The instability of the Zimbabwean economy and political unease have resulted in a downturn in international tourism business on the Zimbabwean side of the falls, but there are many more visitors from Africa taking advantage of the lower prices and safe environment. For years, I have advised visitors to stay on the Zambian side, but given the bargain prices and the great effort that the various tourist stakeholders have made to secure visitors' safety, I'd personally opt to stay on the Zimbabwean side. For most visitors flying to the falls, though, it's still the norm to stay in Zambia.
In Zambia -- The most convenient option is Royal Livingstone and sister hotel Zambezi Sun, which are right next to the falls. If you don't like large, impersonal hotels, upstream from here are a number of lovely options, all overlooking the Zambezi River (which sees hippo and elephant action), the best of which are reviewed below. If you're watching your budget, your best bet is Chundukwa River Lodge (www.chundukwariverlodge.com; $460 double; includes full board, sunset river cruise, and falls tour): a tiny lodge with only five rooms on stilts (one of them ideal for a family of four), located right on the river, 25km (16 miles) upstream from the falls. In addition to assisting with the usual falls activities, the lodge specializes in horseback safaris. Neighboring Waterberry Lodge (www.waterberrylodge.com; $500 double; includes full board and airport transfers) is a slightly tamer, intimate option that will suit those with an eye on their budget, with seven bungalows on the grassed river banks.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.