Victoria Falls was stunning. We spent multiple days visiting the falls and enjoying its splendor. The view changed throughout the day as the sun moved across the sky: some areas became more clear, rainbows would appear only to disappear later. It was really easy to spend all day at the parks watching the waterfalls. No amount of videos or photos could have prepared us for how awesome the falls were. That said, there were some pretty large negatives in our visit which would preclude us from recommending anyone to visit unless for some specific circumstances
Victoria Falls straddles the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia and each side has national parks / viewpoints to see the falls. We visited both sides over the course of five days and were extremely surprised with what we found. Both Zambia and Zimbabwe are poor but Zimbabwe is REALLY poor. It is the most poor nation we have visited and there are only 22 other nations more poor than Zimbabwe in terms of average incomes and purchasing power. Zimbabwe had hyperinflation for a number of years and now uses the USD as their official currency. We ended up buying some of their old hyperinflated currency as souvenirs so now I can say Jacquelyn and I are officially billionaires many times over :).
While both nations are very poor, everything is a very bad value. This part of our trip has earned the distinction of being the absolute worst value we have ever encountered. The costs of things made absolutely no sense – we were paying greater than Western Europe / US prices for commodity items. Prior to our travel to the area, we had learned things were a bit expensive but we were not prepared for being treated like walking / talking ATMs. At times, setting our money on fire would have been more enjoyable than the services or items we received at the price we paid. Just an example: we take a lot of photos during our travels in the last year and we regularly back the photos up to the cloud for safe keeping. One restaurant we visited wanted $1 per 8MB of data; at that rate we would have spent nearly $150,000 backing up all our of our photos to the cloud. If I asked a local to shove a stick in my eye I’m convinced it would cost no less than $45 which is shocking as a stick in the eye should be free. Visiting Victoria Falls simply a bad deal.
We felt really happy at the falls and really enjoyed our time in the parks. Everything outside of the parks suffered from serious disorganization and basic activities, like checking in at the airport, became pretty large ordeals. This is similar to other poor nations we have visited but it was some of the worst we have experienced.
So, at the end of the day, we are glad we saw the falls but we won’t go back.
Enjoy the photos!