Which side has the best view of Victoria Falls? – The Great Victoria Falls debate – Which side to visit? – The faces of Victoria falls
Which side has the best view of Victoria Falls? – Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world which is about a mile long and over 100m high. The Zambezi River plummets down into a deep, narrow ravine known as the Batoka Gorge, which continues to zigzag downstream from the waterfall and provides some of the best white-water rafting in the world. About two-thirds of the waterfall, including the main falls, can be seen from the Zimbabwe side, while the Zambian side provides great views of the remaining third and also lays claim to the famous Livingstone Island.
A visit to the mighty Victoria Falls is a must-do when visiting Southern Africa. Located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At 1,708 meters wide, these falls have been promoted by the Seven Natural Wonders Organization as the greatest falling curtain of water on this planet, making it one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World”.
The Zimbabwe side is considered by many to offer the best point for viewing Victoria Falls, particularly in the low water season. Access to the falls is via the entrance to the rainforest, where visitors first have to pay their park fees. At the entrance, there is a curio shop, information center, and restaurant. A network of paved footpaths takes you to the various viewpoints at the edge of the gorge. These paths are wheelchair friendly, while the Zambia side has a lot of steps.
There are many different viewpoints, and a tour of the falls will typically take about 1-2 hours. At some points, especially during the high water season between February and July, you can expect to get wet from the spray. At the peak of the high water season (March to June), the falls are a mighty and thunderous spectacle, but the spray is often so much that you can hardly see the falls themselves from most viewpoints. Also, be aware of slippery pathways and rocks.
Apart from having the best views of the falls, Zimbabwe is popular because of the large choice of accommodation options, easy access to nearby safari destinations, and good value for money. In general, the Zimbabwe side is slightly less expensive than the Zambian side and has some of the best budget hotels in the region, such as the ever-popular Kingdom Hotel, a large four-star resort within walking distance of Victoria Falls.
In April and May, when the Zambezi River is full it is often the more popular side to view Victoria Falls. You can get much closer to Victoria Falls when you feel your way over the drenching crossing of Knife Edge Bridge. In the dry season, you can walk down the steep path to the Boiling Pot, a whirlpool at the foot of the falls
You can look right down the length of Victoria Falls, compare to a front view from the Zimbabwe side. A highlight of the Zambian side is the Knife-Edge Bridge. You can also fly directly to Livingstone from Kruger National Park and Cape Town; and from Nairobi in Kenya.
Zambia has some incredible riverfront lodges along the Zambezi River. Culturally Livingstone offers a little more. There is a museum focused on the history of David Livingstone and Chief Mukuni’s village.
To make the best of your trip, however, we recommend visiting both sides. If you spend 2 or 3 nights at Victoria Falls on either side, you will have enough time to include a day visit to the other side and experience the best of both.