This blog post gives you a three days itinerary suggestion to get as much as possible out of your stay at the falls. Our three days stay were quite busy actually but we managed to get out everything we wanted to do but of course I wouldn't have mind staying another night or two in the area.
Aerial view of Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Bridge to neighboring Zambia
Arriving by air around noon and fully installed and unpacked at the famous and classic Victoria Falls Hotel just in time for the afternoon tea. The hotel is pricy but it's really worth it if you want to get the real colonial African atmosphere. The afternoon tea together with scones and delicacies tasted very well from the outdoor terrace with distance view of the falls. Unfortunately it rained a lot due to wet season and the water levels in the falls were actually quite low at this period but it's still an impressive experience. I would suggest finding the best season when the water levels are at the best, obviously not in December. The afternoon is about to turn to early evening and it's time to get onboard a boat on Zambezi River for some safari waterways. If photography is your main priority, try to find an operator which is specialized in this area. My advice, the smaller boat the better. Many of the operators had large sea vessels with more focus on barbecue and drinking than finding the best photo opportunities. You will see the African wildlife anyhow either choice of sea vessel. Hippos is starting to get awake as the temperature and sun falls and along the river bank you will get the chance to see all other land living animals such as giraffes, zebras etc.
The porter at the classic Victoria Falls Hotel
Afternoon tea at the terrace at Victoria Falls Hotel
Hippos during the Zambezi river cruise
Crocodile pasta dish and local beer
Neighboring countries apart from Zambia is Botswana which is within reach for a full day safari tour. You will probably be away from the falls the whole day and not be back until sunset but I think you will find it all worth it and not get disappointed. The national park called Chobe offers both traditional safari on land in 4x4 vehicles as well as on the
River in specially designed boats. The land based safari offers great sights of the herbivorous spices like giraffe, zebra and buffalo. Chobe National Park is also proud to house the greatest population of elephants in Africa, which easily can be seen both from land and water. Predators such as lions and leopards aren't impossible to sight either.
The afternoon was spent on the river which gave a completely different view and photo opportunities than from land. Sailing up close of bathing elephants were truly impressive and not to mention passing close by the hippos.
If time permits when returning to the Victoria Falls Hotel try get as fast as possible along the private path to the falls before the park closes for the day. Are you lucky you can get some beautiful sunset shots. Finish the evening with a tasty crocodile dish at the terrace at the hotel while listening to the thundering falls in the distance
Watching powerful and impressive waterfalls means getting wet and sometimes it's hard to get the real extent of the falls due to all mist in the air. The answer to that one is a helicopter ride above the falls and that's absolutely a must do if you want great photos from above and get that overall look. We caught a ride in the morning to be able to get back and explore the falls from the park by foot before noon. The park isn't that big and the trail along the cliffs only takes around two hours including photo stops. Prepare to get wet from the mist and bring some kind of water proof kit for your camera.
Unfortunately, in our case the Victoria Falls Hotel was fully booked for a third night stay during our period so another solution had to be found. The Victoria Falls are divided between Zimbabwe and Zambia so it wasn't that hard to decide where to go.
After check out we crossed the border with car over the Victoria Falls Bridge which was a great experience in itself.
On the Zambian side, we checked in at the nearby The Royal Livingstone Hotel which has its own trail for getting to the viewing areas of the falls. Compared to the classic Victoria Falls Hotel, this hotel was more like a resort with a nice garden and pool area. It was some hours past noon so time for the traditional afternoon tea here as well. Don't be afraid if it suddenly appears a herd of zebras grazing the lawn of the gardens. After the tea and some heavy showers it was time to see the falls from this side. The Zambian side offers a completely different perspective of the falls with a view along the ravine compared to more or less standing at cliff side at the Zimbabwean side. After getting back to the resort don't miss the great terrace and bar by the river for a local beer in the sunset as watching the mist from the falls the last time.
A helicopter ride above the Victoria Falls is a must-do!
Impressive aerial view of the falls!
A great aerial view of the town, the bridge and the falls of course!
If you dare, you can take a guided tour to the Devil's Pool by the cliffs...must be really thrilling and not harmless I guess!
The Devil's Pool
This three days itinerary began with a South African Airways flight from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and then back from Livingstone, Zambia to continue a three weeks adventure in South Africa.