Victoria Falls Weekend: Zimbabwe’s breadth (videos)

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Last summer I scored a business trip jackpot to South Africa. It was last-minute and I scrambled to put together a weekend outing. If anyone at the company had asked why I vanished from South Africa, I would have said, “Well, you kept warning me about the security, so I decided to step out for a bit.” I pored over regional award options on South African Airways and British Airways, coming up with almost nothing last-minute so I sucked it up and bought a revenue ticket on BA for Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls Chobe 001

Arrival in Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls Chobe 002

Straight to the falls

Victoria Falls is accessed by either Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) in Zimbabwe or Livingston Airport (LVI) in Zambia. Both have regular flights to Johannesburg, both countries charge visa fees for many nationalities, and both allow a certain amount of visa-free daytripping (always subject to whim and change) to the falls on the other side. For a time Livingstone became the fallback for people nervous about Zimbabwe, though Zimbabwe, especially at Victoria Falls, has gotten much more stable. I chose to fly in to Zimbabwe and out of Zambia for the sake of variety. I based myself in Zimbabwe which I was glad as the town is a walkable distance from the falls, while Livingstone is considerable distance from the falls over in Zambia, the area near the falls only occupied by sprawling high-end hotels and a highway. I never felt unsafe, finding the town and people quite pleasant.

I only had 3 days and the flights are mostly midday. Upon arrival at VFA and after the long visa-on-arrival line, I went straight to the falls to maximize daylight. I need not have been in such a scramble. The park is right at the falls and a good visit from one end to the other on the flat trail is easily accomplished in 1-2 hours. Water flow changes by season and visibility by moment. In my brief walk there were moment of rainbow clarity alternating with impenetrable mist.

Victoria Falls Chobe 004

Gaping maw

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Victoria Falls Chobe 005

Wall of mist

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Victoria Falls Chobe 007

Waiting for clouds to lift

Victoria Falls Chobe 008


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Jaw-dropping beauty

Left with several hours of daylight and an open Saturday I headed to town to explore the activity options on offer, ranging from safari to bungee jumping. I chose night safari followed by a day trip over to Botswana. Why not slip over to another country?

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[…] had not planned to stop in Botswana. The quick Friday visit to the falls and night safari on the Zimbabwe side, and parallel plan for Zambia on Sunday, left Saturday wide […]


Stefan glad to see you FINALLY got around to sharing your experience at Vic Falls from last summer. It certainly was a very smart way to spend a week-end, even if you had to spring for your fare. Great shots, so thanks for reminding me of my last visit to Zim & Zam!


[…] my visit to the falls on the Zimbabwe side I strolled the manicured grounds of the Edwardian-era Victoria Falls Hotel, […]


Spent two days there and then two weeks on safari in Zimbabwe in 2008. Absolutely one of our MOST favorite trips.


Planning a trip there with my family in about 2 years. Yes, I’m THAT much of a planner!


I’ve been to Victoria Falls once and want to go again – this time either at low season to go to the Devil’s Pool, or at full moon to see a moonbow.


Awesome! I went there back in spring 2009 at the height of the hyperinflation! Those zim dollars were almost worthless that people were using the paper bills as toilet paper!
I do hope to return sometime in the fall during dry season to go and swim in devil’s pool!