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“Fantastic Place (At least in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe)!!!”

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Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore
Level Contributor
27 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Fantastic Place (At least in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe)!!!”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

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! :)

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank kimiFeb2010
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 review, December 21, 2012
Hello Kimi
Very well done on getting through your first solo adventure in Africa! Your very comprehensive review does us proud and really made me laugh as you use very descriptive language for your "insect fighting" episodes! All those ticks you gave us against the pricier opposition are appreciated.

You bravely came through and really enjoyed it! I must admit I would be equally scared out on the streets of the big city in Singapore...must be quite bewildering!

Best wishes for an exciting new year with more adventures!

Jono 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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Clemson, South Carolina
Level Contributor
202 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2012

Located just outside Victoria Falls, perched on a hillside that overlooks a water hole, we stayed two nights while in Victoria Falls. The lodge provides transportation into Victoria Falls on a regular schedule. You can ride in, walk around town to see all the shops, etc than at designated locations catch a ride back to the lodge. Both the rooms & restaurant have great views of the watering hole. The breakfast buffet had a good variety of choices, however it pays to get there early. Our dinner was excellent and the service was moderate. There's a large patio outside below the restaurant level where you can enjoy the sunset while having a drink. Very relaxing.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Larry G
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 review, December 13, 2012
Thank you Larry for such a positive review and for your five star rating of the wonderful views and location. Yes, for so close to town it is a magnificent piece of unspoiled Africa. I'm glad you stayed with us and that we met your expectations.

With best wishes over Xmas and the festive season
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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 6, 2012

our company went on a trip for 4 days to zimbabwe, we loved every minute of our trip..you will never get bored because there is so much to do and see..all within a short drive from victoria falls safari lodge..the lodge itself was amazing...staff were friendly and helpful....the only thing i would say is that the room service menu needs work and the quality of the food is not that great..other than that an all round amazing experience and will definatly be back again just for a longer time..thank you to the staff for being amazing people...the boma resturant is amazing..good food and entertainment a real winner..keep up the good work guys..maurice fisher from south africa

Room Tip: i stayed in room 47 and the views were amazing...you can see plenty wildlife
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank mauricefisher46
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 review, December 7, 2012
Thank you Maurice for your generous review

You used the word "amazing" several times...and we think so too! Your excitement is obvious and we certainly know that we have an amazing location that is supreme at Victoria Falls. We very seldom get negative comments about our food at the signature Makuwa-Kuwa restaurant as we, and many guests, consider this one of our strongest suits. You obviously somehow hit a poor patch? I would really like to know a bit more so we can address the issues, so I would be delighted if you would email me with a little more detail of your feelings and experiences.

I'm sorry you experienced difficulties with room service; this often happens at busy times when all staff are stretched and room service becomes more difficult with speed of delivery, though the quality should always remain good and constant.

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw
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Chicago, Illinois, United States
1 review
Reviewed December 1, 2012

FOr the area, great location, nice views, grouns kept very nicely. Staff is great withone exception, you have to chase them down to get secondary service. They will wait on you right away but don't come back unless they're looking for a dirty glass/dish. However, they are very personable. Waterhole views are great (if the animals cooperate). Food is EXCELLENT but slightly over-priced. A small bottle of water is $3 USD. Way too high. Try and get a meal package when booking or else look to spend an average of $250 USD per day per couple for food, NOT including drinks. Rooms are nice. Bugs are bad in the area. Get used to eating and drinking with gnas, flies and other small flying insects and huge moths at night hanging around your table and even on your plate if you're not careful. If you are going to experience Zimbabwe, 3 nights is enough time. If you are going to get away and spend some time alone, you coul probably last 5 nights or so. Again, the place is very nice and the foo is good.

Room Tip: Choose the watering hole views (deluxe rooms or suites).
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Lissa G
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 review, December 2, 2012
Hello Lissa
How lucky to live in Chicago...sure is my kind of town and I just love the little pubs and jazz spots on Rush Street. Great to know that you liked our natural world location too and we thank you for taking the time to post a review.

We agree that "a little work" is still required. Zimbabwe tourism has been slumbering for a decade and it's been a matter of survival and we're proud to have kept going through some pretty traumatic times. Now things are starting to show signs of a steady revival and we're ready...this year we invested US$300,000 on revitalising all the public areas and in 2013 we have budgeted to refurbish all 72 rooms and invest up with some extra staff and serious training and re-training as we are acknowledged leaders in the industry in our country.

The "bugs" are part of Africa I'm afraid but only become a real nuisance as the rains arrive or are close...so maybe a good sign. Please will you revert to me regarding your payment of $250 per couple per day for food...that sounds right out of kilter unless you were eating at posh a la carte restaurants at some other hotels. The most expensive non a la carte meal on property on our concession is $40 for The Boma that includes as much as you can eat and some rousing entertainment.

Wishing you a festive Xmas and New Year and very good tidings for 2013. Thanks for visiting us and for staying at Victoria Falls safari Lodge.

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.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2012

My husband and I stayed at The Victoria Falls Hotel August 2011. We enjoyed the natural welcome from the Warthogs on arrival, and was greeted with such African style and smiles. The surroundings were immense, breakfast was amazing. The views at anytime of the day were fabulous ! Looking and waiting in suspense at what was going to appear at the water hole was hundred times better than watching the telly. The Buffalo bar certainly lived up to its name. What a wonderful experience. We will no doubt return to The Victoria Falls Safari Hotel. We had a lovely room with jacuzzi and lovely views.

Room Tip: I don't recall seeing a fitness room and can therefore not comment on this. I was unable to un-t...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank GraceMikw
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 review, December 2, 2012
Hello Grace
Your very positive review of our lodge is greatly appreciated....the headline says it all: "Amazing African Experience." Thank you. The location really is supreme among Victoria Falls hotels and lodges and adds excitement and value to the overall experience. I hope the floods have not affected you too badly - I know you're in for a cold (maybe even white) Xmas...we are still hitting almost 40 c and waiting anxiously for the main rains to break to cool us all down.

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.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
523 reviews
123 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2012

Such an amazing place to stay, rooms fabulous, seeing warthogs running under the balcony, interesting, knowing you have to close all doors on account of the baboons, a lesson. Wanted to take an evening walk, was so advised that was not such a good idea, due to the resident jaguar! Can always walk later! Seeing the elephants come down to the water hole to drink! I could go on, enough to say, this place, the staff, the rooms, the food! More than we could expect. Hope to return one day.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Maggie F
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 review, November 27, 2012
Hello Maggie

Thank you for your very generous review – we are truly delighted that your expectations were transcended. Even the pesky monkeys were a positive experience for you...what a great spirit. Glad you didn’t take an evening walk as our security and other staff would have quickly stepped in....it would not be unusual to bump into some elephants or buffalo and, indeed, lions are also often in the immediate area. As for the “resident jaguar” – I’m sure you mean the leopard that lives very near to the lodge.

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager
jonathan@saflodge.co.zw
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Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2012

My wife and I stayed Nov. 4, 5 and 6. We enjoyed the open areas of the bar, breakfast eating area and restaurant which allowed us to watch the comings and goings at the water hole which proved to be very interesting. Our room also overlooked the water hole. It's great to have a hotel/lodge room with an interesting view. The room, the bed and the bathroom was clean. We liked the atmosphere in the room, the bed complete with mosquito curtains was comfortable, and the bathroom was nicely laid out and well supplied. All of the staff were friendly and helpful. My personal highlight in the hotel was my warthog dinner in the restaurant - very tasty and more tender than I anticipated. We also ordered room service one night when we returned late from a full and active day, the service was timely and the food was well prepared. I recommend this lodge to travellers to Victoria Falls.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jim 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 review, November 27, 2012
Hello Jim

Thank you so much for your high commendation and positive review. Staying with us is as much about the general experience as the food and service and it’s great that you so appreciated your “room with a view” as well as a tasty warthog dinner.

You gave service and sleep quality a full house of 5 stars – isn’t it just great to sleep peacefully in the African bush with no noise of traffic etc. We wish you a festive Xmas and great New Year in Canada.

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

Property: 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 Spa Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#5 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#7 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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