Vic Falls Travel Tips.
Travelling to Vic Falls and need some insights? Here are some travel tips that may be useful to you
In the news
Livingstone Island: Due to water levels rising on the Zambezi, Livingstone Island will be closed from the 1st of May. The Devils Pool and Island Tour activities will be closed until water levels recede.
Victoria Falls is extremely safe. It's a tourist town and almost everyone's livelihood is attached to tourism, so it is in everyone's interests for you to have a good time. At worst you might be hassled by street vendors to buy an old Zimbabwe dollar note or a curio, but this is the order of the day in most tourist destinations of the world. There are tourism police on patrol on the streets for your added security. Many Zimbabweans are very poor so please avoid temptation by putting your valuables out of sight or in the safe of your hotel room.
Zimbabwe currently does not have it's own currency. The Zimbabwe dollar is no more and was replaced by a "Bond note", which when it was introduced, was intended to have the same value as the US dollar. However, the street value of a "Zollar" as it locally called, is not the same as one crisp real-life US$1 note.
How does this affect you? Well if you have bought an all-inclusive holiday, hardly at all.
However, if you are on a bed and breakfast option and will be buying your meals and drinks at independent restaurants in town, then you should note that prices indicated on the menu, may in all likelihood, be for payment in Bond dollar notes.
If you are paying in forex cash or an international credit card then you may pay be eligible for a discount. (At the time of writing approx. 50%) Please ask before paying. Some restaurants mention their policy on their menu's, some don't. The above does not apply to the restaurants at the hotels in town which are priced in USD.
Zim is undergoing a cash shortage and as a result the major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and even Amex) are accepted everywhere - well, almost. Roadside curio sellers for instance will not have this option.
All major currencies (including the South African Rand) are accepted as payment but the US dollar is king. We suggest you take along a few small denominations for gratuities, curio purchases and other small purchases that may crop up. Take note though that if you don"t have the exact cash for your purchase then you will most probably get change in Bond notes/coins (see Currency note above)
All visitors require a passport to enter Zimbabwe with at least 6 months until expiry plus at least 2 blank pages. If you are travelling between multiple destinations then have more open pages. Day trips to Chobe or Zambia can quickly eat into your passport space.
If you are from "overseas" as in not from Southern Africa, the chances are you will need a visa to enter Zimbabwe. Please try out the links below to see whether or not you need a visa.
- Category A: Countries who do not require a visa to enter Zimbabwe
- Category B: Countries who require visas to enter Zimbabwe and who can obtain them on arrival
- Category C: Countries who require visas to enter Zimbabwe and who must obtain them before arrival
Category A Visa is Free
Category B Visa Fee is US$30.00 for Single Entry
UK is US$55.00 for Single Entry and US$70.00 for Double Entry
Zimbabwe has introduced an e visa facility, so if you need a pre-applied for visa before arriving in Zimbabwe, this can be done online at this link
The Uni-visa allows fee movement between Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana for certain passport holders. This means that if you are including two or more of these countries into your itinerary you will only have to pay one fee. (on implementation the cost was $50 pp) The UniVisa is valid for 30 days. Read more for more information on the Kaza Visa
Visas bought on arrival
Visas can be paid for by credit card. We recommend that you have the amount needed in cash - just in case there is a power outage and the machines aren't working that day.
Victoria Falls is in a malaria area. Please speak to your doctor about a malaria prophylactic. (preventative medication) The best preventative is to cover up at night by wearing long pants/ shirts, sleeping under a mosquito net and applying a mosquito spray like Peaceful Sleep, Tabard or the like. Be careful but not overly paranoid.
English is widely spoken and almost everyone you come into contact with as a tourist will speak it. Foreign language interpreters can be arranged for you (at an extra cost) if required.
The Victoria Falls Rainforest
The Kingdom Hotel is in walking distance of the entrance to the Victoria Falls rainforest. If you come from colder climes and are not used to hot weather then the getting there on foot may be more than you are used to. In this case pre-arrange a Victoria Falls tour or catch a cab to the rainforest entrance.
Entrance fees (Zimbabwe)*
International visitors: US30 (Adult) US$10 (child)
Regional ( SADC countries ) visitors: US$ 20 (Adult) US$8 (child)
Please note these costs are for a single entry only but you can stay within the rainforest for as long as you like within a single day.
You can use cash (USD is best, but ZAR and other major currencies are accepted) or credit card to enter the Falls from the Zimbabwe side. Please take your passport with you if you are a local or regional visitor otherwise you will be charged the international rate.
*Entrance fees are subject to change.
When the Falls are high you will get VERY WET! Take measures to protect your camera and other valuable items and dress accordingly. If you are on a guided tour a poncho will be provided, but if there is lots of water going over the Falls, you can expect to get wet right through this. Ponchos and umbrellas can be hired if you are a walk-in visitor.
Victoria Falls town lies within a national park and wildlife may be encountered. (Warthogs, baboon - even elephant roam freely in town! ) Please DO NOT EVER touch, feed or get "up close and personal" for a photo opportunity.
Have A Sense Of Humour
Things in Vic Falls may not work the same way as in the "First World" You may not get almond milk for your tea for instance, or maybe the visa process is slower than you're used to. Take it as part of the "Zen Of Travel". The friendliness of the Zimbabwe people you will encounter will more than make up for any hassles you may face.