Victoria Falls. ¿Zambia or Zimbabwe side?

Victoria Falls is one of the most reknown and visited tourist spot in Southern Africa. Many tourists all year round visit this world heritage site. 

The falls are just at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, shared by both countries, on the Zambezi River
In the middle of the wild? No, not at all. Livingstone (Zambia) is a big town, former capital city, and you find shopping malls and international airports in both sides.

Costs of the Victoria Falls:

If you are a low-cost traveller, keep in mind that the entrance fees to the falls are not cheap (20$ in Zambia and 30$ in Zimbabwe) and that, there are visas too (at least 20 $ for a day visa in both countries, ... and if going back again to the same country you need a MULTIPLE visa so more expensive visa... good now with the new Kaza Visa dual for 50$). All visas are on arrival for European citizens.
So maybe you will have to choose only one country for the visit. If both, at least minimum 100 $/pp (fees+Kaza visa).

Visiting both sides or countries, VISAS: 

Remember, now with the new dual visa Zimbabwe-Zambia (KASA VISA), it´s 50 $/month with illimated crossings. Great for the falls.
If not; 
- Zimbabwe visa is single 30$/month, and 20 $/day, multiple 50$/month.
- Zambia visa is single 50$/month and 20$/day, multiple 80$/3 months. 

Keep this in mind if visiting both sides! And arriving at one of the border posts where the Kaza visa is avalaible (here you can read more information about the Zimbabwe visa).

We visited Victoria Falls in january 2015, in a Southern Africa trip, so went to Zimbabwe and Zambia on route, but just visited the falls on the Zimbabwe side (too expensive both!).

We can help you with usefull information about the visit, prices, accommodation, etc.

Here´s a map of the Zimbabwe-Zambia area, to get an idea.

Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe is very close to the falls (2 km to the entrance from the center), you can walk.
The views from Zimbabwe are longer than in Zambia.
The bad point in Victoria Falls: cheap and central accommodation is really limited to one place, and not so quiet atmosphere.

Livingstone in Zambia is a bit far away from the falls, 10 km, you need to take a public van. And also far from the river. It´s just a big town, tropical place.
The good point: a few cheap and good backpackers lodges, with nice atmosphere. Nice place to stop for a few days, relax... specially if you are on a long Africa journey.

For the falls? Zimbabwe, better views. Zambia less but you get a "bonus", possible to go over the falls (Devil´s Pools).
For activities? Don´t worry, you are at the right place, in both sides. But, it´s expensive.

We explain everything with more details. Keep on reading.

   Victoria Falls:  ¿ Zimbabwe or Zambia side?    

When we arrived at Victoria Falls area, in january 2015, we weren´t sure which side was better to visit, Zambia or Zimbabwe, because we didn´t want to spent a lot of money going to both sides.
So, we asked around, about the opinion of some travellers who had visited both. And about what to visit depending of water conditions.

Finally we decided to go to the Zimbabwe side, because the level of water was good and the best and more complete views are from there.

The falls are over a straight gorge, around 1 km long. From the Zimbabwe side you have a longer perspective as the lookouts occupy the ¾ of the falls. That´s maybe why the price is 30 $ in Zimbabwe and 20 $ in Zambia.
So the views from the Zimbabwe side are really longer with more paths and and more complete with more lookouts.

Even if you have just the quarter vision of the falls, there are extra things, "bonus" on the Zambia side
  • There´s a bridge, Knife Edge Bridge, to get to the western lookout, another feeling crossing it.
  • You can approach the water: there´s a picnic area close to the Zambezi river before falling where you can touch the water and even refresh yourself as the locals do. 
  • You can go down to the Zambezi gorge, to Boiling Pot (you see it from the international bridge).
  • You can walk over the river or take a boat to the edge of the falls: Angel´s pool, Livingstone Island and Devil´s Pool and have a bath just on the edge, but it´s not cheap (complete information in Victoria Falls - Zambia).
  Lookout and picnic area in Zambia side, lokked  from Zimbabwe

Doing both it´s really expensive, entrance fees (30+20 $) plus visas for Zimbabwe and Zambia (you will need a multiple entrance if going back again to the same country! If you get the Kaza dual 50 $ you are lucky... If not consider it´s minimum 20 $/day visit visa and multiple extra).

And for sure it will also depend if you are on route in southern Africa, between different countries or just visiting the falls! Anyway, you will enjoy!

You can see the situation here:

For the views: Zimbabwe! More complete! Lookouts: Zimbabwe 15, Zambia 4. 

For swimming on the falls and approaching more the falls: Zambia! Riverside area inside the visit, Boiling Pot. And paying an extra charge (not cheap!), reaching Devil´s pool and other pools and Livinsgtone Island (even luxury hotel there!)

Up to you!

Will I see the falls without paying?

Views from de bridge
Not really.

If not paying the entrance fee (in Zambia or Zimbabwe), the only very limited view of the falls is from the border bridge. It´s free to cross and look. Just take your passport and ask for the bridge pass.

If you want to pass the Zimbabwe border post and reach the falls entrance on Zimbabwe side, you will need a Zimbabwe visa (or dual Univisa-Kaza). 

Great views over the Zambezi Gorge, downstream after the falls. And of course, you have the famous bungy-jumping!
In the Zimbabwe side, all the area is fenced and controlled. From the River Walk you just see the Zambezi River.
Same in Zambia. But the views of the Zambezi River and the noise are better, from the luxury hotels of the riverside (free to enter and have a look, do it!).

If you really want to see the falls, the only option is paying the fee and visit either Zimbabwe or Zambia side… or do an expensive flight over the falls!

 Fisherman walking on the edge (left) and tourist on the small pool


  1. Very impressed by the amount of information collected here! Thanks a lot for sharing that with us, that'll be very usefull in the preparation of our Namibia/Botswana/Zambia trip! I may contact you later on with some questions if you agree...

  2. Hola a las dos... Después de seguiros por medio mundo, nos vamos a copiaros el tour con coche por el sur de África. Esperamos que os vaya bien por México!
    Marisa y Moisés

  3. Hola Moisés y Marisa!
    Que bueno ese proyecto de viaje por el sur de Africa. Es otro mundo! Y el coche da libertad total. Y se puede ajustar el presupuesto como veis...
    Saludos desde México! Y acá nos teneis si hay dudad y podemos ayudar...


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