Best Safaris near Victoria Falls

Best Safaris near Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is an attractive destination, with travelers from around the world eager to see the mighty Victoria Falls in all its glory. Regarded as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls is a once in a lifetime destination, offering world-class accommodation and a wide variety of cultural and adventure activities.

While there are a host of incredible experiences to enjoy in the immediate surrounds of Victoria falls, what many travelers don’t know about Victoria Falls is that it nestles in both Zambia and Zimbabwe,  which are regarded to be two of Africa’s top safari destinations. Each host the most incredible national parks and private wildlife sanctuaries. Here are some of the best safaris near Victoria Falls.

Best Safaris near Victoria Falls: Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park

Best safaris near Victoria Falls include elephant sightings
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is a wonderful destination for up-close encounters with these gentle giants.

Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park is a popular safari destination because it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and encompasses the iconic Victoria Falls. Nestled along the upper region of the mighty Zambezi River in Zambia, Mosi-oa-Tunya allows travelers to immerse themselves in nature and have the opportunity to visit the world’s largest curtain of falling water. The park is 16 309 acres in size, so although relatively small, visitors are able to spot various animals at close quarters.

Wildlife: The park does not have any predators so the animals are generally very relaxed, which is great when taking those snaps. You are most likely to encounter giraffe, warthog, zebra, buffalo, impala, hippo, crocodile, rhino, and over 450 bird species. Elephants can also be seen wandering in the park as they do tend to cross the river during the dry season.

Experiences:  Daily game drives, walking safaris, bird watching, and visits to Victoria Falls where you can experience an array of activities: bungee jumping from the bridge, abseiling, canoeing, white river rafting, visits to Livingstone Island, fishing, and helicopter flights over the falls, and so much more.

Recommended lodges: The Royal Livingstone, Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma Lodge, Avani Victoria Falls

 

Zambezi National Park

River running through Zambezi National Park
Zambezi National Park offers one of the best safaris near Victoria Falls, with its diverse landscape and abundance of wildlife.

The pristine 140 000 acre Zambezi National Park is regarded as one of the top destinations in Zimbabwe to experience an outstanding Big Five safari and the adventure of Victoria Falls. The landscape comprises mainly of woodland but also includes a small riverine area and the Chamabonda Vlei which is a well-known spot for game viewing.

Wildlife: The Zambezi National Park is home to the famous Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. There is also various antelope species, zebra, giraffe, 75 species of fish, and over 400 species of bird.

Experiences: Daily game drives, walking safaris, bird watching, bush picnics, upper Zambezi canoeing safaris, and visits to the Victoria Falls where you can take a guided tour of the falls or microlight over the falls. There are so many activities to choose from.

Recommended lodges: Victoria Falls River Lodge; Royal Chundu Zambezi Lodge

 

Victoria Falls National Park

Aerial view of Victoria Falls and Victoria Falls National Park
During the high water season months, the Victoria Falls or better known as the “smoke that thunders” can be seen in all its glory.

The 5680 acre Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe is a very special place because of its close proximity to the falls; a mere seven minutes drive. If your time is limited and you really want to savor the beauty of the falls and experience an authentic big five safari, then Victoria Falls National Park is the best choice.

The park is situated approximately six kilometers above the Victoria Falls and twelve kilometers below the falls, affording incredible views of this natural wonder. The park encompasses a rainforest and riverine bush, along with a private concession that is managed by Wild Horizons – Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve.

Wildlife: In the private concession, visitors are likely to see big herds of elephant and buffalo, whilst in the national park one can see the Big Five as well as herds of various antelope, crocodile, zebra, giraffe, and other smaller animal species. The Zambezi River is well-known for its Bream and Tiger fish, making for excellent fishing opportunities.

Experiences: Private Victoria Falls Concession – day and night game drives, walking safaris, elephant interactions, and visits to Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls National Park – daily game drives, walking safaris, bird watching, and visits to Victoria Falls.

Recommended lodges: The Elephant Camp, The Victoria Falls Hotel; Victoria Falls Safari Lodge; Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel

 

Not sure where it is best to view the iconic Victoria Falls?

Zambia vs Zimbabwe

 

Hwange National Park

elephant sighting in Hwange National Park
With its high wildlife concentration and world-class accommodations, Hwange offers one of the best safaris near Victoria Falls

Hwange National Park is the largest park in Zimbabwe, with over 3.6 million acres of pristine wilderness to explore. Neighboring the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, the diversity of wildlife is remarkable, particularly of wild dog who are predominantly seen in Botswana. Hwange, with its unique landscape of mopane woodland and grasslands that becomes a wetland during the rainy season, offers some of the most incredible wildlife photography opportunities and one of the best walking safari experiences in Africa.

Wildlife: Hwange is home to an impressive array of wildlife, including 100 mammal species and 400 bird species. The park has one of Africa’s largest concentration of Cape wild dogs, and a healthy population of predators which include lion, leopard, cheetah, and hyena.  

Experiences: Cultural visits, daily game drives, walking safaris, bird watching, sleep-out experiences, and visits to Victoria Falls.

Recommended lodges: Davison’s Camp; Somalisa Camp

 

Matetsi Private Game Reserve

River views at Matetsi River Lodge
Savor gorgeous river views from the swimming pool area of Matetsi River Lodge – one of the best safaris near Victoria Falls.

Promising a more private luxury safari experience, the 123 552 acre Matetsi Private Game Reserve nestles 40 kilometers away from the hustle and bustle of Victoria Falls, but close enough to experience the wide range of adventure activities on offer. Matetsi encompasses a large floodplain and woodland, and to offers incredible sightings of the endangered African wild dog. Matetsi is special because it was once a hunting ground but with the help of &Beyond, the wildlife population is flourishing.

Wildlife: Matetsi Private Game Reserve is located on an elephant route and offers incredible wildlife sightings, particularly in the winter. The reserve is home to lion, leopard, African wild dog, spotted hyena, and various other animals.

Experiences: Daily game drives, boat cruises, walking safaris, upper Zambezi canoeing, bird watching, fishing, horseback safaris, and visits to Victoria Falls.

Recommended lodges: Matetsi River Lodge

 

Matobo National Park

Rhino sighting in Matobo National Park
Matobo National Park is where one can admire both black and white rhino – an endangered animal species in Africa.

Matobo National Park is an iconic destination in Zimbabwe because of its rich history and success in protecting Africa’s endangered white and black rhino. The 109 961 acre Matobo National Park is the oldest in Africa, established in 1926 as the Rhodes Matopos National Park, in honor of Cecil John Rhodes. The landscape is different to your average game park, with granite kopjes and woodlands that are perfect for the elusive leopard.

Wildlife: The park is home to 88 mammal species, including hyena, hippo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, sand ostriches, leopard, black and white rhino. It is also a great place to go birdwatching with 175 species recorded in the park, including the world’s highest concentration of black eagles.

Experiences: Visits to the balancing rocks known as “Mother and Child Kopje”, San rock painting sites, daily game drives, nature walks, mountain hikes, bird watching, boat cruises, fishing, and horse-riding.

Recommended lodges: Maleme Camp, Camp Amalinda, Matobo Ingwe Lodge, Khayelitsha House

 

Chobe National Park

hippo and elephant sighting at the Chobe River
Chobe is a game viewing paradise with incredible sightings of elephant, crocodile, and hippo – best safaris near Victoria Falls.

Chobe National Park is without a doubt one of the best game viewing parks in the world! The Chobe River is the primary source of water for the wildlife inhabiting the park; making it the prime game viewing spot for visitors, with many animals congregating at the water’s edge – particularly elephant. Chobe is one of the best safaris near Victoria Falls, with both land and water activities on offer.

Wildlife: Chobe is renowned as one of the world’s best wild elephant viewing sites. Large herds of elephants love to gather at the edge of the river or bathe during the heat of the day. The Chobe National Park is also home to the other four of the Big Five, as well as wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, hippo, hyena, occasionally cheetah, and other smaller animal species.  

Experiences: Mobile safaris, daily game drives, boat cruises, walking safaris, bird watching, and day visits to Victoria Falls.

Recommended lodges: Chobe Game Lodge, Chobe Bush Lodge, Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero  

 

For an unforgettable safari experience near Victoria Falls, contact one of our Victoria Falls Experts who will be able to help you plan your dream safari vacation.

 

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