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Help with Victoria Falls Intinerary

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eirekay

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Posted: 2013-01-06 09:41:00   

We will be flying for Johannesburg to Victoria Falls and will have 3 night. I am wondering whether to see the falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe and what to do once we've seen the falls. Any ideas or tips?

Thanks!

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wojtekd

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Posted: 2013-01-06 10:26:00   

Hi
There are two airports at Vic Falls - in Zambia and in Zimbabwe. Where you will land?
Both sides are worth to visit for the view. You can easy get a visa at the bridge over canyon to cross the border.
Scroll down on this site for the view from Zambia side:
http://www.kontynenty.net/s3news.htm
But Zimbabwe side is more spectacular - you walk along the edge of the canyon with the little falls on the opposite side and you can come close to the main fall "the throat" - invisible from Zambia. Take the raincoat with you and protect the camera!
Enjoy!
Wojtek

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced... W.D.


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krisek

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Posted: 2013-01-07 12:16:00   

Hi,

As Wojtek said, there are two airports, one in Victoria Falls (VFA) in Zimbabwe and one in Livingstone (LVI) in Zambia. I visited the site in November 2005, so there are bound to be changes how things get organised. When I was there, the crisis in Zimbabwe was about to escalate and most businesses had gone down by then. Most travellers organised their time on the Zambian side and I would expect that Livingstone is now more developed that Victoria Falls.

You should definitely see the falls from both sides, as the views are dramatically different - you can get very close to the water from both side, but you can see it from a different angle. In Zambia from the side, and in Zimbabwe from the front (if you can see it at all due to the volume of water). You can do both sides in a day and the border formalities have been very straightforward for years, particularly for day trippers.

If you can afford it, you should do a short helicopter flight over the falls - unforgettable experience and you can see more than the waterfall. Many people also to white water rafting on the Zambezi, bungee jumping from the bridge on the border, and short game rides with pretty good chances to see elephants. Zambia has been best to organise those - easy to visit one of the many backpacker places for those. Zimbabwe has been better in organising close and personal encounters with elephants - incredibly well organised (although I am not sure how this works these days). There were also sunset cruises organised on the Zambian side just before the water drops on the border with Zimbabwe, and there is also pretty good chance to see elephants during those, plus of course plenty of other game, including buffaloes.

I'd search for a number of backpacker places in Livingstone and view their websites for current activities. They always have something on the river and in the bush, including day trips.

Good luck!
Kind regards
Krys

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eirekay

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Posted: 2013-01-07 18:29:00   

Thank you both - very helpful! We haven't chosen our flights yet - we are coming in from Johannesburg so either airport is option. Since you've both been there, we will have 3 nights and it looks like there is more to do in Zambia - do you have any specific suggestions (helicopter ride sounds grand!). I understand there is also a Sundowner Train over the bridge. What would you do if you had three days?

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wojtekd

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Posted: 2013-01-09 12:05:00   

Hello again
Livingstone on Zambian side of the falls seems to me to be safer (take care anyway!) so my advice is to fly Joburg to Livingstone and stay in the hotel there (you can book via internet - for the budget travellers I recommend Livingstone Backpackers). From Livingstone you can make a day tour to the Zimbabwe side. It is the walk once you are at the fall - rare train is not necessary! reception will offer you plenty of other activities: rafting, wildlife - what you like... See my travel log (March 4th) for more practicals.
And enjoy!
Wojtek

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced... W.D.


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eirekay

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Posted: 2013-01-09 19:06:00   

This is really helpful! More Questions:

1) If I stay outside of Livingston, am I missing anything?

2) Looking at staying at an upstream lodge that would let us do a day trip to Chobe - is that worthwhile?

3) What are your "Must Dos" for the area? Obviously, see the falls from both sides, but what else would you recommend?

My husband is going (rare for him) so we are going a bit more upscale than I would usually do with my kids. The remainder of this trip will be spent at a Lodge in Kruger, if that changes any of your suggestions.

Thanks!
Eire

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Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away. Profile Pic: Tikal, Guatemala


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eirekay

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Posted: 2013-01-09 19:11:00   

Wojtekd! You took the Microlight! Was it worth it? I've been looking into to doing this! Won't try to sneak my camera though - did you get a look at the pictures the pilot took? Wondering if they were any good?

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Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away. Profile Pic: Tikal, Guatemala


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eirekay

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Posted: 2013-01-09 19:11:00   

Wojtekd! You took the Microlight! Was it worth it? I've been looking into to doing this! Won't try to sneak my camera though - did you get a look at the pictures the pilot took? Wondering if they were any good?

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Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away. Profile Pic: Tikal, Guatemala


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wojtekd

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Posted: 2013-01-10 16:06:00   

Hi Eire
Well, staying in the lodge outside Liv you will probably live in the little tourist ghetto - if this is your choice... go.
You can visit Livingstone Museum on your way to the falls.
Microlight is worth, if you do not want fall pictures. They will take a picture of YOU with the fall in the background.
Activities - I do not know what are your preferences.
Bungy jumping, canoeing? - your time is limited - try to contact agency or hotel and tell them what you want.
Chobe is worth a visit for elephants and Hippos but this is in Botswana side and will take you minimum one full, tiring day.
Enjoy!
Wojtek

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced... W.D.


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eirekay

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Posted: 2013-01-11 21:13:00   

--- quoting wojtekd ---
Hi Eire
Well, staying in the lodge outside Liv you will probably live in the little tourist ghetto - if this is your choice... go.
You can visit Livingstone Museum on your way to the falls.
Microlight is worth, if you do not want fall pictures. They will take a picture of YOU with the fall in the background.
Activities - I do not know what are your preferences.
Bungy jumping, canoeing? - your time is limited - try to contact agency or hotel and tell them what you want.
Chobe is worth a visit for elephants and Hippos but this is in Botswana side and will take you minimum one full, tiring day.
Enjoy!
Wojtek

--- end quote ---

Not at all interested in a "Tourist Ghetto"! We were looking at something about an hour outside Livingston, close to the border with Botswana - maybe one of the fishing camps. We are thinking that we could tour the falls on the first and last days, do a trip to Chobe on one day and do morning and evening game drives on the other.

I am so much happier when I can be outside of highly congested tourist areas - I don't share well!

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Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away. Profile Pic: Tikal, Guatemala


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