Elephant camp is a tented camp for 18; although tents, these are tents with glass windows and doors, baths, showers (inside and outside), indeed most facilities of a good quality hotel, great comfy beds, mini bar, tea/coffee and even a hair drier, a luxury for some if you have come from a bush camp.
Tents have a great terrace with views of the countryside, the waterhole, the Zambezi gorge and the spray from the Falls. Loungers, chairs and table, and if you are brave enough in July, a plunge pool too. It is much warmer in Vic Falls than out in the bush.
We were collected from Vic Falls airport and whisked along perhaps the straightest road I have seen to the camp. Met by smiling faces, a cool towel and welcoming drink. If you come from a stay in the bush, Elephant Camp just says ‘you deserve this’ and you really do enjoy the comfort and genuine great hospitality.
Breakfast and lunch are taken on the outdoor terrace at individual tables whilst dinner is served indoors on one communal table. Breakfast is juice, cereal, bacon wrapped eggs, sausages etc, all very good and well done. Lunch is a great collection of salads and fish or chicken - again all of very high quality and delicious.
Dinners are equally good and high quality (don’t expect any chips!). They cooked more simple food for our teenagers who are just very picky with food. Service is impeccable, and you hardly ever see an empty glass.
The camp is very comfortable and relaxed.
Obviously you will want to visit the falls, possibly go rafting, bungee jump off the bridge or any of a dozen other activities and Kim at the camp will discuss all of this with you when you arrive, book activities for you and arrange to take you and collect you from your activities, so don’t worry about taxis - this was a really great service provided and made our stay completely hassle-free and relaxed.
So rooms, facilities, food and drink were all great, but what made our stay special was the unobtrusive service and the friendliness and attitude of all the people at the camp. Jonathan, Kim, Moses, Dickson, Prosper are seemingly always on duty, always ready to help – perfect hosts - but there are 22 staff, many of whom you won’t see, but they all contribute to a tremendous environment. The man who just opens the gate, smiles and looks as though he wants you to have a great time.
We really did have a great time.
We had tea at the Victoria Falls hotel, which is more formal and colonial in style; a couple of Elephant Camp guests had stayed there and said it was a little tired and dated. Elephant Camp only opened about a year ago and is up to date, modern and a luxurious camp – the must-stay place at Vic Falls, so,visit as soon as you can!!
Walk in the Rain Forest along the length of the Falls is a fantastic experience (getting wet is unavoidable and fun) and Vic Falls by helicopter is an expensive but must-do trip - probably the best way to see the full extent of the Falls - you keep dry too.! We visited the crocodile farm – only $20 an interesting visit, if a little unnerving looking at all those crocs destined to be handbags or shoes. And the early morning Elephant ride safari was a great experience and highly recommended
Now the market: this is a strange experience, disconcerting, but in its own way offers hope for a better future for Zim. All the traders will press you to see their goods, to buy their goods to help them. It is difficult to say no or to choose, as many offer similar things, carved animals, stone animals, bowls, table clothes, you can only choose the ones you like best, even if you have to disappoint someone else, and I admit this is far easier said than done. Be firm and polite, but do engage with them. I hate markets and haggling, but it is expected, to most of us a few dollars here or there means little, especially if you are travelling to Africa, so decide what you want to pay and get to that number, if they won’t agree you can walk away, they may change their minds.
It’s not just money that can be used to bargain with, T-shirts, socks, shoes are very popular, but just about anything can be traded as part of the deal, as we did. Pens are popular, so a dozen biros clogging up your drawers at home go a long way in the market and may help a child go to school. Spend a few dollars in the market; hopefully it will make a difference and it’s great fun.
We were not sure whether to go to Zimbabwe, but are really glad we did. The use of the US dollar has helped to stabilise the country (though we did come back with an old 50 Trillion Zim dollar note) and most of the locals said it was getting better, there is still a long way to go but they are heading in the right direction. We met loads of Aussies, Americans, South Africans but no Brits, so come on if you want to see the Falls, go to Zimbabwe and help things get better – everyone we met was great.
Elephant Camp , would we stay there again, yes, yes and yes again. Thanks to Jonathan, Kim, Moses, Dickson for making our trip special. And our giraffe made it safely home In one piece too!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Elephant Camp has breathtaking views of the Victoria Falls' spray and the spectacular gorges which separate Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Elephant Camp is a luxury, intimate lodge under canvas within easy reach of Victoria Falls (approximately 10 km) and all its attractions and activities, yet secluded in its own private game reserve. The Elephant Camp offers exclusive suite accommodation for only 24 adults in 12 luxury tents. The 'Elephant Camp West' consists of 4 luxury tents that sleep 8 adults and 8 children (all are equipped to become family rooms with comfortable sleeper couches). (Children not included in total occupancy) All suites are gorge facing and boast a private viewing deck and plunge pool, private lounge area, air-conditioning and fans, bath (with a view), inside and outside shower, mini bar and tea/coffee stations. INCLUDED: Accommodation and all meals, drinks (excluding premium brands), complimentary mini bars in the rooms. Return Victoria Falls Airport transfers & two transfers to Victoria Falls town per day. Laundry & Emergency Medical Evacuation cover. Lunch at the Lookout Cafe. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Elephant Camp Hotel Victoria Falls