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Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

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Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

We're an American family of 5 headed to South Africa next year. Through the magic of frequent flyer miles, we could add a side trip to Victoria Falls quite inexpensively. At least the airfare portion -- it seems like there are a lot of various fees and expenses in visiting Victoria Falls. Is there a way for a family to comfortably and safely visit without spending hundreds of dollars a day? If so, could someone outline a strategy? Do kids get any discount on the visas and admission fees?

And, if we go, how many days should we stay? Does it make sense, and save visa money, to fly into the Zambia airport and out of the Zimbabwe airport, or vice versa?

Thanks for the help!

Edited: 10 December 2011, 06:19
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1. Re: Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

Yes... visas etc are expensive when visiting Vic falls. To save money it is certainly advisable to try and choose one country so you don't have to pay visa fees into both. Do your frequent flyer miles enable you to fly to either Zimbabwe or Zambia?

Single entry visas for Americans into Zambia cost US$50 and double entry US$80 per person, kids pay full price.

Single entry visas for Americans into Zimbabwe cost US$30 and double US$45, kids under 16 accompanying their parents don't pay for a visa.

Flights into Zambia in general are cheaper than into Zimbabwe but when weighed up against the cost of visas they can balance themselves out.

If you fly into Zambia from South Africa and then have a return flight to South Africa you will also be required to get a yellow fever vaccination, which is also quite costly for all of you.

There is a full price range of accommodation on both sides of the river, Accommodation in Zimbabwe does seem to be a little cheaper as are the activities. The most economical for a family is selfcatering accommodation like at the rest camp or Lokuthula Lodges, but many of the hotels also have family rooms where the children are half price or even free it all depends on their ages.

If you do decide to visit one side of the Falls I would have to recommend Zimbabwe it does have a much better view of the Falls.

So if you can get free or reasonable flights into Zimbabwe I would do that and not incur the costs of visas into Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Three nights is a recommended time to stay there but agin depends on your budget.

Let us know how you get on.

Good luck

Tony - VictoriaFallsGuide.net

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2. Re: Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

Thanks, Tony. Looking at the flights I can get, I think we will fly into Zambia and out Zimbabwe. From what I read last night, it would seem like the Zimbabwe side is a "must" for sightseeing, and that the Zambian side is nice, but perhaps "optional" (it's funny how all waterfalls on int'l borders have a good side and a less-good side). I guess we'll all get stuck for a single-entry Zambian visa, but it's nice to hear that only my wife and I will have to pay for the Zimbawbe visa, and only $30 (we'll schedule our activities to only cross the border once). Three days seems logical to me as, I suspect, safari-like activities will be considerably cheaper for us to do in S. Africa.

Given this itinerary, would we need the yellow fever shots? My recollection is that my insurance now pays for "travel medicine" vaccinations, so it's hopefully more inconvenience than expense.

We're planning on visiting in June. Do we need to do the malaria tablets, too? We're headed to Kruger and it seems like, despite some guidebook warnings, you don't really need to worry about malaria in Kruger at that time of year. But now, maybe we're "over the edge" and have to do it? I sure don't want anyone in my family getting malaria.

While visits by Americans to Victoria Falls seem fairly uncommon -- especially American families - I see that it's a very popular destination for South Africans and Europeans. I'm guessing my best bet for family accomodations is to read the tripadvisor reviews. Are there any tricks to getting discounts? Activities seem particularly pricey.

Thanks for the help!

Edited: 10 December 2011, 14:25
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3. Re: Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

I read that Kruger is a malaria area.

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4. Re: Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

Regards Yellow Fever Vaccination, if you enter Zambia you will need one to get back into South Africa, even if only in transit through Livingstone.

Even though June in the middle of winter and mosquito's at their lowest, take malaria prophylaxis (Kruger & Vic Falls Malaria Area's), it is only for a short while, better safe than sorry. Consult your Doctor back home on what to take.

Your best bet regards activities is to shop around when you arrive, periodically Victoria Fall operators have specials where they sell 'bundles', for example book an elephant ride and rafting trip and get a sunset cruise for free.

As in a previous post one of the most affordable options for Vic Falls accommodation is self catering.

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5. Re: Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

Hi sori for invading your post but im new on this site and im having difficulty in posting my own question but its just similar to yours. We are a family of five from botswana and will be going to vic falls from the 31st dec to 2nd january.we will be staying in tatenda safari lodge.would like some suggestions on affordable places to visit. If anyone knows prices for the following,please help *entrance fee at the crocodile camp *entrance fee to see the falls *boat cruise *interaction with elephants *game drive thank you so much in advance

Edited: 13 December 2011, 13:22
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6. Re: Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

This is a helpful site:

victoriafalls-guide.net/victoria-falls-price…

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7. Re: Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

Wow the site is more than helpful,it has everything we need . Thanx so much

Silver Spring...
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8. Re: Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

Give the credit to BooPeel, it's their site.

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9. Re: Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

Tony, may I take the liberty of saying how thorough and informative your website is. I will definitely use this site as a reference since visiting Victoria Falls within the next 6 months is definitely in the works.

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10. Re: Can a family affordably visit Victoria Falls?

Many Thanks...we appreciate your compliments and are glad you found the site useful.