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“Good place to start an African adventure”

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AVANI Victoria Falls Resort
Ranked #3 of 18 Hotels in Livingstone
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 20, 2013

We chose to start our safari with a visit to Victoria falls and the Zambezi Sun was an ideal location to recover from the overnight flight. The hotel is of a good standard and set in lovely grounds with free roaming Zebra, Impala and Giraffe. Staff are friendly and helpful.

But the best thing about the hotel is its location. You go to Livingstone to see the falls and they are literaly a 5 minute walk across the hotel gardens. We visited them 3 times in our 2 night stay - afternoon, morning and before dawn - so we saw them in every light. We probably would not have done this if we had had to take taxis and pay an entrance fee.

I enjoyed the breakfast and drinks are reasonable (what you would expect for this class of hotel) provided you stick to local beer/wine and avoid premium imports.

We ate at the nearby Squires restaurant - they offer a good choice of food including some local dishes and prices are reasonable.

If you are around in the afternoon it is worth going to see the Zebra and Giraffe being fed. This is done in a quiet area about 5 minutes walk away and allows you to get a close up view of the animals that you are unlikely to get on safari. The animals are used to humans but not tame. It can be a little intimidating to see a big male giraffe towering over you, but provided you follow the instructions of the staff you will be OK.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Max M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 18, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for 4 nights at the end of our 3 week African adventure. Overall I was very impressed with the hotel. Check in and out was a breeze and the reception staff and concierge were friendly and helpful. The pool itself was enormous and the surrounding area/grounds were beautiful maintained. Do not be at all surprised if when walking the ground you encounter Zebra, Giraffe and Impala, we got pretty blasé by the 4th day as a herd of this and that wandered past us while sunbathing.

The room was fine. It showed signs of needing a little freshening up but was spotlessly clean with a nice balcony and one of the most powerful showers I have had the pleasure of taking.

The food and buffet at breakfast was one of the best and most varied selections of its kind that I have even seen. I cannot comment on dinner as it was also buffet style which I am not keen on. Therefore we ate most nights at Squires which is a 2nd but independently run restaurant located on the property beside the activity centre. We loved it here and found the food to be similar in style to high quality pub food back home. We also had high tea and then dinner on our last afternoon/night at the sister hotel on site; the 5 Star Royal Livingstone. It’s worth knowing that you as guests of the Zambezi can use many of the facilities of both hotels as they encompass the overall Falls Resort.

The Royal Livingstone can be reached on foot (10 minutes) or by having reception calling you a complementary shuttle service. Having done so, I would advise against eating here. We found it unnecessarily pretentious and sub standard in terms of the quality of food expected from a hotel such as this. However I would still strongly recommend a visit to the Royal Livingstone. This would be purely and simply to make use of its world class outdoor bar/deck which is wonderfully positioned over the Zambezi River with the spray of the falls in the background to your left. Enjoying a cold beer (I suggest Mosi) or a well muddled cocktail in this spectacular setting while watching the sunset and seeing hippos play in the river or elephant crossing it really should be on anyone’s must do list.

The Victoria Falls themselves are utterly spectacular and as a guest at the Zambezi Sun you are afforded the privilege of taking a 5 minute walk to the falls any time you like, free of charge and as many times as you see fit. The hotel marries this great logistical selling point with an unpretentious atmosphere, friendly staff, comfortable rooms, good food and an expansive pool/outdoor bar area. Having now stayed here and having also seen what Livingstone can offer in terms of accommodation, I would always return to the Zambezi Sun if my travel plans ever brought me back to again witness the majesty of the Falls.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank roeboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

The Zambezi Sun has one of the best locations near Victoria Falls. Grounds are beautiful, rooms are nice. Service is spotty - some people will go out of their way to help, others don't seem to care. Proximity to the falls was great, as well as the ability to view animals right on the grounds. This place is good for people who like to be in large groups, enjoy eating at buffet restaurants, etc. For me, I would spend the extra money to stay somewhere else.

I ran into a few problems during my stay, and to their credit, these were addressed by the "higher ups" once they heard about them. 1. Internet only works in rooms facing the garden, and is still a bit spotty. If you need to check your e-mails daily, be aware of this. 2. Buffet is only restaurant promoted by the hotel, and none of the dishes are marked, so if you have food allergies (I am allergic to shellfish), please be careful. There is another "menu" restaurant, but you must ask about it.

Room Tip: Choose a room facing the courtyard/garden if you want/need to use Internet.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Peter F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Having read TA reviews in advance of visiting, we were prepared for the colorful but otherwise very ordinary hotel-style rooms. They served their purpose well. The best part of this place is its proximity to the Victoria Falls, the craft market, and all the parts of the Falls park - Boiling Pot, Knife Edge Bridge, etc.
Cheesy welcome dance by the guys in hides.
Luckily breakfast was included in our package, which meant an ENORMOUS buffet - all good. Lunch is available at the bar, and we can't recommend the on-site Steakhouse Restaurant enough. Don't be shy, the prices were much more reasonable than the dinner buffet, and the food was some of the best we had in Southern Africa. Easy walk to the partner property, Royal Livingstone, which was lovely but a lot more money. Wouldn't hesitate to stay again or recommend - just don't expect too much luxury in the room.

Room Tip: Most rooms are a good walk from reception, so use the porters offered.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ellen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2013

My wife and I were collected at the Livingstone Airport by the hotel shuttle service. During the 15 minute drive to the hotel, the driver stopped for us to view an elephant grazing right next to the main road. During our arrival at the hotel we were treated to a real African experience by being welcomed by African dancers dressed like real traditional warriors.
The hotel room was found to be neat and tidy and the décor was of a very high standard.
The food provided at the buffet breakfast and dinner was very tasty, and of a good quality. The staff was very polite, friendly and efficient in their duties and all spoke English fluently. This hotel is only a 5 minute walk away from the Victoria Falls.
The hotel provides the ideal base from which to participate in all the activities in the area that contributes in making this visit a truly memorable one. One can do Helicopter or Micro Light flights down the Zambezi River gorge, or go on a relaxing subset cruise on the African Queen. The more adventures visitors can do White Water rafting, bungee jumping or visit the Livingstone Island where they can sit in Devils’ pool on the edge of the Victoria Falls. Game lovers can go on a game drive or do a whole day outing to Chobe national park in neighbouring Botswana.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Zambezi Sun and have recommended it to several friends and colleagues.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LeonKay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

Has a great location beside Victoria falls sight and sound of the mist from the waterfall we enjoyed the most.....good rooms and great spread!!!! staff was courteous.being inside a national park has its own perk and you can chance upon giraffe zebra.beware of monkeys

Room Tip: Rooms facing the fall
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Amit N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2013

On the up side. The Hotel is attractive and the pool and grounds very well kept.Lovely to see the Zebra just strolling around and the access to the falls was so easy. Our tour of the falls was great. Be warned you get very wet so wear thongs or crocs as it took days for my walking shoes to dry.
Breakfast was good and the service very good.
I thought the rooms were a little tired and our bathroom could have been cleaner. No bottled water was provided-something we always had elsewhere.
Also we were charged for Wi-Fi which we had been unable to access and no matter how my husband pleaded the case even to the manager, we ended up paying as our tour bus was waiting.

Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
5  Thank HollyFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about AVANI Victoria Falls Resort

Address: Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone 20100, Zambia (Formerly Zambezi Sun)
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Livingstone
#2 Family Hotel in Livingstone
#4 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range: $258 - $437 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — AVANI Victoria Falls Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 212
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Get wild in the heart of Africa, with the iconic Victoria falls at your doorstep. We put you at the centre of the action, so you can explore, discover or just relax and let us take care of all the details that matter. Whether it's for family fun or taking care of your business, AVANI Victoria Falls offers contemporary comforts and uncontested convenience, all just five minutes’ walk from Victoria Falls. Work, rest, stay and play in AVANI signature style for dazzling days and enchanting nights ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zambezi Sun Livingstone
Zambezi Sun Hotel Livingstone

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