Iguassu vs Victoria Falls: Which Waterfall is Right for You?

Published on: May 9th, 2014

Last modified: March 8th, 2024

Iguassu and Victoria, our two favourite waterfalls. Both are immense spectacles of nature drawing in visitors all year-round, however each boasts its own unique appeals and charms. Though they both provide plenty in terms of adventure and romance, Iguassu is ideal for birdwatchers and nature lovers while Victoria is the place for Big Five spotting and a touch of history.


With Iguassu Falls situated on the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and Victoria Falls lying across Zambia and Zimbabwe, these two natural wonders are both enormous. Iguassu is in fact wider with 275 falls cascading over three kilometres of river. However it is Victoria that is home to the largest curtain of falling water in the world, with 550,000 cubic metres of water rushing by every minute.



Victoria Falls has a truly wild surround. Set among two African safari destinations and right next door to Botswana, which is home to the fantastic Chobe and Delta, there are plenty of chances to witness amazing animal action here. Once you’ve been wowed by the thundering waterfall, prepare to be wowed on game drives at nearby reserves for a full on safari experience. The cascades’ location along the Zambezi River affords sightings of hippos and crocs, who you can watch as you dine on Livingstone Island at the impressive Tongabezi lodge. Take a look at our carefully thought out In-depth Zambian Adventure and Safari for a taster.



Also surrounded by a wealth of wildlife is Iguassu. Wrapped in a flourishing landscape of jungle and tropical nature, the waterfall is perfectly complemented with a trip into the neighbouring Misiones Rainforest. Here you can explore the lush land on nature walks as five hundred different bird species flutter around you. Wildlife lovers of all ages will be entertained with our example trip Family Holiday to Brazil. Not only does it include the powerful Iguassu, but also a stay at the Argentine rainforest.




Adventure addicts will also be entertained in Latin America with kayaking, zip lining and our favourite Gran Aventura boat ride. The latter expedition heads up the river to Iguassu’s base getting you up close to the whirlpools and waves and currents and chutes, while a trip to the ‘Devil’s Throat’ showcases the Falls’ largest flow of water. Though the Latin American icon is always a success with children, it’s important to note that the Gran Aventura ride has an age restriction of at least twelve years old – so think teens rather than tots.


Besides close-ups with majestic Lions and mighty Elephants, thrill seekers in Africa are guaranteed to get their kicks at Victoria Falls. Africa for the Adrenaline Junkie includes hair-raising activities like white water rafting, swimming on the edge of the cascades in Devil’s Pool and bungee jumping off Victoria Falls Bridge (one of the highest jumps in the world), promising adventure as wild as the surrounds.



However if canopy zip lining and jumping off a 111 metre bridge makes your stomach do somersaults, Victoria Falls offers a number of more relaxed escapades to enjoy. In fact, you can make your entire journey to the African waterfall a unique and peaceful one with a traditional and luxury train ride to the Zambian side. Travel in yesteryear elegance from Pretoria to the Falls on the refined Rovos Rail, a five-star luxury locomotive, on our Game, Trains, Wine and Waterfalls journey.


This traditional and historic theme can then be enhanced with a stay on the famous Livingstone Island. Here history enthusiasts can head into Livingstone town and visit the museum to gain an insight into the world of one of the planet’s finest explorers, Dr. David Livingstone. Meanwhile, both Iguassu and Victoria are regarded as romantic spots with sunset cruises and helicopter rides gliding across panoramic views available at each spectacular site.



If the above has whetted your appetite, then have a gander at a few more of our favourite waterfall inspired trips and contact one of our specialised Latin American or African travel designers to experience your personal waterfall adventure.

·         Wonders of South America – for those wishing to tick off a bunch of boxes including Iguassu.

·         Introducing Zimbabwe – a look at Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side plus two awesome safaris.

·         North Argentina and Chile Explorer – get off the beaten track to see Iguassu and diverse, stunning landscapes.