The Great Debate about Victoria Falls: Zambia or Zimbabwe?

By Focus Online Team on September 5, 2018

The Victoria Falls is a spectacular natural wonder which forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Zambezi River and the great chasm below the Victoria Falls divides Zimbabwe in the south-east, from Zambia in the north-west, in a dramatic display of geographical beauty unlike anywhere else on earth.

The Victoria Falls region is well known as a destination for leisure travellers looking for high-end safari lodges, and thrill seekers eager to try out the white-knuckle adventure on offer. With so much to do and see in Vic Falls, you simply can’t exclude it from a safari in Southern Africa. The biggest decision you’ll have to face is which side of the Zambezi River to stay on; Victoria Falls Zimbabwe or Livingstone Zambia? Let us help you decide.

Livingstone Zambia

Choosing Sides: Victoria Falls or Livingstone?

The Victoria Falls can be viewed from both sides of the gorge, and choosing which side to stay on really depends on the kind of safari you’re hoping to experience. It is generally accepted that the Zimbabwean side of the border offers better views of the main falls, but it is Zambia who is home to refined riverside lodges and safari camps, as well jaw-dropping close encounters at the edge of the cascades of water. Take a closer look at what we think you’d like to know about choosing sides.

Which side has the better view?

About three quarters of the Victoria Falls lies in Zimbabwe and it is Zimbabwe that has the lion’s share of the best viewpoints too. The Vic Falls National Park on the Zim side of the border has well laid-out footpaths which wind through the misty rainforest and out onto a number of cliffs that face the mighty Victoria Falls. It’s from here you’ll get the iconic, postcard-perfect views.

To get even closer to the waterfall, however, you’ll have to visit to the Zambian side of the falls. Here, at the right time of year, you can take a swim in ‘Devil’s Pool’ at the lip of the falls and look over at the water falling almost 100 metres to the bottom of Batoka Gorge.

Which side has better accommodation?

The Zimbabwe side of the river has a good choice of hotels and safari lodges within easy walking distance of Victoria Falls. For high-end accommodation on the Zambezi, however, Zambia trumps Zimbabwe on almost all fronts. A few hotels have private footpaths down to the Zambian side of the falls and further upstream you can hop on romantic river cruises and exciting microlight flights. It is also possible to stay in Zambia and view the falls from the Zimbabwe side easily, with a quick trip across the border.

Which side has better game viewing?

Make sure to include a few game drives on a Victoria Falls holiday. This is easily done in either Zimbabwe or Zambia. Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park probably has the better game and you can see everything apart from big cats. Batoka Sky’s microlight flights offer wonderful game viewing from the sky over the Zambezi River. Zimbabwe and Zambia don’t really compare however, to game viewing in nearby Chobe National Park in Botswana or Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. A little extra travel time is really worth it to see the abundance of game in either game reserve.

zambezi river fishing

Which side has the better activities?

A final decision on choosing where to go in Victoria Falls can also depend on the activities you wish to add to your itinerary. The Zimbabwean side offers plenty of the high adrenalin stuff including bungee jumping and white water rafting, while Livingstone Zambia is better know for luxury cruises, game viewing safaris on the river and other leisure activities.

Finally, remember to take into consideration logistics and flight availability as well as visas – depending on your passport you may be able to visit one and not the other without the hassle of a visa application. In the end, both sides are great and our Victoria Falls travel experts are always on hand to discuss things with you. You can chat more to our travel experts online here or via email at


Image credits: 
Livingstone’s Adventure
Avani Victoria Falls Resort
Tongabezi Lodge
@therustymokoro on Instagram

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