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AVANI Victoria Falls Resort
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Reviews (1,882)
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1,644 - 1,649 of 1,882 reviews
Reviewed March 9, 2008

This is an excellent four star hotel which, together with its neighbouring five star sister hotel, the Royal Livingstone, has an unparalleled location just five minutes walk from the falls (the town of Livinstone itself is 15 minutes drive away). However, we were left with a very unfavourable impression because of their greed in over-charging and we shall not go back. On arrival we wanted a snack but were informed that it was the buffet or room service, no other options. We were charged almost US$7 for two 500ml bottles of water (beer was cheaper). The buffet was an eye-watering $33 each and, when I checked out, I found that they had added a compulsory 10% service charge to all food and drink (a service charge on a BUFFET and on a bottle of water!) which, when I objected, they refused to remove, arguing that it was mentioned on the bills I signed. We appreciate that this and its sister hotel are the only possible choices because of the proximity to the falls – and it is apparent that they know this, too.

One is met on arrival by two 'Zulu warriors' (see photo). There are zebras and giraffe in the grounds together with a wonderful colony of weaver birds (bring your camera and a good lens for some stunning shots); their are small crocodiles in the lake. One is warned not to leave windows open because of the monkeys which are to be seen running into the dining room at breakfast and stealing anything that looks edible (the staff are armed with catapaults as a deterrent).

Europeans we met in Botswana had been to the falls in Zimbabwe which we gather has a better view of the falls plus a lesser visa fee than is now charged in Zambia.

  • Stayed: February 2008
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2  Thank Roger.pauline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2008

The thing that saves this hotel is that it is a couple of minutes walk to the spectacular Zambian side of Vic Falls. The hotel is OK, some problems (see below), but in general overpriced unless you rationalise that you are paying for proximity.

Positives:
- location
- fantastically friendly service at the restaurants and decent food (not cheap but not badly hotel-overpriced either)
- mosquito repellants and umbrellas provided in rooms
- generally friendly and helpful staff

Negatives:
- we were a group in 4 rooms; 2 of the rooms had phones that did not work (even internally in the hotel)
- don't bother with room service unless you want to have call 3 times to get food which eventually comes cold, badly reheated and basically inedible an hour and a half after you ordered
- checkout procedure quite painful and 2 of our rooms had things added to the bills that should not have been there (one breakfasts that had been paid for in advance, the other a USD200 phone bill!!!) so time consuming

Neutrals:
- rooms very basic despite the garishly painted walls. Clean(ish) but small, very small closet space, limited in room amenities

If not for the Falls I could not really recommend this hotel, but as mentioned proximity to that (as well as to the border to do the Zim activities) and the excellent activity centre makes it worthwhile.

By the way a note to travellers - be aware that even in "low flow" season you will get drenched at the Zambian side of the falls. Take a raincoat with (an umbrella won't help much as the spray comes up, not down) and ziploc bags for cameras etc.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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8  Thank sjsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2007

Stunning setting, fantastic activities, charming staff and superb food made our short trip to the Victoria Falls truly unforgettable.

The staff at the Zambezi Sun International are such lovely people, as was every single person we met in Zambia. They're warm, friendly, intelligent and funny.

The falls themselves are impressive and we managed to get a couple of local lads to take us across the top of the river to the very edge of the falls (normally you view the falls from opposite). This was probably pretty dangerous, but at the same time totally awesome.

In terms of activities, if you're an adrenalin junkie then the rafting with BUNDU Tours is a must. For a calmer view of the Zambezi then kayaking the upper river is a great way to see both the river and its wildlife.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank MarkAnnaLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2007

Within walking distance of the amazing Victoria Falls and set in extensive grounds with a very large swimming pool, the Zambesi Sun offers very attentive service and good but slightly expensive food from two restaurants. Breakfast is amazing.
The location is fantastic as many side trips are easily accessed. There is a local elephant sanctuary and trips on the river just above the falls. You can swim right up to the lip of the falls in the dry season (until Health and Safety "experts" find out!) after a short boat trip or kayak beneath the falls.
Hotel rooms are European size with AC, comfortable beds and kept well serviced.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank holidaymadWestmids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2007

The hotel itself was fine. The rooms were secure, the beds comfortable. Zebras roamed through the hotel grounds every day we were there, which was fun. But the price was very high for the quality of the hotel. Not to mention, the staff failed to put our names on the security list for the border, so we had to pay full price for our visas when they should have been compensated by the hotel! (And this also happened to other travelers we met while staying there.)

All told, I would probably stay across the river at the Victoria Falls Hotel. MUCH nicer hotel, MUCH better staff, and all for much less money.

Stayed: November 2006
2  Thank WashingtonType
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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