Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Africa > Africa
Reload this Page >

Questions about Victoria Falls

Questions about Victoria Falls

Old Sep 17, 2017, 9:24 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Tampa, FL
Programs: American Executive Platinum, Delta, Alaska, Hyatt, SPG
Posts: 63
Questions about Victoria Falls

Planning a safari trip to South Africa (near JNB) next May and will likely be adding a side trip to Victoria Falls. I have a few questions:

1) Only one airport serving that area?
2) Zambia side or Zimbabwe side?
3) Is it easy to go from one side to the other?
4) Hotel Recommendations.
5) How long shall we plan to stay? 2 nights enough?
6) I understand Devil's pool will not be accessible in May. Is that the same for Angel's pool?

Thanks in advance for any help.
ErickG is offline  
Old Sep 17, 2017, 1:06 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: YYZ (ex-LHR)
Programs: BA Silver, VS Red, OZ Silver
Posts: 446
Originally Posted by ErickG
Planning a safari trip to South Africa (near JNB) next May and will likely be adding a side trip to Victoria Falls. I have a few questions:

1) Only one airport serving that area?
2) Zambia side or Zimbabwe side?
3) Is it easy to go from one side to the other?
4) Hotel Recommendations.
5) How long shall we plan to stay? 2 nights enough?
6) I understand Devil's pool will not be accessible in May. Is that the same for Angel's pool?

Thanks in advance for any help.
1) Two. Victoria Falls and Livingstone.

2) Both, if they're doing the UNIVISA at the moment.

3) Very easy. You walk across the bridge (where they do the bungee jumping) or take a taxi. I recommend the latter as I was followed by large numbers of people begging for money and in hindsight, it wasn't that safe.

4) I stayed in the Protea Hotel Livingstone. It was nice enough. Bear in mind that prices will be much higher than in South Africa and it can be a bit of a shock. Infrastructure is weaker than in SA too...in my three night stay I had power cuts, water problems and wifi failures.

5) Perfect, unless you plan to do any other activities (which you can reasonably do in SA for less money anyway). You can do Victoria Falls in a day trip, really.

6) I don't know, but IIRC Devil's pool has a hell of a lot of stairs. I'm a reasonably fit twenty-something and it killed me. Bear that in mind.
Skatering is offline  
Old Sep 18, 2017, 5:42 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bath, UK
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 1,000
Originally Posted by ErickG
Planning a safari trip to South Africa (near JNB) next May and will likely be adding a side trip to Victoria Falls. I have a few questions:

1) Only one airport serving that area?
2) Zambia side or Zimbabwe side?
3) Is it easy to go from one side to the other?
4) Hotel Recommendations.
5) How long shall we plan to stay? 2 nights enough?
6) I understand Devil's pool will not be accessible in May. Is that the same for Angel's pool?

Thanks in advance for any help.
Hi there!

Skatering has already answered many of your questions - I will just add a few comments.

2) May is usually very high water, and you will get great views from both sides. I still feel though that if you have to chose just one side, do the Zimbabwe side.

3) It should be simple. You should be able to apply for a Univisa on arrival in either Livingstone or Victoria Falls. However, this is often not the case. Currently both the Zambian and Zimbabweans have run out of stock of Univisas, so you are having to get a standard visa on arrival. It also means that if you want to visit the "other" side that you need to get two visas and a double/multiple entry visa for whichever side you are staying on!

4) Hotel recommendations really depend on your budget. Without knowing this, I would suggest Ilala Lodge on the Zimbabwe side. It offers good quality at a reasonable price, you can walk to the Falls and all the town attractions/shops.

5) Two nights would be enough for the falls, a sunset cruise on the river and maybe another excursion.

6) In May, Livingstone Island is likely to be completely closed and as such neither Devil's Pool nor Angel's pool will be open.

Hope that is of some help.

W
wijibintheair is offline  
Old Sep 18, 2017, 6:05 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,352
Originally Posted by wijibintheair
May is usually very high water, and you will get great views from both sides. I still feel though that if you have to chose just one side, do the Zimbabwe side.
Very high water can be too much of a good thing, with the spray not only soaking you, but also obscuring your view of the falls. This is usually worst on the Zim side.

Moderate flow rates are best. Flow rates fluctuate from year to year depending on rainfall in the Angolan highlands, but January and August tend to be good if you want the best views of the falls.

Johan
johan rebel is offline  
Old Sep 18, 2017, 11:39 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Tampa, FL
Programs: American Executive Platinum, Delta, Alaska, Hyatt, SPG
Posts: 63
Thanks!

Thank you all for the responses. Very helpful!
ErickG is offline  
Old Sep 19, 2017, 12:50 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Virginia City Highlands
Programs: Nothing anymore after 20 years
Posts: 6,876
If one goes in mid-October for VF, what would falls look like and what would be the best/recommended activities? Unfortunately there are no other times available for us.
invisible is offline  
Old Sep 20, 2017, 4:03 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bath, UK
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 1,000
Originally Posted by invisible
If one goes in mid-October for VF, what would falls look like and what would be the best/recommended activities? Unfortunately there are no other times available for us.
Unfortunately by mid-October the water is usually seriously starting to dry up. I would not recommend the Zambian side at all for viewing the falls at this time.

The lower water though does make for some seriously white knuckle rafting and you will be able to do excursions like the Devil's pool.

It also would be a great time to take a side trip to Chobe (can be done as a day trip or spend one or two nights), which towards the end of the dry season has some amazing game viewing.

Also note, it will likely be hot. In the region people refer to it as suicide month, as the temperatures soar and humidity is usually on the rise.
wijibintheair is offline  
Old Sep 21, 2017, 4:25 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Virginia City Highlands
Programs: Nothing anymore after 20 years
Posts: 6,876
OK, in this case what would be the best month with lower temperatures and outside of school holidays?
invisible is offline  
Old Sep 21, 2017, 1:38 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,352
Originally Posted by invisible
OK, in this case what would be the best month with lower temperatures and outside of school holidays?
School holidays where?

Local school holidays will have zero impact on visitor numbers, the South African ones not that much. The Falls are not really a family vacation destination.

August is cooler and less humid than January.

Johan
johan rebel is offline  
Old Sep 25, 2017, 11:53 am
  #10  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Escondido CA USA
Programs: AS, UA, HY, Hil, Merr
Posts: 3,207
Selective reviewing of my trip report pertaining to Vic Falls may help

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...-safari-s.html

Includes picture of room at our hotel and some talk about the area
ranles is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 7:16 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bath, UK
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 1,000
Originally Posted by invisible
OK, in this case what would be the best month with lower temperatures and outside of school holidays?
The cooler months would be during the southern hemisphere winter, so think May to early September.
wijibintheair is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 8:13 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,352
Originally Posted by wijibintheair
The cooler months would be during the southern hemisphere winter, so think May to early September.
Plenty of school vacations in those months, still not sure which ones matter to invisible.

Johan
johan rebel is offline  
Old Sep 28, 2017, 3:20 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Trenton NJ
Programs: UA Gold MM, Honors Diamond, Marriott Gold, Hertz Presidents Circle
Posts: 3,629
I went in early September five years ago as a side trip while I was in SA for safari. Stayed in Livingstone and only saw the Zimbabwe side as I was told there wasn't much flow over the Zambia side. They didn't have the Univisa then so had to get a multi Zambian visa and a single Zimbabwe. Took a taxi to the border, walked through the building, and took a different car (same driver) to the drop off point. Did the reverse when returning. There wasn't a tremendous amount of stuff to do around so it was only one night.
Bluehen1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.