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“Excellent Service”

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Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 24, 2012

On a family holiday and hired a car to see Zimbabwe. had a few issues when we landed in Vic Falls...the staff were excellent and went beyond the call of duty to help and assist us in our motoring difficulty. A true lily memorable stay with animal parade out front and in the car park! Thanks again to all concerned for giving us such a memorable experience!

Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
1  Thank denish55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaAlbidaTourism, General Manager at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2012

Warm greetings from Victoria Falls
My office overlooks the water hole and as I write a large herd of buffalo has come down to drink....I’m sure you can well imagine the scene as you rated the “parade of animals” as truly memorable. Thank you for your very generous review that I will share with the staff as, like any hotel, they also come in for a share of criticism; thus it makes their day when you rate our staff as “excellent” and “going beyond the call of duty.”

To add to the good news last weekend at the annual prestigious Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents (AZTA) awards the Victoria Falls safari Lodge was voted best safari lodge in Zimbabwe for the 17th successive year!

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager VFSL
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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1,619 - 1,625 of 1,990 reviews

Reviewed September 21, 2012

this lodge is a great first introduction to africa, rooms have a view of a water hole with an ever changing parade of animals. the design of the facility is very clever and allows views from many points.the staff was very pleasant and helpful and made the experience memorable, in fact we celebrated our 55 wedding aniversary while we were there, we hope to return for our 60th.

Room Tip: the top level rooms have a clear view of the water hole
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 1douglas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaAlbidaTourism, General Manager at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2012

Hello to you in New Jersey

We are thrilled with your great review of our lodge – a full house of 5 out of 5 stars! It is of particular delight that we provided such a memorable location for your 55th wedding anniversary and that you have already made plans to return in five years time for your 60th!

We are also pleased to tell you that this past weekend Victoria Falls Safari Lodge was voted Best Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe for the 17th successive year by the Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents (AZTA).

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back to our piece of paradise in Africa

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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Reviewed September 17, 2012

Before I start my review, I have two bits of advice for those arriving at the Victoria Falls Airport: Bring cash with you! Most visitors have to pay a visa fee before entering the main area of the terminal. The per person fee in August 2012 was US$35 for a single-entry visa and US$45 for a double-entry visa. You may need the double-entry visa if you want to cross the Bridge into Zambia. Secondly, if you plan to cross into Zambia and then visit South Africa, be sure to bring a Yellow Fever certificate with you. We heard that South Africa is pretty strict about denying entry to travelers who have visited Yellow Fever zones but don't have proof of this vaccination. Interestingly, the Zimbabwe side of the falls is not considered a YF zone but the Zambia side is.

Now onto the Lodge:

I stayed at the Lodge because several of my friends were on a group tour with Gate1 Travel and I wanted to be close to them. Turns out that this was a great place to stay from a location and setting perspective.

I booked my reservation and the transfers online. Upon arrival at the airport, I was pleased to see a driver waiting to take me to the hotel. He was very accomodating and even made an unscheduled stop in town at an ATM.

The Lodge is set next to a manmade watering hole that has become a legitimate destination for the local wildlife. This, alone, makes the Lodge a good place to stay but the rooms, the food at the bar and the Boma (dinner location) are other positives. There are lots of tours and activities that can be arranged at the front desk or with a dedicated tour specialist. The town of Victoria Falls as well as the world famous Falls themselves are a short drive away.

I loved everything about the room (see photos) except the scary warnings about the monkeys learning how to unlock balcony doors. To their credit, the hotel staff have put chains on the doors now and the monkeys haven't figured those out yet. :-)

If there was one negative, I would say that the staff were less than friendly. They were never rude but a smile or a light-hearted word or two would have been appreciated.

In summary, I would stay at this Lodge again without hesitation and I look forward to doing so.

Room Tip: For the best view and privacy, ask for a room that faces the watering hole. I stayed in room 8 and...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Tbird209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaAlbidaTourism, General Manager at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2012

Hello Boston
We've had several people from your wonderful city stay with us recently...must be infectious! Thanks for your generous review that rates us "a great place to stay." Yes, the willdlife is the primary point and I trust you enjoyed the sunsets and the animals at the waterhole...that's the experience our guests really love.

We are delighted to advise you that the next time you stay you will find all the 72 rooms have been totally revitalised as this process will occur early next year to make our lodge even more comfortable and modern.

I am sorry our staff seemed to be a bit aloof during your stay...usually we get so many rave reviews about the friendliness of our staff.

With best wishes
Jonathan Hudson
General Manager]
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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Reviewed September 17, 2012

Hi my husband and I booked our holiday through the Safari Source which was great as they visit and review all the places they advertise and book. Monika from the Safari Source organized our whole trip, including activities, white water rafting and safari drive, and a bottle of champagne in the room for us for our honeymoon. The Lodge was great, the safari lodge staff were very helpful and rooms kept clean at all times. I would like to thank the staff for organizing that our white water rafting photos be sent to Harare for our collection as we could not make the collection time, it was out of their way and just an indication of how they value their guests overall stay in Victoria Falls. I recommend the lodge to anyone visiting Victoria Fall.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank zimchic_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaAlbidaTourism, General Manager at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2012

Hello Dubai!
Trust you are safely home in Dubai, though your Trip Advisor signature suggests you are from Zimbabwe originally? For a honeymoon couple to rank us so highly is truly appreciated because otherwise the most important trip of your life might have been compromised. That you ranked our lodge as "great" and mentioned our team for their commitment is really valuable for us, so thank you. Monika of Safari Source sounds like a gem; someone who truly knows her stuff and is passionate about guiding her clients. We are so glad she guided you our way...next time you visit us there will be a bottle of champagne...with my compliments!

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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Reviewed September 11, 2012

Our tour group of 22 people stayed at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge for 2 nights in August during a 15 day tour with Gate1. It is about 30-45 minutes from the Victoria Falls Airport and about 15-20 minutes from the Town Center and Victoria Falls. A shuttle is offered that can take you into town. The internet access is limited and offered at a reasonable price. I paid $5 and that lasted me the whole 3 days. The Lodge is beautiful in a rustic way. The watering hole is what truly makes it amazing. Just amazing sitting on your patio or even at the bar/lounge/pool/restaurant (ordered a bream fish for lunch, very tasty) and seeing the animals come and go. My favorites to watch were the elephants and water buffalos. Seeing the animals appear out of nowhere to get their thirst quenched is truly unforgettable. BOMA restaurant is within 5 minutes of the Lodge-that was a fun experience. The grounds and décor are okay too. Rooms and bathroom (shower and bathe separate) are clean; mosquito netting around the bed-a bit on the firm side but I slept okay. I liked that they provided insect repellant in the bathrooms-ever on guard against mosquito-don’t want anyone catching malaria. Nice pool/lounge area. Breakfast options vary and were good. The staff was helpful but not overly friendly, just barely polite. Quite different from the staff we encountered at the hotels in South Africa. Beware of the monkeys on the property; they will snatch your things. One gave us quite a scare on our first night and we had the pleasure of watching one having an apple on our porch. We were advised to be careful walking around at nights since we were actually in a National Park where many animals live. So I have pointed out all the positives, now for the negative which by the way I should point out would not prevent me from staying there again because I am too fascinated with the watering hole to stay elsewhere. On check-in instead of being given the chance to grab our bags we were herded to the restaurant for complimentary drinks and introductions, room keys handed out etc. As a result some folks including myself bags were sent to the wrong rooms or plain left standing at the entrance of the hotel. Folks please insist that you get your bags first before collecting room keys! A group member had a large sum of money and personal items stolen. Staff was very helpful in getting him in touch with local police to file a report so that he could get back his money from insurance. His bill was also settled by the hotel given his great loss. For additional details see my trip report in the forum. As always be careful with your belongings when traveling anywhere in the world. Overall I’d say this was a good hotel choice by Gate1.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Kimberley S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

The lodge overlooks a waterhole where one can often view animals coming to drink. The area was extremely dry and brown in August (winter dry season), so it was usually easy to see the animals walking through the bush. From the main lodge, we saw Marabou storks. guinea fowl, warthogs, impala, elephant, and various waterfowl. Binoculars are very helpful.

The room was clean, comfortable, and nicely decorated. Although we were there in the dry season and bugs were not a problem, each evening while we were at dinner the housekeeping staff closed the balcony doors to our room, dropped the mosquito nets down from the ceiling around our bed, and activated insecticide. The doors had no weatherstripping and occasional gaps around the edges, so in bug season the nets and insecticide would probably have been welcome. We only found one available electrical outlet in the room (220v).

Some aspects of the hotel are a little over-the-top touristy: the attendant at the gate and the doorman both had tall headdresses and colorful capes, and the "Boma" dining area reminded me of the very touristy luaus in Hawaii. When we were there the Boma was quite crowded with long lines at times, especially for the meat.

Hotel and main lodge restaurant staff were always friendly and helpful. We would certainly go again.

Room Tip: Rooms with a view of the waterhole (most of them, though some at a steep angle) let you watch game f...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Diver_Denny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaAlbidaTourism, General Manager at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2012

Hello Denny USA
We thank you for your generous review, especially the eye-catching headline "Animals...Food...Fun" and your statement that "we would certainly go again." Yes, some find The Boma "touristy" though it is our intention to entertain and allow visitors to experience a few touches of traditional culture, though we can hardly be really authentic - rather we hope guests enjoy the festive spirit. The queues that occur on occasion are because The Boma has been the most popular restaurant in town for many years, though we do try to allocate as many resources as possible and are constantly looking at better ways.

Good news for you and other guests is that the lodge's 72 rooms are all being revitalised and refurbished early next year, so we hope you will visit again...when we will aim to earn a 5 Star recognition from you.

With warm regards from Victoria Falls

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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Reviewed September 4, 2012

We stayed at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge for 3 nights this August and had a truly memorable and lovely time. There are only a handful of occasions when we feel a bit wistful about leaving a place, and this was one of them. This is not to say that there aren't glitches - particularly at the front desk - but the architecture of the common areas and the rooms coupled with the gorgeous sunset views over the waterhole can make up for any shortcomings.

We booked our duplex suite with views of the waterhole through LuxuryLink but when we checked in we were brought to a much smaller room with a skewed and distant view of the waterhole. Fortunately our bellhop was on top of the situation and went back to the front desk to make sure we were re-assigned and placed in the correct category room. The situation was handled efficiently but it was something that you don't really want to deal with when you first arrive at a property. Later on in the afternoon, we went to the front desk for help contacting a tour operator with which we booked several excursions. The staff that were there at the time seemed rather indifferent and we weren't even sure if they were in the process of helping us or if they were just doing something else on their computers. After much waiting around, another employee walked by and told us that the tour operator had actually called earlier in the day and then proceeded to hand the message to us after we had been standing there waiting for 15 minutes. This all sounds like a bad start but everything smoothed out eventually.

Firstly, the duplex suites are beautiful with soaring ceilings and incredible views. These rooms are not decorated in a sleek and polished style, nor do I think they were meant to be. There is so much charm with the thatched roofs and the incorporation of local accents and wooden and tile elements into the decor. The master bathroom was decorated in a similar style and was comfortably large with a whirlpool tub and shower, and it was convenient to have a half bathroom on the lower level. Our booking included a bottle of chilled champagne delivered to the room, which we happily sipped on our patio as we watched the golden sun set as elephants frolicked at the waterhole. Life was pretty good at that moment except we had that moment 3 times since the sunsets were spectacular each day we were there.

Dinner at the lodge's "The Boma" was a fun and satisfying diversion and definitely worth trying once during your stay. The food was plentiful and you get to try different kinds of game with many sauces. Who knew warthog tasted so good?! Entertainment was typical of a resort dinner show with a combination of performance and activities to spur audience participation. MaKuwa-Kuwa was the default restaurant for breakfast and it was a very pleasant place for your first meal of the day with a sizable buffet of cold items sweet and savory, pancakes made to order, and a do-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar. You are also able to order one hot item from the menu in addition to the buffet. We had dinner there one night and felt that it is definitely a better deal for breakfast as the dinner prices are slightly elevated and the food is not the most imaginative or delicious and the dining room was much noisier during dinner service giving it a slight canteen feel.

Unfortunately, we were there during winter so the water in the pool was too cold for swimming. Otherwise, the views from the pool were equally stunning. As for the location, some people may be concerned about being outside or farther away from the town of Victoria Falls. We really did not feel that it was a problem and actually appreciated that the lodge was slightly outside of town because it was more tranquil. Additionally, the hotel runs a convenient shuttle that takes you to the town center and onward to the entrance to the park as well as picks up guests from the other big hotels in the town center during evening hours.

Overall, we had a fabulous time. There were some off notes here and there but they were easily outweighed by the hotel itself and the setting.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank sashapie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaAlbidaTourism, General Manager at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2012

Hello New York
Thank you for your very comprehensive review. Despite the glitches you experienced (for which I humbly apologize) the fact that you still felt compelled to award us maximum 5 stars tells me that you hugely enjoyed our pristine natural environment and experiences.

On the negatives we have had a few comments about front-desk service and I have been personally addressing these with daily meetings, strategy decisions (how can we miss a guest's pre check-in requests?, re-training and generally whipping up the spirit that we are renowned for. We have happy and committed staff on the front desk as this is our first "Moment of Truth" with the customer, so I apologize that you found them to be in a bit of a tizz at the time.

We value your endorsement of "truly fabulous' and that you were wistful about leaving and assure you we are working on our shortcomings. Indeed should you wish to share any further detail with me to enable us to do better my email address is below.

My warmest regards from a very hot Victoria Falls
Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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Additional Information about Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Address: 471 Squire Cummings Road, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Phone Number:
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Victoria Falls
#3 Spa Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#6 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range: $292 - $553 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Victoria Falls Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Voted the best Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe for 20 years running, the world-famous Victoria Falls Safari Lodge offers easy access to the iconic Victoria Falls, coupled with a wildlife experience that is truly unrivalled. Now in its 22nd year of welcoming guests, the Lodge is built on a plateau overlooking the Zambezi National Park with endless unspoilt views to the horizon, just four kilometers from the Falls. This is the only sunset facing hotel in Victoria Falls, and the newly-renovated rooms and balconies are built up above a central waterhole which attracts herds of buffalo, elephant, giraffe, zebra, as well as night-time predators, such as lion and leopard. Our warm and personable staff are our greatest pride. Past guests frequently comment on our team's sublime hospitality and seamless delivery. The main areas of the lodge, such as the MaKuwa-Kuwa restaurant and the homely Buffalo Bar, are rich in ambience and also overlook the central waterhole, where drinks and dinners are often shared with wildlife meandering down to the water each day to quench their thirst. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Victoria Falls Safari Hotel Victoria Falls

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