Is Victoria Falls Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On February 18, 2024
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Creating the natural border between Zimbabwe and Zambia is Victoria Falls, a mighty and beautiful waterfall that’s become a tourist destination in the region.

Victoria Falls is the closest town to the waterfall, only about one mile from the site.

Situated on the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls is considered the biggest curtain of falling water due to its combined height and width.

Over 17 billion cubic feet of water per minute tumble over the edge during the rainy season to the river 300 feet below.

With so many tourists visiting this natural marvel each year, pickpocketing and other petty crimes occur.

However, does that mean it’s unsafe and you shouldn’t visit?

Keep reading to learn more!

Warnings & Dangers in Victoria Falls

Overall Risk


Compared to the surrounding African countries, Zimbabwe is a relatively safe place to visit. The town of Victoria Falls is small with few violent crimes, but the biggest risk is petty street crime. Visitors must always be vigilant, use common sense, and take precautionary measures to minimize the risk of an incident.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Due to its small size, Victoria Falls is a walkable town, but traveling to other destinations in the country or across Africa can be challenging. The town has a bus depot and train station, but public transit is unreliable and limited. Driving across the country is not recommended due to poor infrastructure and irresponsible drivers. Taxis are available, but many will attempt to increase foreigners’ prices. To mitigate this issue, always negotiate the price before starting the ride.

Pickpockets Risk


Since Victoria Falls is a tourist destination, pickpocketing is a major problem. Visitors must never carry money in a handbag or pocket and be extra careful when handling valuables. Also, never carry all credit cards or cash in the same place; always be aware of your surroundings. Additionally, be mindful of who is around when withdrawing money from the ATM.

Natural Disasters Risk


The biggest natural disaster risk is flooding from the Zambezi River, which has caused casualties and irreparable damage, thus leaving people homeless. The greatest danger is during the rainy season, which lasts from November to March. Droughts can occasionally occur during the dry season, but it’s less of a problem in Victoria Falls compared to other areas of Africa.

Mugging Risk


Mugging is only a major problem in larger cities and towns. The prevalent crime in Victoria Falls is pickpocketing and bag snatching. That said, it’s important to use common sense and never wander into secluded or abandoned areas and walk with a partner or group at night when out. Also, trust your gut; if a situation or area doesn’t feel right, walk away.

Terrorism Risk


No recent terrorist attacks have occurred in Victoria Falls or in Zimbabwe’s recent history. However, when traveling to a foreign country, it’s important never to let your guard down and constantly be aware of your surroundings to ensure safety.

Scams Risk


Scams are commonplace in the country, especially in tourist places like Victoria Falls. Many locals use all situations to try to scam you out of money or belongings. To help minimize the risk, always double-check changes and negotiate all services in advance. Additionally, only use metered taxis or negotiate the fare before entering the cab.

Women Travelers Risk


While Victoria Falls is relatively safe for solo female travelers, the rest of the country presents certain dangers. Regardless of the location, avoid wandering down secluded streets during the day and at night, and don’t handle money or flash valuables in public. A good rule of thumb is to stay off the streets at night and remain vigilant throughout your stay.

Tap Water Risk


Consuming tap water in Victoria Falls is average because it’s treated to remove harmful bacteria but could contain elements that aren’t suitable for all visitors, especially those with sensitive stomachs. If there are any concerns regarding tap water safety, drink bottled or boiled water to avoid stomach issues. Bottled water is incredibly inexpensive in the country, so it won’t cause you to go broke.

Safest Places to Visit in Victoria Falls

Unbelievably, the Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls is a safe place to visit.

This allows you to go close to the edge of the waterfall.

No fatalities have ever been reported, and the current at the top of the waterfall isn’t strong enough to pull you over the edge.

That said, continue to be cautious and don’t tempt fate.

The trails and other points around the falls are also perfectly safe.

Places to Avoid in Victoria Falls

The attractions and sites near the falls are safe to visit, although you don’t want to venture near the river at night due to predators and low visibility.

Definitely avoid swimming in the river below the falls at all times.

Also, the town is rather small, so there’s a minimal risk of violent crime, but don’t wander around abandoned buildings and other poorly lit areas.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Victoria Falls

  1. Avoid Secluded Areas. Although the town of Victoria Falls is not known for violent crimes, you don’t want to be put in a position that gives criminals an opportunity for robbery. Therefore, if wandering around at night, avoid secluded areas or dark alleys and stick to main roads. Unsuspecting tourists who didn’t take the necessary precautions have been known to be robbed.
  2. Avoid Wild Animals. Crocodiles, hippos, lions, and other dangerous animals frequent the area. However, they stay away from the town and populated areas due to tourism. However, if you’re walking around in more rural areas and see one of these animals, observe from a distance to avoid an attack. Don’t attempt to get close and take photos with a lion for Instagram!
  3. Bring the Amount of Cash Needed for the Day. If you are pickpocketed and bring all your cash and credit cards, you will have a serious financial issue for the remainder of the trip. Instead, estimate what you will spend for the day and bring cash plus one credit card. The rest should be locked away in your accommodation’s safe.
  4. Check with the Local Ranger’s Office When Camping. For those interested in camping, you must contact the local authorities so they know your route and when you plan to check back in at the end of the camping trip. They must know where to find you if you get lost or have a medical emergency. Plenty of camping sites surround the falls, which are monitored, so this is the safest option compared to randomly picking a spot in the bush.
  5. Don’t Attempt to Swim Near the Falls. While this may sound obvious, never attempt to swim near the falls. With the amount of water crashing 300 feet off a cliff, the currents are rough, and the riverbed is rocky. Sadly, several fatalities have occurred over the years for this reason, so it’s simply not worth risking your life. If you’re looking for a high adrenalin activity, then contact an experienced local operator since there are plenty of available options!
  6. Don’t Wander Out of Town at Night. There are numerous hazards when roaming around outside of town at night. Many predators feed at night and are stealthy in the dark, especially if you wander into their territory. Also, getting lost in the area is a real possibility, and many have fallen into the river due to poor nighttime ground visibility.
  7. Keep Valuables in a Safe. It’s critical to follow common sense and not flash valuables in public in any location with tourists visiting frequently. Instead, most lodges have safes in the room, so you can store valuable items, credit cards, and cash while exploring for the day. When criminals see a visitor flashing valuables, they are immediately drawn to that individual or group.
  8. Pay Attention to Signs. Listen to the local authorities if the sign warns not to get too close to the edge, go beyond the barrier, or walk on the rocks due to slippery conditions. Nature is unforgiving, so getting a good photo is not worth the injury risk or worse.
  9. Prebook Activities in Advance to Avoid Cash Transactions. Receiving the incorrect change and pickpocketing are issues in Zimbabwe, so booking trips in advance helps lower the risk. Plenty of scams from vendors occur during cash transactions because they aren’t provable and traceable. However, booking with a credit card online removes this issue.
  10. Stay Away from the Edge of the River. Visitors who ventured too close to the river’s edge have fallen in and been swept away by the strong currents of the Zambezi River. The area is not roped off, so maintain a safe distance from the edge. This is especially important when visiting during the rainy season due to the extra moisture on rocks and the soil softening.

So... How Safe Is Victoria Falls Really?

Western State Departments advise those visiting Victoria Falls to exercise elevated caution due to potential civil unrest and increasing crime rates.

Additionally, they cite the potential harassment of U.S. citizens by locals.

Before traveling to Victoria Falls, research additional safety measures, and if you must go, remain aware of your environment, maintain a low profile, and avoid large gatherings.

Although political demonstrations may begin peacefully, they can quickly turn violent.

Furthermore, many tourists encounter petty crime issues frequented by visitors like Victoria Falls.

It’s best to move around in groups, specifically with an organized tour group, and avoid wandering the streets at night as criminal activity rises after dark.

Additionally, many crimes occur on the roads, like carjackings and vehicle thefts, so drive with locked doors and windows up.

How Does Victoria Falls Compare?

CitySafety Index
Victoria Falls60
Brussels (Belgium)60
Shanghai (China)66
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43

Useful Information



Zimbabwe doesn’t require visitors from most countries to get a visa. However, check the requirements with your local government before booking the zip. Also, your passport must be valid for at least six months from the arrival date in the country.



The country’s official currency is the Zimbabwean Dollar. Since Victoria Falls is a popular tourist destination, a few ATMs are available, and the preferred card is Visa for withdrawals, with MasterCard becoming more widely accepted and used.



Like most of the country, Victoria Falls has two seasons: a dry season, which encompasses cooler temperatures between May and September, and a rainy season, with consistently heavy rainfall between November and March.



The closest airport to Victoria Falls is Victoria Falls Airport, which is only a 19-minute drive and mostly domestic but has flights to other nearby countries. Livingstone International Airport is the next closest at a 20-minute drive and has more international connections.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is always recommended when visiting a foreign country to financially protect your belongings from loss, theft, and delays. Also, since visiting Victoria Falls and hiking in the area exposes you to nature, travel insurance covers medical costs if there’s an emergency or incident.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Victoria Falls Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 25° C
Feb 25° C
Mar 24° C
Apr 23° C
May 19° C
Jun 16° C
Jul 16° C
Aug 20° C
Sep 24° C
Oct 26° C
Nov 26° C
Dec 25° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Zimbabwe - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Victoria Falls60

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