Once in a lifetime. No matter what time of year you visit the Victoria Falls, it will be a once in a lifetime experience. After all, it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You can make your trip to the Falls the best experience possible for you by considering your personality/travel traits when timing your visit. Before you jump to booking your plane ticket in all the excitement, ask yourself these important questions:
Are you an adventurous soul that seeks out life’s greatest thrills?
If the answer is yes then you should really visit Victoria Falls during the drier months of the year when the water levels are at their lowest between mid-August and mid-January.
A visit during low water levels, allows you the opportunity to plunge into Devil’s Pool, a dangerous-looking natural swimming hole on top of the falls. For most, the name ‘Devil’s Pool’ would be enough to put you off the experience. However, for the adventurous souls who seek out life’s greatest thrills, this is a must do.
To get there requires a 10-minute boat trip to Livingstone Island, followed by a short guided swim (at times against the current) to the rock pool where you can peer over the edge of the 354-foot drop. The conditions for rafting down the Zambezi rapids are also ideal this time of year.
Are the photos you come back with just as important as the vacation itself?
If the answer is yes then you should consider visiting the Victoria Falls during the transition periods between the low and high water levels, either in February or between June and July. This is a superb time to photograph the falls as you won’t get totally drenched from the mist like you would during high water levels. Large sections of the exposed cliff-face reveal the impressive geological formation too. This is the happy medium time of year, not too wet and not too dry. You’ll have all the opportunities you can hope for to get that postcard-worthy shot to show off to your family and friends back home.
Do you find it hard accepting nothing but the best in your travel pursuits?
If the answer is yes then you’ll want to visit when the river is typically in full flow during March and April. During this time, as much as 540 million cubic meters of water fall over the edge every single minute. It is a time to embrace the inevitable spray of the falls and wear your poncho proudly because you will get drenched. The Victoria Falls during high water is the real deal and spans the entire 1.7km width of the Zambezi River, thick with beautiful rainbows. You’ll want to bring your GoPro and waterproof camera to capture the Smoke That Thunders at its mightiest.
Are you a budget-conscious traveller, looking to grab a good deal?
If the answer is yes then make sure to plan your stay during the low booking season between January and May or during the holiday season from November to December. Accommodation prices are at their lowest and you won’t be fighting the crowds like you normally would in peak season. Zambia’s rainy season typically begins late November and last until mid-March, although it varies from year to year. With April and May being the exception, Livingstone Island tours are available and offer the best vantage point to witness the Victoria Falls and swim in Devil’s or Angel’s pool, depending on the month you decide to visit.