If you plan on staying on the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls - where the views of the falls are absolutely incredible - you can't go wrong by staying at Elephant Hills.
The grounds themselves are teeming with African wildlife - in walks and drives around the resort area we saw antelope, baboons, monkeys, cape buffalo, warthogs, some kind of wild canine that we decided not to identify more closely, and tons of elephant poop (but no actual elephants). The grounds are also absolutely gorgeous and well maintained. We spent one entire day just lounging around the resort area and had a great time doing so.
The staff are very attentive, the hotel is kept very clean, and the views are unparalleled. As annoying as it is to wake up at sunrise when you're on vacation, seeing a curious monkey open your sliding door shutters and peek in is a truly hilarious and African experience.
On the other hand... Elephant Hills is truly showing both its age and the issues being experienced in Zimbabwe. Our bathroom shower/tub leaked water from the wall near the faucet. The pillows were practically ironed flat, and there weren't enough of them (2 total). If you ask for an extra bed in the room, you get a mattress on the floor. If you looked, and not even closely, you could see tears and air pockets in the bathroom wall paper. The lock on one of our doors kept going on the fritz and not accepting our key card. These were certainly not the only small issues that cropped up, but they are representative.
We considered them a very small price to pay for the experience, however. And certainly staying on the Zimbabwe side of the falls is much cheaper than staying on Zambia.
A few things to consider: We reached Victoria Falls after dark and had a difficult time finding the resort. It's actually very easy to find, but if you have no directions (and we were given none) there are no signs that one can see in the dark and you have no idea where to turn. We asked someone at a gas station, who told us to turn at the Wimpy.... which had closed. Make sure you know where you are going if you get there after the sun sets!
Also - guard your drinks! The monkeys love the taste of alcohol and as soon as you turn your back they will try to steal the beverage you aren't watching.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This majestic hotel, aptly named after the gentle giant of the bush (the elephant) merges seamlessly into its natural environment. Elephant Hills Resort has 276 rooms ranging from the impressive presidential suite to cool and spacious standard rooms. All rooms are ethnically decorated creating a combination of African ambiance with comfort and elegance. Each bedroom has modern amenities including air-conditioning, digital satellite television, bar fridge and en-suite bathroom. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Elephant Hills Hotel
- Elephant Hills Victoria Falls