We stayed three nights at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge with a tour group. It's a somewhat rustic wilderness lodge with some things we liked and others we didn't. You really get the feeling of being out in the wilderness here. There's a watering hole in back and it's fun to see the variety of animals that frequent it throughout the day. You might also enjoy seeing the wild wart hogs running around the grounds as well. The ambiance was good. Our room had a balcony overlooking the watering hole, but the doors did not seal well, allowing bugs and insects into the room. Fortunately we had mosquito netting around the bed so we didn't have any problem with the insects. Just in case, though, there was a can of bug spray in the room. Our room was air conditioned but the public rooms were not. There are no TV's in the room, but there was a small lounge with a television where we tried to get election results from CNN. Wifi is available for a $5.00 charge, but it didn't work a lot of the time. The hotel is very isolated, but most local tour companies will pick you up at the hotel for activities. There is a shuttle into town, but it onluy runs once an hour. It goes to the downtown hotels where you can eat if you want. There didn't appear to be any other places in town where we would have wanted to eat. We ended up eating our meals at the hotel as we didn't want to bother with the shuttle. The food was very expensive and the service was extremely slow. One day at lunch it took 50 minutes to get a $12 dollar grilled ham and cheese sandwich and two of our other orders were not processed correctly. We tried room service one night, but the food arrived cold and there wasn't really enough space to eat comfortably in the room. The buffet breakfasts were good. You can also order from the breafkast menu at no extra charge, but our eggs were way overcooked and they forgot our hashbrowns so I'd recommend just eating at the buffet. This place was fun and had a feeling of really being in Africa. It suited our needs since all our tours and activities left from the hotel. I would have liked more reasonably priced food and better food service, but the staff was friendly and we enjoyed our stay. By the way, Zimbabwe no longer uses its own currency, having topped out at 10 trillion for a US dollar. US dollars and South African rand are readily accepted and the hotel will take credit cards.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wow California...your review sure is a mixed bag! First, our thanks for your generous words about friendly staff, great waterhole and animals, ambiance, fun and really feeling like you are in Africa.
Report response as inappropriate
Now, to the issues you note for which we apologise at the outset for some of them but feel the need to clarify others. We’re sorry you didn’t eat elsewhere as we believe you would have discovered two things – our food, for its quality and setting, is very competitively priced for Victoria Falls and there are several really good places to eat. Ilala Lodge’s Palm restaurant is a winner....Victoria falls Hotel has the terrace, Jungle Junction and the elegant, colonial-style Livingstone room, all highly recommended.
I know you are used to lots of cheaper options, and great quality, in the USA but Zimbabwe is landlocked and most of our food and ingredients are imported, otherwise we could not offer such a tasty and varied international menu.
Yes, we know, and we’re sorry, that when the Makuwa-Kuwa is busy and we may be short-staffed our service can be a little too slow and we are embarking on a major restructuring exercise to solve this. Similarly this year we spent US$300,000 in revitalising all public areas and have budgeted to totally refurbish all 72-room in the first half of the new year, including those pesky doors!
I’m not sure if you were disappointed there were no TV’s in the rooms? This is done to preserve the natural tranquillity of the African bush that people come to experience and is, we believe and are often told, an immense benefit to our guests, who still have the option of the TV lounge.
You mention that there is no air-conditioning in the public areas. I would kindly ask that you review that criticism because our lodge is designed with large, wide-open spaces and a very high thatched roof. The bar, the dining room, the terrace all look over an unspoiled and majestic piece of Africa and are totally open, with blinds that roll down in the event of rain or too much sun. Air conditioning would be a totally impossible undertaking though thatch is as cool as it gets, though our mid-day heat can be quite severe when there is no breeze.
We would also like to respond to your criticism that our lodge is “very isolated.” To some that may conjure up visions of a long trek to the town centre, the action or to the falls themselves. The reality is that we are a very convenient 10-minute coach trip from the centre of the town and the falls and we believe our location is also a big benefit to our guests.
We are the only lodge or hotel facing west with such a magnificent vista over a large tract of wilderness and the wildlife – which is the tranquillity and setting we hope people come to Africa for. Our location actually gives us much acclaim and many kudos over others.
You mentioned our shuttle goes “only every hour” – again we believe that this is a superior, reliable and complimentary service we offer our guests and that on-the-hour every hour is exceptional.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.