Vic Falls or Livingstone?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Feb 28, 2013 4:24 PM Last Post By: Kibo1224
Feb 17, 2013 1:03 PM
Vic Falls or Livingstone?Hi!
I'm currently in Harare visiting relatives. In about 2 weeks, I'm booked on a flight out of Livingstone (Zam) back to London. I think I will be getting a bus from Bulawayo into Vic Falls (Zim) arriving around 7pm (Pathfinder bus). I will therefore have 1 evening, 3 nights, 2 full days, and a morning before my 1pm flight from Livingstone. Where should I base myself?
I presume arriving at 7pm, I should spend the first night in Vic Falls, and then the final night in Livingstone. I want to take a flight over the falls (helicopter or plane), but other than that, am very open to suggestions. Is one side better known for cheaper excursions that the other? Is one safer than the other? Better food? Better accom?
My accomodation budget is as low as I can find, allowing for a clean ensuite...ibis style?! $50/night? Any reccommendations either side of the border? I don't mind paying for somethig better if there is an interesting option.
Thanks for any help/advice!
Feb 17, 2013 11:06 PM
1The Zim side of the falls is much, much nicer. Cleaner, no touts (there are literally hundreds on the zambia side) no baboons, better plant life and better views. Must be noted though, in the wet season with the falls at full flow, i reckon this side will be very, very wet and there might be less views, but it would be magnificent nonetheless
Feb 18, 2013 2:05 AM
2I think you should consider getting the night train from Bulawayo to Vic Falls. It's cheaper, you save on accommodation plus you don't have to waste a day travelling.
I agree that Vic Falls is a bit more pleasant, even though it is an absolute tourist trap. I'm not sure about one side being better than the other for excursions, but I don't think there is a huge difference.
Check out Shoestrings. I paid $35 p/n for a double en-suite that was fine. It's got a pool, good atmosphere and you can organise any excursions there.
Feb 18, 2013 3:16 AM
Feb 18, 2013 7:00 PM
4Hey there hopefully you will find this helpful
My wife and I are returning to Vic falls in May and have booked at a place we stayed a few years ago now but it was great then and all the writeupsd still say its good. The place is called Villa Victorai at 165 Courtney selous Victoria Falls. It is a guest hous very secure and you can use tehir kitchen and cook yourself etc. it was very quiet when we visited years ago and apparently still is. It is easy walking distance from town. Their email address is email@example.com and I dealt with Annah. Price wise it is real good value Good luck
Feb 20, 2013 1:36 AM
5Thanks for the help guys. I've booked a place in Livingstone for 1 night, and am still deciding on somewhere in Vic Falls. I was about to book Shoestrings, but they just sold their last private room. Toying with the idea of the dorm, but alos just emailed a load of other places.
Does anyone know if the water level is too high at the moment for rafting? I'd love to go, but don't want to just float down languidly. I want some rapids!
Alternatively, has anyone done the Wild Horizons *Adrenaline Combo*? Flying fox, swing and zip line for $130. Looks like a good alternative to the rafting.
Feb 28, 2013 4:24 PM
6I was just there for a week in early February and can give some thoughts:
First of all, Livingstone is almost 10 kilometers from the falls....I'd base myself on the zim side because you are within walking distance of everything. The water level is very high, but in my opinion you must see the falls from both sides. I enjoyed the Zambia side a bit more, but you will get SOAKED on either side. There are some views to be seen from each side, but much of it is like walking into a hurricane. In early February they were doing rafting trips down river from I believe rapid #11. I have rafted it from rapid #1 at low water years ago which was fantastic, but the high water rafting looked pretty lame on the video I saw so I didn't spend the money this time. There are touts on both sides, but the ones on the Zim side are MUCH more numerous and aggressive...I think partially because in the low season there are few tourists and these guys are starving for business....they don't take "no" for an answer. I took the train from Vic Falls to Bulawayo and highly recommend it. It's old and slow (ran right on schedule)...but dirt cheap, reasonably comfortable and a great experience...$15 for 1st Class sleeper...$4 extra if you want bedding. Beats the hell out of sitting on a bus. Activities will be similar on both sides....expensive. Regardless of where you stay, do not miss visiting the Vic Falls Hotel...spend $2.00 on a coke and enjoy the million dollar view....amazing setting, amazing place....definitely soak it in. I'd say the same about the Royal Livingstone on the Zam side....nice sitting area right on the river for a drink. I stayed in the dorm at Shoestrings....$11.00/night. Not the cleanest, most comfortable place but good vibe and location....if that's what you are looking for. Good food too. Other places I saw were really overpriced for what you got. From either side you can go through immigration down to the bridge at no cost....just show your passport and say you are going to the bridge. Great fun just to walk across the bridge, watch some bungy jumpers, etc. Again, walking distance from Vic Falls town....not Livingstone. Like I said, I'd spend a few days on the Zim side and then cross to Zambia to see the falls from that side also and then fly out. National Park entrance is $30 on Zim side and $20 (100 Kwatcha) on Zam side.
Hit me up with anymore questions.
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