Victoria Falls is situated on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia in south central Africa and can be as tame or as wild a visit one wishes. Maybe a mix of both?
Victoria Falls is on the Zambezi River and is the world’s largest waterfalls by volume, a UNESCO historical site as well as the 7th Natural Wonder of the World. As spectacular as the Falls are, Victoria Falls is also regarded as the Adventure Capital of Africa.
Thrill seekers can partake in Elephant back rides, Rhino encounters, the Devils Pool, world class white water rafting , river and driving safari, jet boating, fishing, horse riding, flights over the Falls, and even multi-day canoe camping safari for an off-the- grid adventure. Visitors can also enjoy a Falls tour, casino, golf, sunset cruises, steam train dinner rides, shopping, house boat safaris in the nearby Caprivi Strip, etc.
There is something for everyone in the greater Victoria Falls region. Tours at Victoria Falls can be tailored to the Economy, Mid-Range and Luxury levels.
Lion Dog African Safaris prefers to situate clients on the Zambian side of the Falls rather than in Zimbabwe where the very corrupt regime of Robert Mugabe rules to the detriment of its citizens, the economy, the parks, and the wildlife. Refer to map on right for location(s)
Timing a Tour to Victoria Falls
JANUARY | FEBRUARY | MARCH | APRIL
January – April is the height of the rainy season; hot and humid with thunderstorms and torrential downpours days on end.
The water in the catchment basin for the Zambezi River gradually starts to build up peaking in mid-April creating a roar over Victoria Falls. The spray from the Falls typically rises to heights over 400 m (1300 ft.) which can be seen as far as 50 km (30 miles) away. River rafting is mediocre or non-existent at this time.
MAY | JUNE
May and June is the beginning of Autumn and dry season in these parts with temperatures seldom exceeding 30 degrees C dropping to as low as 5 degrees C at night requiring warm clothes.
The flow of water over Victoria Falls is very heavy however the conditions for white water rafting are considered mediocre to non-existent at this time.
JULY | AUGUST
July and August are winter in these parts with temperatures reaching 27 degrees C in the day dropping to as low as 5 degrees C at night requiring warm clothes.
The water flow over Victoria Falls is still high but abating. Conditions for river rafting change from mediocre to decent over the course of this time frame. Provided the skies are clear, the lunar rainbow over the Falls will be visible during the full moon.
SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER
This is the start of summer in these parts. Toward the end of October, daytime temperatures can hit the 40’s degrees C with night time temperatures not dropping much below 20 degrees C. There may be some sporadic precipitation in this period.
The water volume over Victoria Falls is dropping creating excellent river rafting conditions through the rapids and this is when swimming to the Devil’s pool at the top of the falls starts to become possible.
Due to water being increasingly diverted for projects away from the Zambezi River , the water levels have been decreasing over the Falls from September to December to the point where there is almost no water going over the falls on the Zambian side . In that event , it is advisable to either partake in the Devils Pool experience , and/ or take a taxi to the Zimbabwe side in order to see a greater amount of water falling from those vantage points.
NOVEMBER | DECEMBER
This region experiences a hot muggy rainy season from November to December with highs in the mid 30’s degrees C. November is usually the lowest flow of water over Victoria Falls, when the volume is only 10 % of the water volume in April. The Devil’s pool at the top of the Falls is fully accessible for taking a dip at this time of year.
White water river rafting conditions are excellent in this period. The Liwindi ancestral worship takes place at the Victoria Falls in December. It is also possible to walk to the bottom of the first gorge on the Zimbabwe side at this time.
Timing a tour in combination with other locations
LDAS suggests that clients rely on our expertise to determine the best time for their custom African tour. When clients are able to go when the overall conditions are best, LDAS finds that it sends a good percentage of clients in January February, and September October, when all the variables are considered.
Between the two periods, in the southern hemisphere, the weather is generally cooler in September October than in January February when the temperatures are hottest. The only bad time to go to Africa is when the rains are heavy in the regions being considered.