave enough, a staff member will jump into the water with you and hold your legs to take a better look at the falls. It felt terrifying, but for most travelers doing it, it is an experience once in a lifetime. 

Keep in mind that taking a dip in the Devil’s Pool is only possible when the Zambezi water levels are low, and this activity is only possible from the Zambian side.

The price for a visit to the Devil’s Pool in Victoria Falls is:

  • Visiting the Devil’s Pool and having breakfast at the falls – 9:00 am visit – 110 USD
  • Visiting the Devil’s Pool and having lunch at the falls – 12:30 visit – 175 USD
  • Visiting the Devil’s Pool and having tea at the falls – 150 USD

Read more: Everything you need to know about the Devil’s Pool in Victoria Falls


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View from the Devil's Pool in Zambia
View from the Devil’s Pool in Zambia

Important information before visiting Victoria Falls

Visas

  • Zimbabwe visa Single Entry – 30 USD
  • Zimbabwe visa Multiple Entry – 45 USD
  • Zambia visa Single Entry – 50 USD
  • Zambia visa double entry – 80 USD
  • KAZA Visa (multiple entries between Zambia and Zimbabwe) – 50 USD

Park Entry fees

  • Entry fees Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe – 30 USD
  • Entry fees Victoria Falls National Park in Zambia – 20 USD

All other lists of prices are found in the Victoria Falls official guide.

Read more: How to plan a trip to South Luangwa National Park

Bridge that divides Zambia with Zimbabwe
Bridge that divides Zambia with Zimbabwe

Planning a trip to Zambia independently is fun. However, if you want to arrange everything with tour operators beforehand from the comfort of your home. SafariBookings is the best platform for it.

They have the largest database of tour operators in Africa and you can simply send a request and negotiate a tour and a price directly with the operator. You don’t have to pay any additional fees.

These are some of the most popular tours in Zambia at SafariBookings

What is the best e-SIM when traveling to Zambia

The best internet plan for travelers in Zambia is still to get a physical SIM card after your arrival. It is quick, simple and very easy. Airtel is the best operator in the region and you can get a SIM with a good amount of data for just a few dollars.

However, for your arrival, border crossing and time until you get to settle down, I like to use the Global plan of Flexiroam. Flexiroam is an e-SIM that offers global plans for a good price. This is my preferred choice when traveling to Zambia.

I use my Global Plan for Flexiroam during my arrival and once I settle down and go to a market, I get a local physical SIM.

Global Plans for Flexiroam start at 10 USD and my favorite plan is 10 GB for 180 days for 59 USD.

How to get an e-SIM from Flexiroam:

  1. Verify if your phone is e-SIM compatible (just Google your phone model and the word “e-SIM”).
  2. Buy a Global Plan here (or a country plan, but it tends to be more expensive if you’re traveling to different countries).
  3. Download the Flexiroam app and create an account.
  4. Activate your e-SIM.
  5. Provide the code of your Global Plan (You will receive the code via email after your purchase).


Read more: A complete guide for e-SIM cards when traveling around the world

How do I find cheap flights to Victoria Falls?

Finding a cheap flight anywhere around the world is not always easy. It’s about comparing platforms, selecting the right routes and booking at the right time. Fortunately, platforms like Skyscanner became known as an all-in-one tool for booking flights at the lowest cost possible.

They analyse every potential company and sub-contractor in order to find the lowest price available for you. Not only that, but you can also select the option “Travel Anywhere” and let Skyscanner find the cheapest place to travel at any selected date.

I check all my flights first at Skyscanner, and in 90% of the cases, I find the best option for me to book.

Also, by booking here using Skyscanner, you will support my blog and help me create more amazing and useful content.

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