I’m not going to waste your time explaining all the reasons you should visit Victoria Falls. You already want to go – that’s why you’re here.
Instead, I’ll provide the practical info you need as a digital nomad. Including when to visit, what to do, where to stay, and – crucially – how to stay online.
If you still have questions after reading, pop into our free Facebook community and ask directly there.
Table of Contents
1. The Falls sit on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
On the Zambia side, you’ll stay in Livingstone. It’s roughly 10 minutes north of the entrance to the Falls.
On the Zimbabwe side, you’ll stay in Victoria Falls the town. You’ll be much closer to the falls and can see them from many hotels and restaurants. You might feel the spray on your face as you walk around.
Writing about Victoria Falls the attraction and Victoria Falls, the town, gets a bit confusing, but I’ll do my best.
2. Livingstone, Zambia is better for long stays
It’s cheaper, has numerous supermarkets, a nice nightlife, and better international flight connections.
3. Zambia and Zimbabwe have plenty of visas on arrival and online visas
Zambia’s visas are mostly free, whereas Zimbabwe’s start at $50 for a single entry.
4. Citizens of 40+ countries can get a combined “KAZA UniVisa.”
It grants access to Zambia and Zimbabwe and covers day trips to Chobe National Park in Botswana.
This is super convenient if you plan on visiting both sides of the Falls.
5. Crossing the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe is easy and quick.
The border crossing is on Victoria Falls Bridge, which you can walk or drive across. It must be one of the most picturesque border crossings in the world.
Taxi drivers can help with immigration and transiting between the borders. See my recommendations for drivers at the end of this post.
1. Victoria Falls Lives Up to The Hype
I’ve been to plenty of overrated tourist spots, but Victoria Falls isn’t one of them. From the moment you first hear that powerful roar and feel the refreshing mist on your face, “The Smoke That Thunders” (or “Mosi-oa-Tunya” in the local language) will leave you spellbound by its beauty and spectacle.
Even better, once you’ve walked along the edge of the Falls, there’s a lot more to see and do. I spent nearly two weeks on both sides of the border, and never got bored.
I’ll create a complete list of everything to see and do in Livingstone and Victoria Falls town soon, but here’s a quick sample:
- Helicopter Flights: See “The Smoke That Thunders” from above on a private helicopter tour and appreciate the stunning surrounding scenery.
- Devil’s Pool: You’ve seen the photos of people perched at the edge. Now, it’s your turn. Only open certain months.
- Sunset Cruises: The Zambezi River is a lazy stretch of water with stunning scenery and plenty of wildlife on both banks. The perfect way to end your day.
- Bungee Jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge: Got a bucket list? Time to check this one off. I found this surprisingly relaxing, but the lady before was shrieking the entire time. Make of that what you will.
- White Water Rafting: The Zambezi River is considered one of the best places to raft in the world. High-energy rapids, quiet stretches, more high-energy rapids. Not for the faint of heart.
- Night Drives & Bush Dinners: Yep, you can go on a game drive when the sun sets. And then, cap it off with dinner in the bush. It’s all very “Out of Africa”.
- High Tea at Stanley’s Terrace: Sipping tea, snacking on delicate pastries, and looking out over the gorge. Super fancy and colonial vibes.
- Zambezi Canoe Safaris: You + canoe + wildlife = magic. Just remember, it’s all fun and games until you get too close to a hippo.
2. Coworking Spaces in Victoria Falls
There is currently one coworking space on the Zimbabwe side of the border.
3. Best Times to Visit
The best time to visit Victoria Falls depends on your preferences and the experiences you’re seeking.
I visited in July, and this seems the perfect place to experience everything but the Devil’s Pool.
The Falls are majestic, the surrounding areas are still relatively green from the rainy seasons, and temperatures are pleasant.
Nighttime temperatures are quite cold, though, so bring warm clothes.
Some other options and considerations:
|Peak Water Flow (Most Spectacular Views)||March to May||The Falls are at their most majestic during these months following the rainy season, providing breathtaking views. |
However, expect a lot of mist and potentially getting soaked from the spray!
|Game Viewing & Safaris||June to October||The dry season attracts animals to the riverbanks and waterholes, offering optimal game viewing opportunities.|
|White-Water Rafting & Adventure Activities||August to October||As the water levels drop post-rainy season, the rapids on the Zambezi River become more pronounced, making this the prime time for thrill-seekers.|
|Devil’s Pool Experience||Late August to Early October||The water levels at this natural infinity pool on the edge of the Falls are safe enough for visitors to swim in.|
|Bird Watching||November to April||The rainy season attracts many bird species, making it an excellent period for avid bird watchers.|
Worst Times to Visit
|Reasons to Avoid||Months||Comments|
|Scorching Heat!||October to December||Everyone recommended avoiding Victoria Falls at this time. |
Life grinds to a halt, as everyone tries to escape the heat, and unless you have aircon, it’s unbearable.
|Too much water!||January to March||When the water level is highest, the mist and spray at The Falls can become so intense that it obscures the view. So, while you might technically be at one of the world’s most stunning waterfalls, you might not see much beyond a thick cloud of mist. |
Also, some walking paths can be closed due to flooding.
4. Internet is Okay
I generally found the internet around Victoria Falls acceptable – but I’ve been told I have crazy low expectations.
I could video call throughout my stay and hotspotted my phone as a backup, using a Zambian MTN SIM card that also worked in Zimbabwe.
However, internet quality varies widely depending on your location. My phone network completely died in certain parts of Livingstone, including Kubu Cafe – a popular place to work.
And don’t believe any restaurant that tells you they have fast Wi-Fi!
Tabonina BIS guesthouse, where I stayed for 2 weeks, has a reliable connection. The Radisson Blu Mosi-Oa-Tunya Resort has fast Wi-Fi throughout and doesn’t require a password. But it’s expensive to drive to.
I wound up primarily working from the office of Destination Livingstone – a non-profit travel agency that organized my river cruise on the Zambezi and a game drive in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park.
My advice: book accommodation with good Wi-Fi and do all your work there.
Or come to Victoria Falls for a break from work!
5. Accommodation: Difficult to Find
I struggled to find modern, reasonably priced accommodation on both sides of the border.
Airbnbs and guesthouses mainly target high-end tourists, and most budget accommodation isn’t suitable for working.
However, I scored a fantastic deal at Tabonina BIS Guesthouse.
They have a lovely standalone 1 BR cottage with a good kitchen, living room, and private terrace. You also share a big garden, pool area, BBQ terrace, and 7 other private rooms. It’s one of the most quaintly pleasant places I’ve ever stayed.
I paid $35 per night, including breakfast, when I booked weekly.
I immediately regretted leaving once I arrived at my hotel in downtown Lusaka. (Keep reading)
Two other potential options:
- Jollyboys Backpackers, Livingstone – Centrally located hostel with a mix of dorms and private rooms.
- Shoestrings Backpackers, Victoria Falls – Plenty of private rooms available, but they book fast. Delightful staff and lots of activities available. I didn’t see any suitable workspaces in the common areas.
6. Best Places to Eat
Both towns around Victoria Falls have a few nice restaurants serving varied cuisines to a high standard.
Victoria Falls town, Zimbabwe
- The Lookout Cafe: A trendy spot with stunning panoramic views of the gorge and bridge. Ideal for sundowners, casual dining, and admiring the scenery.
- Three Monkeys: Lively bar offering a mix of pizzas, local dishes, and an excellent cocktail menu, often with live music.
- Pariah State: A local favorite with an eclectic decor, it’s a top choice for drinks and diverse dishes.
- River Brewing Company: Craft beer enthusiasts will appreciate this bar for its selection of local brews and chilled atmosphere.
- The Boma – Dinner and Drum Show: Not just a meal – an experience. Try traditional dishes with live drum performances, face painting, and more.
- Cafe Zambezi: A buzzing downtown spot to enjoy Zambian and African dishes in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Olga’s Italian Corner: A quaint eatery if you crave Italian food in the heart of Zambia.
- The Golden Leaf Indian Restaurant: Authentic Indian dishes, from curries to tandoori specialties, are sure to satisfy those spice cravings.
- The Elephant Cafe: A unique fine dining experience where you interact with resident elephants and enjoy extravagant dishes on the banks of the Zambezi.
- Kubu Cafe: Popular among locals and tourists alike, offers a mix of local and international dishes in a cozy setting. It’s especially liked for its coffee and pastries.
- The Old Farmhouse: This rustic eatery in a tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle. It’s perfect for enjoying hearty meals made from fresh, local ingredients while sitting around an evening fire pit.
7. Getting to Victoria Falls
Despite its remote location, Victoria Falls is quite easy to reach.
However, I don’t recommend traveling halfway round the world to get here. If you’re living in South Africa, Namibia, or another neighboring country, it’s a fantastic long weekend or short break.
Or add it to the end or beginning of a trip in the region.
Victoria Falls is accessible through the Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe and the Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone, Zambia.
Multiple airlines service these airports, with regular direct flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, and Windhoek.
Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, Livingstone: About 5 km north of Livingstone town, this airport receives flights primarily from:
- Lusaka (1h 10m)
- Johannesburg (1h 50m)
On arrival, transfers to Victoria Falls can take around 15-20 minutes by car.
Victoria Falls Airport, Victoria Falls: 18 km south of Victoria Falls town, this airport is serviced by airlines such as Air Zimbabwe, British Airways, and South African Airways.
Direct flights are available from:
- Johannesburg (1h 40m)
- Cape Town (2h 55m)
- Nairobi (3h 30m)
- Windhoek (1h 30m)
Several bus companies operate long-haul routes that stop in Victoria Falls town or Livingstone. These services connect with cities like Harare, Lusaka, and Bulawayo. It’s essential to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and always check the latest schedules.
- From Harare to Victoria Falls: The bus journey is approximately 12-14 hours, covering a distance of around 830 km.
- From Bulawayo to Victoria Falls: The distance is roughly 440 km, and the trip can take about 5-7 hours, depending on the bus service.
- From Lusaka to Livingstone: This route is about 480 km and should take 6-8 hours by bus.
I can’t advise on buses in Zimbabwe from experience, but I did take a bus from Livingstone to Lusaka – it was terrible.
Buses can’t travel at night, so you have to take one before 1pm.
Mine was typical of bus services in Africa: cramped, unprofessional, stopping every 10 minutes, and we nearly crashed numerous times. When we arrived at the Livingston bus station, a ticket tout opened my door before we even stopped and nearly pulled me out of the car.
When I arrived in Lusaka, I was almost assaulted by the most aggressive touts I’ve ever met. 15 random men were screaming at me and blocking my exit until I politely told them all to f*ck off and hid in a ticket office.
If you can, rent a car and split the fare with other travelers.
If you have to take a bus, avoid the minibuses and only use the companies recommended by your accommodation provider.
Driving to Victoria Falls is an option if you’re coming from nearby countries like Botswana, Namibia, or South Africa.
Ensure your vehicle is in good condition, as road conditions can vary. Additionally, familiarize yourself with border crossing procedures in advance and have all necessary vehicle documentation on hand.
- From Kasane, Botswana: Victoria Falls is around 88 km away and usually takes about 1 hour 15 minutes to drive.
- From Windhoek, Namibia: The distance to Victoria Falls is approximately 1,220 km, and driving can take about 15 hours or more, given the road conditions and stops.
- From Johannesburg, South Africa: A longer drive, it’s around 1,560 km to Victoria Falls, and the journey can take upwards of 20 hours, so plan for potential overnight stops.
If you choose to rent locally, there are several car rental agencies in both Livingstone and Victoria Falls town.
8. Getting Around
Victoria Falls town is very walkable, and you’ll only need a taxi for out-of-town attractions like the Boma Dinner and Drum Show, visiting the Falls, and crossing the border. A taxi to the Falls and the border costs $5 from most accommodations. If the weather permits, you can walk directly to the falls from town.
Livingstone is less walkable. The town is small, and you can get everywhere on foot. But to reach the Falls, many restaurants, and various attractions, you’ll need a taxi. You can quickly end up spending $20+ just on transport. So, factor this into your budget.
I’m actively updating this guide, so bookmark it and come back soon. I’ll be adding:
- Tips on safety
- Visa guides
- Prices for tours, etc.
- Practical tips and useful contacts