First of all, I must qualify that I am a Singaporean (which means other than the occasional lizard, cockroach, small spider, mosquitoes and ants, we hardly get other creatures in other homes unless we keep them as pets), a creature of comfort, a solo traveller and venturing into the African continent for the first time. Second, as I stayed at a different hotel in Victoria Falls on my third night (14 Dec 2012) in Zimbabwe, I'm actually making a comparison between the two accomodations retrospectively.
When I first booked the Safari Lodge online, the pricing of the lodge greatly attracted me cos the price that a solo traveller pays is the same as others (one TICK!). It is so rare that a solo traveller can find accomodations that do not charge extra for travelling solo. ^_^
Entering the room at the lodge, I saw the electronic mosquito repellent (but without the "capsule/medication") on the wall socket and a can of insect repellent spray (second TICK!). Being a paranoid person for flying insects and yet wanting to enjoy nature without sacrificing comfort, I am so happy with the management for taking into consideration that there are people like me who do not like to be bitten or disturbed by flying insects! In addition, after shifting to an another famous hotel in Victoria Falls on the third night (which is even more expensive than the lodge cos I need to pay twice the price for travelling solo), I was actually disappointed that the pricier hotel pales in comparison to the lodge when it comes to "insects fighting". A can of spray was available only when asked.
At night, when I had returned from my dinner cruise, I was pleasantly surprised with the turn down service, which includes spraying of the insect repellent in the room to kill any hiding flying insects (there was a distinct smell in the room and I verified this with housekeeping staff on second night) and closing the additional wooden foldable doors to the balcony (I didn't feel like doing it on my own cos I've experienced mosquitoes lurking in these areas in the past). The second night, the housekeeping staff even remembered to place the "capsule/medication" in the electronic mosquito repellent without my asking. So I slept very well the second night. (The first night was somewhat disturbed by the small moths in my room BUT this is nothing compared to the medium size moth that came into my room at the pricey hotel!)
I also like the fact that the management has installed both air-con and fan in the room as everytime the air-con stops (think it's some energy saving feature though I set the temperature at 24 degrees), at least the fan continues (at speed 2 to 3) and the room remains cool to cold. In terms of details, I think the service provided by staff and management was great cos even the holes in the bed netting were mended (as compared to the bed netting of the other hotel...). (Third TICK)
The water hole is a great place cos I get to see impalas and warthogs in the morning when I had breakfast (inclusive), vultures in the afternoon when I had lunch at the restaurant and elephants at night when I had dinner! (I'm sure there are more spectacular places and safari lodges where wild life could be seen but hey, this is my FIRST time and I'm more than happy!) I'm also glad that the management has been thoughtful to loan out FREE binoculars so that I can see the elephants clearly at night! ^_^ In fact, I was very proud to loan fellow diners the use of the free binoculars so that they can likewise see the elephants at the water hole. Based on the excitement of fellow diners at seeing the elephants, I guess I'm not the only "greenhorn" at the safari lodge! :P (fourth TICK)
I also appreciate that the management had an extremely thoughtful statement on pool tip as it really helped me consolidate all the tips together and give as a lump sum. (fifth TICK) The main reason was that I do not have small change, was initially not aware that I could use the South African Rand and was unable to get small change for USD$100 despite asking reception for help. So yeah, it's either I get change of small notes or not give any tip at all. With the statement on pool tip, I just chalked up the tips and give as one lump sum when I make one-off payment at check-out. ^_^
Granted that the my lunch and dinner (I mean main course) cost me between USD$15-25 at the lodge but seriously, I've no major complaints. I mean, yeah, my pizza lunch of USD$4-6 in town was clean, cheap and good but I had to suffer street vendors hounding after me as I walk back alone to my hotel on the third day. At the pricier hotel, I also had to zealously fend off the flies that come after my high tea of USD$30, which sort of spoilt my mood. Instead of enjoying my high tea at leisure, I had to gobble up my delicious food as fast as possible. Even then, the flies landed on my food TWICE, which strangely, didn't happen at the lodge (maybe except breakfast display...) Last, even the presentation of my omelette with mushrooms for breakfast was nicer and tasted better at the lodge, as compared to omelettes with mushrooms I had at the other hotel and guesthouse in Cape Town.
Anyway, if I should ever go back Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, this lodge would definitely be my first choice! :)
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Victoria Falls Safari Hotel Victoria Falls