Planning Your Trip to Victoria Falls
When planning your trip to Victoria Falls, you have to first consider how much of the surrounding area you would like to see. If you only want to see the falls, then two days are enough to check that off your bucket list. With only a few days, you will have time to take a tour around the falls and go on seasonal adventures in the area as well, such as white water rafting or an exciting helicopter tour. There will also be time to explore some of the natural surroundings, as well as enjoy wildlife sightings.
Five days or more is the best amount of time if you want to explore Victoria Falls together with other nearby areas. In this case, you can visit both the falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia, go ziplining, and go on a safari. You will also have time to explore other areas, notably wildlife havens such as Chobe National Park in neighboring Botswana.
To have a vacation combining Victoria Falls with multiple safaris, other natural wonders, and varied activities, take a two-week trip through Southern Africa. In two weeks, you can split your visit across the region. Spend a couple of days in Victoria Falls, a few more in Hwange National Park, and the rest of your trip in South Africa, visiting Cape Town and Kruger National Park.
This 5-day itinerary will take you through some of the highlights of Victoria Falls and the surrounding area.
Victoria Falls in 2-4 Days
You can explore Victoria Falls in as little as two days. If this is your plan, you will want to get as much as possible out of each hour of your visit. You can do precisely that by booking your accommodation close to the falls and going on at least one or two tours.
Depending on the season you are visiting, which you can read more about in this article, there are a lot of different activities available around the falls. If you only have two days, aim to arrive as early as possible. If you arrive later in the day, head straight to the falls to get your first glimpse and attend a Boma dinner after settling into your hotel. It is an exciting event with a traditional dinner combined with drums and live music.
The next day, you can book a tour around the falls and visit all the main highlights. A guided tour will let you dive deeper into the history, without much planning on your part. You also have the option to go and explore the area by yourself, and there are many hiking trails available. Going on on a canoe trip early in the morning or trying bungee jumping if you're feeling more adventurous are other great options.
If you are staying three or four days, take a day trip to Chobe National Park in Botwswana. It is an excellent way to explore the wildlife in the area, including an abundant elephant population. On your fourth day, visit the Livingstone Island and swim in the famous Devil's Pool. Another lesser-known but equally exciting option is the Angel's Pool.
Don't leave without taking a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. A sunset cruise usually lasts for three hours and offers extensive animal viewing, including hippo, elephants, crocodiles, and an abundance of bird species. You will usually find entertainment aboard as well, with music and dancing, making the whole experience a lot of fun. If you go on a cruise that includes a meal, make sure to ask if it is only snacks or a full dinner so you can be well prepared to enjoy.
If you are looking to catch a beautiful Victoria Falls rainbow, make sure to be at the falls around 2-3 pm. If you're hungry while there, head to the Lookout Café where you can have a nice lunch while enjoying stunning views. Don't forget to catch a sunset by the falls too!
Victoria Falls in 5-6 Days
With more time on your hands, you can go beyond the Victoria Falls area. It will be possible to enjoy a diverse combination of guided tours, adventurous activities, hiking, and safaris. Refer to the 2-4 day itinerary detailed above for great activities in addition to those below.
The Flying Fox ziplining adventure, 410 feet (125 m) above the valley floor, is a recommended adrenaline-packed activity great for this length of trip. You will glide along a cable across the gorge, clipped into a harness attached to a pulley. If you want to up the adventure quotient, try the Foofie Slide, ziplining downhill at 62 miles (100 km) per hour. If you're looking for a more relaxing alternative, scheduling a helicopter ride with amazing aerial views is one of the best ways to experience the full majesty of Victoria Falls.
Additionally, visit local markets for souvenirs. The most famous market is the Mukuni Park Curio Market in Livingstone, but there are superb markets in Lusaka as well, both located on the Zambia side of the falls. While the market in Livingstone is well-known among tourists, the ones in Lusaka are more local. You will find some unique handicrafts here and get authentic souvenirs to bring home with you.
To break a sweat, hike to the Boiling Pot. You will be heading to the base of the Victoria Falls to get one of the best views of the falls as well as the surroundings. You can get a great view of the Victoria Bridge here as well. The hike takes about 45 minutes and includes a lot of stairs, so it might not be ideal for small children. Make sure to be careful to avoid slipping on the slick rock, and be sure to stick to the trail (there are signs).
Victoria Falls in 10 Days
In 10 days, there will be plenty of time for you to go on safari in the surrounding areas. Some of the best and closest safari options can be found in Hwange National Park. Start by exploring the falls for the first couple of days, as detailed in the shorter itineraries above, and then take the rest of your visit to go on an exciting safari adventure.
Hwange National Park is the largest in Zimbabwe. We recommend spending at least 2-3 days here. The park is home to an impressive abundance of over 100 mammals and 400 different bird species. Some of the animals you will encounter here include leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas. The park holds Africa's largest concentration of African wild dogs, and is also known for its large elephant population.
Hwange National Park offers one of the best walking safaris in the entire country, which offers some of the best photography opportunities. Of course, you will also be able to enjoy multiple game drives and exciting night safaris.
Victoria Falls in 2 Weeks
With two weeks, you will get to experience the entire Victoria Falls area, plus other highlights of Southern Africa. After taking your pick of days detailed in the above itineraries, we recommend visiting Chobe National Park in Botswana. The park has some of the best game viewing in the world, with an abundance of wild animals.
Specifically, Chobe is one of the best places in the world to spot wild elephants, given the density of their population along the Chobe River. You can also expect to see zebras, cheetahs, wildebeests, hippos, and giraffes. You can take part in a mobile safari, go on daily game drives from a lodge, or even take a multi-day houseboat safari.
Alternatively, with two weeks, Victoria Falls can be combined with Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Greater Kruger in South Africa, as well as Botswana's Okavango Delta. For your two-week adventure, consider this exciting itinerary with both Victoria Falls adventure and further Southern African exploration.