Travel Guide: Victoria Falls | Milesopedia
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victoria falls

Travel Guide: Victoria Falls

To the point Everything you need to know about travelling to Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Zimbabwe.

Les chutes Victoria au Zimbabwe, ainsi que les chutes du Niagara et celles d’Iguaçu, font parties des cascades les plus majestueuses et spectaculaire au monde à cause de leur grandeur et leur débit sans comparable. Elles font partie du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO.

chutes victoria
victoria falls

Planning

Localisé en plein cœur de l’Afrique, le fleuve Zambezi se déverse dans une fissure de 1 700 m de largeur nous donnant un spectacle captivant. Ce fleuve est une frontière naturelle entre la Zambie et le Zimbabwe.

fleuve zambezi
Zambezi River

You can access it from two airports, but the city of interest is Livingstone in Zambia. I recommend that you stay there. There were many more activities available in Livingstone than in Zimbabwe.

However, it’s worth taking a trip across the border for different and much more beautiful views.

Victoria Falls

Before David Livingstone discovered the falls and named them in honour of Queen Victoria, they were known as Mosi-ao-Tunya, which means “smoke that roars”.

The fog sprayed by the falls rises up to 400 meters high and is visible up to 40 km away in the rainy season.

grondement
rumbling
microclimat tropical
tropical microclimate

Les meilleures vues des cascades sont du côté du Zimbabwe puisqu’on fait face aux chutes. On a donc une vue plus d’ensemble. Il y a un sentier unique à suivre pour regarder les chutes. On y a passé une demi-journée et c’était suffisant à mon avis.

cote Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe side

To get a better idea of their scale, you can get close to them on the Zambian side. This is also the most developed and most touristic side. That’s where you can find operators to book activities.

cote zambie
zambia side

I also recommend a helicopter ride to see the entire Zambezi River as it flows by. It’s massive in terms of surface area!

Activities

Les chutes Victoria ont toujours quelque chose à offrir aux visiteurs peu importe la saison. Il n’y a pas de consensus sur le meilleur moment pour y aller.

Bien que ça peut sembler illogique d’aller voir des cascades à un moment où elles seraient à leur point le plus sec, les activités nous permettant de profiter pleinement des chutes sont seulement disponibles lorsque les niveaux d’eau sont plus bas.

fleuve zambezi en saison seche
zambezi river in dry season
saison seche
dry season
  • January to March: rainy season.
  • February to May: the falls are at their heaviest flow following the rainy season.
  • October to December: dry season is the best time to do activities.

So there is no bad weather to visit Livingstone, it depends on what you would like to do.

There were a range of activities available in Livingstone, the most popular are:

  • whiteriver rafting,
  • bungee jump (from the bridge linking the two countries),
  • Devil’s Pool,
  • canoe on the Zambezi.

I recommend you, without hesitation, to take a dip in Devil’s pool! Only between October and December when the water level allows it of course.

During the low flow season, the falls are sometimes reduced to only a few cascades, apart from each other. So there are paths to get there.

Devils Pool
Devils Pool

In my experience, Devil’s Pool is still a safe activity, but it’s not completely risk-free either. You have to go with guides from a reputable company.

This was the highlight of my trip to Zambia, but I must admit that I never dared to show these pictures to my parents…

sur le bord de la piscine
on the edge of the pool
.On the Edge
.On the Edge

At the limit of this natural pool, there is a 1.5m wide edge that prevents us from being swept away by the current. When I was in the pool and leaning against that low wall, I felt very safe, but when we took turns standing on the edge, I have to admit that the view in front of me was pretty scary.

The guides make sure that we are secure and they take care of the photos to prevent us from stumbling on unknown terrain.

Hommage a David Livingstone
Tribute to David Livingstone

Getting to and staying in Victoria Falls

There are several direct flights to Livingstone Airport and Victoria Falls Airport from Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Addis Ababa. There are plenty of taxis that can take you from one side of the border to the other so choose the airport that suits you.

In my case, my visit to Victoria Falls was an extension of my trip to South Africa and the Okavango Delta in Botswana. So to get there and make the most of your trip, it is very easy to combine this little detour with a trip to South Africa.

With the new Aeroplan program, flight reward tickets start at 50,000 points in economy class and 80,000 points in business class for a one-way trip from Montreal.

Then, a short-haul flight on South African Airways will only cost you 7,500 Aeroplan points since the distance is only 574 miles (JNB-VFA). Check out this page for the best Aeroplan credit card offers.

I loved my stay in Livingstone in The Zambezi Waterfront.

It is a rather young place where you can sleep in your own tent, a permanent tent or small cottages. The facilities were super clean and there was a common area with a very good restaurant. Youth hostel vibes, after all! I will definitely go back!

fin
end
Important notes

Visas are available on arrival in Zambia and Zimbabwe for Canadians. As for credit cards, they are accepted almost everywhere in Livingstone. Remember to bring a credit card with no foreign currency conversion fees.

Like the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® for example.

To follow my adventures on my Instagram account @wanderingaline, it’s this way!

Also, feel free to check out my latest articles!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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