Victoria Falls is the name given to both the small town in western Zimbabwe as well as the magnificent waterfall. The large cascading body of water is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a true marvel to witness.
You’d imagine that looking on at such an awesome sight would be a difficult task to achieve. However, there are plenty of ways to experience the marvel first-hand. With Mango flight specials and other epic travel deals, visiting Victoria Falls has never been easier.
All that’s left to do now is to decide when you want to go – and which side of the waterfall you want to be.
Discover Victoria Falls
Local people call Victoria Falls “Mosi-oa-Tunya” which translates into “the smoke that thunders”. The iconic spectacle is a special sight (and site) for both locals and international travelers alike.
Where is Victoria Falls?
The town of Victoria Falls lies in western Zimbabwe. The Zambezi River runs through the town and forms the boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as the catchment of the famed Victoria Falls.
If you plan to visit from the Zimbabwe side, then you’ll access the falls from Victoria Falls National Park. Another option is to visit from neighboring country Zambia, in which case you can gain entry to the falls from Zambezi National Park.
Both sides have their unique selling points. For example, Zimbabwe’s view is historically preferred, the water flows all year round, and most hotels are within walking distance of the falls.
On the other hand, visiting the Zambian side gives you an opportunity to get closer to the falls. You can also swim in Devil’s Pool (during low season) and visit Livingstone Island.
Victoria Falls Weather
When discussing the climate at Victoria Falls, locals refer to two main seasons – wet and dry season. The area experiences a tropical climate and follows a summer rainfall pattern.
The temperatures get very high during the traditional summer season (September to April) and remain comfortably moderate during the winter (May to August).
The dry season occurs during the winter months. During this time, the water levels are low, and certain activities are made available to those daring enough to try, such a swim in Devil’s Pools.
Victoria Falls experiences wet season during summer when the river is full and the waterfall is particularly powerful. If your reason for traveling to Victoria Falls is to see the beauty of the natural wonder, then this is when you’ll see the large sheets of water flowing at their fullest.
How High is Victoria Falls?
Did you know that Victoria Falls also provides a natural habitat for several unique species of plants and animals? This is easier to believe once you realize how large the waterfall truly is.
Although Victoria Falls is neither the widest nor the highest waterfall in the world, it is considered the largest. This is based on its combined width of 1,708 meters and its height of 108 meters.
Seeing the spectacle in person is rather unbelievable!
Best Time To See Victoria Falls
The best time to go to Victoria Falls depends largely on what activities you plan to partake in. Although the waterfall is most awe-inspiring during the rainy season, the dry season has its perks too.
Visiting During Rainy Season
The rainy season is considered the best time to visit for viewing pleasure. The Zambezi River reaches its annual peak flooding between February until May. During this time you can expect torrential downpours and storms.
As the river is full and the falls are gushing, certain activities are not permitted. Livingstone Island Devil’s Pool access closes around January and remains closed until August.
As the spray of the falls is particularly strong during this time, ground access is very difficult. However, these are the best months for aerial viewing. Keep your camera charged (and waterproofed) to snap pictures of the powerful falls.
Keep in mind that the rains bring mosquitos. It’s important to take malaria precautions when visiting Victoria Falls during this time.
Visiting During Victoria Falls Dry Season
If you’re an adventure junkie or want to experience the different activities around Victoria Falls, then the dry season would be your best bet.
The ideal time for rafting is from August to December. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you navigate the white water of the Zambezi. The water levels are not flooding but manageable and fun.
Devil’s Pool and Livingstone Island are also made accessible during the dry season from August until March. This is a great way to experience the natural wonder.
Another key consideration is whether or not you plan on enjoying the game viewing opportunities around Victoria Falls. Both Zimbabwe and Zambia have fantastic safari opportunities which are best enjoyed in the dry season as the animals are easier to spot.
However, if it’s the view of the great falls that you’re after, then avoid visiting in November (and early December) as the rock face can be quite dry.
Final Thoughts On When To Visit Victoria Falls
The best time to visit the falls will depend on what you hope to achieve. If you want to experience a combination of fantastic sightings and fun activities in Victoria Falls, then your mid-seasons will be best.
Victoria Falls in December is great for rafting, and a trip between February and May is the best for the view. While your experience will largely depend on when you go and what activities you sign up for, there are a few guarantees…
Expect to be blown away by the beauty of the falls, get close to nature, marvel at painted sunsets, and enjoy the friendly hospitality of the locals. Visiting Victoria Falls is an unforgettable experience and one that needs to be seen to be believed
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Travel Insurance for Victoria Falls
Use travel insurance while visiting Zambia so you are covered for theft and medical expenses. There are a lot of adventurous things to do near Victoria Falls, and it’s best to have peace of mind while diving, hiking, and trying some of the best food in the world.
Find out why I recommend World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review.
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