Visiting The Falls

If you are staying at one of the few hotels located within walking distance of The Falls, then you can visit by yourself as many times as you like, experiencing this magnificent sight at different times of the day.

An alternative is to take a guided tour, during which your guide can explain how the Falls were formed, and the local customs and traditions surrounding them. If you are not staying within walking distance, then this is pretty well mandatory anyway.

With getting on for half a million visitors a year here, you might feel that you are going to be part of a tourist frenzy. But nothing could be further from the truth. The infrastructure around the Falls is quite unobtrusive and visitors are able to feel like they themselves are explorers as they wander around the secluded walkways, in search of the perfect vantage point.

The Upper Zambezi River forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe at this point, and hence The Falls are shared by both countries, with quite different opportunities for viewing from either side. In a later section we discuss the pros and cons of visiting the area in general from either country, but here we simply restrict ourselves to describing what can be seen from either side so far as The Falls themselves are concerned.

An extremely unusual sight that can be experienced from both sides, is that of a 'Moonbow', or Lunar Rainbow. A Moonbow is a rainbow created when the light of the moon meets the spray from a waterfall. This is a pretty rare experience, but is one for which the Victoria Falls are noted. Viewing one of these is said to provide the lucky viewer with a life full of blessings!

The Zambia side

For guests who have booked directly through ourselves, we make available a detailed guide (+ map) to visiting The Falls area, if staying in what used to be known as the Sun International Resort complex, now made up of The Avani Resort Hotel, and its sister hotel, The Royal Livingstone. These two hotels are only two storeys high and have minimal impact on the surroundings.

From either of these hotels you can take as many trips to see the Falls, on foot, as you like. We actually present five different viewing opportunities, the principal one being, of course, to walk along onto the Victoria Falls Bridge, obtaining a temporary exit visa as you pass temporarily onto the Zimbabwe side. From here you can take your bungee jump, if this is what you desire.

There are other routes, such as walking upstream along the bank of the river, and crossing over the iconic Knife-Edge Bridge (seen in the banner photograph above), which is the very closest point that you can get to The Falls themselves. Be prepared to get very wet though, as you are effectively travelling through a small patch of rain forest, due to the proximity to the falls themselves.

There is a further scenic walk at the far side of the bridge, although in both cases it is necessary to return to your start point.

As the effectively two branches of the river - from the Zimbabwe side of the Falls, and from the Zambia side behind you - meet, to flow south through the narrow Batoka Gorge, a maelstrom of huge whirlpools is formed, known as 'The Boiling Pot', and it is actually possible to descend down by a path by the side of the gorge to its base, close to the base of the Knife-Edge Bridge, in order to view the Boiling Pot at close distance.

And if you are visiting at a very dry time of the year, with little flow coming over, you can actually walk across the almost dry river bed as far as Livingstone Island itself. To travel on foot along the edge of such a magnificent waterfall is a quite mind-blowing experience.

The Zimbabwe side

In addition to visiting The Falls from this side, there is also the unusual treat of being able to experience a significant rain forest (due to the never-ending spray from The Falls), complete with its own ecosystem, noted as being a 'botanists' dream and bird lovers' paradise', with species that are unique to this location.

The entrance gate is within walking reach of many of Victoria Falls Town's hotels, and contains toilets, information boards, a restaurant and curio shop. The pathway system is then around 2 km in length, and designed to include numerous (15 in total) viewing points (unspoilt by barriers to protect you from the Falls below, so do take care).

As on the Zambian side, there is a statue to Livingstone close to the start of your tour, and your string of viewing points will then take you from the Devil's Cataract, close to the Zimbabwean river bank, to the edge of the gorge, just opposite to the viewpoint reached from Knife Edge Bridge (on the Zambian side).

A guided Victoria Falls Bridge tour is also available, which explains the history of this magnificent structure, in addition to giving you the opportunity to view The Falls from here, and - if you so choose - watch bungee jumpers hurling themselves off the bridge. You can also take a guided walk just underneath the bridge structure (involving a safety harness, and therefore perhaps not for the faint-hearted).