Victoria Falls Water Levels ‑ When is Best?
We have the latest information on water levels and predictions are possible because the river lives on rainfall thousands of km away, offering a few months lag time.
The quick answer: talk to your Travel Expert.
The complete answer: A rough guide to the water levels of Victoria Falls to help you plan your African safari and Vic Falls adventure.
The graph gives a 70-year average, so spikes and abnormalities are ironed out. But what do these numbers mean? Who can really understand the significance of 1.5 million litres of water per second? Would it help if we said 90 million bottles of Evian per Minute? Or this: 90,000 Mini Coopers per Minute. Either way, that's one speedy production line.
Peak Water: March to May
At its peak in April, you can barely see your hand let alone the falls. The spray is so thick it rains upwards - forget about an umbrella, you need goggles. Through gaps in the mist you'll snatch glimpses of a wall of water thundering down with a terrifying roar. It's an amazing feeling if a little low on close-up visuals. Take to the sky in a Flight of Angels trip and you'll be rewarded with the full force of the world's mightiest waterfall in its ground-shaking magnificence. Also the view from a little way off is awesome and there are full-circle rainbows everywhere; the sunset through the rain cloud is almost eerie.
Victoria Falls in peak or very high flow is a truly exhilarating experience.
If the world's most exciting commercially operated white-water rafting is one of your must-do activities (as it should be), we recommend you check with us before making your travel arrangements.
Medium to High Water: January, February; June to August
Though there is great variance during the medium and high water periods, conditions are generally best for viewing the falls and enjoying the water-based activities. Parts of the mile-wide cliff face are exposed and you can see all the way to the bottom with a decent amount of spray and thunder to make the spectacle suitably impressive. Rainbows, so-called moonbows (full moon rainbows) in the towering plume of spray make excellent photographers of even the most inexperienced of us.
High water is the happy medium between too much water and too little with the full range of activities on offer to boot. If a safari is on your agenda, choose the latter half of the peak to high water period when temperatures drop, the bush thins and wildlife concentrates around permanent water sources.
January to March is the peak rainy season in Victoria Falls. Temperature and humidity rise and tropical thunderstorms are common.
Low Water: September to December
The Main Falls and Devil's Cataract on the Zimbabwe side flow year round but at low water levels, the Zambia side, diverted for hydro-power, is all but dry. Photography is good though allowing close up and spray-free shots with all the components nicely assembled: tree-lined river, cliff-face, elegant stream of water, blue cloud-studded sky, partner in foreground.
Forays down to the gorge are not as terrifying and the knife-edge walks on the Zambian side aren't quite so precarious. White-water rafting is at its best during low water levels when the rapids are at their most vicious.
October is the hottest and driest time of year in Victoria Falls, the rains, which begin their return in November are a welcome coolant.
At any time of year, Victoria Falls is spectacular. If you're going to err, however, rather experience too much than too little water. Game viewing safaris are generally best in our winter from May to September, which is - hey would you look at that!? - peak and high water levels.
Do you want visit Victoria Falls?
We arrange all accommodation, transfers, activities and your full holiday itinerary along with add-on safaris, beach holidays and more. Whatever you want to do, we can arrange it for you at the most competitive rates and reliable travel advice. Have a look at some of our popular Victoria Falls safari holidays or contact us right now for a free quote.
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Victoria Falls Travel Info
Look. There. Miles in the distance. What is that? It sure ain’t no fire burning. No smoke on the water. It’s mist. Deep, deep, misty mist. With the river running through it. But it’s no babbling brook. No siree. It’s so noisy the Kololo called it Mosi-oa-Tunya, ‘the smoke that thunders’. Sheesh, what a racket.
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