Blessed with one of the seven natural wonders of the world and an abundance of wildlife, water and vast open spaces, Zambia offers unforgettable holidays exploring the real Africa.
Guide to Victoria Falls Water Levels
Visiting Victoria Falls is a highlight of any trip to Southern Africa, but it is all in the timing. Water levels fluctuate throughout the year, which not only affects what you get to see but also what you can do, with certain activities only available at certain levels of flow. Here we give our rundown of water levels throughout the year, what you can expect to see and when best to go based on what you want to do.
January & February
This is the height of the rainy season and the Zambezi water levels begin to rise as water flow increases towards the Falls. When water levels are still relatively low you can appreciate the scale of the Falls without being overwhelmed by spray with plenty of rainbows offering great photo opportunities. January is usually the last opportunity to visit Livingstone Island before the water levels get too high.
March, April & May
The wet season comes to an end and the Falls enter full flood creating a vast spray which makes capturing the scene on camera more problematic, you will also get very wet so make sure you waterproof up and take care with valuables! To get the best perspective of Victoria Falls at this time of year we recommend booking a ‘flight of the angels’.
As the water filters downstairs, the Falls drop down to mid-level water. This is a great time to visit the Falls as you can have the best of both worlds, appreciating the scale of the Falls whilst being able to capture it in photos both on the ground and from the air. This is usually when Livingstone Island re-opens, once water levels drop low enough, but note that Devil’s Pool does not tend to be open until August.
July & August
Widely considered to be the best time to visit the Falls, it will also usually be the busiest. Water spans the full width of the Falls (up to 1.7km wide) but as it is at a medium level of flow it can be perfectly captured. Devil’s Pool re-opens in August when the water flow has returned to a safe level.
The Falls move from mid-level to low level and more of the Zambezi islands become exposed. This is the perfect time to appreciate the scale of the gorge and its geological features.
October & November
Water levels fall to their lowest level with little water flowing over the Eastern Cataract on the Zambian side. The Falls are at their least impressive at this time of year, but it is hard not to be amazed by the scale of the gorge that is exposed as the flow dries up. Water continues to flow on the Zimbabwean side, so even if you are staying in Zambia, we recommend crossing the border to get the best views of the Falls. Alternatively it is the perfect time to venture to Livingstone Island where you get a unique perspective and the chance to take a dip in Devil’s Pool, or head down into the gorge below and swim beneath the Falls!
The rainy season has returned and gradually water levels will begin to rise to repeat the cycle all over again. This is low season with the fewest visitors to share the experience with.
Are you planning to visit the Victoria Falls?
Please call us on 020 3141 2810 or email us to get the ball rolling with a tailor-made itinerary.