Visiting Victoria Falls-Zimbabwe Side

We arrived to the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls bright and early.

If you are staying in the town of Victoria Falls, you can walk to the visitor’s entrance from most accommodations. If like us, you end up staying outside of the town, almost all of the hotels have complimentary shuttles that drop you off at the entrance.

After paying the entrance fee, you enter an area that gives an overview of the falls.

You can purchase a map for $1.00.

There are plenty of signs, and the paths are well marked, so you don’t necessarily need a map, but we planned on visiting both sides of the falls in the same day, so the map helped us manage our time. Also, maps are fun.

Restrooms and a cafe (the real Rainforest Cafe) are located near the entrance.

There are plenty of tours you can take of Victoria Falls, but we were content to wander around on our own.

Victoria Falls is a popular attraction. It’s the main reason people visit the area, so there were plenty of people around. You may have to implement some patience at the main viewing points, waiting for people to move, so you can get a perfect view/picture.

It’s a sprawling area however, so it never felt overly crowded, and there were times when we were the only people on a path or taking pictures from a less popular viewing area.

There are pros and cons to visiting Victoria Falls during wet season vs. dry season. We visited during dry season, so although we didn’t get to see the falls at full water force, we could take lots of pictures without having to worry about the falls being obscured by massive amounts of spray. We also got some great, gorge views.

At one point we noticed rafters at the bottom of the gorge. It looked like an amazing experience. If we had an extra day, we would have looked into rafting.

The area is broken up into viewing points. Some spaces have more spray than others. It was a hot day, so we welcomed the cooling spray, but ponchos and rain jackets were not an unusual sight.

Some viewing points had benches, nestled under shade, that offered a nice little respite.

Victoria Falls is called, “The Smoke That Thunders.” It is an apt description.

The roar of the falls is the soundtrack of the day. It is the falls calling out its power.

It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to explore the falls. You’ll want to experience the falls from all of the different viewing points.

It’s hard to properly describe Victoria Falls. It’s massive, mighty, and expansive. It’s one of those places that make you understand just how vast and amazing the world is. It’s an impressive display of nature.

Along with all of the strength, there is also a peace. The white noise of the continually rushing water, and sight of the water tumbling and plummeting ever downwards, cleanses out the internal clutter.

If you plan on walking all the way to the end, to the Livingston Island viewing area, be sure to have sunscreen and a hat. You will want to spend time taking in the view, but there is no shade to offer protection from the blazing sun. It’s also a good idea to have some drinking water on hand. There are vendors along the paths that sell cold drinks.

I feel privileged that we had the opportunity to travel to Africa to visit Victoria Falls. Before our trip, I read a few posts of people who complained that Victoria Falls was too touristy and not worth the visit. True, the town of Victoria Falls is touristy, but the only thing that makes the falls itself touristy, is the well maintained environment, and the fact that there are many other visitors.  I was overjoyed and overwhelmed, from a nature standpoint, by the experience, and I think that a visit to the falls is not to be missed if you are in the area.

For information regarding visa requirements for visiting both sides of Victoria Falls you can read: Africa Trip-Travel Days 

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17 Comments

  1. Nicky

    January 5, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Stunning photographs, and heartening to hear that you managed to get time to yourselves there to just absorb those beautiful views and nature. That for me is the part about travelling I love the most – it puts a huge grin on my face!

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      January 7, 2018 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks! Especially at the Livingston Island spot, there were lots of big boulders where you could take a seat and just admire the view around you. We had fun watching a family with little kids climb around and we couldn’t even fathom what seeing the falls at that young age would be like and how it would impact you.

  2. Ruth

    January 5, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Wow, this is incredible! I didn’t realize there is a path to see different areas (duh, it makes total sense). Even in the dry season, the falls look incredible. The colors at the bottom of the gorge and falls look so beautiful. It would be awesome to see everything from below (like the rafters).

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      January 7, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      I wished we had enough time to do the rafting, the people at the bottom looked like they were having an amazing time. I was happy we could see it during the dry season, especially for the colors. The gorge completely fills with water during the wet season so you don’t get the same view of all the rock formations.

  3. Jill

    January 5, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Visiting Victoria Falls, whether touristy or not, would be a dream place to visit for me. Wow! Just wow. Thanks for sharing!

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      January 7, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      It was absolutely worth it, and I think they do a great job giving everyone enough space to enjoy the nature without feeling overcrowded.

  4. Christabel

    January 5, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    I love waterfalls! I cannot imagine being on the raft and looking up…what a stunning view!

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      January 7, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      I know right? Seeing the falls plummeting down from the bottom had to be an inspiring experience. It looked like they were having a lot of fun. We also wanted to do the Devil’s Cataract where you get to sit at the edge of the falls, but we didn’t have enough time for that either. I guess it’s a reason to go back.

  5. Sarah

    January 5, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Sometimes places are full of tourists for a reason. Like when a waterfall is the stunning for example! Especially when the falls still look this great in dry season… I’ve been to a few around the world that just completely dry up during that season which is less than ideal haha. Victoria Falls is definitely on my bucket list – great photos and thanks for the tips!

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      January 7, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      It’s for sure a bucket list worthy destination. I hope you get there someday. I know a lot of people complain about how touristy Angkor Watt has become, but I still want to see it someday. I never let the tourists get me down.

  6. Anthony Braybrooke

    January 6, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Awesome photos and blog. Victoria Fall is on my (soon to be published) travel blog. I can’t wait to visit.

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      January 7, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      Awesome! I can’t wait to read about your visit there.

  7. Cynthia Mackintosh

    January 6, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    I’ve seen many waterfalls in my lifetime, but these are stunning! I would love to visit here! Great tips for Livingston Island!

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      January 7, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      It’s a great visit, especially since you can squeeze in so many activities in the area into one trip. I really want to get out now and see more waterfalls, especially the other big two.

  8. Rhonda Albom

    January 6, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    Victoria Falls are amazing. The path does look well marked and developed but it doesn’t look like it was overly crowded (perhaps the dry season attracts fewer visitors). I could feel the force of the falls through the sounds on your video. The waterfalls in New Zealand might be pretty but they are nowhere near as awe-inspiring as Victoria falls

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      January 7, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      It’s definitely a force of nature. I think they do a great job of spreading things out so there is plenty room for everyone, and lots of great spots to snap photos or just to take in the view.

  9. Adam & Gabby

    January 8, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    This reminds me of the Grand Canyon, sure there are thousands of tourists around…but the place is HUGE! There are plenty of good views to go around…not just the designated viewing spots.

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