Drove up to Vic Falls from Bulawayo. Nine police road blocks in 300 miles. Zimbabwe must be either the safest country in the world or the most dangerous country in the world.
While we were checking in there was a commotion at the pool and general running around which I took to be a baboon having run off with some ladies purse. It turned out there was somebody motionless at the bottom of the pool. In fairness to the staff, not one of which could swim, they did a terrific job of fishing him out and restarting him but what it meant was that the pool was closed for the remainder of our visit.
I chose the Rainbow Hotel for old times sake. We'd stayed here about 20 years ago and it wasn't a high end option then (and certainly isn't now, with all the hotels that have opened since) but it is well located within walking distance of the town centre and the falls. I'm not sure if we got the same bedroom but we might have got the same bed. The furniture, fixtures and fittings are old and tired. No knobs on the AC unit but we had two rooms so we borrowed one from the kids.
The evening buffets were extra (we didn't book a half board rate) but they were good and inexpensive with lots of game meat options. My new favourite is kudu having waxed lyrical for years about warthog.
The onsite excursion booking lady was helpful and we plumped (not me) for elephant riding and white water rafting with Shearwater.
I last did the white water rafting 24 years ago. It was fantastic but the walk out at the end was a killer even then and, at the time, I was walking up and down hills through jungle every day for a living. 24 years on, half way up, I'd have paid somebody to shoot me.
The kids loved it though.
But then they didn't go swimming. Twice.
There is a PC with internet for free use by the guests.
The staff were universally helpful particularly the felicitously named 'Blessed'.
The hotel is kept scrupulously clean but the rooms could definitely benefit from a refurb.
The cost of entrance to the Falls will make your teeth bleed. 30USD. Each. But since it is the sole/main purpose of visit they do have you over a barrel. It is well set up an maintained though and the on-site 'Rainforest Cafe' is a lovely spot to relax and eat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A unique property of Moorish architecture conveniently located near town and 2km from the Victoria Falls. The Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel offers a spectacular view of the rumbling mist, mosi-oa-tunya, meaning "the smoke that thunders". Enjoy a cocktail at the only Swim and Sip bar in town and efficient and friendly service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mercure Victoria Falls