Updated: Aug 21, 2019
1. After landing at Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) immediately de-board and go to Immigration. You will need to fill out a form requesting a visa (unless you already have a visa). If you can get a form from a flight attendant and fill out prior to landing, that would be ideal. The line to immigration will snake down a ramp where you will be asked if you want a single entry ($30) or double entry visa ($45). Note: multiple entry visas can only be obtained prior to entering Zimbabwe.
- get the double entry visa if you want to go the Chobe National Park in Botswana
- Immigration preferred to be paid in cash, but I told her I only had a Visa credit card. She then charged my credit card accordingly (used Visa for my visa).
Note: make sure you get on the correct line (double or single entry)
2. Arrange an airport transfer to your lodgings prior to departing for VFA. Most accommodations can arrange for a transfer. Ours did: two people from VFA to the city center for a total of $20. Otherwise you will have to negotiate with a taxi driver for fare that will most likely be greater than $20.
3. Almost everyone in Victoria Falls takes Visa credit card (the restaurants, tour agents, VF National Park, etc). Take some cash (including a bunch of singles) with you for tips, street vendors (the small ironwood animal sculptures are a nice memory. $10 got us a very nice hippo) and the . . .
4. Invuvu Bar. Located about 100 ft from the main crossroads ("downtown"), across from the Pizza Inn. This place is a local joint. When I went there there were zero tourists. An ice cold Zambezi lager for $1.50. There is a grill off the back patio, where you can get a steak dinner with pap (local version of corn grits) and tomatoes & onions for $4.00.
5. Walk to the Victoria Falls Bridge (@1.5 Miles from center of town). Go straight along Livingston Way (A8). When you reach the Immigrations checkpoint, bear left and enter the Immigration building. Ask the agent for a "border pass". Note: you do not need to get your passport stamped (and use up your second visa entry). Continue on to the bridge.
6. On your return from the bridge make a left @ the entrance to the Victoria Falls Park and look for signs to the Lookout Cafe. Follow the path for about 100 meters and keep a sharp eye for elephants. They can forage quite close to the path. At the the Lookout Cafe, get a seat near the railing, get some Croc Bites (@$18), and watch the zip liners against the backdrop of the VF Bridge and gorge.
7. From the main cross roads, walk towards the VF bridge, cross over the railroad tracks and make a left just past the "Three Monkeys". Walk down the dirt road and just to the right of the River Brewery there is a place where you can go croc cage diving. Don't go diving though, watch someone else give it a try and then inspect the crocs up close (@ 1 meter). One of the crocs is albino.
8. Shoestrings Backpackers & Bar is about a five minute walk from the main crossroads (use google maps). It has a great mixture of young/old, local/tourist and male/female. $2 Zambezi lagers, a fire pit and occasional live music. There is a coffee cafe in a tricked out trailer (on the right as you enter) that serves a good cup of coffee night and day (say hi to the owner T.K.).There is also a grill for food (nothing special though).
9. Lodgings in Victoria Falls can be quite expensive (the Victoria Falls Hotel @ $450/ night). A good option for something more economical is either the Shoestrings (see above) or . .
10. Pennywise Cottages (@$60/night). Located about 10 minutes from the main crossroads (walking). Clean and well run. Do note that you will not be staying in a cottage, but a well run motel. A delicious full English Breakfast for $5/person. Cyril, the Manager, is a great resource for all things Victoria Falls and to help coordinate any of the the various tours.
11. Chobe National Park Cruise and Drive (via Wild Horizons @ $175/person). A little pricey if you ask me, but a good option if you want to maximize your sightings of elephants (@ 5 meters), hippos and lions. Door to door service with a solid buffet lunch included. Note: you will need the double entry visa as the Chobe is in Botswana.
12. Victoria Falls National Park: The reason you came, right? Follow Livingston Way towards the VF Bridge, entrance on your left. $30/person unless your from a SADC country (then $20). Review the map and informational/educational posters just inside the entrance. Make sure your you visit the Livingston Statue. Not sure if hiring a guide is worth it. After touring, stop at the cafe for a bite and watch the Vervet Monkeys frolic.
13. There is an OK Supermarket (yes, that's the name of it) located behind the Pizza Inn. It's quite large and the prices reasonable. Pay with credit card, they take cash, but making change may be cumbersome (change will be in Zimbabwe bond coins).
Note: Zimbabwe uses the USD and to a lesser degree the SA Rand, Euro and Pound Sterling (and to an even lesser degree various other currencies). The US Dollar is is King though, use it to get the best deals. Recommend you review the current currency situation prior to departure.
14. Stay in Victoria Falls or Livingston? I stayed in Victoria Falls as it was closer to the Falls (you can hear them from your lodgings) and was glad I did (the town is is walkable and in its own way charming). Livingston is a much larger town, which may have its benefits. There are pros and cons to both.