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“Living on upper Zambezi in Zimbabwe”

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Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge
Ranked #3 of 16 Hotels in Victoria Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Bloomington, Indiana
Level Contributor
100 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Living on upper Zambezi in Zimbabwe”
Reviewed March 19, 2012

This eight unit safari lodge is wonderful. The rooms are nicely sized; the personnel were very responsive to our needs. We had a variety of wild animals come to our doorstep. The guides taking the tourists to see animals are very knowledgeable and fun to be with. I have done lots of safaris in africa and found this to be near the top in the fun, ambience and food. The lodge manager Karen Poole is leaving end of March 2012. She is a huge key to the success. She is going to lead Zambezi Crescent Lodge at Victoria Falls when it opens in April 2012. I would check that out.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Dwain I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildHorizons, Owner at Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge, responded to this review, April 2, 2012
Thanks so much for your great comments on Imbabala! Karen, our current lodge manager has done a superb job, which obviously reflects in the fantastic TripAdvisor reviews. We are very sorry that Karen is leaving! It has taken a while for us to find a suitable replacement to fill Karen’s shoes, however we are very excited to say that we have managed to secure Brad White and Annie Hattingh (Soon to be Brad and Annie White) as replacement managers. Brad and Annie currently manage a camp in the Okavango Delta and have been there for the past two years. Prior to that they worked at a private game lodge in South Africa.

The White family founded Imbabala and Brad’s father, Craig built the original lodge in 1981. Brad grew up in Victoria Falls and at Imbabala prior to leaving Zimbabwe to school and train in South Africa and to gain experience in other lodges and safari environments. He is now returning to where he grew up and developed his love and passion for the African Bush, bringing with him Annie, his wife to be. Annie also trained and worked in South Africa, prior to moving to the delta with Brad. We feel very fortunate to have Brad and Annie come home to manage Imbabala! Please be assured that Imbabala will remain the intimate, owner-operated safari camp it has been loved for over many years. We hope to welcome you again soon! Kind regards, Shane
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Washington, DC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2012

It has been seven months since our stay at Imbabala, and I often find myself daydreaming at work about being back there. Some memories fade over time -- I can't recall what we ate for dinner at night or the names of the pleasant Belgian couple we met; but I'll never forget the warmth of the colors or the deep earthy serenity you feel under your skin.

Thank you to Karen and staff for everything you do.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Erik D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2012

From the moment we arrived we were welcomed by Karen with immense warmth - and that was the continued feeling throughout our stay. The setting on the Zambezi is magical and peaceful but not pretentious. Imbabala is an ideal destination for families as the children are immediately accepted. After a 5-week tour of Africa this was my children's highlight. The food was delicious, family-friendly and flexible depending on your arrival and activities. At night the Impala come to rest under the lights surrounding the eating area - beautiful. The game drives were lead by the delightful Abe and Stan who both have an infectious enthusiasm for what they do. We were amazed by the spotting of a chameleon on a branch on a night drive. The highlight was to be able to sit within meters of a pack of Painted Dogs and watch their activities. What a privilege! We left with great sadness but feeling as though we had truly tasted Africa and met people who we will consider friends from now on. Thank you Karen and your marvelous family for making us so welcome.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Fiona W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hope Island, Australia
1 review
Reviewed February 16, 2012

Imbabala is the most amazing place. All the staff are so friendly and helpful. A big thank you to Himal for taking us fishing and being a terrific guide. Karen is such a special person who made our stay that much more special. We saw so many amazing things every single day.. Our room was lovely with a big outdoor shower, was very different having a shower with elephants walking past! I would recommend to anyone!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Saera A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed February 15, 2012

Everything said about this idyllic camp is accurate. Karen is a superb hostess with an intuitive understanding of her guests' needs. The accommodation is simple but very comfortable and the newly refurbished pool is great for a dip whatever your age.
The camp's green credentials have not been mentioned elsewhere. Imbabala's kitchen garden grows all the ultra fresh vegetables used at this camp as well as those used at Elephant Camp Vic. Falls, and, being by the river, the need to top up pans during dry periods is unnecessary.
Imbabala offers a wonderful river experience as well as the game viewing on land. For me, no future visit to Zimbabwe would be complete without visiting Imbabala.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank fiona p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2012

We have just returned from our second family holiday to Vic Falls and Imbabala. There was no need for reviews as we had a wonderful stay in Dec 2010. Once again our expectations were exceeded with our four night stay passing too quickly. Often it is not easy travelling as a family as you have to split up by using two rooms but I can highly recommend not only their family unit but also the welcoming and friendly attitude towards children which is not always the case at other lodges. Wonderful peaceful setting, excellent games drives ( which often are extended on the return into night drives ) by guides Stan and Abe, exclusive use of a section of the Zambezi which allows viewing by boat or attempts to land an elusive Tiger fish and excellent birding where we recorded over 100 species. A personal highlight is the evening meal under the stars with a herd of Impala settling down for the night barely 20 metres away. To Karen and all her friendly staff thank you for a wonderful stay and we are already planning our 2012 trip.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Guy203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2012

I recently stayed at Imbabala with my family. We are based in Australia so a trip back to the African bush has been on the wish list for some time. I had read recent reviews about Imbabala as well as Karen's blog, so we were anticipating a relaxed, family environment to enjoy the wild. What we were not prepared for was just how magical this haven is. We were welcomed by Karen and her staff with such warmth and familiarity as if we were old friends. Our chalets were more than comfortable, offering the most magnificent views of the river by day and the bush buck by night - occassionally accompanied by elephant, warthog, wild dog and giant eagle owls. Our activities were guided by two of the most magnificent guides whose experience and knowledge of the wildlife, including the plant life took us on a magical wonderland trip. The staff were always very attentive and ready to help, but equally discreet when rest time came about (as if we needed to rest ourselves anymore). This is not a five-star luxury lodge. Nor should it be. It is a home, away from home, in the most beautiful setting on the Zambezi River. Karen ensured every bit of our holiday was a truly African experience. We will be back, with our friends, for the place that Imbabala is and for the the FIVE star, indulgent food!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Suzy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge

Property: Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge
Address: Matetsi Safari Area | Upper Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Victoria Falls
#3 Luxury Hotel in Victoria Falls
#5 Romantic Hotel in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge is situated on a riverine fringe of the mighty Zambezi River where Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia converge. Located 80 kilometers west of Victoria Falls, access is by transfer from Victoria Falls, Livingstone or Kasane. Imbabala offers the chance to unwind but also some of the most amazing game viewing and bird watching in the region, in the seclusion of a private National Parks concession. The 5,000 acre concession has 14 kilometers of private Zambezi river frontage and borders the Chobe Forest Reserve, which is renowned for its massive elephant population. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Imbabala Zambezi Safari Hotel Victoria Falls

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