The Victoria Falls is one of the seven ‘Natural Wonders of the World’ and you will completely understand why when you see it for yourself. It is absolutely amazing and a mind blowing experience. It is located in Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls town and Zambia’s Livingstone town. Though most visitors have said that it is much enjoyable to view from the Zimbabwean side, the Zambian side also offers very clear views and fun Victoria Falls activities. In my opinion, accommodation is much more affordable on the Zambian side.
There are a lot of fun activities offered at the falls from both countries nevertheless. Being a Zambian myself, I definitely enjoy the pleasure of frequenting this magnificent wonder every now and then. It never gets boring, trust me. There is something about water that just refreshes you.
This article is going to discuss 14 Victoria Falls activities that you can enjoy as a tourist. While some of the activities listed here just operate on one side, you can easily cross the border between the two countries, especially if you have the KAZA visa .Most of the activity providers offer complimentary transport from either side but you can also check to ensure at the time of booking.
Here is a list of some fantastic things you can do in and around the Victoria Falls to help you plan your time there.
- White Water Rafting
- Boat Cruises
- Canoe Safaris
- Devils Pool
- Angel’s Pool
- Jet Boating
- Swinging along the Zim-Zam Bridge
- The Walkway on the Zambian side
- Lunar Rainbows
- Helicopter Flights
- Bike Tours
- Dinner on a Steam Train
- Shop for Curios
- Bungee Jumping
Getting a Flight and Visa to Visit Victoria Falls
You can look for flights on Skyscanner. The nearest airports are Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone if you are coming through Zambia. Another airport is in Lusaka city (Kenneth Kaunda International Airport). There are local buses that connect from Lusaka to Livingstone, a trip of about 7-8 hour (486 km).
1. White Water Rafting
This is one of the most adrenaline filled activities at the Victoria Falls. The Zambezi is known for having the wildest white water in the world, with a number of grade 5 rapids on the route. The intensity of the rafting varies due to the fluctuating levels of water plunging through the gorges. The lower the level, the higher the thrill levels. This no doubt is a fun activity you can do if you have the courage for it (I have never tried it) This is operated from both Zambia & Zimbabwe. You can make your bookings here or directly with the companies or via your hotel.
2. Boat Cruises
There are a lot of operators who run this type of trip from both sides. Some hotels even have their own boats too, but the most popular one is the African Queen. It is a luxury cruise on the Zambezi River with spectacular scenery of birds and animals. Going on a sunset cruise is an absolute must when you visit the Victoria Falls. The sights include the river regulars such as the hippo, crocodiles and elephants. The beauty of the luscious bush also provides a beautiful and peaceful experience. You can also sip on some delicious cocktails and freshly made snacks while the boat takes you around on the different islands. This is operated from both Zambia & Zimbabwe. You can make your bookings in advance or directly with the companies or via your hotel.
3. Canoe Safaris
The canoeing trips take place on the upper, calmer part of the Zambezi River, which may sound a bit less hectic than the rapids, however you may come across hippos and crocodiles which will get your heart racing. Accompanied by a professional guide, you can enjoy the breath-taking scenery and great bird and game viewing. You can book for a full day or half day directly with the companies.
4. Victoria Falls Devils Pool
The Devil’s pool is located near the edge of the Victoria Falls on Livingstone Island on the Zambian side. It is famous for being one of the most dangerous undertakings in the world ….. To experience it, one has to go for a swim in it. The pool is literary over the edge, just at the brim of the large curtain of falling water. It is one experience that makes the Victoria Falls worth visiting. This thrilling and exhilarating adventure is so worth it and feels just as incredible as it sounds.
The driest months (August to January are the ideal time to visit if you are targeting the Devil’s Pool, (to experience the magnificence of the falls, you have to visit immediately after the rainy months, March-June). The pool is closed from February to June when the rains cause higher water levels that make swimming in the Zambezi unsafe.
Once you’ve finished this daredevil adventure, you get a nice meal (breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea) depending on the type of tour you booked.
5. Angel’s Pool
If the Devil’s Pool is closed, swim in the Angel’s Pool. This pool is usually open July to August and January to mid-February. Though similar to the devils pool, it’s not as scary because you are not exactly right at the edge of the rock formation. It is still an awesome and thrilling experience worth trying.
Booking for this tour is the same as the devils pool, though it is not as busy. You can book in advance . This activity is operated from the Zambian side.
6. Jet Boating
These trips are so popular because they give an opportunity to see the Victoria Falls from below, a completely different perspective to viewing from above. Apart from the scenic appeal, it is also a thrilling adrenaline activity as the high powered jet boats accelerate through the rapids at tremendous speeds.
A trained captain will take you for a scenic trip through the Batoka Gorge at the bottom of the falls, before things start to speed up and get a bit exhilarating! It’s quite the adrenaline rush!
At the top of the gorge you will be issued with a helmet and life jacket. After a safety briefing you will be required to sign their indemnity form.
The walk in and out of the gorge is very steep and strenuous and is the same path that clients on the white water rafting trip descend into the gorge. There is a bit of scrambling required to get down to and up out of the gorge, so you’ll need a good level of fitness and you’ll need to wear good shoes.
7. Swinging along the Zim-Zam Bridge
The activity is similar to bungee jumping. The only difference is that instead of being attached to a rope that is attached to the bridge, you are attached to a rope that is attached to another rope which stretches across the gorge, with a harness around your waist. You then jump off the Zim -Zam Bridge, drop and then swing through the gorge. This is operated on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean side.
8. The Walkway on the Zambian side
This walkway allows you to get really close to the falls and to get a good view of Livingstone Island and the edge of the Falls without taking the Devil’s Pool tour.
9. Lunar Rainbows
The lunar rainbow is a series of night-time rainbows visible in the mist of the Victoria Falls, caused by the refraction of the moon’s light, in the rising, swirling spray. Visitors get to experience the Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, at night, it is a surreal and very enjoyable experience.
10. Helicopter Flights
Book a helicopter at $150 for a 15 minutes flight. This is available from both Zimbabwe and Zambia.
11. Bike Tours
You can go quad biking in Livingstone town. This activity on the Zambian side. You can ride through the Zambian bush and see the animals that live in the national park or you can go through one of the local villages where you can meet and interact with the local people.
12. Dinner on a Steam Train
This is one experience you need to try- an amazing dinner on the luxurious Royal Livingstone Express.
Though pricey it is one experience you will never forget and your ticket includes a stop on the Zim- Zam Bridge for sunset, a welcome drink upon arrival, a 5-course meal, drinks as well as transfers from your hotel.
The Royal Livingstone Express leaves from Livingstone (Monday, Wednesday & Saturday). You can also hire them out for private functions. You can make your bookings here. This is operated from both Zambia & Zimbabwe
13. Shop for Curios
The curio markets offer very interesting stuff that is locally made like wooden carvings, jewellery, paintings, and clothes. They are usually located at the entrance to the falls. To find more stuff and at cheaper prices, you can check around in the local town markets.
In Livingstone town there is also another curio market called Maramba a few kilometres from Livingstone town centre.
14. Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping is definitely one of the most spectacular Victoria Falls activities. It is a great place to test the boundaries of fear and experience the true sense of recklessness as one plummets 111 metres towards the Zambezi River. With a rope attached to you, the Victoria Falls behind you, Zambia to your left and Zimbabwe to your right, you can jump off the Zim-Zam Bridge which connects Zambia and Zimbabwe. This is operated from both Zambia & Zimbabwe. You can make your bookings here.
Both Zambia and Zimbabwe require a visa to enter the country for most nationalities. Visas on arrival are available both at Victoria Falls and Livingstone airport.
You may also like: Swimming at the Victoria Falls, Is it Safe?
What to pack
You can bring;
Swimsuit- because there are pools.
Water proof shoes
Clothes- a maxi dress or some shorts are great
Warm coat-may be needed if the weather is cold as it may be quite unpredictable at times
Sunglasses-despite the water, there is generally hot weather and direct sunlight hence you need to protect your eyes.
For your Photography;
Camera- a simple camera will do since you will be in water and you don’t want equipment that is too bulky.
Waterproof camera case