I was supposed to be in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, for two days. However, when my flight was delayed, my plans changed. I had to cram 48 hours of fun activities into just 24 hours. This was a blessing in disguise because it was one of the most epic days of my life! In this article, I will map out the perfect way to spend 24 hours in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Know Before You Go: Zimbabwe

  • The water is NOT safe to drink. Avoid drinking tap water, using ice cubes, and eating foods that may have been washed in the water (AKA salad vegetables). If you find yourself in a situation where you may have to drink unsafe water, consider investing in a LifeStraw.
  • Due to inflation, the Zimbabwean dollar is essentially worthless. To date, the official currency of Zimbabwe is the U.S. Dollar, but many shops will also accept other currencies such as the South African Rand.
  • Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, is a malaria area. Protect yourself against mosquitos by covering up as much as possible, taking an anti-malarial medication, and applying a strong mosquito repellent (DEET or Picaridin).
  • Do not walk along the roads in Victoria Falls alone – especially in the morning and at night. Dangerous wild animals, such as the African Lion and Cape Buffalo, freely roam the area. Many of the locals I spoke to said they have personally encountered these creatures (they are lucky to live to tell the tale!).

24-Hour Victoria Falls Itinerary

8:00 AM – Visit Victoria Falls (Waterfall)

You can’t visit Victoria Falls without seeing THE Victoria Falls. It is considered the largest waterfall in the world and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. There are 15 viewpoints, and the walk is very easy. If you walk all the way to the end, you can see the bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia. Because of all of the water evaporating in the area, it will likely rain; bring a poncho!

10:00 AM – Shop OR Helicopter Ride

Now is the time to get all of your souvenir shopping done. People will likely approach you in the streets to sell you things. However, I do not recommend you purchase from these merchants. Tons of trustworthy shops and markets line the streets of Victoria Falls, so you will not have an issue finding the perfect gift for that special someone.

If you prefer to skip the shopping, consider taking a helicopter ride over the falls. While I have not personally done this, some of my fellow travelers opted to do this instead (so I know it can fit into this packed 24-hour schedule!). For your planning purposes, they flew with Zambezi Helicopter Company via Wild Horizons.

11:30 AM – Lunch

If you are hungry after this action-packed morning, now is the time to grab a bite for lunch. I chose to eat at my hotel. However, there are many options in town. The Three Monkeys is a great restaurant (more on this in the dinner section of this article!).

1:00 PM – Visit a Village

Visiting a local village is one of the best things you can do to learn about a culture. During my day in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, I took a trip to the Ko Mpisi village, which is not far from the falls. We met the chief, Chief Mpisi, who taught us about his village’s history, rural culture, and traditional way of life. I brought the children gifts, which they were very grateful for. It was so interesting to talk to a group of people who live almost entirely off the land and the few tools they have been given. As the majority of the Zimbabwean population lives in or has come from such villages, this visit is an essential part of your trip.

Contact the village at kompisivillagemonde@gmail.com or Wild Horizons to learn more about setting up your visit.

4:00 PM – Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River

Although the main attraction in Victoria Falls is the waterfall, I think I may have enjoyed my sunset cruise on the Zambezi River even more. The Zambezi River is the fourth largest river in Africa; it is pretty cool to tell people that I have cruised down it. Bragging rights aside, the sights I saw were unbeatable. Sipping a wine, snacking on finger foods, and witnessing the most incredible African sunset, all while being surrounded by Hippopotamus and Nile Crocodiles was an absolute dream. The cruise also entered Zambian waters on several occasions (does that mean I get to check another country off my list?).

Check out Wild Horizons to book this sunset cruise experience.

8:00 PM – Dinner

If the snacks provided during your sunset cruise did not fill your stomach, head into town and grab a Zimbabwean dinner. During my visit, my tour guide recommended I eat at The Three Monkeys, and I am pleased to say that I can pass that recommendation on to you. However, if this restaurant does not pique your interest, there are other options.

Where to Stay

Ilala Lodge is currently the closest hotel to the Victoria Falls waterfall in Zimbabwe. In fact, I could see the mist from the falls from my balcony! You may also see wild African animals on the property; its open design makes you feel as though you are one with nature. The lodge is a short walk from the souvenir shops and restaurants, making it the perfect place to stay for travelers who plan to spend just 24 hours in Victoria Falls (AKA you!).

Have a little extra time in Zimbabwe? Take a day trip to Chobe National Park and go on safari! Read this blog post to learn more about packing for this bucket list experience.

Adventure seekers with a little more wiggle room in their schedule may opt to bungee jump off the bridge connecting Zimbabwe to Zambia, zipline, or go white water rafting. Many other activities are offered, as well, and they can all be booked through Wild Horizons.

If you want to learn more about my experience in Zimbabwe and the activities discussed above, check out Episode 11 of the Runways and Byways travel podcast! It is currently available on SpotifyYouTube, and Anchor. If you’d like to find out more about my podcast in general, click here.

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How do you plan to spend your 24 hours in Victoria Falls? Contact me or let me know in the comments below!

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1 Comment

  1. Helpful guide here. The lead in regarding the water and hygiene in general is key. Travelers often assume fellow travelers know these seeming basics. But people either err in judgment or have no idea that tap water and anything that needs refrigeration can be a problem to ingest. A real problem LOL.


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