After booking my G Adventures tour that started in Victoria Falls, I wanted to come a few days early to get some more time at the falls. Since Zambia is right there, on the other side of a bridge, I couldn’t pass up the chance to visit another country so decided to fly into Zambia instead. After spending several days in Zambia, it was time to cross the border at Victoria Falls. You can book transfers that will take you right across, however I wanted to walk across the bridge on foot as you get beautiful views.
It’s really easy to cross the border at Victoria Falls and is a very simple process. I crossed from Zambia to Zimbabwe, so if you’re going the other way then just reverse the advice.
As long as you have the right visas, then this is a very simple and straightforward border crossing.
The Zambian Border
The Zambian border is just down the road from the entrance to their section of Victoria Falls. As the town of Livingstone is quite far away, you will need to get a taxi to cover the distance between the town and the border. I got a taxi for 150 kwacha which my hostel organised for me.
If you are thinking of visiting the falls before crossing the border, I would strongly advise against that. You get soaking wet at the falls, and you don’t want to walk around carrying all your luggage. It makes much more sense to cross over and then come back again later to the Zambian side to visit the falls.
After going through the border checkpoint, it is a ten minute walk to the bridge which is the actual border. My taxi offered to take me all the way to the bridge if I paid a higher price, but the walk is easy enough that unless you have a lot of luggage then save your money.
The Victoria Falls bridge was built as part of Cecil Rhodes’ “Cape to Cairo” project. He wanted it to be close enough to Victoria Falls to be able to feel the spray. This means that you end up with a great view of the falls from the bridge.
The bridge isn’t very large, but I spent a long time there just enjoying the view. For thrill seekers, you can actually bungee jump off the bridge but I was quite happy to stay on solid ground. The railway goes along the bridge too, so you can’t easily cross between sides. You need to choose which side of the bridge you want to walk along and can only change at the middle or at the end. Most people will choose to be on the side with the falls, but if you have time then it’s worth crossing over to check out the view from the other side.
It was quite cool to look back at the Zambian side of the falls and see the places that I’d explored a couple days earlier.
For those that don’t want to actually cross the border at Victoria Falls, it is possible to visit just the bridge itself without needing a visa for the other country. You simply have to tell the staff at the border that you are only visiting the bridge and they will stamp a bit of paper for you instead that you bring back to them. Quite a few of my group did this from Zimbabwe as they didn’t have multiple-entry visas.
The Zimbabwean Border
The Zimbabwean border post is another ten minute walk from the bridge and again it’s a simple enough walk.
As I’d chosen to get a KAZA Univisa when I arrived in Zambia, going through immigration was very simple for me. Although Zambia removed the need for a visa for UK citizens, it actually worked out cheaper buying the KAZA than getting a single entry Zimbabwean visa (and I liked the flexibility of being able to go back to the Zambian side if I wanted).
After going through the border you are then beside the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls. Unlike in Livingstone, the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls is only a few minutes walk from the town. My first hostel was 25 minutes away so I ended up getting a taxi for $5 as it was starting to get a bit hot, but when I came back to visit the falls it was just a 15 minute walk from my second hostel.
Overall, I found it very easy to cross the border at Victoria Falls by foot. It was very simple and has stunning views. If you are visiting Victoria Falls from Zimbabwe then if you have the right visas then it’s definitely worth crossing over to see it from the Zambian side too. I loved Livingstone a lot more than the town of Victoria Falls so I’d also highly recommend visiting it too.
Although it is possible to take taxis the whole way, you will have to negotiate separately for each section of the trip. You’ll also miss out on some of the stunning views from the bridge. It’s definitely one of the most scenic border crossings I’ve done!