Victoria Falls thundering towards record levels in 2021

Posted on 9 March 2021

Higher than average rains means an incredible amount of water is flowing over the Falls, and it’s going to increase.

By Zimasa Katamzi and Anton Crone

The rainy season in the Zambezi River catchment area begins around November and lasts until March. During this time and beyond, the Zambezi experiences high water levels and an intense curtain of water barreling into the 100m chasm of Victoria Falls. The 2020/21 season has been extraordinary.


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A post shared by Vusa Sibanda (@vusasibanda2002)

In February, Vusa Sibanda, a local travel guide said: “Never have I seen Victoria Falls this full during this time of the year”. He explained that waters from the big catchment area in Angola haven’t even arrived yet. “I just can’t imagine how will they look then.”

Sibanda has guided tourists to the Falls for the past 20 years.

The rainy season in Zimbabwe begins in December, but local rains do not have the biggest impact because they aren’t as heavy as the upper Zambezi River catchment in Angola. This water usually only reaches Victoria Falls in March, April and May. With current levels it may reach one of its highest volumes in history when the big waters flow in.

Victoria Falls water flow from February 28 – March 8 2021:

Source: Zambezi River Authority

At present the flow is almost triple the amount recorded last season.

At peak between February and April, an average of 500 million litres cascades over the falls every minute. This season will prove dramatically higher.

What does it mean for tourism?

Nigel Frost, COO at Africa Albida Tourism which owns the iconic Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and Boma restaurant said:  “The Falls is probably at its most magnificent. Certainly more beautiful than I’ve ever seen.” Frost added that he anticipates the surge in water to mimic the surge in tourism as the vaccine roll-outs start kicking in and the world begins to travel again.


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A post shared by Dulce Vanasse (@dulce_vanasse)

We’ll keep an eye on things and let you know what the coming months bring!

Picture: Screenshot from Instagram video

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