An easy border crossing from Botswana to Zimbabwe brought us to the Victoria Falls on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. We were staying on the Zimbabwean side in a town called, wait for it, ‘Victoria Falls’. The town itself is pretty nice, with a few nice markets and a lot of baboons and warthogs running around everywhere.
The obvious attraction is the falls themselves and they do not disappoint. It costs about NZ$40 to get in to see them, so make sure you have time to spend there. They are known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning the ‘smoke that thunders’, and are incredibly impressive. They are bigger than I could have imagined and it was great to sit and just take them in, with the mist cooling down your body.
While you are there it is worth seeing the falls from both sides, luckily my South African passport meant I didn’t have to pay for a visa, otherwise it’s about US$50 for a visa for Zambia. The walk across the bridge is about a kilometre but very scenic so don’t worry about taking a taxi. And the views from this side are just as incredible.
When we got to Zimbabwe it was the end of a long trip and we had run out of money so were unable to do a lot of the activities that we wanted to. When Andrew and friends were here in 2012 they did partake in a few activities and highly recommend Devil’s Pool. This is something I wish I did. It is a pool right on the edge of the falls that you can swim in and peer over the edge. Yes, it is dangerous but as long as you are careful it will be the experience of a lifetime. They also highly recommended white water rafting down the Zambezi river, which was spectacular and a lot of fun. These activities cost about US$100 each.
One activity that we did do, and absolutely loved, was the sunset booze cruise down the Zambezi. For US$50 you board a boat and cruise down the river seeing many hippos and crocodiles. You also get a full meal and as many drinks as you like. We had a fantastic time on board and it is a fun way to drink.
The best place to stay in Victoria Falls is Shoestrings Backpackers. They have a fantastic bar and friendly staff that make your stay here so much fun. Victoria Falls is a fun place to let loose, drink those US$1 springbok shots and enjoy yourself.
We had a blast in Victoria Falls and always felt completely safe. Remember to bring US dollars in cash as the Zimbabwean currency is worthless and sometimes the ATMs are flaky. Cost wise, you can do this place pretty cheaply when it comes to accommodation, food and drinks, you’re looking at NZ$60 (US$40) per day. However, you will want to allow at least a few hundred dollars to take advantage of the activities that are offered here.
Editor’s Note: Visited Zimbabwe in 2010, updated in 2017.