The Trip of a Lifetime at Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is known to be the most massive single sheet of waterfalls in the world. Let’s put this into perspective. When comparing Victoria Falls to Niagara Falls, it is twice as high and 1.5 times as broad. It is about a mile wide, over 100 meters high, and the waterfall is visible from up to 43 miles away. Now, that’s what you call massive!

This post an overview of when to visit the falls, the best time to see falls when the water level is the best, the best months to go white water rafting, zip-lining, bungee jumping, and to go on guided tours and on the Victoria Falls bridge.

Did you know that Victoria Fall borders two countries? Yes, it sure does – Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Zambian side of the falls has higher tourist traffic and it’s in a city called Livingstone, Zambia. So, if you would prefer a more relaxed experience, then touring the Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side will be a better fit.

The Victoria Falls town is easily walkable, so tourists can walk between the shops, lodges and art markets at their hearts’ content.

The town is simply built for tourists and has a look and feel of a theme park. Victoria Falls town also has a variety of necessities any city would have – supermarkets, cafes, superb restaurants. As for accommodation, the Victoria Falls Hotel is within walking distance, and other great places to stay are easily reached by shuttle or taxis.

As you drive through from Victoria Falls Airport or the Hwange road, you’ll catch a glimpse of the splash from Victoria Falls on your right. The spray from a distance looks like a mist forming a fluffy looking cloud. It’s no wonder Victoria Falls translates to “the Smoke that thunders” in the Tonga language.

As you proceed towards the town, you’ll be greeted by monkeys from the side of the road, and if you’re lucky, perhaps they’ll be welcomed by an elephant. Since the wildlife are allowed to wander freely around Victoria Falls Town, most animals typically stay away from areas with heavy traffic and are not dangerous if left alone.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe: Town Statistics

Altitude: 915 meters (3002 feet)

Size: 11 square miles (~31 square kilometers)

Population: 33,020

Alternate Names: Vic Falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya, or the Falls

Major languages: English is spoken by most residents, Ndebele and Shona

Province: Matabeleland North in western Zimbabwe

Best Time to Travel to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

It really depends on what you would like to do. However, the majority of visitors come between May to November. Here’re some additional tips to help make your decision a bit easier.

  • March to May – if you want to see the Victoria Falls in full power
  • August to early January – for whitewater-rafting and other water sports when the rapids are at its best
  • May to October – if a safari tour is on your to-do list since the vegetation is low and you’ll have a better chance since the wildlife

Join the locals to experience a traditional cultural event – the Victoria Falls Carnival. The celebration takes place around New Year’s Eve. There will be live bands and entertainment, and tons of activities to choose from.

You can also take part in the Victoria Falls Marathon and the Zambezi Cycle Challenge in July, to push your physical endurance while being spurred on by some awe-inspiring scenery.

Weather in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The colder and drier months are from May to September. The temperatures averages between 77 – 81°F (25 – 27°C) in the day and as low as 45 – 50°F (7 -10°C) at night.

The summer and hotter months are between October to April. The temperate could be as highs as 90 – 93°F (32 – 34°C) in the day and as low as 59 – 66°F (15 -19°C) at night.

Victoria Falls Accommodation: Where to Stay

There are loads of places to stay close to the waterfall. See my list of hotels and lodges in Victoria Falls for the best accommodation in the area.

Accommodation options range from backpackers lodges to grand hotels. Some of those hotels are quite attractive to the extent of having African dancers entertaining you whenever you arrive.

Here is a list of the most spectacular places to stay at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe:

1. The Stanley and Livingstone Hotel

It’s evident that every detail in this Victorian-style hotel has been carefully thought through. Look one direction, and you’ll see opulent vases and paintings, look in the other, and you’ll see ochre-colored African bush.

The Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel

Winner of African hospitality awards for its cuisine, service, and high standards, this is a way to enjoy Victoria Falls as colonials might have wanted.

Location: Further out of town (10 min drive)

Great for: Fans of the film ‘Out of Africa’

See hot deals on this hotel here

2. The Kingdom at Victoria Falls

This hotel doesn’t offer the same natural setting as some of the other lodges, nor does it have the history of Victoria Falls Hotel, but it is worth visiting to see the Afro-opulent design.

The Kingdom at Victoria Falls

Styled to look like the ancient kingdom of Munhumutapa, its brickwork and giant African dolls (not to mention the 3 restaurants and 294 rooms) are very impressive. It is a fantasy-style hotel reminiscent of Sun City in South Africa.

Location: Very central to town

Price: From $188 per couple per night, breakfast included

Great for: An African theme park-style holiday

See hot deals on this hotel here

3. Zambezi Crescent (Victoria Falls River Lodge)

Located in the Zambezi National Park in a prime area next to the river, with an elephant feeding path directly in front of the lodge. It is a stone throw away from the waterfall. Rooms are spacious and natural, and the family suites cater for children too.

Victoria Falls River Lodge - Zambezi Crescent

Location: Further out of town (15 min drive)

Price: From $534 per couple per night, meals, beverages, daily game drive or river cruise included

Great for: Discerning guests with a love of nature

See hot deals on this hotel here

4. Elephant Camp

Guests of this 18-person luxury camp will personally meet the elephants who live at the on-site wildlife reserve. The spacious rooms each have their own private decks and plunge pools. It is intimate, exclusive, and luxurious.

The Elephant Camp in Zimbabwe

Location: Further out of town

Price: From $502 per person per night, all-inclusive. Children 2-16 yrs are 50% of the applicable room rate

Great for: An exclusive Victoria Falls experience

See hot deals on this hotel here

5. The Victoria Falls Hotel

One of the most spectacular views of the gorge and bridge can be seen from this hotel. Built over a century ago, quite historical. In 1903 it was marketed as a place where the traveler could “enjoy European luxury even here in the heart of Africa.” It was refurbished in 2013.

Location: Very central to town

Price: From $299 per person per night, breakfast included. Children 0-2 yrs stay free; Children 2-12 yrs are 50% of the applicable room rate

Great for: Old-world colonial elegance

6. Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge

With views of the Zambezi River as well as a waterhole, this place is extraordinary. Elephants walk unlimited through the lodge grounds, leisurely trimming the trees and drinking from the swimming pool.

With rooms for just 18 guests and packages for game drives and other activities, this is an excellent option for first-time visitors as well as seasoned travelers to have a no-fuss, exclusive but unpretentious experience.

Location: Over an hour’s drive out of town

Price: $344 for an all-inclusive package per person per stay

Great for: First-time visitors to Zimbabwe

7. Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge definitely ticks all the boxes. Constructed with wood, thatch, and other eco-friendly materials, it pleases both the eye and the environment.

It’s in a peaceful location just far enough out of town to enjoy the bush, and close enough to nip to the craft market.

Newly opened, it’s fantastic for those who want that little bit extra. Stylish and smooth, all in an incredible natural setting. Add that to exceptional service and a private game reserve at your doorstep – that’s a winning combination.

Price: From $215 per person per night, breakfast, afternoon tea, cocktails and snacks included

Great for: Experiencing the best of both worlds-natural Zimbabwean beauty and exclusive luxury

See hot deals on this hotel here

8. Elephant Hills Resort

The Elephant Hills Resort is modern-looking, with a new-world feel and 276 rooms. It is significantly bigger than many of Victoria Falls’ hotels and lodges and is excellent for conferences, but it’s a little impersonal.

Balconied rooms have views of the Zambezi River and the spray of the falls, and guests can make use of the golf course, tennis courts, squash courts, and casinos.

The 18-hole golf course is something special – players often share the path with impala and warthogs.

Location: Slightly out of town (15 min drive)

Price: From $232 per person per night, breakfast included

Great for: Large conference groups and golf lovers

See hot deals on this hotel here

9. A’Zambezi River Lodge

With the feel of a hotel rather than a lodge, the 86 rooms are built in a semi-circle layout, most of which have beautiful views directly facing a swimming pool and the Zambezi River. A simple lodge with a beautiful location on the banks of the Zambezi River.

The charming dining deck area next to the river means you’ll be treated to sights of hippos, elephants, crocodiles and more. You will have access to other local accommodation options from their website.

Location: Slightly out of town (15 min drive)

Price: From $186 per room per night, breakfast included

Great for: Uncomplicated Zimbabwean hospitality

See hot deals on this hotel here

10. Rainbow Hotel Victoria Falls

It is located in a central location in Victoria Falls town, which is excellent for those wanting to spend time seeing the sights rather than lolling around a hotel. It has an endearing ‘swim n’ sip’ bar, which means you don’t even need to get out of the swimming pool to have a cocktail!

I’m not sure what to make of the architecture style. I would like to see some more warmth instilled into its furnishings when the hotel is renovated; hopefully soon. The price, on the other hand, is fantastic.

Location: Central to town

Price: From $188 per person per night, breakfast included

Great for: Using as a base rather than a home away from home

See hot deals on this hotel here

11. Masuwe Lodge

This is an upmarket tented camp on a private game estate where the Lion Encounters and Elephant Safaris are held – you’ll be close to the action! With rooms to hold 20 people, this is another personal and intimate place.

This lodge often sells out so be sure to book your stay well in advance if this is your first choice.

Location: Further out of town

Price: From $495 per person per night all-inclusive of meals, soft drinks, activities, and laundry

Great for: Those who want simple but functional accommodation with wildlife on its doorstep

See hot deals on this hotel here

12. Ilala Lodge Hotel

This is the closest hotel to the Victoria Falls, and it looks lovely to boot. Elegant rooms have teak railway furniture accenting the ivory-colored decor, and guests are often treated to the sight of animals grazing the well-manicured lawns surrounding the lodge.

The Palm restaurant has won awards for its “deluxe” menu – and the soundtrack of the roar of the falls in the background is truly memorable.

Location: Very close to town

Price: $231 per person per night, breakfast included

Great for: A safari with more than a touch of class

See hot deals on this hotel here

13. Gorges and Little Gorges Lodge

Named after the river-ravines that hold the Zambezi River, this hotel has one of the best views in the area – it will surprise you.

Part of a community-based tourism project that helps build infrastructure and educational development in local villages, as well as conserving wildlife in the area. The Gorges Lodge website has 6 lodging options to choose from.

Location: Further out of town (40 min drive)

Price: From $660 per couple per night, breakfast included. All-inclusive options available

Great for: Giving something back to the community while enjoying a stunning view and excellent service

See hot deals on this hotel here

14. Batonka Guest Lodge

A new, stylishly decorated and modern guest lodge within walking distance from Victoria Falls town. This is good and quite spectacular for a family on holiday.

Location: Close to town

Price: From $332 per person per night, breakfast included. All-inclusive options are available.

Great for: stylish home-away-from-home feel

See hot deals on this hotel here

15. Cresta Sprayview Hotel

Located close to town, this motel-style hotel is basic and affordable. Each room has a parking bay directly outside, providing peace of mind for self-drivers. There’s a big swimming pool to relax in, and the staff is friendly and helpful.

The facilities are slightly outdated and unsophisticated, so it may be best to wait until a renovation takes place before visiting. Cresta Sprayview is one of the most affordable hotels in Victoria Falls.

Location: Close to town

Price: From $124 per room per night, breakfast included

Great for: Budget-friendly traveler who doesn’t need much for accommodation

See hot deals on this hotel here

Victoria Falls Tips & Suggestions

Here’re some things to keep in mind when visiting Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe:

  • Food: check out the Lookout Cafe, Lola’s Tapas Bar, and the restaurants in the Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, and the Livingstone Room in the Victoria Falls Hotel.
  • What to drink: This is the perfect place to have a cold glass of local Zambezi beer – even better if you’re on the Zambezi River at the same time! Bohlinger is another local beer that may not have as fitting a name as ‘Zambezi,’ but it definitely tops the taste test.
  • Groceries shopping: If you need to buy groceries, there’s a large, well-stocked supermarket, Spar, on the main road on Livingstone Way. Some of the items are imported from South Africa, which could be a little pricey. The store carries a wide variety of fresh produce found in most of the region.

Most people choose to travel to Victoria Falls to experience all the area has to offer. There are a lot of things to do, from river cruises to night safaris – the difficult part is fitting it all in your trip.

I hope you enjoy your trip to the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and if you’re on the fence on whether to take a trip, do it! It will be a once in a lifetime experience. For additional things to do in Zimbabwe check out 10 things to do in Victoria Falls National Parks and Great Zimbabwe Ruins.

If you are considering visiting other African countries, we’ve provided a list of the top safest places to visit in Africa.

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Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe travel guide
Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

23 Comments

  1. Charles
    July 4, 2019 / 12:18 am

    I can’t wait to visit Victoria Falls. Great post!!!

    • Africa Wanderlust
      Author
      July 17, 2019 / 1:22 am

      Thanks for the comment, Charles! I’m glad you found the post helpful. Cheers!

  2. July 21, 2019 / 5:40 am

    I recently visited Niagara Falls and found it breathtaking. I need to now see Victoria Falls. Wow!
    Chris

    • July 24, 2019 / 5:48 am

      I’m glad you like the post, Chris! Am sure you’ll enjoy Victoria Falls just as much as Niagara Falls. I want to add that you may even enjoy it a little more!

  3. July 24, 2019 / 5:03 pm

    Wow! This would be a fabulous trip. At first I thought I’d love to stay at Zambezi Crescent (Victoria Falls River Lodge), but then as I kept reading, I found out there are way too many great places to choose from. How do you even decide?

    • July 30, 2019 / 2:21 pm

      Haha, Kristi, you remind me of me! That’s how I get when traveling on a trip with lots of fantastic options. If I can’t decide, I ask my spouse or twin sister to make the final pick. I’m sure chose you make from our list of Victoria Falls accommodation will be outstanding so you can’t go wrong.

  4. July 25, 2019 / 7:59 pm

    This was so awesome and helpful! Africa is on my list for a safari and to see the falls. I’m a solo traveller so the accommodation recommendations are very helpful. I’ve pinned for later. Thanks for sharing your expertise xo

    • July 30, 2019 / 2:24 pm

      Thanks for pinning our article, Kelly and for the lovely feedback. We plan on writing specific articles for solo travelers. I’m sure you’ll find it helpful just as you found the Victoria Falls Zimbabwe post helpful. When you do get back from your trip, feel free to reach out to us if you’re interested in sharing your experience. Cheers!

  5. July 26, 2019 / 6:39 am

    Your posts inspired me to visit Victoria falls, Little Gorges Lodge and the many other beautiful scenic places in Zimbabwe. Appreciate the food and lodging recommendations too, cant wait to try the Zimbabwi beer!

    • July 30, 2019 / 2:27 pm

      Hello Cheryl, I’m very impressed that you read the post from start to finish. Thank you for your commitment! Please keep us posted when you travel to Victoria Falls. We would love to hear your story!

  6. July 26, 2019 / 12:03 pm

    Victoria Falls is on the bucket list! I would love to stay in the Gorges and Little Gorges Lodge. What a fantastic view and the ability to support the local community appeals to me. It is so important to look after our wildlife!

    • July 30, 2019 / 2:28 pm

      Anna, I love your attitude! We all have to take care of wildlife, but unfortunately, not all of us do. Enjoy your trip in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe, and keep us posted on how everything goes.

  7. July 29, 2019 / 7:21 pm

    Your post on Victoria Falls is epic! It’s has everything I need for when I travel, so I’m glad I found it. Those hotels all look great! Now you’re making it hard to decide on where to stay. By the way, I love reading your posts. It’s very engaging, and it inspires me to travel more to Africa.

    • July 30, 2019 / 2:38 pm

      Hello Jen, we’re glad you felt our post could serve as a go-to resource. Ha, that’s a part of our tagline. Since you enjoy reading our post, I’ll share with you some VIP information. We have two posts that are in the pipeline to get published – safest countries to visit in Africa and the best Zimbabwe national parks. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading them, and it will provide some other ideas on things to do in Zimbabwe and other places to visit that you may not have considered.

  8. August 8, 2019 / 10:50 pm

    I enjoyed reading your article! I have been dying to visit Victoria Falls, and you just made me more excited to visit Zimbabwe. The post photos are beautiful, and your travel blog is so inspiring! Thank you!

    • August 25, 2019 / 12:57 pm

      Hello Luliya, I’m glad you liked our post and our site. We are here of help out. Let us know when you end up visiting Zimbabwe. We would love to hear your story.

  9. August 9, 2019 / 10:52 pm

    OMG, this would be SUCH a sight to see in person! How does Zimbabwe rank in terms of going on safari as well? Between the falls and animal encounters, should it be #1 on my Africa list bucket list?

  10. August 10, 2019 / 10:30 am

    I find that posts on the countries within Africa in general are lacking and I’m so glad that I’ve been able to read yours – it is truly superior! A great mix of your own adventure and experience mixed with what the average traveler can expect! This truly seems to be the trip of a lifetime and I feel that you’ve truly done such an exceptional job documenting it. Thanks for taking your readers along for the journey.

    • August 25, 2019 / 12:54 pm

      Hello Stephanie, your comment made me happy! You’re so right, and I agree 100% with you. That’s what we found, and that’s what prompted us to start Africa Wanderlust. We promise to keep proving quality content about visiting the countries in Africa. If there are any other resources you need or would like to see, please connect with us and would love to address your needs.

  11. August 12, 2019 / 5:09 pm

    Visiting Victoria Falls is high on our bucket list and your post just inspired me to visit this beautiful destination as soon as we can. How interesting to learn that Victoria falls translates to Smoke that thunders. Thank you for all the tips regarding when to visit and the hotel suggestions – it really does help with trip planning so much, especially for a first-time visitor like me. Great post!

  12. Cate
    August 12, 2019 / 6:42 pm

    Wow – definitely a bucket list destination! Thanks for such a detailed hotel guide – will definitely bookmark to look through when we plan our trip soon! Looks AMAZING. I really can’t wait to see this wonder!

  13. August 12, 2019 / 7:28 pm

    Wow! I had no idea these falls are larger than Niagara Falls! All of the hotels you mentioned look amazing. So surprising that the price ranges vary so much. This looks like a stunning place to visit!

    • August 25, 2019 / 12:44 pm

      Hello Darla, I’m glad you learned something from our post about Victoria Fall, Zimbabwe. We strive to provide quality and actionable resources for anyone traveling to Africa.

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