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“Awesome place & you could see a hippo on the lawn!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ilala Lodge

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Ilala Lodge
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   411 Livingstone Way, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe   |  
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3 Night Package Special
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Huntington Beach
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Awesome place & you could see a hippo on the lawn!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

We spent three nights here and loved it. We were on the ground floor, which has a large lawn that eventually leads to the reserve. We expected to see the warthogs, but were thrilled to see a hippo grazing during the night barely 10 yards from our patio door. The rooms are spacious and functional but not luxurious. They included toiletries with insect repellent that we never used. We appreciated the bottled water and coffee maker as well. The bathroom is also large with a separate shower and bathtub. Doing laundry here is quite inexpensive. which is nice because we were so limited in weight for upcoming safaris. The restaurant was good and we especially liked the ostrich steak for dinner. Portions were quite large and mains were $20-$24 and a glass of wine was $6. We didn't think these prices were high, although some other reviewers did.The location is excellent--close to the falls, banks, craft markets and shops. Both the restaurant and rooms face the reserve with the spray of the falls visible from certain areas.
We highly recommend this place for anyone going to the Falls. Make sure to do the elephant riding safari as well.

Room Tip: I read that some folks like the upper floors for the view, but we were on the ground floor which is...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Thank you for reviewing our hotel. It is our pleasure to receive comments from our guests. We are glad you had an awesome time with us and we are looking forward to seeing you again in the near future.

kind regards
Ilala team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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533 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (92)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

We only stayed in Victoria Falls for 3 days-we decided to include it on our trip to South Africa on Safari-and it ended up being the highlight!

Even before arriving at Ilala, the service was excellent. I sent the lodge a message to let them know it was our honeymoon, and when we checked in we were greeted with a bottle of sparkling wine, flowers on our bed and a candle lit bath had been run for us.

Our room was wonderful, we stayed in a Deluxe Suit and it was very clean, well appointed and with great views on the mist from the falls. We got up early every morning and watched the sun rise from the mist which was spectacular.

Breakfast was good. There was a wide variety of buffet items, as well as a menu for hot breakfasts-all included in the price. The Palm Restaurant was great. The food was of a very high quality, and we felt it was reasonably priced for the quality and ambience. All the staff were friendly, helpful and extremely polite.

We used the tour office to books some activities, and this process was very smooth. Again, the staff were helpful, knowledgeable and helped us put together an itinerary to make the most of our time. We were also able to charge the activities back to our room which was useful.

The lodge is a short walk from the falls, no longer than 10 minutes, and we saw baboons, warthogs and elephants on our way. We also explored the town and the markets behind the lodge so it was very conveniently situated. There was a Barclays bank just outside and a supermarket a short walk away.

We booked to do the sundowner river cruise on the Ra-Ikane and this was a wonderful evening and I would highly recommend it. We also thoroughly enjoyed the Helicopter ride over the falls and the Lion Encounter-both can be booked through the lodge.

All in all, Ilala Lodge was a fabulous place to stay, I can't say enough good things about our experience and our stay and I would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, June 8, 2013
Thank you very much for taking your time to review Ilala hotel and for staying with us. We are grateful and glad you had an amazing time with us. We appreciate your comments and await for your return again in the near future.

kind regards
ilala team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

To anyone who has doubts about visiting Zimbabwe or staying at this hotel, rest assured we cannot speak highly enough of this lodge. the staff were very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The setting is superb and you get the true feel for the area. It has character and run rings around the bigger resorts near by. It is only a short walk down to the falls and to the bridge over to Zambia. Make sure you go to the markets just behind the lodge it has a huge variety of local crafts, like nothing else I saw in either Botswana or South Africa. Strongly recommend this hotel and will return one day

Room Tip: Rooms on the upper floors offer the better views and have a lovely balcony
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, June 7, 2013
Thank you for your positive comment on Ilala hotel. We appreciate your views and comments. We very excited that you found your stay with us faultless and we are happy to welcome you back in the near future.

kind regards
Ilala Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
63 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

You go to Victoria Falls for one reason only, to see the magnificent Victoria Falls, but staying in this hotel for two nights made our visit that more enjoyable. Stepping into this hotel, it is very easy to forget that you are in an impoverished third world country. The whole complex is well maintained with nice lawns and gardens and with a relaxing ambiance to it. However, you will soon learn that you will be paying first world prices in the hotel, which is a shock after visiting South Africa where things are cheap compared to the western world. Our other reminder of its third world status was the fact that the hotel (and the town) were suffering from power cuts with the hotel relying on its own generator for power. We were told that this was only temporary whilst maintenance to the power grid was undertaken, but during our visit, from 6.00 am until 6.00 pm, we had a noisy generator running just below our room.
Meals are served in the dining room or if you wish, you can eat outside. We had dinner at the hotel one night of our stay and the meal was excellent. A buffet breakfast is available daily, which is average and you can order hot breakfast dishes from the menu.
There is a lovely outside bar and lounge area overlooking the hotel's pool where you can sit and watch warthog or monkeys wandering the hotel's grounds.
Our room was quite large, air conditioned, with tea/coffee making facilities and in-room safe standard. Double doors lead to the terrace where you can sit and relax. The bathroom contains both bathtub and shower. The sound of the falls, which are relatively close, is very evident at night.
The staff at the hotel are very courteous and friendly. Free Wi Fi is available in public areas. You will need to obtain a password from reception.
Zimabwe has abandoned its own currency and now uses the US dollar for its main currency but also the SA Rand can be used. It is very difficult to get change from anyone (including the hotel), particularly low value notes. A Bank is located just outside the main gates of the hotel with an ATM that dispenses US currency (but only $50 notes).

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, June 7, 2013
Thank you very much for your positive review of Ilala Lodge hotel. It is our pleasure to receive wonderful comments from our guests. We however apologize for any inconvenience caused during your stay with us and hope it did not spoil or negatively impact your holiday. We will be very happy to have you return again in the future.

Kind regards
Ilala team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryville, Tennessee
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

I stayed there three nights and enjoyed it very much. Close to everything and the people were great. The food was good and the breakfasts were quick and the coffee good. Warthogs on the premises added an African touch. Within walking distance of the Falls and next to bank and the post office. I would stay there again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
Thank you for reviewing our hotel. It is our pleasure to receive comments from our guests. We are glad you had a great time with us and we are looking forward to seeing you again in the near future.

kind regards
Ilala team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

Going to Victoria Falls has been a dream of mine for many years. The Falls were the main focus and I had given little thought to one night's accommodation before I began my Safari. What a pleasant surprise to spend the night in a old world colonial hunting lodge. The staff, room, and food was all excellent. What a thrill to see the sunrise with the mist of Victoria Falls rising through the pink sky.

Room Tip: I think the rooms are the same and all have French doors that open out onto a rolling lawn. There ar...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
Thank you for your positive feedback on Ilala lodge. We are happy that you found our hotel charming and your dream came true to see the magnificent falls. We do hope to see you return again.

kind regards
Ilala team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

My husband and I stayed three wonderful nights at The Ilala Lodge and thoroughly enjoyed our time there!
The Lodge is in a great location! We were within easy walking (20 minute stroll) distance to The Victoria Falls Bridge (the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia) and the Falls themselves, and only a couple of minutes stroll to the local craft market (in fact when we had finished our visit to the market, we just went back to the lodge by gaining access through the back gate (with permission of the hotel security guard). We made good use of the lodge's (small) pool, with lovely outdoor area, and the outdoor bar. The food was wonderful! I had crocodile one night and it was delicious and beautifully presented. (I know I also had dessert as well, and although I can't remember what it was, I do remember raving about it to some fellow travellers, so much so, that they made a booking and ate at our lodge that night!). The staff were the very friendly, and attentive. Nothing was too much trouble for them.
We woke the first morning of our stay to find that only a few feet from our door into the garden, an elephant (or two) had visited in the night and not only left a deposit, but had torn up one of the lawn sprinklers, and we heard nothing!!!! (Grounds staff were right onto repairing the damage that day).
The Victoria Falls are magnificent, and the escorted tour we did was well worth it. A visit to The Elephant Camp to ride an elephant, as well as 'Walking with the Lions', a 'Zambezi Sunset Cruise', and a helicopter ride over the Falls and surrounds were also 'must do's' (in my opinion), but 'The Boma' (Place of Eating) dinner and show, was a bit 'so so', and quite expensive for what it was,but I did enjoy parts of the evening.
All in all, I would definitely recommend a stay at The llala Lodge to friends and/or family if they were visiting Victoria Falls, but take plenty of money with you :)

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlalaVictoriaFalls, Guest Relations Manager at Ilala Lodge, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
Thank you very much for reviewing Ilala Lodge hotel. It is a pleasure to receive feedback from our guests. We are glad you had a wonderful experience with us and will be happy to see you return again in the near future.

Kind regards
Ilala team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ilala Lodge

Address: 411 Livingstone Way, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Phone Number:
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
#5 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
#5 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#6 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ilala Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The perfect base for exploring all the Victoria Falls has to offer, Ilala Lodge provides distinguished yet affordable accommodation in a gracious and secluded ambiance. The hotel is ideally situated and is closest to the Victoria Falls as well as the town centre. Wild animals often graze on the hotel lawns with the spray of the falls in the background. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ilala Hotel Victoria Falls

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