Is Victoria Falls worth seeing in October?

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Feb 26th, 2006, 04:16 AM
  #1
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Is Victoria Falls worth seeing in October?

My husband and I are planning to take a once-in-a-lifetime luxury tour of South Africa next October. The tour begins in CPT, and ends in JNB, but does not include Victoria Falls. Should we fly into JNB, and spend two nights at Victoria Falls before the tour begins? We are worried about going on an expensive excursion when the water level is or might be low, especially since we are bumping against the top of our budget. Thanks for your help.

Judy
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Feb 26th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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Judy,
quite honestly Victoria Falls is a spectacular sight, one which if you do not think you'll be back, you should try and find a way of building into your itinerary.

Frankly at that time of year the falls viewed from the Zambian side are more than dissapointing you must viiew the spectacle from the Zimbabwean side. This could favour your budget too.

I suggest that you look at Victoria Falls Safari lodge, they have a self catering section, which is used more frequently by Zimbabweans and So Africans, however it is less expensive than the suite at the main hotel.

There are other properties that you could stay at, which I am reasonably sure would drop their rates to meet your needs.
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Feb 26th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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santharamhari
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Judy,

I dont know if Whitewater rafting interests you.......but if you are into that kind of thing.....some of the best rapids ever!!!

And yes, Vic Falls is a must see.....
 
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Feb 26th, 2006, 12:31 PM
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sandi
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One thing I can say about Oct or Nov is that the water level is low and because of this you can actually see the Falls. Definitely the Zimbabwe side of the falls is better. I know I would have been disappointed to have been there during high flow and then you'd see nothing and be drenched in water under raincoats and hats.

If your budget allows, go for it. Arriving in JNB, you'll likely require an overnight before flight next morning at about 10am, arriving VFA around 12N. And Visa are required which can be obtained upon arrival, at a cost of $30 or $35/person and a departure fee of $20 or $25/person. A number of people, here have stayed at the Ilala (sp) which is a short distance from the falls. Roundtrip air is about $300/person, though some air carriers may have a lesser cost. There is a return flight to JNB at about 4pm. But check air carriers and current scheduled and prices - we haven't been in a few years and things to change.

Do a search on this board for Victoria Falls and read the threads that appear in the left column for more details.
 
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Feb 26th, 2006, 08:01 PM
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We were there last October, and it was spectacular. Don't let the low water level deter you. We were told when we were there that this is actually the best time to see the falls. If you go, do see it from the Zim side or else you won't have much of a view. Even with budget constraints, try to fit in the Flight of Angels helicopter flight. The 15 minute flight is plenty, and gives you a wonderful view of the entire falls. Enjoy!
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Feb 27th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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I just returned from Southern Africa, including Vic Falls at full flood. I've also been there in August, which was considered "low water" season. I would definitely recommend going! The Falls are beautiful at all water levels, but it is correct that you can actually see them better when you're not drenched in the mists as we were in "high water" season.

The Zim side would definitely be better at "low water" season, as the Zambian end dries up first, from what I saw. I felt perfectly safe there, although the vendors were persistent, as they have few opportunities for sales with the decrease in tourists. 70% of the town of Victoria Falls is unemployed, according to the guide.

The Zimbabwe entrance visa was US$30 at the border. The departure tax was built in to the SAA ticket. We stayed at Ilala Lodge, in the heart of town. The rooms were nice and the service was excellent. We walked to the Falls early in the morning and saw rainbows over the Falls, a beautiful sight.

If all you want to do is see the Falls, you could spend just one night there. It only takes an couple of hours to walk the Falls. A flight over the Falls would be great, too. I think you would also be able to schedule that in during a one-night stay. There are lots of other activities, as well, but you'd need that extra day.
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Feb 28th, 2006, 06:47 AM
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Santharamhari,
Can you tell me what class rapids there are near the falls? I'll be there in early June.
I've been rafting twice in Montana and once in Peru, but it was never more than class III, mostly I and II. I'm wondering how the Zambezi compares. And can you recommend a particular company? Thanks.
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