Victoria Falls offers visitors a unique opportunity to blend the natural wonder and beauty of one of the largest waterfalls in the world with options for adventure travel, luxury resorts, wildlife viewing, and experiencing Africa in a way that more developed parts of the continent, such as South Africa, afford.
Victoria Falls is located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and perhaps the easiest way to get in and out of the region is by air. Two airports serve the falls area, one each in Zambia and Zimbabwe. We flew into the Livingstone Airport (LVI), on the Zambian side, but the Victoria Falls (VFA) airport is also available in Zimbabwe. Depending on which country your accommodations are in, you may find it easiest to fly into the airport on that side of the border. Both airports are small, with somewhat limited service, mostly to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg (JNB). Daily flights are generally available on South African Airways and British Airways (operated by their codeshare affiliate Comair) between JNB and both LVI and VFA. There is also some service from some of the smaller and discount carriers in the region to JNB, Windhoek (WDH), Nelspruit (MQP), and a few other cities, but most travelers will be arriving via JNB. In many cases each airline operates only one flight per day to these airports, and most of these flights tend to arrive and depart around the same time, so both airports can become very crowded in both the departure and arrival areas. As the facilities are small (Livingstone was building a bigger terminal for international flights as of November 2011), I suggest allowing plenty of time when you depart to handle necessary immigration, customs, and security checks, as well as to check in for your flight. Our innkeeper in Livingstone took us to the airport around 11:00 AM on our day of departure for a 1:00 PM flight, and we were able to get checked in and cleared for the flight with amble time to spare, but had we arrived much later, we might have cut it close.
Many of the hotels, guesthouses, lodges, and hostels will offer complimentary airport transfers with your lodging reservation. This greatly simplifies getting to and from the airport, and avoids any hassles of renting a car or using the local taxis to get between the airport and lodging. We found this service to be very helpful for several reasons. First, it was obviously much easier to have a reserved ride waiting for us when we landed at Livingstone. But, more importantly, it allowed us a chance to find out the logistics of getting around town from our innkeeper as he drove us back to the lodge, and avoid the potential of not knowing how to properly negotiate a fare with the unmetered taxis that service Livingstone.
Many of the tour operators provide complimentary transportation between the local hotels and the activity venues. The easiest way to handle arranging for such transportation is to have your lodge make a tour or activity reservation for you. Doing so will generally mean that you also get complimentary transportation to and from the activity or tour, saving on taxi fare and hassle.
During the day, Livingstone is generally a pretty safe town to explore on foot. However, it is generally not advisable to walk between Livingstone and the falls, both due to the distance, and the fact that the walk along the highway to the falls has seen a number of tourist muggings over the year. If you need to get to or from the falls and your hotel or tour is not providing transportation, the local taxis, easily identified by their bright blue color, are a safe bet. These taxis have no meters, so you will want to agree to a fare before getting in the cab and starting the trip. During our November 2011 visit, the base fares were generally $10 USD between points in town and the falls, and $5 USD within Livingstone.
Zambia's official currency is the Zambian kwacha, but most of the tourist-oriented businesses in Livingstone gladly accept US dollars and South African rand, and in some cases, euros and British pounds. We got buy quite easily paying cash with US currency and some South African rand, and then using a US issued Visa credit card at our hotel to pay for lodging, meals at the hotel, and tours that were billed to our lodging reservation. This allowed us to avoid dealing in kwacha, but there were plenty of ATMs available in downtown Livingstone had we desired to withdraw local currency. If you are traveling from the US, I recommend carrying at least a few hundred dollars in US currency, as the $50 USD single entry ($80 USD dual entry) visa fees are payable upon your arrival at the airport with US dollars.