Victoria Falls is one of those typical UNESCO World Heritage sites that you can’t truly appreciate what all the hype is about until you experience it yourself- and then you won’t be able to shut up about it. I’m a firm believer that the best waterfalls should be experienced and not just viewed from a far, and Victoria Falls has certainly got you covered there.
A quick google search on Victoria Falls will probably leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure whether Zambia or Zimbabwe offers the best views and activities.
Bottom line is that there are several ways to “experience” the falls and surrounding areas, but I recommend you try the best of both sides…
On the Zambian side
Feel the wind on your face in a Microlight over the falls with Batoka Sky. There’s not much in this world that can compare to the 360 birds eye views as you glide back and forth over Zambia and Zimbabwe soaking in the mist of the falls and the traditional African animals bathing in the Zambezi River. You can book online or through your hostel. It is $155USD/person for a 15 minute ride but it is extremely worth it seeing as it will most likely be unlike anything you have ever done. Batoka Sky also offers 15 minute and longer helicopter rides starting at $165, but in my opinion the experience in the microlight is much more unique and exhilarating.
Swim in the Angel’s or Devil’s Pool, a short boat ride down the Zambezi river from the Royal Livingstone Hotel. Each “pool” is open seasonally, but don’t fret, when one is closed the other one is open. Read more here how to better prepare for boat rides. So you never have to miss out on the epic opportunity to swim on the edge of Victoria Falls!
Stay at the Livingstone Backpackers where you are sure to make friends lounging by the pool eating BBQ and rock climbing if you’re up for it.
On the Zimbabwe side
Stay in the Victoria Falls Backpackers voted best hostel by Hostelworld 3 years in a row, and given 2 thumbs up by me! The hostel is eclectically decorated with a life size chess set, fountains, hammocks and other appealing relaxation areas in addition to a quaint cafe and on-staff masseuse (in case you need a massage). It is the perfect retreat if you need a little break from the more party oriented hostels.
I also highly recommend organizing a 2 Day/1 Night Chobe National Park safari in Botswana through the hostel. They arrange the transportation and other border crossing logistics so you can focus on enjoying the whole viewing lions, zebras, and leopards in their natural habitat thing.
Finally and most importantly, entering the Victoria Falls park on the Zimbabwe side is well worth it, even if you already visited the park on the Zambian side! Make sure you hit all the viewpoints (especially the first 2, which can be easily missed because they are on your left when you enter the park and everything else is on the right)!
Fly into Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) or Livingstone (Zambia) and then walk across the bridge to the other side. Depending on where you are coming from, it may also be cheaper to fly into Lusaka (Zambia) and bus to Livingstone and the Falls. However this option is only for those who are truly ready to rough it. If you are feeling extra adventurous and have more time to spare, there is an overnight train that takes you from Tanzania to Zambia (however a several hour bus ride would still be required from the train stop to Livingstone).