By Marianne Betts
With the resumption of flights into Victoria Falls in October, and Zimbabwe’s land borders set to re-open on December 1, now is the time to start planning that special getaway to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World!
Victoria Falls, a place where wilderness, adventure and culture unite around one stunning spectacle – the largest curtain of falling water in the world, which is formed when the Zambezi River tumbles more than 100m and across 1.7km into the Batoka Gorge.
Here are some tips to help you along the way:
When to visit
Victoria Falls is a year-round destination. The Falls are rain-fed so their water levels fluctuate greatly throughout the year, being at their highest between April and June, and their lowest from October to December. Viewing the Victoria Falls at different times of the year offers different experiences – in high flow its entire length is a thundering wall of falling water, whereas in low flow the underlying structure can be seen and visibility is clearer.
Zimbabwe has a temperate climate, with the summer months, from September to March/April, being hot and humid, often with brief thunderstorms in the afternoons, while the winter months, from April/May to August, are generally mild and dry.
Before your trip
While it is a given to research flights and accommodation, and perhaps where to eat, don’t forget to also look into the activities available in Victoria Falls before arriving. Known as the Adventure Capital of Africa, there are a myriad of activities to choose from in Victoria Falls. These include the popular sunset cruises along the Zambezi River, guided tours of the Victoria Falls Rainforest, game drives in the Zambezi National Park, helicopter flights over the Falls, white water rafting and a range of adrenaline high wire activities, such as a gorge swing, zip line, flying fox and canopy tour.
What to pack
Pack your swimming gear, cool and comfortable clothes, sunhats, sunglasses, sunscreen and binoculars. If you are planning your trip for the cooler months, also throw some warmer clothes into your suitcase as the evenings are cool. You will also need to pack masks and sanitisers.
Making the most of it!
Don’t rush round the Falls – take your time, especially now when the Rainforest is not too busy. And if possible, visit the Falls at least twice during your stay, once in the morning and again in the afternoon. On each visit you will notice a difference in the rainbows, amount of spray etc. A magical time to view the Falls is as soon as the gates open (6am in summer from 1 September to 30 April, and 6.30am in winter from 1 May to 31 August) – the sun rising over the Falls is an unforgettable sight, as is the soft morning light, and you are almost guaranteed to have it to yourself.
For those staying on the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge estate, enjoy a sundowner at the Buffalo Bar, which offers panoramic views over the Zambezi National Park, including a wildlife -rich waterhole, while watching the sunset. Don’t miss the free onsite activities which include the Vulture Culture Experience, a supplementary feeding programme that aids the survival of these remarkable birds, at 1pm daily, or visit our Nyoni Bird Hide.
Covid information you should know
Those entering Zimbabwe require a negative Covid test performed within 48 hours of arrival. There is then no need to quarantine. There are also testing facilities available at Victoria Falls International Airport. For those finishing their Victoria Falls holiday and traveling to another country, testing is available at Lancet Laboratories for USD60 a test. At Victoria Falls Safari Lodge estate, arrangements can be made for clinicians to come onsite and test guests and return with the results.
Some useful websites