Stretching over a width of 1700 metres and over 100 metres in height visitors cannot fail to be inspired and amazed by the sheer size, power and beauty of this magnificent curtain of thundering water. The Zambezi River and Falls pulse with an annual flood cycle of high and low water that create completely different viewing experiences depending on the time of year. The optimal time to visit is July/August as the water flow is at medium strength which allows for some great photographic opportunities. Rainbows arch over the Falls pretty much throughout the day, year round but it is when the spray is at its height the rainbows are at their most beautiful. At this time of year the best photographic opportunities are from the air.
January/February: is the height of the rainy season and the Zambezi River starts to rise.
March: the rains are coming to an end. River levels are high and the plume of spray is a magnificent sight that may be visible from up to 20 kilometres away.
April/May: this is when the Falls are at their maximum flow as the water from the catchment area in Zambia and Angola arrives. At high water the Falls are enveloped in a veil of mist and spray that obliterates much of the view from the ground but is a magnificent sight when viewed from the air.
June: a lovely time of year. The water level in the Zambezi gradually starts to drop.
July/August: are the best months for viewing the Falls as water spans the entire 1.7km width of the Zambezi River. As the water flow is at medium strength visitors will enjoy some great photographic opportunities.
September: towards the end of August early September the Falls are in transition from a flooded state to a low flow state. Zambia’s Eastern Cataract gradually becomes exposed.
October – November: there is little to no water flowing over the Eastern Cataract making it possible to walk across to Livingstone Island and even take a swim in Devil’s Pool. Although the Falls are at their lowest and least impressive the jagged bleakness of the exposed basalt bedrock of the Eastern Cataract and gorges has a certain stark beauty. On the Zimbabwe side there will always be some water flowing although there may be sections that are dry.
December: it’s the rainy season and despite water levels being quite low levels start to rise with rains from the local catchment areas.