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“Nice property and food but watch out for monkeys”

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Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Beautiful property and the views of the watering hole are amazing. Food was also very good but be warned it is expensive (similar to Canadian pricing i.e. $8 for a drink).

My husband accidently forgot some $ in his pocket when we sent a few items away for laundry service and the housekeeping staff called us to return it! Was very impressed by this could could have easily taken it without our knowing.

The monkeys are a major problem here. Major pests and have been known to hiss at women guests. Also I question how ecologically healthy the "vulture feeding" is.... (worry about creating reliance on people for their food...)

Definitely not a place to go for safari but the falls are amazing and do book the Boma it's a lot of fun. Tip - when you go to the falls be prepared for a lot of water!! Bring a poncho and waterproof camera.

Room Tip: ask for a view of the watering hole
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shanta09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 31, 2012

My sister, boyfriend and I (Lane party) stayed at the end of October 2012 and were immediately wooed by the excellent service (especially George in the breakfast area who was exceptionally friendly, witty and super efficient, and also Talent in the bar area who made ordering a gin and tonic a pleasure), not to mention every other member of staff (from the management to the cleaners and gardeners) who smiled, offered help and generally being the friendliest staff in any hotel I have ever stayed in.

The accomodation itself, whist a tiny bit dated, was spotlessly clean, with comfortable beds (and the best pillows I have ever slept on), lovely balconies, good air con (if a little noisy), a massive bathtub and loads of storage space. Our room did not directly overlook the waterhole but we spent so little time in the room it made little difference, and animals do have to walk past the rooms to get to the waterhole, so, from our balcony, we spotted elephants, baboons, hyena, buffalo, kudu, impala, warthogs and the seemingly endless hordes of maribou storks and vultures soaring in the sky.

The deck area overlooking the watering hole was excellent, again spotless, with good service and excellent views of the watering hole. The lighting on the watering hole should be commended, not too bright to be intrusive but light enough for excellent viewing - on one evening we spotted a herd of 40+ elephants, closely followed by a huge herd of buffalo. We loaned some binoculars from the hotel to aid the spotting.

We used the pool area which was also great - our only small comment is the pool is a little difficult to navigate as it is a bowl shape so you cannot touch the ground at any point - a pool for bobbing in rather than standing!

The restaurant is great - good food and excellent service and we also had entertainment one evening from Amazulu which added to the atmosphere. We had breakfast in the hotel every day and found the choices on the buffet were great. Will mention George again here - he certainly made our day with his smiles and friendliness.

The location is great - slightly outside of Victoria Falls town but with a super efficient and super duper friendly bus drivers - completely adequate for trips to the falls or other activities. On one occasion we missed the bus so we took a taxi which only cost us $8 on average and are perfectly safe, clean and friendly.

Overall an excellent stay, we found the hotel to be an excellent reflection of Zimbabwe overall....beautiful, warm, friendly and welcoming. We will be back.

Room Tip: Rooms closest to the pool areas have the best view of the waterhole but are noisier
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Thedebmax
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 November 6, 2012

Hello to you in Cheltenham

Well, what a “Golden” stay you seemed to have at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge (VFSL) – I know you have your own famous “Gold” day in the horse racing calendar! Thank you for your generous review – you gave our service a big “thumbs up” and we are proud that friendly smiles and an ethic of service are inherent in our local people.

You may see the falls, the animals and have many delightful experiences, but somehow “friendliness” is a powerful tourism asset. You reflect that superbly with your last sentence that Zimbabwe in general is ”beautiful, warm, friendly and welcoming.”

We agree that the rooms at VFSL are a little outdated and we have budgeted for a total refurbishment and re-styling in the first half of the new year. We have already spent US $300,000 on sprucing up the public areas as well as investing $2,7m in the new adjacent 20-room Victoria Falls Safari Club, a luxury 5 star butler-service block. After several very bleak years Zimbabwe tourism is only just starting to come out of the doldrums, so our investment shows our confidence and commitment. We’ll catch our breath....save a little more cash....then the final piece will be to create truly splendid and fresh rooms.

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

I cannot correctly express how massively impressed we were with this hotel. The main reason for our great stay was the fantastic staff. They went out of their way to be helpful and friendly without being intrusive. George and Talent from the Restaurant are worth a particular mention. Everything was clockwork, just 'WOW'!

The elephant and buffalo at the waterhole made moving away from the deck at night incredibly difficult - make sure you have binoculars although we forgot ours and the hotel gave us a pair to use for the entire weekend, to be returned on departure.

I cannot fault our whole experience in this wonderful town. Every single person was so focussed on keeping us happy and went out of their way to ensure we were having a great time.


One or two small items maybe worth mentioning.

1. The tables on the lower levels of the bar/deck could do with a bit of lighting, perhaps a small
citronella candle, lantern or similar.
2. The helicopters from Flight or Angels droning in the background are a pain in the
butt and breaks the wonderful quite of the bush.

However, I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone. It was truly a wonderful stay and I have no doubt at all that we will be back.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Sian17
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 November 6, 2012

Hello Sian

Your lavish accolades have made our day....”massively impressed,”....”fantastic staff”....”wonderful town”....we’re all glowing with pride! In particular thank you for singling out our two cheerful Makuwa-Kuwa Restaurant waiters George and Talent; they are truly delighted and such praise inspires them to strive even harder.

Thank you, too, for your tailpiece suggestions and comments. We are actively evaluating the best solution for lighting on the lower deck tables and something should be in place soon that is subtle, stylish and effective. It’s certainly a fact that excellence is in the detail and we are forever trying to enhance in various practical ways.

Yes, the drone of the helicopters from time to time disturbs the idyllic peace of the African bush (our wilderness location is the best in town) and I can assure you that this issue is a constant battleground as we try to get the flight path of a few helicopters re-routed. We don’t let up, but so far we have not cracked it! From a tourism point of view the “Angel’s View” from above is awesomely spectacular, so banning helicopters is not the answer.

Explorer David Livingstone, the first European to see the Falls in 1855, did not have the advantage of a helicopter but nevertheless opined: “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”

By the way, we also think Nelspruit is a wonderful place and we are aware that many ex-Zimbabweans have chosen to settle there.

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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Reviewed October 22, 2012 via mobile

This is a open-aired Lodge that features a reception area, 2 level dining area and bar. It looks out onto a watering hole where various wildlife (I saw elephants, impala, warthogs, a variety of birds) gather. The rooms are located separately and are simply furnished with mosquito netting around the bed (a must!). You are advised to keep the balcony doors latched as baboons sometimes try to get in. The balconies are facing the watering hole but are to the side of it so you can't really sit on the deck (too hot anyway) & observe the watering hole.
All of the staff were warm & friendly. It seemed to me to be a good blend of indigenous and enough comfort to satisfy a more "picky" traveler. The food in the restaurant was excellent and the breakfast buffet had a myriad of choices. I would definitely return.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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1  Thank KathrynandTerry
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 October 23, 2012

Hello Kathryn & Terry
Your five-star endorsement of Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is greatly appreciated and all your advice to fellow travelers is well founded. Our staff appreciate your comments and I always mention these positives at our daily meeting.

I'm sorry your private balcony did not directly overlook the waterhole. There are many rooms that do but there are two main blocks and all our rooms face that great wilderness and sunset view. When you return we'll ensure you get a room with an even better view!

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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Reviewed October 15, 2012

We stayed here because it had been recommended and it did not disappoint. The staff were helpful and friendly and serviced our every need. Our room over looked the water hole and we had great views of the passing animals all the time. The room was a good size and clean too. Wonderful bed. Really enjoyed my helecopter ride and the falls themselves. All were close to the lodge. We also did the river cruise and went to the Boma - great food there too. Don't miss the vulture feeding - something incredible.

Room Tip: over look waterhole
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank 62Cath
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 October 19, 2012

Hello Cath
Thank you for your wonderful review so full of praise in every respect - not a single quibble.Yes, the passing parade of animals at the waterhole, viewed from your room, adds enormously to the experience that cannot be matched by any other hotel in town.

I would also like to inform you that all 72 Victoria Falls Safari Lodge rooms will be totally refurbished in the first half of 2013 to enhance guest comfort and satisfaction even further.

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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Reviewed October 15, 2012

Could not recommend this hotel highly enough. The location is away from the town centre and other hotels, which makes it quiet and feel exclusive. The regular shuttle is reliable and makes it a breeze getting to and from town. The staff we beyond amazing in regards to friendliness and willingness to help out. A bit of a strange one, please thank your garden staff completing the works in front of the Club House! Even they had smiles on their faces and greeted you.

My best friends wedding was organised through the hotel, and after finding out that all of the wedding clothes were not going to arrive in time from Australia for the wedding, they went out of their way to compensate and upgraded us all to Club Rooms. We also met the General Manager, Johnathan, who was extremely approachable and friendly. If I was to return to Victoria Falls, I would save for as long as it took in order to stay in one of these rooms again. Absolutely amazing and well worth the money, so do it! The rooms were huge, beautiful bathroom, super large and comfy bed, and great views from the balcony. Of particular note was the lady that came around to 'turn down' our sheets at night. She was wonderfully cheery and left us little pressies.

This fabulous experience helped us alot to try and forget about the wedding clothes, so thankyou!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kristy M
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 October 16, 2012

Dear Kristy
You have certainly made my day with one of the nicest reviews we've ever had, so thank you very much. I will read your review to all key staff in our daily meeting and will post it on our staff notice board in the canteen as this will inspire them to even greater heights.

It's not often our gardeners get a mention for their smiles but I have always actually used them as an example of the inherent friendliness of our local people. You can't walk past a gardener without them greeting you warmly, as you have experienced, and I think this is a very positive factor.

Our regular complimentary shuttle also comes in for constant praise from our guests and is a great benefit, especially as the town centre is just five minutes away.

With kindest regards
Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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Reviewed October 8, 2012

Just stayed at this hotel and was very satisfied with the experience.
The rooms are very comfortable and have a real African decor .
The air conditioning was excellent in the room and really needed due to the heat.
Our meals were included and were very good.the dinners were gourmet.
The staff were very friendly especially the turn down service staff.
Would certainly recommend this hotel

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank bradyboy2
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 October 10, 2012

Hello Bradyboy

Coming from the land of Disney you will know all about great places and great service, so thank you for your five star recommendation of our 72-room lodge, now 17 years old. The only category to lapse just a touch was the rooms, but the good news is that they will all be totally refurbished early next year to complete the recent revitalisation of the lodge. Indeed, we have just invested US$3m in upgrading the public areas and building the adjacent and exclusive 20-room Victoria Falls Safari Club wing.

The rating of the friendliness of our staff is greatly appreciated. We think it is a huge usp as those warm smiles are inherent in the nature of our local people. Turn-down staff never get a mention, so I have advised them of your appreciation.

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
#4 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Spa Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#7 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range: $292 - $549 (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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