Victoria Falls & Livingstone

The Victoria Falls offers thundering falls, dramatic beauty of the Zambezi River and a bevy of adventurous river & land activities .

Overview

The Victoria Falls is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and definitely  a sight not to be missed if you have the time. You can stay on either the Zimbawean or Zambian side of the Falls, but some of the most spectacular views of the Victoria Falls are on the Zambian side of the gorge, plus you have the added attraction of Livingstone Island and Devil’s pool.

To gain an overall impression of the Victoria Falls, the helicopter ‘Flight of Angels’ is considered essential by some. For the truly daring, microlight flights or bungee jumping are also available.  One of our favourite excursions is to enjoy a champagne breakfast or lunch on the private Livingstone Island. This lies literally at the top edge of the Victoria Falls. If you are visiting during the low water months of September to December, you can even swim to Devil’s Pool, a rockpool at the waterfall’s edge.
Above the Falls, the Zambezi river is wide and gentle – the perfect place for languorous sunset boat cruises or gentle canoeing trips. However below the Victoria Falls, the Zambezi river’s character changes with several magnificent roaring rapids through a 7 km gorge. Here the adventurous can enjoy serious white-water rafting.

staff image

Kate Bergh

Co-founder & Director
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Features

Why you may love it

  • Sunset cruises on the upper Zambezi river.
  • Excursions to Livingstone Island on the edge of the Falls (only possible from Zambian side).
  • Helicopter flights.
  • White-water rafting in the lower Zambezi river gorge.
  • Dinner on the Royal Livingstone steam train.
  • Visits to Chief Mukuni’s village.
  • Range of soft adventure & adrenalin activities: bungee-jumping, abseiling, gorge-swinging, horse-riding.
  • Visit Chobe National Park in Botswana as a day safari.

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When to visit Victoria Falls & Livingstone

November to March

Not ideal time to visit Victoria Falls

This is not an ideal time for Victoria Falls, especially in November & December, as the flow of water over the Victoria Falls is low. This is especially the case on the Zambian side where the flow is affected by a hydro-electric plant. Early in the season, you can still visit Livingstone Island and this is the easiest time to swim across to the small rock pool at the very edge of the Falls. Due to the lower water flow, you don’t need to be a strong swimmer in November. Trips to the island stop as the water flow starts increasing again at the start of the summer rains. As the summer rains continue, the flow over the Victoria Falls increases dramatically.
AVG RAINFALL 141 mm
MAX TEMP 30 ℃ / 86 ℉
MIN TEMP 19 ℃ / 66 ℉

April to May

Flow of Victoria Falls at its maximum

The flow of water over the Victoria Falls is at its maximum which means exciting viewing experiences but not great photos as your camera would get soaked! In April the flow may be so great that you almost don’t get to see the full majesty of the Falls as the mist from the spray is all-pervasive. This problem gradually eases during May. Note that the paths around the Falls will be very slippery and some sections are marked “at your own risk”
AVG RAINFALL 15 mm
MAX TEMP 29 ℃ / 84 ℉
MIN TEMP 13 ℃ / 55 ℉

June to July

Best time to visit Victoria Falls

Traditionally this is the best time to see the Victoria Falls. The flow of water is still very strong, but the spray is less so that you can see all of the Falls.
AVG RAINFALL 1 mm
MAX TEMP 26 ℃ / 79 ℉
MIN TEMP 6 ℃ / 43 ℉

August to October

Summer in Victoria Falls & Livingstone

Temperatures heat up quickly in September and October prior to the start of the summer rains. The flow of water over the Victoria Falls starts becoming noticeably less as the dry season continues. However this is the only time when you are able to cross over by boat to Livingstone Island. From somewhere in September onwards, you are allowed to swim across to the small rock pool at the very edge of the Falls. You need to be a very strong swimmer in September and early October, but it becomes much easier later into October.
AVG RAINFALL 48 mm
MAX TEMP 34 ℃ / 93 ℉
MIN TEMP 18 ℃ / 64 ℉

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Accommodation

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Milandi’s review of Thorntree River Lodge

Wow! Thorntree River Lodge is impressive. I can’t fault it. The setting in the Mosi Ai Tanya reserve is spectacular, about 20 minutes drive upstream from the Falls. The staff are well-trained led by Dumi, their well-travelled and hands on General Manager.

This is definitely for those people who enjoy the finest in life. The lodge is modern, contemporary with great use of glass. All activities, meals and drinks are included as well as transfers. There is wifi but deliberately ONLY in the library (so that guests can enjoy the stunning setting and lodge.) There's a large wine cellar, swimming pool and spa.

And the rooms are so so lovely! There's a butler's area with tea/coffee making facilities and minibar, air-conditioning and fan. A beautiful sliding glass door leads out to the deck and private plunge pool. These have a mesh door option so that you can leave open at night if you wish. It is superbly decorated with a definite WOW factor!

It is not as hotel-like as Royal Livingstone. And it is not as lodge-like as Tongabezi. However it is on par with Tongabezi in terms of $$$s spent, but it's more refined. But it is expensive!

But at the moment, they seem to struggle here with the power supply once you leave the confines of Livingstone. I think this was because of the severe drought at the time which was affecting the hydro-electric power plant and thus the power supply. So you may have some power outages for some hours at a time. I suspect this affects all of the lodges in the reserve.

Victoria Falls is currently affected by the drought which is also affecting Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Zambian side of the Falls is completely dry. So guests staying here are visiting the Zimbabwean side of the Falls at the moment (December 2019). However we were still able to do a beautiful sundowner cruise on the Zambezi River.

Cedarberg : Milandi Joubert

Experiences in Victoria Falls & Livingstone

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Did you know
  • Adventure"Devil's Pool" are located near the edge of the falls
  • CapitalIn 1907 Livingstone became the capital of, the then, North Western Rhodesia