Victoria Falls - Which Side to Visit?
Both Zambia and Zimbabwe offer their own views of the Falls
The first question that most people ask, when wanting to visit the Victoria Falls, is "Which side is best to visit - the Zimbabwe side or the Zambia side?"
In an ideal world, we would suggest you stay on one side of the Falls then cross via the Victoria Falls Bridge for just a day trip to visit the Falls from the 'other side' - so you maximise your time here by seeing the Falls from every angle! But if you don't have the time (or the money for the multiple entry visas) to do this, here are a few key points to help you make your decision.
Viewing the Falls from the Zimbabwe Side
75% of the Falls can be seen from this side, and a network of paths allows you to see more of the Falls from virtually every angle, and get a better perspective of its full width and power. The Falls never dry up on the Zimbabwean side, even at the height of the dry season (October to December), so you can be assured of an impressive water flow at any time of the year.
The town of Victoria Falls is very close to the Falls (less than 2 km), and as this is where the majority of the hotels are situated, your travelling time (and associated transfer costs) to get to the Falls is less than from hotels on the Zambia side. Accommodation (and activity) rates also tend to be slightly lower on the Zimbabwean side due to lower government taxes and levies.
Viewing the Falls from the Zambia Side
Zambia has a 25% view of the Falls - the eastern cataract - and there is a reasonable network of paths and several viewpoints. However, this section dries up completely in the dry months (October to December) leaving just a rock face.
Livingstone Island, where David Livingstone famously first set eyes on the Falls, can only be visited from the Zambia side. Microflights and the Devils Pool swim can also only be done from this side too.
There are only 2 hotels close to the entrance to the Falls on the Zambia side (the Royal Livingstone and Zambezi Sun), and residents here have their own (free) entrance to the Zambian section of the Falls via their own entrance gate. All other visitors will stay at one of the hotels or lodges near Livingstone, which is about a 10 km drive from the entrance - adding to travelling time and associated transfer costs.
All travellers passing through South Africa after travelling to Zambia will now be required to have a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. Passengers travelling between Europe and Zambia and NOT passing through South Africa do not need a Yellow Fever certificate.
A Yellow Fever vaccination needs to be done a minimum of 10 days prior to travelling. You will not be allowed to get it on arrival in South Africa due to the 10 day period. A valid Yellow Fever certificate will be required for travellers over 1 year old.