Victoria Falls

“The Smoke that Thunders”

When to Visit Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is positioned almost exactly half way along the mighty Zambezi River. The river meanders along 2700km of Africa, from its’ source in the North-Western province of Zambia to the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Mozambique. Almost midway, the river plunges into a 108m vertical chasm spanning a width of 1.7km, creating the biggest curtain of falling water in the world.

These are the ‘Victoria Falls’, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. This name was given by David Livingstone when he first glimpsed the falls in 1855. But the Falls are far more ancient, and their local name is ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’, which means the ‘Smoke that Thunders’.

We make getting to Victoria Falls and to your activities easy.
Our All Inclusive package includes a private vehicle and personal guide for the day.

Shifting Water Levels

The Victoria Falls themselves change throughout the year depending on water levels of the Zambezi River, which are largely affected by rainfall much further upstream. 

The falls are historically in peak flow during early May with the spray reaching heights of 200metres, and are usually at their lowest at the end of November – depending on the rains.

From December there is a gradual increase of water as the rains arrive in the north and water begins to travel hundreds of kilometres downstream. Each month sees a steady increase of water until the spray can be seen from 30km away.

This ever-changing landscape offers up a variety of ways to explore and enjoy both Victoria Falls’ and the Zambezi River’s magnificence.

Mid to Low water season: August to mid December

Visit Victoria Falls at low water levelMuch smaller amounts of water flow over the Falls during these months. You might still experience a little of the spray from the Falls at the onset of this period, but definitely not a soaking! As the water levels drop, patches of the rock wall become visible.

On the upper Zambezi, above Victoria Falls, sandbanks and islands are emerging, rocks are jutting out of the river, and the flow of water is moderate.

A variety of birds take up residence on the small emerging islands, and there’s an abundance of wildlife along the water’s edge and coming down to the river to drink.

Here’s what you can enjoy*:

  • Views of the rock wall and skeletal canyon of Victoria Falls. We strongly recommend an early excursion in the cooler hours of the morning so you can enjoy the soft glow of sunrise reflecting on the rocks.
  • Hiking down to the Boiling Pot through the rain forest
  • Access to Livingstone Island and the associated Angel’s and Devil’s natural infinity pool on the edge of the Falls – an absolutely phenomenal way to experience the Falls, standing on top of them and immersing yourself in the Zambezi, right on the edge of the Falls.
  • Best season for White-Water Rafting and kayaking the Zambezi – the amount of water passing through the Batoka Gorge is just right for incredible class V rapids to be navigated.
  • A chance to go ‘Under the Spray’ and stand below the Falls – only at very low water levels, is it possible to access this sanctuary, observe the Falls from their base, and glimpse the ‘minus’ rapids that only a few have ever paddled.
  • For birdwatchers our migrants such as Red Wing Pratincols, Paradise Flycatchers, Rock Practincols, European Rollers and Spurwing Geese all arrive in September and breed through the rains, with all males in breeding plumage from November onwards. The Livingstone Tuaracos are heard and seen daily along with the rare and elusive African Finfoot, who are local residents in the lodge.
  • Safari Time – with the dryer months and less water inland, wildlife congregates along the river making Sunset and Sunrise Cruises most enjoyable or you can enjoy Safaris in the nearby parks

*please note that while many of these activities can be enjoyed throughout the year, some are dependent on river levels, which vary year in and year out. 

Please enquire with us.

Mid to High water season - mid-December to July

Victoria Falls day tripBy mid-December, the Zambezi has usually passed its ‘low point’ and the river is on the rise. This is a time of abundance, as the landscape transforms after the first rains, tributaries start flowing again, and the clouds of spray once more hover above the falls.

Usually by February the Falls are sufficiently full again to guarantee a soaking from their spray. In March, April and May, there can be so much water falling over Victoria Falls that you really experience the Falls rather than view them – as the amount of spray and rain from the Falls drenches you and in certain viewing areas doesn’t allow you to see too far ahead!

A fuller falls also allows the opportunity to glimpse a lunar rainbow at Full Moon – weather dependent, usually visible in the months of February through to July.

Here’s what you can enjoy*:

  • The Falls on foot – Explore the winding foot- paths in our National Heritage Area at Victoria Falls or walk down to the famous Boiling Pot, where you can look up at the towering cliff face and into the main gorge. Listen to the shear raw power of water gushing over the ridge creating a massive whirlpool at your feet. Walk across the Knife Edge Bridge towards the “Eastern Cataract” to see the double 360 degree rainbows shimmering around you and ‘feel’ the pure exhilaration of 625 million litres of water falling per minute before you…)
  • As you get blissfully soaked under the spray in the summer months, you can and watch it rain ‘upwards’ as the spray bounces off the rock face reaching between 200 and 450 metres above the falls
  • Take a scenic flight over the Falls – it really gives you perspective as to their great width and the channels that the Zambezi forms as it flows over, as well as the geology of the area, the layout of Batoka Gorge, and how the Falls were formed.
  • View the Lunar rainbow
  • Stand on top of the Falls on Livingstone Island and view the Falls on either side of you – if the island is accessible.
  • Experience the force of the Zambezi whilst rafting on ‘high-water’ levels
  • Canoe the Zambezi, above the Falls
  • Enjoy an abundance of birdlife
  • Go on Safari

*please note that while many of these activities can be enjoyed throughout the year, some are dependent on river levels, which vary year in and year out.

Please enquire with us.