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Victoria Falls: Zambia or Zimbabwe?

edited May 2011 in - Southern Africa
I want to go to Victoria Falls sometime in the next year or so, but I want to know - is it better to stay in Zambia or Zimbabwe? I think most people go to Zimbabwe, but I'm a little worried about the political situation there at the moment and would hate to be spending money that would line the pockets of Robert Mugabe.

Is there worthwhile accommodation and facilities on the Zambia side of Vic falls? I really want to visit Devil's Pool, is it true you can get there from one side but not the other? Also, is it cheaper to stay in Zambia or Zimbabwe? I'm from South Africa and am not so keen on paying dollar prices. Any suggestions or tips are appreciated.


  • edited May 2011
    Zimbabwe does definitely have some distinct advantages over the Zambian side. The town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is situated very close to the Falls less than 1km whereas the town of Livingstone is about 15kms from the Falls although there are some accommodation establishments close to the falls.
    Zimbabwe also enjoys 80% view of the Falls and on the whole Zimbabwe is a lot cheaper.

    Although Zimbabwe does has some political challenges you will not be aware of them at Victoria falls, it is a very safe environment and you wont be lining Robert Mugabes pocket but rather supporting the various hotel and operators in Zimbabwe who have struggled over the recent years.

    The Devils swim can only be accessed from the Zambian side. It is generally cheaper to get flights into Livingstone in Zambia, but its easy enough to get a transfer across the border and this is what most people do.
  • edited 3:56AM
    Hi. I understand your sentiments regarding Mugabe - we feel the same and it is the reason that in 10 years overlanding through Africa his is one of the countries we avoid - sadly. I can only comment on the Zambian side (Livingstone) of the Falls therefore. Sure the view is supposed to not be as impressive as that from Zim but it's never failed to impress us and our friends especially if the river level is on the high side. You also get a great view of the bridge connecting Zim and Zambia which spans the river below the Falls. Livingstone is a fun place and in our experience safer than many other places in Africa (just watch out for elephants that roam around the edge of town!). Livingstone has all the facilities you will need and a great range of accommodation from * to *****. Banks, ATMs that work, an excellent new shopping centre with supermarket, pharmacy, bookstore etc are all there. A good place to stay with a range of accommodation options is the Waterfront right on the banks of the river a short distance upstream from the Falls and on the edge of town. They are also an excellent source of info and booking agents for all the activities in and around the Falls and area. Check

    Good luck and have fun!
  • edited 3:56AM
    Hi again. More info. The centre of Livingstone is 10 kms from the Falls bridge (the border) and view site and about the same from the Falls bridge/falls viewing site to the Waterfront. There are taxis and busses running back and forth through the day. On the costs side we paid 60 USD for 2 people to camp for 3 nights in our own tent at the Waterfront on our last stopover there in mid 2009. Entry to the viewsite then was 113,000 Kwacha for two people.
  • edited 3:56AM
    Zimbabwe side offers far more benefits compared to the Zambian side. Check the list below:
    80% of the falls are on the Zim side,
    Game drives and certainly better,
    Accommodation and services are cheaper in Zim (more hotel and lodge choices),
    Vic Falls town being less than a kilometer from the falls, taxi charges may not apply if one wishes to avoid them,
    The people are more friendly and knowledgeable
    The list goes on and on.
  • edited 3:56AM
    Agreed with all the comments above - Zimbabwe Vic falls is almost a country on its own, be aware of petty crime and theft, keep your eyes open but enjoy! The Falls are stunning and once a month with Full Moon they have a guided night walk - if you are there at the right time, it is highly recommended! Staying in Vic Falls, you can also walk to the Zambian border, get a taxi from the border and view the Falls from the Zambian side if you wish. I have seen both, Zimbabwe side of the falls is stunning! Also recommended is the helicopter flight over the falls, called "The Flight of Angels". Going again in July - ENJOY!!! Lizette
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