One of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World
Hi there 🙂
Are you looking to learn a little more about Victoria Falls Zimbabwe, the town and things round about? Then you’re in the right place! Vic Falls is a natural beauty and a natural world wonder! Did you read my welcome to this site?
On this page you will find interesting facts about Victoria Falls/ Mosi-Oa-Tunya in Zimbabwe/Zambia Africa…
Come, I will show you around.
Still natural and so close to being the same as when David Livingstone first clapped eyes on this majestic sight!
This is significant, as there is a delicate balance, to preserving the environment and keeping tourists safe and comfortable.
Victoria Falls is one of those places that has to be seen to be believed!
It has a super charge of forceful power and yet invokes gentleness, has an atmosphere of electric excitement and yet is calming – a set of contrasts that can only be found in nature!
The sheer force and deafening roar of the water is overwhelming – who knew so much water was channelled into one place! The fine mist or heavier spay wafts up from the gorge of churning waters. It rises up to obscure or tease your viewing and is forced toward you by unpredictable breezes, wrapping you in an enchanting blanket of wonderment (albeit a soaking one too at times!)
An unbelievable sight and magical experience – if you go in the right season.
Do Seasons really matter?
If it is important to you to see the Victoria Falls at it’s best, make sure you plan your trip with this in mind – it dries up considerably in the summer months.
Two years ago, it seemed to go viral, that Victoria Falls had dried up completely! We got messages and phone calls from friends and family, asking if this was in fact true…
The Zambezi River, never runs dry, there is always water flowing over – even in the dry season. There have been a number of drought years and rainfall hasn’t been like it was back in the day, so this no doubt contributes to lower levels in the Zambezi river generally. But it’s still flowing and rolling over the edge of the cliff face every second of the day.
Happily this year (2018) has been an excellent year for rain! Let’s hope it keeps up.
When David Livingstone got his first glimpse of the Falls on his second trip out in 1855, looking for ‘The Smoke that Sounds” it was the in November. This is usually one of the driest or lowest in terms of water flow. It was only because of this drop in water levels that Livingstone was able to get his canoe to the middle island (now Livingstone Island) and was able to peer over the edge!
He later exclaimed that,
“…No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England,”
“…The most wonderful sight I had witnessed in Africa”
“…it’s rather a hopeless task to endeavour to convey an idea of it in words.”
To be on the safe side, he was very conservative of the length and depth of the waterfall, he explains here why…
“Whoever may come after me will not, I trust, have reason to say that I have indulged in exaggeration.”
With this in mind, you can be assured that a visit in any season would be worth your while.
What are the pros and cons of the seasons?
Deciding when to visit may not be entirely yours to make.
Getting leave from work and planning around school holidays could have you visiting at a different season to what you had hoped.
But… if it was possible to have your holiday when you wanted, you would want to know all the possibilities of each month of the year. So let’s do that now.
- I want to see the Victoria Falls at it’s best – the full (or there about) curtain of water, with the impressive spray and magical experience.
February – March – April – May
Flood Season – February to May with a peak in April.
The rain would have normally begun by November and this year we have had rain in the last days of March.
Rains from higher up the Zambezi river as well as local rains, drain into the Zambezi and this raises the water levels over time.
By February more water is thundering over the precipice. This makes for a continual rain shower with mist everywhere, often directed by the breeze, making visibility at times poor .
You will get wet along with anything else you carry during this time! It is a very exhilarating experience!
Pros to visiting between February and May
- The weather is pleasant
- The Falls are full
- The Spray (Smoke) is high
- The Thunder of the Falls is loud at night
- You get wet on your tour
- Both sides – Zambia and Zimbabwe are well worth doing, with the Zambia side being the most adventurous at this time
- Everything is green and lush
Cons to visiting between February and May
- At times, you can’t actually see the full Waterfall on the Zimbabwe share, as the spray obscures the view in places. And likely, not at all by Danger Point
- Photos are tricky to take (but you will get some), there is risk of water damage to your equipment, protect your documents by carrying them in water tight bags. Cling wrap your cell phone and get a proper cover for your camera. If you have expensive equipment, seriously consider getting travel insurance to cover any possible water damage.
- Animals have plenty of food and so have no need to move around – Safari is not that great anywhere
- Many activities that involve the Zambezi River are not safe and so can’t be done
Tip – Bring a raincoat! Also a warm sweater – you will need it for warming up afterward. Although, there are raincoats for hire (at the entrance car park of the Victoria Falls) for around $3 each.
If this is the only time you can come, aim for early February or late May. April is about the peak month.
- I want to go on a holiday safari when it’s cooler and see lots of animals – particularly the Big 5.
June – July – August
Pros to visiting between June and August
- The rains should be gone
- There is still a nice flow over the Falls and the view is better with not as much spray or mist, patches of the gorge are visible
- The weather is cool to warm during the day and cool to cold at night
- Safari is great!
- Some river activities are now open
Cons to visiting between June and August
- By August the water levels are starting to drop rapidly
- The Zambia side of the Falls are just a trickle and a bit disappointing
Tip – It seems like these are the Goldilocks months – “Just Right!”
- I want to avoid the heat!
September – October – November
Dry Season – the rest of the year – driest in November. Most of the rock face is visible with only trickles of water by Danger Point. Note that The Devils Cataract always has water gushing over – the river never dries up completely. The Zambian side is dry for most of this period.
The Zambezi River and the fisherman
As the water levels are low, seeing fisherman in the river is quite common. A number of locals also bathe here as part of their religious beliefs.
Pros to visiting between September and November
- You will see the entire waterfall with minimal spray as well as the gorge
- Safari and game drives are excellent
- The bush is dry and you feel like you are in Africa
Cons to visiting between September and November
- It is hot – hot – hot
- It’s malaria season
- Some river activities have stopped as the water flow is low
- The Zambia side of the Falls is now dry as well as part of the Zimbabwe side of the Falls.
Tip – Bring a hat! Sunscreen and cool cotton clothes.
In transit and think you have malaria while you are on holiday here? The Victoria Falls Pharmacy have a test that can be done immediately that will give you the answer straight away. It will even tell you the strain of malaria you have.
- Humid with new green growth and hot with occasional rains
December – January
Rainy Season – starts in late November with occasional showers throughout the next few months up until early April. It seldom rains for very long. It usually builds up – making everything hot and sticky – rains and then builds up again. The rain can come everyday or once a week… it’s not very predictable. But cool is always something we welcome here as it’s mostly hot year round.
Pros to visiting in December and January
- It is pretty to see the environment change from the dry blonde, to the bright green.
Cons to visiting in December and January
- The Falls are starting to fill out a bit, with excellent views of the gorge
- Many river activities have stopped
- Safari is a bit of a hit and miss
Tip – bring an umbrella, good footwear and a sweater.
The spray – seen from the main road in the Victoria Falls town reminding us it is there. It billows into the sky and has been recorded that it typically measures to a height of over 400 metres (although it’s considerably less during low water flow) and is visible from quite a distance (Wikipedia says 50 km away, I’ll take their word on it lol!). The Spray literally changes everyday!
Personally, I love both seasons and the bits in between! It’a been a fascinating watch, observing the Zambezi River as it rises and then drops, noting the changes in the landscape and seeing the birds and occasional wildlife, that wander into town.
And most of all? – Sunrise! It’s like a gift every morning. I must have hundreds of sunrise photos! Our flat window is positioned in prime view of the spray from the Falls (mostly only seen from there at sunrise), it’s a treat to watch every morning during breakfast. However, once the sun is up, it’s pretty hot, and in September/October, it can be quite unbearable. Thank goodness for air con, fans and swimming pools! ☺
Here is an excellent video by Mike Ross. It shows the seasons beautifully.
View the Victoria Falls from a drone’s perspective!
Want to get a real feel experience? The following two videos from National Geographic – enable you to see 360 degrees. Use two fingers to direct the video or use the arrow keys to direct the view.
The beauty is in its naturalness
The Victoria Falls has been kept quite natural. No huge built up fences or barriers to mar the beauty.
Instead, the gorges are made safe using simple stick fences and are adequately secure at all the viewing points.
From danger point on there is no protection, and obviously, caution will be needed.
Signs clearly mark where not to go.
Don’t be tempted to get any dangerously positioned selfies!
The pathways along the waterfall front are made using stones and concrete. Though plain, they blend naturally into the environment and are practical and hard-wearing for all the frequent visitors.
Note though, that it rains 24/7 with the spray from the Falls and so the rain-forest is damp to dripping wet (which is why the rain-forest is so lush and green), this can and does make the pathways slippery.
While this is not always the case – the drier months are different, it is worth being careful at all times, especially down the stairs.
Be sure to:
– wear shoes with a good grip
– walk with someone
– take your time!
What you can expect to see – Tour the Victoria Falls
The larger part of the waterfall is on the Zimbabwe side which has the best viewing points – fifteen of them that span the following features of the waterfalls.
- The Devils Cataract (also known as Leaping Water as it does just that – leaps out)
- The Main Falls
- The Horse Shoe Falls
- The Rainbow Falls (which is the deepest at 108m)
The Victoria Falls Bridge connects the two countries – Zimbabwe and Zambia. You will see this bridge on your tour, it’s right at the end. On the Zambia side you get to look up at it from the bottom of the walking trail.
Enjoy the beauty of nature and look out for the little wonders too!
On Google, it says that the average visitor to the Falls, only stays for 45 minutes! You’ve spent a lot of money to visit this Natural Wonder – don’t rush through the experience, relax and enjoy!
More reading here…
- Facts on Victoria Falls
- Where to stay in Vic Falls?
- How to get to Victoria Falls?
- Books to read about Vic Falls
- 5 places closest to the Falls
Victoria Falls as you can see is still a Natural Beauty! And Seasons Really Do Matter!
I hope you now have a clear idea of why you need to visit and what the best time of year is for you.
Help me make the page useful to everyone.
Are you planning a visit to Victoria Falls and have a question or two? Put them in the comments below and I will endeavour to answer them. What I don’t know, I will find out for you.
Our goal is to help you to have the best trip ever to this amazing waterfall!