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“Beautiful but way too expensive” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Zambezi Sun

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Zambezi Sun
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Mosi-oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone, Zambia   |  
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Essential River Package
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Livingstone
Chicago
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Beautiful but way too expensive”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2006

Although this was such a beautiful property, I was floored with how expensive everything was!!! They were charging all in USD and getting over top-dollar for it. A water-proof camera was $50 adn internet was $20 for 40 minutes. The restaurant was a waste of money so we ate at the bar.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — price
  • Tips/Secrets — research before
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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803 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Hemel, UK
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2006

We stayed here for 3 nights (however 1 night was spent camping on the Zambezi).

For a short Break 2-3 nights, you just do not need to stay at the even more expensive sister hotel (Royal Livingstone). If you need to indulge, you can just walk to the hotel and have a drink and a meal…. if you need to!

The hotel is modern but brightly decorated in an African style. There are Zebras, Giraffes and monkeys that regularly share the hotel grounds with the guests.
The hotel is walking distance to the falls, but too far too stroll into town.

Rooms ...average size but with a bathroom that has a separate Shower and Bath.
Mosquito spray is plugged into the mains for you, and room is nicely Air-conditioned.

Facilities... It has a pleasant and large pool nestled between the bar and the main Restaurant. The water was not warm, but even I was able to swim in it after sampling the hot African sun. A local band plays music around the pool in the evenings.

Food.... The one let-down. In a country where 1dollar will buy you a lot, it was outrageous to see how much they charge for food. The main restaurant is Buffet style with a huge choice including a carvery. There is also an A La carte restaurant near the activity centre that has cheaper food options, but again pricey if you wanted a meal with wine. ggggrrrrr!

Staff... A very high staff to customer ratio. You get the waiter and the section manager all asking you if the food is good. Can seem over the top, but when in England our customer service is non-existent its quite a novelty.
The staff are trained to acknowledge you and say "Hello, How are you". Or so I thought. When you go outside the hotel you realise that its not just the hotel staff, all the Locals are very Friendly and everyone welcomes you with a broad grin and a cheery "How are you?". The Zambians are genuinely warm and friendly people.

One word of advice if you are coming to see the falls…. There is no water in October! The Zambian side of the falls are dry… all you see is a rock face. A real disappointment!

If I come back to visit the Falls again (when it does have some water!!!), yes I would be OK staying here again, I just might pack my own food though!

cheers
Mark UK

  • Liked — Location close to the Falls. Staff. Ambience of the hotel.
  • Disliked — Price Of Food.
  • Tips/Secrets — Buy bottled water from the stall at entrance to the Falls. Eat before you arrive!!!
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akron, Ohio
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2006

We stayed here 2 nights in connection with a trip offered by 2Afrika.com. The staff were great, the room comfortable. The AC was most welcome. We took advantage of a Buy 1, Get 1 offer for a massage in a tented pavillion by the river. The breakfast buffet is ample and offers an enormous variety. Beware the monkeys that grab sugar packs - or muffins - off your table. The dinner buffet was $35, but reasonable for what it offered and the service. There is another restaurant - Squires - were you can offer off a menu if you want a lighter meal. We dined there the second night and were happy with our meals. There was a band by the pool both evenings that were great to listen to.

The staff in costumes and the zebras by the pool almost gift it a "disney" quality. You can take a short walk to Victoria Falls on the Zambia side. For the best view take the longer walk, or a taxi, over to the Zimbabwe side. There is a pricey charge for a visa -$40 and another $20 admission to the park, but when will you ever see this view again.

If there is a down side it is that is is too far from Livingstone to really get into town easily. You can visit the posher partner hotel the Royal Livingstone. There is an activities office to book almost any activity you want to try.

I would certainly stay there again.

  • Liked — Atmosphere, helpful staff
  • Disliked — Noise from airplanes, helicopters, etc that are flying over the Falls.
  • Tips/Secrets — Bewaer the huckers on the bridge to Zimbabwe - they are very persistant.
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2006

I stayed 2 nights in Zambezi Sun Hotel, Zambia in august. Very close to the Victoria Fall, about 5 minutes walk. Nice from the outside, with pool. Zebras, monkeys and giraffes just in front of your window. Average food. Colourful rooms, in african style but unfortunately small and not very clean. The towels and the sheets were dirty when we arrived, we call the room maid to change them. Also the bathroom wasn"t cleaned recently. It is a 2 star hotel in my opinion, without many facilities. Mosquitos in the room.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — the room
  • Tips/Secrets — Royal Livingstone is a better choice
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midlands
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2006

An opportuntiy to stay in Zambia without our children during a holiday to South Africa brought us to the Zambezi Sun. First thing we did when we arrived was obviously visit the falls - and they were breathtaking (even though the water level was low, it was still a magnificent sight.)

The hotel is so close to the falls and this has to be a huge plus point - you also get free entry (currently $10.00 for adults.)

The hotel has a real African feel and the rooms are decorated to reflect this - they are also quiet, a bonus in my eyes.

However, it is expensive to eat and drink etc. Aftering staying in South Africa for a week there was a huge difference in price. The buffet was $35.00 each - but you could eat all you wanted and a bottle of wine $42.00. Even the alternative restaurant was still pricey.

But, the location was fantastic and we thought well, we are here, lets enjoy it and worry about the visa bill later!!

We even went white water rafting, $120.00 each for the whole day with Bundu Adventures. We had Potato(!) who was a fantastic guide - very aware of safety but he made everthing funny and lighthearted, and trust me this was exactly what you needed as you approached several level 5 rapids!!

A memorable stay.

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2006

We stayed here for 2 nights with our 2 teens and had a great time. The people were unbelievable friendly and helpful, especially when our daughter's luggage missed the flight from Johannesburg. The staff washed her clothes quickly on short notice. The room was clean and comfortably furnished. The hotel grounds were lovely and spacious. The location is perfect for viewing the falls, about a 5 minute walk. The falls were absolutely amazing and we saw brilliant rainbows. We enjoyed the elephant back safari as well as the sunset cruise where we saw many animals. We ate dinner one night at the Royal Livingstone and one night at the hotel buffet; both were expensive meals ($35 USD pp) but we expected it due to other's posting about this. The breakfast buffets were delicious with an extensive variety of food. The pool looked wonderful but it seemed we never had time to use it, we were so busy with activities. We loved the Zambezi Sun and would stay here again!

  • Liked — Very friendly staff, clean and comfortable rooms, great location
  • Disliked — over priced buffet dinner
  • Tips/Secrets — stay here!
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2006

Really enjoyed staying at the Zambezi Sun for part of our honeymoon in August. The location is absolutely perfect and it couldn't be easier to view the falls, which are magnificent. The rooms at the hotel are pleasant and the grounds are really nice with lots of green areas and places to sit and take in the scenery. Staff are very pleasant and helpful. The one downside to this place is the expense. We couldn't believe the price of food and wine but because there isn't a lot of choice around you just have to grin and bear it. Certainly don't let this put you off going, just be prepared!

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zambezi Sun

Address: Mosi-oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone, Zambia
Phone Number:
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Livingstone
#4 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
#4 Family Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Zambezi Sun 4*
Number of rooms: 212
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Zambezi Sun, located on the edge of the eastern cataract of the Victoria Falls, reflects the richness and diversity of the country’s heritage; capturing the very soul of Africa – unpretentious, fun and welcoming. With its warm, earthy architecture, inspired by an African walled village and simple finishes highlighted in bright mosaics and fabrics as well as intoxicating Zambian artworks and accessories, the Zambezi Sun is set to turn your stay into a memorable experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zambezi Sun Livingstone
Zambezi Sun Hotel Livingstone

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