Victoria Falls Accommodation Guide – Zimbabwe or Zambia: Which side is best?

Its Africa Time!! Of course you know that the incredible Victoria Falls is one of the must-visit destinations in Africa – but as it lies on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia – it can be hard to decide which side should you make your base. Our Victoria Falls Accommodation Guide will give you all the information on Victoria Falls (town) in Zimbabwe and Livingston in Zambia to help you decide which is the best place to stay to visit Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls Accommodation Guide - Zimbabwe vs Zambia

Victoria Falls Accommodation Guide
– Zimbabwe vs Zambia: Which Side is Best?

Victoria Falls – one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and fed by the Zambezi river – stretches over 1.7km and crosses the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. As a consequence the two towns on either side of the border – Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingston in Zambia – have seen a surge in tourism and it can be difficult to decide where you should stay. This post will give you in the in’s and out of both towns which will hopefully make your decision easier!

Related: Click here for the Top Activities and Things To Do in Victoria Falls – there’s something for everyone!

Livingstone – Zambia

Best Place To Stay To Visit Victoria Falls Zimbabwe Zambia | Where to Stay Victoria Falls | Where to Stay Livingstone | Best Place to Stay Victoria Falls | Best Place to Stay Livingstone

Visa Arrangements & Cost: which side Victoria falls best 
Single Entry: $50USD; Double/Multiple Entry: $80USD; Day-Tripper Visa: $20USD
The tourist visa’s listed above can all be obtained on arrival at Livingston Airport and are valid for Australian, British, North American, Canadian and EU citizens. (Please note that visa changes are a regular occurrence in Africa and you can check HERE for the latest information.)

Location: Best Place to stay to visit Victoria falls Zimbabwe Zambia
Approx 12.5km from Victoria Falls

Currency: Best Place to stay to visit Victoria falls Zimbabwe Zambia
Zambian Kwacha (1000 Kwacha = $0.20USD/£0.13/$0.18AUD approx)

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Where to Stay – Livingstone, zambia

Accommodation Options: which side Victoria falls best 
There are around 66 Guesthouses/Lodges and budget accommodation in Livingston with approximately:
23 Backpackers/Guesthouses @ $0-60USD per night (My pick – Fawlty Towers – yes, I’m being serious!)
25 Guesthouses/Hotels.             @ $61-100USD per night (My pick – Maramba River Lodge)
15 Lodges                                         @ $101-200USD per night (My pick – Munga Eco-Lodge)
7 Luxury Lodges                             @ $201-1200USD per night (My pick – The Royal Livingstone)

For the latest Livingstone hotels rates & availability and to narrow down results by your own requirements, click to visit Hotels Combined

Activities Specific to Zambia: which side Victoria falls best
Devils Pool & Angels Armchair, Microlight Flight above the Falls, Free walking Trails next to the mighty Victoria Falls, Lunch on the banks of the Zambezi at The Royal Livingstone

Other Activities Available: which side Victoria falls best
Helicopter Flights, White Water Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Sunset Cruise Best Place to stay to visit Victoria falls Zimbabwe Zambia

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Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe where stay Victoria Falls Zimbabwe Zambia which side Victoria falls best 

Where to Stay Victoria Falls | Where to Stay Livingstone

Visa Arrangements & Cost: where stay Victoria Falls Zimbabwe Zambia
For USA & Australian Citizens: Single Entry: $30USD; Double Entry: $45USD
For UK & Canadian Citizens: Single Entry: $55USD; Double Entry: $70USD.
The tourist visa’s listed above can all be obtained on arrival at Victoria Airport and there are no Day Tripper Visas available. Should you wish to enter Zimbabwe for a day, you will be required to purchase a single entry visa. (Please note that visa changes are a regular occurrence in Africa and you can check HERE for the latest information.)

Location: Best Place to stay to visit Victoria falls Zimbabwe Zambia
Approx 3km from Victoria Falls

Currency: Best Place to stay to visit Victoria falls Zimbabwe Zambia
United States Dollar  (click for current exchange rates) Currency must be clean,not ripped or marked and dated after 2001.

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Where to Stay – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Accommodation Options: which side Victoria falls best 
There are around 20-25 Guesthouses/Lodges and a handful of hotels in Victoria Falls town with approximately:
4 Backpackers/Guesthouses  @ $0-60USD per night (My pick – Shoestrings Backpackers)
5 Hotels/Bed and Breakfast    @ $61-100USD per night (My pick – Rainbow Hotel)
5 Lodges                                         @ $101-200USD per night (My pick – The Kingdom)
9 Luxury Safari Lodges              @ $201-1100USD per night (My pick – The Victoria Falls Hotel)

For the latest rates & availability and to narrow down results by your own requirements, click to visit Hotels Combined

Activities Specific to Zimbabwe:
Lion Encounter, Gorge Swing, Flying Fox, Zipline, Victoria Falls National Park

Other Activities Available: where stay Victoria Falls Zimbabwe Zambia
Helicopter Flights, White Water Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Sunset Cruise

 

Traveling between Zimbabwe and Zambia

Top Adventure Activities Victoria Falls

The crossing between Zimbabwe and Zambia is essentially a (very laid back) 1.6km walk across the Victoria Falls Bridge. It is then a 3km walk to Victoria Falls or a 12.5km walk/taxi to Livingstone. If you are planning on doing activities that can only be found on one side of the falls, I would recommend purchasing a ‘double-entry’ visa on arrival in either Victoria Falls or Livingstone Airports and planning to complete those activities on the same day to avoid incurring additional visa charges.  which side Victoria falls best 

The Process – Crossing from Zimbabwe to Zambia

On arrival at the border post you enter a single level building and provide your passport to the immigration officials. They will ask if you are exiting permanently or for the day and will check you have the authority to return (double entry visa). They will then stamp it with an exit stamp and provide you with a small slip of paper. Upon exiting the building, walk towards the gates and give the piece of paper to the waiting guard who will check your passport before waving you through into no-mans land. which side victoria falls best

No-man’s land stretches 1.6km, which can seem like a really long way when you’re not entirely sure where you are going! (There are also taxi drivers there who will tout for your business. If you are going all the way to Livingstone, engaging one of these is not a bad idea.) You’ll walk across the bridge and past a couple of guard posts before reaching another building, which is the Zambia border post.  which side Victoria falls best 

Enter the building. Hand over your passport to immigration and request to purchase a day tripper visa for $20USD. (It is best to have a $20 note dated post-2001). Enter Zambia.

This process can be reversed to enter Zimbabwe from Zambia, but can only be done between the hours of 6am and 6pm. which side Victoria falls best 

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The Verdict Best Place to stay to visit Victoria falls Zimbabwe Zambia which side Victoria falls best 

There are plenty of reasons to stay in either Livingstone or Victoria Falls and although the accommodation options are numerous in Livingstone (in comparison to Victoria Falls) if I was planning another trip, Victoria Falls town would be my preference. It has a great small town feel, several well priced restaurants and is walking distance to the Falls themselves. (The distance between Livingstone and the Falls would mean additional taxi fares between the two.) Victoria Falls also have a wider range of activities on offer, meaning you can do everything on the Zimbabwe side and only have to enter Zambia for the Devils Pool, Free walks to the Falls & the Microlight Flight. (All of which can be done in a day.) Victoria Falls also has a great craft market where you can get some serious bargains on wooden and stone carved souvenirs!

If you have any questions I haven’t covered above, please let me know. I will do my best to answer them.

I hope I have helped in your decision making, and, regardless of where you choose to stay, you will have the BEST time because you’ll be in AFRICA. And Africa is Amazing.

Victoria Falls Accommodation Guide

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Victoria Falls Accommodation Guide – Zimbabwe or Zambia: Which side is best? was last modified: by

65 thoughts on “Victoria Falls Accommodation Guide – Zimbabwe or Zambia: Which side is best?

  1. Eloise says:

    I’d love to see the Victoria Falls one day. I really want to see more of Africa. Your photos are amazing. Thanks for sharing your experience. Great advice.

  2. Danielle says:

    Ugh as if I didn’t want to visit African countries enough already! This looks absolutely amazing. Love that you’ve included so very many resources to make it to much easier to get all the info ironed out.

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Danielle – I struggled to decide where to fly into when we went so hopefully this will help others with the same problem!

  3. Bryanna says:

    What great information for anyone planning a trip to see the falls! I love how you lay out the options with prices and then go over in detail how going back and forth works! I think I would agree with you that the small town feel of Victoria Falls is where I would want to stay.

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Bryanna – I spent hours researching before we went and found lots of conflicting information, and when I got there it was all so simple! So I thought I’d share so others don’t feel overwhelmed! I’m so happy you think it’s useful 🙂

  4. noel says:

    I would love to visit both sides on of these days and really experience the Falls from both ends, thanks for sharing all the vital information and costs.

  5. Skye says:

    A great wrap up of information. We haven’t visited yet as this is still on the list, but your pics are definitely making me want to go pronto.

  6. Laura says:

    This looks a little similar to the Niagara debate. Both sides are lovely to view the falls from, but the Canadian side is certainly buzzing over the US side!

  7. Kim-Ling says:

    I think Victoria Falls town would be my preference too! The activities you listed sound like so much fun and I like how convenient it sounds. I’m also a fan of craft markets, so the decision is made! I’d love to visit here someday. The photos look incredible!

  8. Elena says:

    I wouldn’t mind visiting both sides. Simply from “the more, the better” perspective. Sadly, from a practical point, it always comes down to budget restrictions. I would love to save enough that when I finally visit Victoria Falls, I would have the financial freedom to go to Zimbabwe and Zambia sides.

  9. Leah says:

    I’ve asked myself this very question. Thanks so much for the comprehensive guide to both sides. I’m hoping this will be on my next African itinerary.

  10. Sue Reddel says:

    You’ve really provided some great tips on which side of the falls to stay on. I’d love to visit Victoria Falls one day. Good to know about the walk across the bridge – you’d need to plan your day around that for sure.

  11. Laura Lynch says:

    This is really good to know. I’ve been wanting to go there and I would have had to do all this research myself to find out where to stay. Now I know. It’s such a beautiful place. I can’t wait to see it.

  12. melody pittman says:

    What a gorgeous site. I hope to see it in person some day. I vote for Zambia myself. Thanks for all of the information. I know nothing about the ins and outs of destinations like this.

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Jennifer – my favorites were the Sunset Cruise and the Gorge Swing (even though I nearly back out an didn’t do it because I was terrified!)

  13. Faye says:

    I guess these two falls have a unique beauty that leaves me astounded. Thanks for the information Vicki. Thanks for the glimpse you have shown to us.

  14. Katja says:

    Great advice, thank you! I really don’t know Africa at all but it is on my list to explore at some point, including Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls Town sounds like it would be my choice, too!

  15. Vanessa says:

    Are yellow fever vaccination certificates still being checked? They were 10+ years ago when I made a land crossing from Malawi to Zambia. I know it was law when crossing land borders (likely enforced not so much for a concern for preventing yellow fever for some agents but more for exacting bribes from those who didn’t have their vaccination certificates with them!) but I’m not sure what the situation is like today.

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Vanessa. We carried our Yellow Fever Certificates throughout all of Southern Africa and did not have them checked once. After after we went to Mauritius & the UK before returning to Australia and still ahve never had our Yellow Fever Certificates checked. I wouldn’t like to travel without it though!

  16. Megan says:

    Love your comparison. It’s great that you include the logistics and the feel of the to two. Hope I get the chance to visit the falls and one or both of the sides one day.

  17. Megan Jerrard says:

    Super comprehensive guide, thanks Vicki! Thanks for the tip on Victoria Falls town – visiting the falls is on my list, and has been for a while, and it’s quite a lot to try and research and intimidating when you don’t know how to start planning, and what’s best!

    I love that there is so much more to do at Victoria Falls too – the Microlight Flight sounds fab!

  18. Lan says:

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  19. Gilberto says:

    Have you ever considered creating an e-book or writing on other sites? I have a blog based upon on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

  20. Bob says:

    Have been to Vic Falls many times.
    They remain pristine and non commercialised (unlike Niagra) and I would go back again and again.
    This is true Africa and a ride into neighbouring Chobe in Botswana is also worthwhile.Late Autumn and Spring are the best times as malaria free and the spray from the falls is reduced to be able to see the Vic Falls.A great member of the 7 World’s Natural Wonders.

  21. The Sunday Mode says:

    I honestly didn’t even know these falls existed until now, they look almost unreal because they look so amazing! I’d love to visit these falls one day.

  22. T says:

    Hi. Just back from Vic falls yesterday Don’t know if I’m wrong here🙈 But you forgot to mention few activities from the Zambian side. There’s big5 mukuni safaris where you can walk with the lions cheetahs n elephants. There’s a reptile park too where you can see crocodiles n snakes. There’s an 80year old croc too. There’s white rhinos too you can see whilst walking few meters away only. There’s a gorge swing. AND the best time to see the falls is April, may June. Sorry if I’ve offended anyone here but the best view is from the Zambian side hands down. 😜👌

  23. JM says:

    Hi, I am planning a trip to the Victoria Falls in December, and will likely stay in Victoria Falls town.
    Do you have any suggestion for which safari (near to Victoria Falls) that I should be visiting to increase my chance of seeing the Big5? And would a day trip to the safari suffice? Or should I have spend 1 night at some lodge in the safari?

    • Vicki says:

      Hi JM
      There are a couple of safari parks within a few hours drive of Vic Falls (Hwange in Zimbabwe and Chobe in Botswana – although Chobe only have 4 of the Big5) – but remember there are no guarantees of seeing them! And the more time you can spend in the park the better, so a stay in a lodge inside the park might be a good idea!

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