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Zambia & Zimbabwe

Author elsslots
#1 | Posted: 1 Jun 2019 06:04 
In anticipation of my blog post about the Victoria Falls, I already would like to share some practical information about a visit to the Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia. All info below I found accurate as of May 2019:

Entrance fees:
30 USD for the Zimbabwean side and 20 USD for the Zambians. Unfortunately you do not get a fancy ticket for that price, just a printout of the cash register. My early morning Zambezi boat cruise costed 25 USD, but that was probably a discounted price for people staying at Ilala Lodge.
In general, you can get away with only US dollars and a credit card (certainly in Zimbabwe). In Zambia, prices in shops and restaurants are mostly quoted in kwacha, which can easily be obtained from one of the many ATM's in Livingstone. But you can pay in USD as well.

When to go:
Time of the year: from April to June (March to July is also given at other sources) you will see the most spray, as it is high water in the Zambezi. Getting unobstructed photos however is better the rest of the year and Livingstone Island and Devil's Pool on the edge of the falls will be accessible only then.
Time of the day: the sun rises at the Zambian side, so early mornings are best for that side & for the Zimbabwean side between 2 and 4 pm is recommended.

Where to stay:
For a short visit, I'd stay in Victoria Falls. From here you can just walk up to the Zimbabwean side in a few minutes (and most of the falls are in Zimbabwe anyway). If you want to splurge, I'd really recommend Ilala Lodge (330 USD) which is on the edge of town closest to the Falls. The garden is regularly visited by animals from bushbuck to elephant. The restaurant is excellent.

If you have more time on your hands, Livingstone should be considered as it is more of a 'real' town instead of a set of hotels. I stayed at the cosy ZigZag Lodge (50 USD) which is also recommended, but I heard rumours it is going out of business or looking for a new owner. From Livingstone you need a taxi to take you to the Falls (10 USD one-way), although cheapskates might want to find out the timetable of the local bus.

What to bring:
A rain poncho or something similar. You'll get wet at both sides (they are also available for rent at the entrance). Plus some water, you cannot buy anything inside the parks (except for drinks at the entrance). Wear sensible shoes as it can get slippery at some spots.

What to buy:
Both sides have souvenir markets at their entrance. On the Zimbabwean side you will also meet a hustler or two on your walk from town to the entrance, trying to sell wood carvings. The Zimbabwe side also has a more official souvenir shop on its premises.

Crossing the border:
Buy a Univisa aka Kazavisa when entering Zim or Zam for the first time. This will give you multiple visits to both countries for 50 USD.
The Zim/Zam border at Victoria bridge can easily be done on foot. I had to wait about 20 minutes on the Zambian side, but all was without any hassle.

Author Colvin
#2 | Posted: 2 Jun 2019 06:41 
Great tips - thanks!

Author Zoe
#3 | Posted: 2 Jun 2019 14:40 
I didn't visit the land portion of the Falls from the Zambian side. It looks rather poor in comparison especially in low water season there is nothing to see if the waterfall. My friends did go to the Devil's Pool while I was rafting but they said it wasn't all that amazing. Just seeing people over there is kinda crazy.

Author elsslots
#4 | Posted: 6 Nov 2022 01:52 

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 Zambia & Zimbabwe

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