Activities at Victoria Falls
Whether you decide to visit Victoria Falls from the Zambian or Zimbabwe side (see our blog comparing the two sides here) there are tons of activities for you to take part in. Here are a few that we highly recommend
While at ground level you can feel the enormous power of the Victoria Falls, it is only when you take to the air that you can take in the whole panorama and enormity of this mighty spectacle. The best way to do this is helicopter ride over the falls. There are 2 different options available;
1) The first option is a flight lasting 12-13 minutes which takes off from Elephant Hill helipad, just upstream of the Falls. The flight takes you over the falls several times in both directions, the pilot banks the helicopters as you circle so you can really see right into the chasm of the Falls. You can see the towns of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia and clearly up and down stream.
2) The second option is a 30 minute flight which starts off exactly like the shorter flight but then takes you for an enthralling Game viewing flight upstream along the Zambezi River and the adjoining Zambezi National Park. You are likely to see quite a bit of Game including many hippo in the river.
- No age restriction, children need to be accompanied by adult or guardian
- Children under 3 years of age are flown free of charge sitting the parent’s lap
- All children over 3 are charged full price.
- A minimum of 2 guests to confirm a 12/13 min flight
- A minimum of 3 guests to confirm a 30 min flight
- All pickups are half an hour before flying time.
White Water Rafting
Rafting trips on the Zambezi run from both the Zimbabwe and Zambian sides of the Falls and operators on both sides are highly professional. The water level of the Zambezi River is completely dictated by rainfall, and this has a huge impact on the white water rafting season. Therefore the dates given below are guide lines only as rainfall varies every year.
Low water trips (approx August-early January) start at Rapid 1 which is just below the boiling pot of the Victoria Falls. These trips are either half day (10 rapids) or full day trips (21 rapids). On the shorter trips you simply exit the gorge after rapid 10 at about lunchtime. Exiting the gorge involves a steep climb of about 250m, although helicopter lifts are available, at a cost. High water runs (May-July and January-March) miss out the first 10 rapids as they are just not safe to raft at the high water level. It is a shorter day even though it is still sold as a full days rafting. This trip is not nearly as exciting, so please be aware that if rafting is a priority on your trip, plan on coming between August and early January.
- Full Day White Water Rafting-Low Water: $130 per person ($10 park fee and lunch included)
- Full Day White Water Rafting -High Water: $120 per person ($10 park fee and lunch included)
- Full Day Rafting and River boarding -Low water only: $165 per person ($10 park fee and lunch included)
- Full Day Rafting and overnight: $200 per person ($10 park fee and 4 meals included)
- Rafting Two and a half day: $450 per person ($10 park fee and 4 meals included)
- Rafting five day: $750 per person
Although at 111 meters (364 feet) it’s not the highest bungee jump in the world (that honor goes to Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa which is an incredible 765 feet), the jump at the Falls is one of most break-taking. Maybe it is because of the backdrop of the Victoria Falls or free falling down towards the mighty Zambezi; whatever it is, it is a huge adrenaline rush! There is only one company that operates the bungee jump and they are called the Zambezi Adrenaline company. They are based in Zambia and are affiliated to Shearwater in Zimbabwe. If you are not brave enough to do this alone, you can always try to convince a buddy to leap with you and do the tandem jump. First timers normally do a standard head first dive, but the more experienced try all sorts of flips, back-flips and inward tucks etc. Pre-booked and paid bungee jumpers are entitled to a full refund up until they sign the indemnity form on the bridge and start to strap up then you are then past the point of no return….
- Bungee $120 per person
- Bridge swing solo $120
- Bridge swing tandem $190
- Operates off Victoria Falls bridge the border crossing point between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
- Minimum age 14 years.
- Minimum weight of 40 kg, maximum weight of 140 kg.
- Passports are required by clients to access the bridge.
- Jumps operate from 9am to 5pm every day – (10am March to June.)
- Photographs ($15) and video ($35) are taken of each jumper and are available for purchase.
- Transfers to and from the activity are not provided.
The Devils Swimming Pool and Livingstone Island Tour is a combined activity offered by Tongabezi a respected tour operator (as well as a beautiful lodge) in Livingstone, Zambia. This activity is only available from the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. The tour is seasonal and can only be done when the water level of the Zambezi River is low enough to allow safe access to Livingstone Island (from early July to early March). The Devils Pool experience is available for an even shorter period as the water level has to be really low to allow for safe swimming. Although variable every year this is normally from late August to early January. Five trips are offered throughout the day each trip lasting about 1.5 to 2 hrs.
Guests meet by the deck at the Royal Livingstone hotel, where you meet your guides and are given a safety talk. From there a five minute boat ride speeds you through the current of the Zambezi River to Livingstone Island. From there guests are led to the very edge of the Falls on the east side of the island overlooking Horseshoe and Rainbow Falls and then to the west of the island overlooking Main Falls. It’s like no other view of the Falls and gives a completely unique different perspective on the Falls.
Now is your chance to jump into the Devils Pool if you feel comfortable, your guide leads you and explains your route. You swim slightly upstream in a very slow current, being a strong swimmer is not a prerequisite. A safety rope is also in place as an added precaution. You then climb out on another rocky outcrop close to the edge of the Falls. The Devils Pool itself is a deep natural pool with a rock ledge on the lip of the Falls. This natural barrier is what allows you to jump into the deep pool but not get swept over the edge. You can now lie on this rock lip and look right over the Falls! It is an awesome experience and the operation is extremely well run by Tongabezi, with safety being a high priority. Please note that there are several off-the-street guides who offer tourists the opportunity to do this activity, these guide are not licensed and we would strongly advise against going with one of them.
- Livingstone Island Morning Breezer: 7.30, 9.00, 10.30am, $77 (breakfast included)
- Livingstone Island Lunch tour: 12.30pm, $137 (lunch included)
- Livingstone Island High Tea: 15.30pm, $110 (high tea included)
Elephant Back Safaris
Elephant back safaris are offered on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides of the falls. In Zambia they are offered by Shearwater Adventures in their Private Game Reserve about 20 minutes from Livingstone town center. In Zimbabwe they are offered through Elephant Camp (one of our favorite properties) a few miles outside of the town of Victoria Falls.
Just sitting on an enormous African Elephant, touching, hearing, smelling and seeing them up close is an exhilarating experience. They are almost silent as they make their way along the game paths and when you stopped to look at something they start eating the trees around you making you feel just like you are part of the herd. When guests return to the platform they are given a chance to interact with the elephants and have photos taken.
- Elephant Back Safari (AM) or (PM): $130 per person (breakfast included)
- Elephant Back Safari and Dinner: $180 (dinner included, 15 passenger minimum)
- Horseback safaris ($85-$145)
- Guided Tour of the Falls ($20-$35 per person)
- 1 Day Game Drives ($50-$150 per person)
- Sunset cruises ($45-$70 per person)
- Fishing on the Upper Zambezi ($125-$210 per person)
- Canoeing ($110-$125 per person)
All of these prices are approximations for 2012 given prices for various companies operating in the area but prices tend to be fairly uniform across operators. Given all these activities, we at Extraordinary Journeys recommend at least two nights at the Falls.
More information on visiting Victoria Falls email firstname.lastname@example.org