Vic Falls: better the Zim or Zam side ?

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Jan 7th, 2006, 12:13 PM
  #1
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Vic Falls: better the Zim or Zam side ?

I am trying to figure out if it is worth to cross ther border to see both or which side is more impressive ?
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Jan 7th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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My own preference is for the Zim side. I enjoy walking along the rim of the falls and the rain forest. Also, there is a good craft market on the Zim side as well as a town center. Although some people swear that the Zam side is better, I have never been impressed with it.


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Jan 7th, 2006, 01:21 PM
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A few additional comments on my previous posting: I didn't mean to imply that the Zam side wasn't worth visiting. I just meant that I think the Zim side is better. By all means, if you have the time, it is worthwhile to see it from both sides. If not, my vote goes to the Zim side.
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Jan 7th, 2006, 02:02 PM
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thank you safarilover

would 2 nights be enough to see both sides ?
Our plans were to stay 2 nights at one of the two Mercure on the Zim side
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Jan 7th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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Hello,

I agonised for quite some time about this myself, and ended up on the Zim side. However, my research led me to believe that you can see both sides no matter which one you stay on (though it may be slightly easier from a logistical standpoint to enter Zambia from Zimbabwe than vice-versa).

The Zim side certainly offers more value for money, though there are a few currency-related issues created by the government's unrealistic monetary policy (don't use a credit card in Zimbabwe, as the official exchange rate is a far cry from the actual value of the Zim dollar, and you'll get a nasty surprise when you get home).

Most of the adrenaline activities are run from the Zam side. If you book an activity, the price will usually include a day visa from Zimbabwe if needed.

I based my decision mostly on availability of my preferred accommodation. My first choice was River Club, which was not available for the dates I would be in Vic Falls. My second choice was the Vic Falls Hotel, which was available, so I ended up in Zimbabwe.

If I had been with another person, rather than on my own, my second (or maybe even first) choice would have been Tongabezi, but I could not stomach the outrageous single supplement they tried to stick me with.

Cheers,
Julian
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Jan 8th, 2006, 05:41 AM
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Julian is spot-on with his information. My preference on the Zim side is also the Vic Falls Hotel. Not only is it a wonderful hotel, but it is within walking distance of the falls and the town. I think it is a big argument for staying on the Zim side. If you are a good walker, you can actually walk across the bridge to the Zambian side, or you might want to catch a cab to the bridge and walk from there. There is a nightly cultural show behind the hotel, too. I think two nights is adequate. Other activities on the Zim side include the small aircraft flight over the falls and the sundowner cruise on the Zambezi. I believe the whitewater rafting goes from the Zam side, and the bungee jumping goes from the middle of the bridge.

The last time I was at the falls, the Zim entrance fee was $20 US payable in cash with dollars, Euros, pounds, or SA rands. There is a $30 US visa fee for Zimbabwe; so if you are staying on the Zam side and want to visit Zim for a few hours, it will cost you $30 to get into the country in adddition to the $20 entrance fee into the falls.

There are some really nice wood/stone carving and other crafts at bargain prices, but as Julian said, definitely do not use a credit card. We did the best by changing money at the money-changing kiosks in town.

If you choose the Zambian side, River Club is fabulous as well as Tongabezi. We stayed in the treehouse at Tonga a number of years ago and it was a marvelous experience with a spectacular view of the Zambezi, but rather rustic--had to go up a rickety flight of steps to get to the toilet, and down a steep flight of steps to get to the bath and sink--not too good for people who have to get up in the middle of the night. Food and service, though, was excellent.

Have stayed at River Club more recently and found it also to be fabulous with a little better construction and furnishings, but then again, it is newer. Food at the River Club was also superb.

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Jan 8th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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your help is very precious.

we are travelling with 2 kids aged 11 and 5 years, so the number of activities is relatively limited.

Yes I read the cost of US$ 30 each for the Zim visa. We will be flying to Vic Falls VFA or Livingston LVI from Joburgh but our next stop is Namibia so now I have to figure out which is the best air connection to Windoek so that I do not have to get multientry visas for either Zim or Zam !
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Jan 9th, 2006, 04:10 AM
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Fabio

Check to see if there is an Air Namibia flight from Vic Falls to Windhoek. It might go via Katima Mulilo.

Leann
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Jan 9th, 2006, 05:07 AM
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One thing you can do on the Zam side only is the swim in Devils Pool, right on the edge of the falls. It really is one of the most spectacular things you can do and the photos always bring out looks of amazement. It's worth it alone to see the looks on the faces of the people on the Zim side! But you can only do this during low water season otherwise it becomes a bit more exciting than necessary.
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Jan 9th, 2006, 06:09 AM
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yes there is a direct fligth by Air Namibia from VFA to WDH but only 3 times week with 1 stop in maun but as far I can see it is a small aircraft and always fully booked and we are a party of 4 !
I am afraid I have to go via JNB !
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Jan 9th, 2006, 06:11 AM
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no flights from LVI to WDH !!
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Jan 9th, 2006, 08:08 AM
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Fabio

Can't you possibly get on the VFA to WDH? It will save you so much time to fly directly as you may have to overnight in J'Burg before connecting to WDH. The planes usually carry around 30 passengers.

Leann
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Jan 9th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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If you are not bring rain gear, pick up some of those tiny fold up plastic raincoats (about $1 in USA) for your trips to the falls. There are some areas with beautiful views that sometimes can only be reached by passing through deluges created by the falls. If you don't, you will be completely soaked. Which side is better seems to vary by season and sometimes by day although on the whole the Zam side seems to be favored.

Two nights is plenty for most people. I would recommed a visit to the aquarium in Vic Falls if you have time (and if it's still operating, any one know). Very well done and lots of interesting local specimens.
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Jan 9th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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hopefully yes but my problem is that I could not fix the exact travel dates yet, due to some job's pending for this summer ! I will anyway try and if this does not work I will re-arrange the 2 nights at Vic Falls at the end of the trip so I would fly WDH-VFA
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Jan 9th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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George

to be on the safe "side" we will do both sides, so that we will not leave the spot disappointed and I will have then some more stuff to report on this forum once we are back.
We saw Iguazu Falls from AR side and they were ver impressive but unfortunately we missed the BR side.
This time I will not do the same mistake !!
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Jan 9th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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More important than having a plastic raincoat or poncho is having a plastic bag for your camera with a hole cut out for the lens. The weather at Vic Falls is usually absolutely gorgeous; and if you get a little wet, you will dry off in no time at all.

Re: Namibia--be sure to pack moisturizer and eye drops and drink plenty of water while you are there. It is bone dry.

Leann
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Jan 9th, 2006, 08:56 AM
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Thanks to all of you !

you helped me a lot !
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