We were delighted with our choice of Ilala Lodge as a place to stay when we visited Victoria Falls. Their location is best, right at the edge of town at the beginning of the walk to the Falls national park. Our room was on the lower level and we were initally disappointed that we couldn't see the mist of the falls from our room, but honestly we were mostly in the room when it was dark, spending our days on the upper level where the view was lovely. The bed was very comfortable, the bathroom huge and well appointed (first time I've seen mosquito repellant as a bath amenity) although our air conditioner was noisy and the engineering staff weren't able to do much about it. We enjoyed watching the warthogs graze on the grass right outside our room. Breakfast was a hugely generous buffet, and we enjoyed cocktails (try the Blue Crocodile Tears) by the pool in the afternoon. (The pool was a welcome respite after a dusty day of walking.) One evening we ate at the Palm Restaurant and the food and service were outstanding. Another evening we signed up for the evening boat trip on the Zambezi on the Lodge's boat Ra-Ikane. Although expensive at $85 per person compared with $50 or so for the touristy faux paddlewheelers we saw, it was totally worth it for the small group, the comfortable chairs, and the lovely appetizers and unending beer and wine we were served. Why the lovely dessert tray remained untouched, not passed at all, was a mystery.
One thing to be aware of: we couldn't find any room prices on Ilala Lodge's website; you have to email them for availability. When the price was quoted, it was PER PERSON, which made it sound very reasonable, until we realized it was not per room. The quote was $157 per person, but you had to look carefully at the voucher to realized this. We believe the rate was very much worth it, but think they should quote prices on their website and be clearer that the rates are not per room, double occupancy, but are per person.
Oh, and there's no wifi in the rooms, but only one computer in the lobby. Don't buy a card for internet access for your computer; it only gets you about 5 minutes. We usually found the lobby computer available for a quick check of emails, which was adequate.
Finally, take advantage of the Tourist Police standing on the main road just outside the Ilala Lodge gate. They'll walk you to the gorge overlook, a fabulous view of the lower Zambezi, or to the Falls park entrance, thus sparing you the hassle of all the vendors selling curios. The Tourist Police are paid for by the hotels of Victoria Falls, so take advantage of their services; a small tip will be much appreciated and you'll enjoy their conversation if you wish.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ilala Lodge is ideally located only minutes away from the spectacular Victoria Falls. A family run hotel, Ilala Lodge has 56 stylish, well-equipped rooms, providing the ultimate in comfort. The top-rated Palm Restaurant at Ilala Lodge offers delicious al-fresco dining under the starry African skies, whilst listening to the roar of the falls. The staff are attentive and friendly, and ensure your bucket list trip is perfect for you. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Ilala Hotel Victoria Falls