A well-known saying by Lao Tzu is that “a journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step”. Using that as our inspiration, we have come up with our own new saying… “A view of 550 million litres of pouring water takes only 936 steps!” Yes, we know it’s slightly less catchy than the former, but we were pretty happy to discover that the mighty Victoria Falls is only 936 steps from Ilala Lodge Hotel. Situated on the Zimbabwean side of the Victoria Falls, Ilala Lodge Hotel is the closet hotel from the Falls, being only a mere 8 minutes away.
Get a Step Ahead
If you are looking to escape the crowds and the midday heat, we would suggest you plan an early morning walk to the Victoria Falls, before returning to Ilala Lodge Hotel for a well-deserved breakfast.
You can set off at 5.52am, umbrella in tow, and meander down to the Falls along the pathway opposite the hotel. At 6am sharp, the Victoria Falls Rainforest gate will open and you will witness a sunrise like no other and with virtually no one else around.
With nearly 2km of waterfall frontage to explore, you will not be disappointed – every step is worth it! The Victoria Falls Rainforest has an airy magical feel to it where the lush green trees provide a barrier from the mist of the Falls that creates an endless rain shower. The rainforest is home to bushbuck, vervet monkeys, mongoose and extraordinary birdlife to name a few which you may be lucky enough to see along the way.
Step to It
With a total of 15 spectacular viewing points to view the Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side, there is no shortage of photo opportunities. We have picked our top seven to share with you but would recommend visiting each point along the way.
- The Devil’s Cataract is where you will begin, being viewing point one, It is approximately 70 metres deep and it is here you will see the famous David Livingstone statue.
- Viewing Point 2 takes you down a flight of steps, commonly known as the Chain Walk and it gives you a clear view of the gorge and the Devil’s Cataract.
- The Main Falls viewing point is hard to beat, with its expansive sheet of water thundering down 93 metres into the gorge below, throwing out a magnificent spray.
- Rainbow Falls is the deepest of them all, at 108 metres deep, and it has been suitably named due to its ever-present rainbow that can be viewed here.
- Danger Point – If you don’t mind getting a bit wet and you have your raincoat on, viewing points 14 and 15 add more of a thrill factor to your photo’s, where you can get right up to the edge and there are no barriers.
- Our favourite place to take a selfie is viewing point 15 where you can hop onto the cement block and capture the entirety of the Falls, or try to anyway, season dependent!
- The best place to view the Devil’s Pool in Zambia is viewing point 11 which overlooks Livingstone Island where Doctor David Livingstone first glimpsed the smoke that thunders.
In the rainy season, although the Falls are at their most impressive with the water flowing over at a continual pace, it does make taking photographs trickier and you will not be able to view the Falls without an umbrella or raincoat. Therefore, once the rainy season has set in, from February – May, we recommend viewing the Falls later on in the day when the mist has cleared up, guaranteeing you that Instagram-worthy memory you want from visiting one of the wonders of the world.
What you need to know:
You will need to take your ID along with a credit card or cash to pay for your entrance into the Victoria Falls Rainforest:
- International ID US$30 entry fee
- SADC ID US$20 entry fee
- Zimbabwean US$7 entry fee
What you need to take with you:
- A plastic bag from Ilala Lodge front desk to protect your valuables from getting wet
- Passport or ID card
- Trainers for the walk
- Hat and Sun cream for protection from the sun
Falls From View Point
View Point Falls