When planning our self-drive safari, we knew that a visit to Victoria Falls was a must-do. These gigantic falls are definitely a unique attraction within the world.
The falls are a nice day trip from the town of Kasane in Botswana, where we were staying for three nights. The falls themselves are on the Zambezi River, which forms the boundary between Zimbabwe and Zambia. So, to visit the falls you have to go into one of those countries for the day. All of the tours offered in Kasane go to the Zimbabwe side, which was convenient since that’s where we wanted to go anyway!
We booked our day trip as “unguided,” meaning that the tour company would get us to the park and back from Kasane, but we were on our own inside the park. We priced a few companies in town, then went with one that was cheap and already had a large group going (meaning we were less likely to get lost). After paying though, we began to have regrets for going through a random company we found on the street. What would we do if the driver didn’t show up the next day?
Luckily, our worries were unfounded. Our driver showed up the next day right on time. He took us to the border, where we first had to get a stamp to exit Botswana. Then, he drove us a little down the road to enter Zimbabwe. Both stations were very crowded with tourists trying to do the same thing! The visa for us to enter just for the day was $30 US, which seemed very high!
We were then handed off to our driver from the Zimbabwe side. It is cheaper for the company to have a separate vehicle in Zimbabwe than to pay fees for taking a vehicle through.
At the falls park, one of the first things you will notice in the parking lot is vendors attempting to rent you ponchos. We had our own so we were prepared.
The entry fee to the park was also $30 US per person. This plus the visa fee plus the tour fee made for an expensive day!
There are numbered viewing areas that you go through as you get closer and closer to the main falls. First, you start off near the Devil’s Cataract. Then as you proceed down the stations, it starts to get mistier and mistier. At some of the final stations, the mist from the falls is so powerful that it feels like rain is falling. We don’t have pictures from these stations because we didn’t want to get our cameras wet! Even with our ponchos, our lower legs got soaking wet. We’d recommend for future visitors to wear sandals!
We also took a little bit of time to walk out on the bridge that connects Zimbabwe and Zambia. At least we didn’t have to pay a fee for this – just a “bridge pass” is enough even though you are technically leaving the country. There was a bungee jump available from the bridge, but we decided to pass :).
It was a quick visit, but one that we won’t soon forget!