Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – A Quick Guide

Victoria Falls, brought to international attention by Dr. Livingstone in 1855, is widely considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world.

A trip here can be as cheap or expensive as you like, but prices are on the higher side when compared to other areas of Zimbabwe and its neighboring countries. I did three nights on a mid-sized budget and had a wonderful time, here are my top picks.

Where to stay:

Lokuthula Lodges – these self-catering lodges are modern, clean and relatively cheap compared to the other accommodation in the area. They are located further away from the main town of Victoria Falls, but there are regular shuttle buses and there are more than enough options for food and accommodation on site. As an additional plus, you don’t have to travel far for an animal encounter as they have resident warthog, guinea fowl and monkeys wandering the grounds.  At 2pm everyday, bones from the hotel’s restaurants are taken down for vulture feeding. Watching this huge gathering (with the number of birds in the hundreds) from the veranda of the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is a sight to behold.

Where to eat:

The BOMA restaurant is an interactive night of traditional dancing, drumming and of course, great food. As soon as we arrived we were draped in bright bold print and seated at our camp-site themed table, with fold out chairs and camp-lamp on the table. After eating our fill of BBQd and grilled meats, including eland and warthog, we took hold of our bongo drums and followed the given instructions in time to the beat. After the drumming performance, we were serenaded by a traditional African choir and we even paid a visit to the bone man to have our futures read. Only time will tell if he called it right, but I would recommend this to anyone – a great and fun experience! It is popular with tourists staying in the whole town, so it is wise to reserve your table in advance in peak holiday season.

Victoria Falls Hotel – this 5* colonial style hotel, built in 1905, is the epitome of stylish travel at Victoria Falls. While a stay in one of their rooms comes with a hefty price tag, the Jungle Junction restaurant, set outside under a thatched roof, offers upmarket dining with a traditional dance and music show for a much more reasonable budget.

Head to the Lookout Cafe for stunning views over the gorge and some ice-cold milkshakes and a selection of tasty lunch options. From here, you can also see daredevils try out the gorge swing and get an appreciation for just how deep the water tumbles down off the falls and into the river. It also has wifi (in case you have had a bit too much great outdoors and were missing the outside world!)

What to do:

Activities – there are more activities here than you can shake a stick at. From walking with lions, to an elephant-back safari, water-sports on the Zambezi, or a day-trip to Botswana , Victoria Falls has everything to successfully part you from your tourist dollars. Not keen on the bungee off Victoria Falls Bridge, I decided to spend Christmas Day in the skies with a helicopter tour over the falls or ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. Though it isn’t cheap, it is once in a lifetime and the view was incredible. It certainly offers a totally different perspective to the one you get on the ground. Some other popular activities at the falls (such as the Devil’s Pool) get booked up in advance, so have a think about what you have time/ budget for, before you arrive.

Walking around Victoria Falls itself is one of the cheapest activities to do (we paid $20) and the one that every visitor has to do to. The only view is from the Zimbabwe side and the park can be walked in about two hours, allowing for photo and selfie breaks. The paths are easy to walk and mostly flat.

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Walking the Victoria Falls
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The view from the Lookout Cafe
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Helicopter ride views (in the dry season)
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