Although the Falls are spectacular throughout the year, the best time to visit is from February to May, after the rainy season. This is when you’ll see the Falls at it’s most magnificent.
At the end of the dry season, (October and November) the Falls are at their least impressive, and this is also the time of year when temperatures can be incredibly hot.
The falls often have very low water levels during the dry season on the Zambian Side of the falls, and during this time of the year it is recommended to view the Falls on the Zimbabwe side of the Falls, where there is water flow all year round.
Late dry season is also peak safari season in Zimbabwe and neighbouring Botswana – the nearby Chobe River in particular offers sensational game viewing at this time of year – so you’ll need to balance the two experiences in deciding when to go on a Victoria Falls safari holiday.
To experience the best of both worlds, we’d suggest visiting during the June – August period as the best time to combine Victoria Falls and a Chobe safari as you will get great game viewing on your safari, warm days and cool nights, little to no rain, and plenty of water thundering over the falls.
If you are combining Victoria Falls with other areas of Africa, one must also consider the general best time to travel – in order to optimise your entire trip.
Devils Pool – Zambia
One of the advantages of visiting the Zambian Side of the Falls when the water levels are low, in dry season , is the thrill of experiencing the famous Devil’s Pool.
Devil’s Pool is a natural rock pool on the edge of the Victoria Falls, located along the Zambezi River on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. During the dry season, Devil’s Pool is shallow enough that people can safely swim right to the edge before the waterfall drops more than 300 feet (100m).
You don’t get swept down by the force of the falls because of a natural rock wall just below the surface. This is as close as you can get to the thunderous roar and permanent rainbows that adorn this magnificent Natural World Wonder.
A guide will tell you exactly where to jump, make sure you bring your camera! Once everyone in the group has jumped safely and you are sitting on the rock wall, the guide will hold your ankles and you can lie and hang your arms over the edge. It is truly fantastic to look down on rainbows, hear the roar of the waterfall as it thunders past you, and look far, far down into the frothy, spray below.
How to get to Devils Pool
Devil’s Pool is adjacent to Livingstone Island on the Zambian side of the Zambezi river. This is where David Livingstone first set eyes on the Victoria Falls remarking “scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”.
To get to Livingstone Island you take a motor boat from the landing at the Royal Livingstone Hotel. On the island you scramble a fair way over rocks and swim through the river. The guide will show you exactly where to swim to avoid the strong currents and rocks.
You do have to be a decent swimmer to feel comfortable. The water is lovely and warm though, and feels great. Once you get close to the right spot you have to make a leap of faith, jump in from a rock, and trust you will not get swept over the side.
This is certainly not an activity for the faint hearted !