Rise and Fall of the Zambezi

Martin Visser | April 24, 2019

When To Do What on the Zambezi River

The fourth largest river in Africa, the Zambezi, is home to what’s coined the largest waterfall in the world. Although Mosi-Oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls) can be visited at any point throughout the year, I’ve found that some times may be better than others depending on what it is you’re expecting to see or do. Below is a table highlighting the typical months of high and low water levels in the Zambezi River:



Water Level

November – April

Rainy Season

Higher Water Levels

May – October

Dry Season

Lower Water Levels

As per the Victoria Falls tourism website, I’ve found that March is the month that averages the highest water levels throughout the year, which wouldn’t be the best time to come White Water Rafting if you’re looking to do all 19 of the adrenaline filled rapids the falls has to offer. This is because the water levels are far too high, and safety always comes first. I’ve attached a table (courtesy of VictoriaFallsGuide) that lists average water depths. 

Ideal Visiting Times:

January – Medium/ Low

February – High Water

March – High Water Peak

April – High Water  Peak

May – High Water

June – High Water

July – High/Low

August – Mid/Low Water

September – Mid/Low Water

October – Low Water

November – Low Water

December – Low Water

With regards to the activities surrounding the falls and river, what would be most noteworthy in terms of White Water Rafting, is that low to medium water (Aug – Jan) is ideal for getting the biggest bang for your buck. As far as Livingstone Island goes, which is a personal highlight of mine (easily top 10 on my list), the same logic applies; Livingstone Island is a patch of land right on the edge of the waterfall, offering both the Devil’s Pool an Angel’s Pools. Referring to the table above, high water months aren’t ideal for getting the most out of your experience as those months are when the Devil’s Pool is closed due to safety concerns, although it is when the falls are at their most impressive. What could be collectively learned from these tables and a little research (which I’ve done for you), is that low to medium water months are the best to come down to Livingstone if river related activities are on the to do list.

The quality of land activities is synonymous with water levels too, as high water levels correspond with high rainfall, and vice versa. Therefore, if a game drive or two is on the schedule right next to ideal rafting conditions, rainfall won’t interrupt the gorgeous sunny skies and (in my opinion) just hot enough weather. For a full breakdown of available activities on land or river you can see more here – Activities

Or you can contact

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