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“Very Safe, Friendly and Beautiful at Falls on Zimbabwe Side”

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Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
133 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Very Safe, Friendly and Beautiful at Falls on Zimbabwe Side”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2008

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge has Excellent Customer Service, Very Clean Facility, and Fantastic Views from the Hotel. Plus they offer a FREE Hourly shuttle to get on/off at the Falls, casino, and shops. If you are concerned about safety or disease, dont be. The tourism for the falls makes the Victoria Falls airport, and the area safe. The Cholera outbreak is over 1000km east in a islated area. I was a solo woman traveler and had no issues! DO NOT stay on the Zambia side during low-season they have NO view of the falls (its dried up in their small viewing section) and you will end up paying the $30 visa to cross the bridge actaully see the falls on the Zimbobwe side. Also do not exchange for Zimbabwe currency; they only except foreign currency (Rand, Euro, USD)

  • Liked — Friendly safe and a fantastic view from the hotel, plus free shuttle to falls
  • Disliked — Wish there was a TV in the room (there is one in the
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
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6 Thank mightygeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
washington, DC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2008

You go for the Falls, which are magnificant even in October,. and the rest is peripheral. The Safari Lodge is quaint--air conditioned only in the rooms, under mosquito nets, with television only on a Direct TV in an un-airconditioned common area. It was close to 90 degrees in October. There is Internet availability. The views of the watering hole are interesting, if a bit distant. A guide with a rifle is available for a walk in the reserve.

The two swimming pools were essentially unaccessible for us--we are in early 70's--due to lack of steps, railings, etc. and walking around the complex at night with multiple stairs and occasional power outages can be a challenge.

Bring plenty of american dollar bills or rands (now 10 to a dollar) Local currency is worthless and available only as souveniers--I brought home some 100 Billion dollar bills. Despite intense poverty we experienced no begging, but of course an intense desire to sell anything. The craft area of 50 to 80 men selling goods just off the main drag with no tables under tents may look scary at first sight but they are must trying to feed their families (and themselves) and there was no over-aggression. We also took the internet address of one person we spoke to (who has responded since we returned home) and plan to send him bundle of retired baby clothes, etc. Shoes, sneakers and clothes are a clear need.

I suspect the Victoria Falls area is somewhat better off than most of the rest of Zimbabwe--but the CNN news coverage of its internal problems and the world financial problems are substantially impacting the amount of visitors and thus what little economy they have, so layoffs from the prized hotel jobs, etc. is sure to follow. I would have no hesitation in recommending anyone who is considering such a trip to go, and go now.

As I noted my wife is 70 and I am 71 and while we passed on the bungee jumping and elephant rides, we were able to navigate the 2 mile Victoria Falls walk, take the Zambesi River sunset cruise, and otherwise get around without substantial difficulty. We also didn't do the Devil's Pool--a pool of water on the edge of the falls--but saw others doing it. I understand they are now charging Americans $100 apiece for the privilege. No matter; I'll pass.

Again Victoria Falls is well worth doing--and now.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank mrrespa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicestershire
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2008

We booked a week at the Safari Lodge to use as a comfort base whilst roughing it on the river, plundging off the bridge and swinging the gorge. The booking was made through Afrizim.com, we also booked some extras like the Boma Meal and the andrenalin activities.

The flight from Johannesburg was OK - nothing really to write home about. The Victoria Falls airport was very outdated, but we didn't expect much more as we were entering a propper 3rd world country demoralised and blead by it's corupt leader.
Whilst we were waiting for the minibus to take us to the hotel/lodge, we were treated by soem local african dancers.

One thing though is there are a lot of beggars - usually very young children who offer to carry your bags etc... be wary. Although we were told they could be trusted with your belongings, then can get nasty if you don't tip well. We felt very guilty refusing the help, even though we had to be quite stern as they would not leave you alone.

We were kept waiting to check in as there were a few new arrivals. This did not bother us as we were allowed through to the bar for a much needed ice cold beer.
Hotel staff were very pleasant , well spoken and not what we were expecting at all.

Meals were cooked and served to a very high standard. The whole lodge was very well kept and was always clean. The rooms serviced everyday.

Unfortunately there had been heavy rains in the months prior to our arrival so all the andrenaline based activities had been cancelled. So we settled for the next best thing of wildlife, wildlife and more wildlife - a truley awesome experience!
We did an elephant back safari, night game drive, sunset river cruise, microlight flight over the falls and the best was horse-back safari through a nearby game reserve. As we are both experienced riders and were the only two on the outing, we were taking off trail and within 10m of buffalo & elephant.

From the restaurants, bars & swimming pool, you could watch wildlife of all types come to a nearby watering hole for drinking at certain times of the day.
From these places, we also saw hotel staff take guests out on foot through the park - which must have been an amazing experience. There are hydes to get really close to game as well.

We also took in the local craft market where curios could be bought, but you really need to haggle to get a decent price. If you have old clothes with you, it helps for trade in. The locals are very poor and will do pretty much anything for food & clothing.
We found that if you bought from one stall and not another, things could get quite heated. It's heart wrenching watching grown men cry because you did not buy from them which potentially means their families could go hungary. we browsed one day and bought another, but one teenager remembered us and followed us back to the bus stop begging the whole way. He stayed begging at us for about 15 minutes (we had just missed the bus) and started getting agressive because we couldn't help him. We had to ask a shop owner to assist.

Unfortunately the holiday was over far too soon. and even though it was only nearly two years ago it seems like it was yesterday. We can't wait to go back for the high andrenalin stuff. I have done the white water on the Zambezi a couple of times in my teens, but long to do it again.

Well recommended. The lodge could not have been better.

  • Liked — Friendlines, cleanliness, efficiency of staff
  • Disliked — Bus transfers
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank System-G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
long island, new york
Level Contributor
59 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2008

This hotel is super. Great location. Staff is very friendly.

The rooms are nice. Ask for an upgrade to deluxe or a suite. Two people in our party did and got it - gratis.

Be sure to bring S.A. Rand with you or small bills (USDollars or Euro) trying to get any kind of small change was tough. It made tipping difficult.

The hotel runs a shuttle into town. For the market in town, you need small bills. You can negotiate - they do get a little pushy. Not as bad as some other countries (Egypt comes to mind).

The hotel has a watering hole. You can see lots of animals all day.

And of course there is Vic Falls. They are quite beautiful.

Try the warthog or impala for dinner - both are excellent. The chef at the hotel put together some appetizers for our tour for a party. The food was excellent. Trying to get a bottle of liquor in town was an adventure ($200 us for a bottle of wine - but only $15 us for a bottle of vodka - go figure - needless to say it was vodka and guava juice).

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — No small bills for change when you needed it
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
1 Thank annieonly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2008

Although Zimbabwe is most probably not on everyone's mind as a travel destination, I can not recommend the Victoria Falls area enough.
What an experience. We stayed at the Safari Lodge Hotel just outside of the village, overlooking a watering hole. Fantastic 'african-style' rooms with a wooden sliding door opening up onto your own balcony. Magnificent views, especially at dusk and dawn.
The staff were fantastic and extremely helpful.
The only negative thing is the number of steps and staircases. If you have a mobility problem, you most probably will find it a hassle.
As far as excursions are concerned, do go on the "Walk with Lions". Awesome! So, overall, a worthwhile experience in a great setting.

Stayed August 2008
Helpful?
3 Thank Sabah289
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2008

We recently stayed in the self-catering units sister to the Safari Lodge Hotel. It was a great experience, the staff are very friendly and attentive. The Hotel is situated on a hill overlooking the natural bush facing north towards the Zambezi river which is 4 kilometers away. At night one can hear the roar of the Victoria Falls! The hotel has a fantastic Bar with an open balcony that overlooks a watering hole. Sundowner drinks watching elephants and big game come for water at sunset was spectacular. On an upper deck with the same view is a fantastic restaurant with excellent quinine. Pricing is in US Dollars, not inexpensive, say $30 a meal average, but top quality.

One can arrange many activities at the hotel including River cruises, bungee jumping, helicopter flights and white-water rafting. Everything is professionally run to world standards.
We walked across the Border bridge into Zambia to see the falls from that side which was even more spectaular than the Zimbabwe side. The Zambian side is probably 30% cheaper than Zimbabwe owing to the circumstances of Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls is a natural wonder the world for a very good reason - it is truly awesome. Do note that the period form April to August is the fullest time for the river and with this much water one cannot see the entire falls (over 1,4 km wide) from any single point due to the shear volume of water crashing into the valley and causing mist that rains. Do go across the bridge to the Zambian side which is even more spectacular.

  • Liked — Service and Setting was great
  • Disliked — Not the newest but well kept
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank SABusinessman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2008

Amazing for people who want to rest and also want to see animals...
The rooms are simple but you can see monkies in your balcony.
Near the pool you have a deck overlooking the nature, you can see animals, like elefants and giraffs drinking from the lake. Gorgeos sunsets...!

  • Liked — special view on nature
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank I8A4RE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
#4 Spa Hotel in Victoria Falls
#5 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#8 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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