Vic Falls: Best time to go, what to expect and how to get there

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Victoria Falls, or Vic Falls as it is fondly referred to, captivates the exploring hearts of travelers before a single eye has even been laid on the mighty smoke that thunders. In fact, during the rainy season, the sheer force of this UNESCO World Heritage Site can be seen – from the air – before the stamp of entry into Zimbabwe even touches your passport. And at the entrance, the spray of the falls gently greets you in advance, a refreshing welcome to one of the Seven Wonders of the World.But witnessing it from above or experiencing it from the outside, is simply not enough. You have to see the Victoria Falls, stop at the viewpoints, hear its thunderous roar, soak it all in (while possibly getting soaked) and stand stupefied as the magnitude of force unfolds right in front of your eyes.

The best time to visit Vic Falls

Victoria falls

Victoria Falls is an impressive force of nature, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and seeing it up, close and personal is a sight to behold.As with most destinations, the Victoria Falls puts on a different performance in the face of the changing seasons. And between the rainy season, the in-between weather and the myth that the falls have dried up, it begs the question: when is the best time to visit?The answer is multi-faceted and depends on the activities you want to engage in, and what you want to get out of the experience.The height of the summer rains is between December and March and you can experience Vic Falls in all its green luscious glory. Higher water levels often mean that Devil’s Pool is closed, and if white-water rafting is on your to-do list, it is best to do it in the beginning of the rainy season.From April to June the water levels are at its highest, making it impossible to visit Devil’s Pool and braving the rapids. The falls are plummeting below in full force during this time of the year and causing an abundance of the spray and mist; visibility can be limited from certain viewpoints, and walkways are extra slippery. However, the view will still leave you awestruck and if you want to witness the smoke, now is a perfect time to do a helicopter flight over the falls.July to August is known as the peak season at the falls, just after the rain and just before the dry season starts. This in-between period promises excellent visibility from both sides and catching a glimpse of a rainbow over the falls is highly likely. It is also the perfect opportunity to combine your visit to Vic Falls with a safari at Chobe and Hwange National Park.September to November is the dry season and the falls are at their lowest level, with the Zambian side usually – and almost – completely dry (which often leads to the untrue rumors that the falls have completely dried up). During this time the environment is dry and dusty, with extremely high temperatures but daredevils can now visit Devil’s Pool and Livingstone Island again.

man and woman standing near vic falls on zambezi river

Soak in the serenity of nature as the sun paints the African sky in hues of unforgettable moments.

Going to Victoria Falls? Here’s what to expect

This natural phenomenon is a sensory overload, and apart from Mosi-oa-Tunya – as it is known by the locals, directly translated to ‘the smoke that thunders’ – there are also numerous adventure activities to keep you busy. Visitors can face their fear of heights and go bungee jumping, you can do white-water rafting, view it all from a helicopter and peek over the edge of the falls at Devil’s Pool. If you are at the right place at the right time you can witness the surreal sight of a lunar rainbow, or a moonbow, when the full moon's light is refracted by water particles in the air, creating a rainbow in the dark.When visiting the falls, a guided tour will give you an in-depth overview of the area, including that of the rain forest. Your ticket grants you a full day entry and you can explore the different viewpoints to your heart’s content, shop for gifts at the curio shop and grab a bite at the falls' restaurant. It is important to remember that pathways can get extremely slippery; if you are visiting during high season a raincoat and protective gear for your passport and camera is highly recommended. And as with any national park or reserve, remember to adhere to the rules and take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.

Lookout deck on the Zambezi River

Sundowners, sunsets over the Zambezi River and possible wildlife sightings are inseparable from your Victoria Falls experience.

How to get to Vic Falls

If you are not doing an overlanding adventure, you can easily reach Vic Falls by flying into the international airports of Victoria Falls Town (Zimbabwe), or Livingstone Town (Zambia). Most hotels offer shuttle services around the clock to a drop off point in town and to the entrance of the falls. Alternatively, the falls are within walking distance from town. Taxis are also available, especially if you are coming from Livingstone and can’t make use of a hotel transfer.

Vic Falls from a helicopter

Take a flight over the Vic Falls and get a bird's eye view of 'the smoke that thunders'.Our Victoria Falls Experts can plan your full flight plan from any international or local destination as well as provide you with the best possible prices for the full range of accommodation options in Victoria Falls. Let us help you plan.

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