Victoria Falls - The Smoke that Thunders
The Victoria Falls is owned by both Zambia and Zimbabwe with the mighty Zambezi River forming a natural boundary between the two countries. The name of the Falls is Mosi oa Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) and Victoria Falls is also the name of the town on the Zimbabwean side of the Falls. The town on the Zambian side is Livingstone, named after Dr David Livingstone, the famous explorer who discovered the Falls in 1855. Ironically, he named the Falls after Queen Victoria, the Queen at the time, but she never actually visited the Falls.
The Victoria Falls is an all year round destination. There are three distinct seasons in the Victoria Falls area. The cooler, dry season runs from May to August. September to October/November is hot and dry, with average highs between 32-34°C. November/December to April is warm and wet, with high humidity. The rains generally start in mid-November; it becomes warm and wet and stays so until the rainy season passes at the end of April. The rainy season is often characterised by sudden torrential downpours with violent storms followed as quickly by blue skies and sunshine. Annual rains start in the middle of November but it's only in January that the headwaters hit Victoria Falls, levels climb again and 'high water season' starts.
The best time to visit the Falls is during peak flow (April - May). If the rainfalls has been good it can be near impossible to see the rock formations of the Falls with the high volume of water coming over the Falls. For water sport enthusiasts low water season is the best time to travel (August to January) with December and January being the lowest months. The lower the water, the better the rafting.
The Victoria Falls region is a malaria area and your health practitioner should be consulted prior to your visit. We also recommend that you cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants at night and take some insect repellent with you.
Effective 26 May 2011, all travellers to Zambia will require a Yellow Fever certificate for re-entry into South Africa. This includes any transit passengers.
There is a wide variety of accommodation on offer on both the Zimbabwe and Zambian side of the Falls: family-friendly resorts, those for keen golfers, safari lodges and those for unique conferences and incentive trips. We recommend a minimum of 2 nights at the Falls and those wishing to extend their holiday can choose from a few of the other properties we have on offer further down the Zambezi or across the border into Botswana.
Extend your stay and combine your trip to the Victoria Falls with a few nights in Botswana
The Victoria Falls is without a doubt the Adrenaline Capital of Africa! A combination of activities, such as game, drives, helicopter flights over the Falls, white water rafting, canoe safari’s, high-wire activities, Zambezi river cruises and elephant back safari’s guarantee visitors a spectacular visit.
Zimbabwe: All visitors will require a valid passport. Passports must be valid for a least 6 months and have at least 2 blank pages. A visa is issued without charge to SA Passport holders on arrival. Most other passport holders require a visa to enter Zimbabwe. Most visas, with the exception of a few nationalities that have to arrange their visa prior to arrival, can be issued on arrival. If you are planning to visit Livingstone or Chobe while you are at the Falls, you will need to apply for a double entry visa. Multiple entry visas need to arranged prior to arrival in Zimbabwe. For up-to-date information on all visa requirements we recommend checking with the Zimbabwe Foreign Office.
Zambia: All visitors will require a valid passport. Passports must be valid for a least 6 months and have at least 2 blank pages. South African Passport holders do not require a visa to visit Zambia. For all other nationalities refer to the following website for up-to-date information: www.zambiatourism.com
Botswana: All nationals of foreign countries, except those from countries which have reached a visa abolition agreements with Botswana, require a visa for entering Botswana. For up-to-date information we recommend checking with the Botswana Consulate. South African nationals do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days.
Enjoy your Victoria Falls holiday!