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“Affordable, friendly, and conveniently located!”

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Maramba River Lodge
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Affordable, friendly, and conveniently located!”
Reviewed July 28, 2012 via mobile

When I was researching accommodations around Victoria Falls, I was frustrated by the high prices! I found this place on TripAdvisor and decided to go with it. For around $ 100 a night, you can stay in a safe and comfortable luxury tent or chalet. I stayed in the luxury tent.

Luxury tents are basically heavy duty canvas tents with concrete floors and a connected bathroom with concrete walls. There is an outdoor shower with hot water and great water pressure. There is electric and outlets so can charge your phone, camera, etc. There is also a wooden box with a latch, but you need to bring your own luggage sized lock to keep it secure. It was large enough to hold my Tablet, my smallish purse, and any other gadgets.

Bring a small flashlight or headlamp. This IS A CAMPGROUND.

Access to Victoria Falls: Easy $5 to $10 cab ride, depending on how well you can barter. The front desk will call one for you and they will arrive within 20minutes. Only take the blue taxis. They will take you to the Zambian side of the Falls. You should start here and take a walk down the path and over the bridge. MAKE SURE TO BRING A WATERPROOF BAG to keep your electronics dry. The mist from the falls will soak you most definitely, even if you think it will not.
From there, I would recommend walking out the park entrance, turning right, and you can walk through immigrations into Zimbabwe. You will walk over the bungee jumping bridge. Keep walking until you reach Zimbabwe immigrations. Pass through and continue on until the Victoria Falls Zim park. Completely different views with STUNNING rainbows. I am a level headed solo female traveler who does not do anything risky, and I felt safe with all the walking I just described. A blue taxi (you should approach one, never let someone ask you if you need a taxi) will take you back to the Zim immigrations (not into Zambia) for $1. Tell them you are willing to pay $1and be upfront but polite.

Nami is great in the Activities Center!! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND: The full day safari at Chobe in Botswana, high tea at Livingstone Island, and the Microlight ride. The Microlight is incredible and not scary once you are in the sky!

As a solo traveler, it is important to stay in a place where socializing with fellow travelers in a laid back setting is possible. It was nice to sit around the fire at the bar each night and share your daily adventures with fellow travelers. Try the Mossi beer.

JUNE, JULY, AND AUGUST are winter months in Africa!! Bring tall wool socks and sensible clothing for a comfortable night sleep. I brought my own silk sleeping bag liner and a lightweight fleece sleeping roll and slept in that under the blankets in the comfy bed...I was sure glad I had them!

Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
9 Thank Serendipity2478
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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211 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
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English first
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level Contributor
104 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2012

When traveling from Congo to SA we make it a point to sty at MRL. This place is like an oasis. There is camping as well as permanent tents. Some have bathrooms attached and others do not have baths attached. What do you want to pay? It is always interesting with monkeys sliding down your tent roof in the AM and elephants roaming through camp during the night. We have experienced both.

The food is always good and served outside under the thatched roof. Most evenings there is a camp fire on the river and is a great place to relax and talk with fellow travelers. During rainy season you can lay in bed at night and actually hear the falls. It doesn't get any better than that!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Roger C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2012

We stayed two nights at Maramba last June, a very nice lodge to stay, in the middle of the road between Livingstone and Victoria Falls. We were coming back from a wonderful safari in SL National Park, so it was nice to see hippos eating in the property... The staff is helpful, especially with the booking of the activities that can be chosen on the spot. We keep a wonderful memory of the microlight above the falls. An exceptional experience!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Franck7774
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lusaka, Zambia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2012

My family and I have stayed at this lodge three times in the last year and each and every time the experience has been wonderful. Arriving at reception you are greeted by friendly, helpful staff who quickly check you in (Check in at 14:00hrs only) and show you to your Chalet/Safari Tent, Luxury Safari tent. (I have stayed in all three). Walking to your accommodation (or driving) you are surrounded by the natural trees of the area, with grass and garden beds all over. If you weren't careful you'd forget you were in the middle of a tourist invested hotspot like Livingstone and think you were in the depths of the bush. It really is the quiet spot away from the chaos. I have stayed in several different hotels in Livingstone from The Protea Hotel Livingstone to The Sun International and quite honestly the simple yet elegant setup of Maramba River Lodge out does them all. It's not a commercialised crazy place with concrete walls everywhere, air cons and televisions. Although you can access the internet for a small fee at the Maramba River Lodge activities centre. When you go on holiday to somewhere like Africa you want your creature comforts but do you REALLY need a T.V. and an aircon? You've come to Africa for the "African Experience”. Maramba River Lodge is definitely my favourite Lodge/Hotel in Livingstone. The Safari Tents are quaint little tents with two single beds and an ensuite bathroom (Toilet, sink and shower). I stayed in this in winter and although everything was perfect the cold got me terribly. Winter is not a good time to be in a tent. Extra blankets are there in the tent readily available but if you're someone that feels the cold - request a chalet in the winter months. The Luxury Safari tents are superb; I stayed in this over December/January New Year’s Weekend. Double bed and a single. Much bigger than the safari tent. Themes in each tent add that little extra. Ensuite bathroom (Sink, toilet and shower) the open roofed shower was definitely an element of awe, especially if the clouds had cleared and we could see the stars. The Chalets are Double beds with ensuite bathroom (again Sink, Toilet, Shower), extremely comfortable and very well thought out. The overall experience for all three of my trips there was ...."Wow!" every single stay there has been great, the staff, the food, the service, the comfort. The Lounge, Bar and Pool are also worth a mention. The lounge is a great place to relax and go over a few of the books there (Birds of Southern Africa etc.) The Bar with its decking overlooking the Maramba River is fabulous. Quite sun downers while the hippo’s huff and puff in the water in front of you and the fish eagle soars above. I've heard the odd elephant pops down now and then for a late afternoon drink but I have not managed to catch one yet. The bird life around the same area is also quite entertaining with the lily-trotter's gilding over the hippo weed stopping now and then to catch an unsuspecting bug. Oh, and don’t forget the resident crocodile who makes the odd appearance or is caught sunning himself on the opposite bank. A truly wonderful "African Experience" and an escape from the madness that is Livingstone. The only bad point???? The helicopters and microlites that fly over or near the lodge airspace can be a bit annoying but with everything around you, you tend to forget about them or faze them out as you listen to the distant hum of the mighty Victoria Falls. I love this lodge and I will stay there again and again and again!

Room Tip: In Winter go for the Chalets. Any other time of the year the tents are fantastic.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kelly F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2012

Maramba River Lodge offers a peaceful environment in which to relax and take in Africa.
The staff are very friendly and cannot be more helpfull. The overall experience is very
comfortable. The restaurant offers an interesting and varied menu,with well presented and tasty food.
Overall,Maramba was a good choise.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank PamelaNichols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2012

This place was billed as luxury. That was an over statement. It was not cheap but it was over priced.

There are no windows, no air conditioning, there is a fan but the only place you could get cool was the bottom of the bed outside the mosquito net.

The restaraunt is at best cafe food - everything with chips.

The trips were over priced and the proceeds certainly did not make it into the pockets of the locals.

By visiting here you are not contributing to the local economy - the money seems to go to a rich non black local.

Expect to pay over the odds for trips that are not safe or billed as they actually are. Life appears to be cheap in Livingstone and that includes yours.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jeepers3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shenzhen
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2012

I think that livingstone is overpriced, even compared to high cost tourist destinations. Taxis are USD10 (in a decrepit piece of 20 year old japanese junk) even for a 1Km ride. That aside, the lodgw was good value.
Don't expect to see elephants in the lodge ground except in August, when one of the owners frightens them away with chilli paintballs. He obviously does not want them destroying the property, and it is highly unlikely that crocodiles, hippo, etc will be seen in that part of the Maramba River.
But the lodge is quite decent, ina nice location and the staff are very friendly.
The kitchen is very clean (compared to many other lodges in the area), and the food, although quite good, lacks variety, and the same menu is there for lunch and dinner every day.
The lodge is obviously designed for tourists who only stay one night. Even the chalets have very little room for unpacking and storing one's belongings. While I am on the topic of chalets, they are overdue for a refurbishment, but i am not really complaining because I am not a tourist who expects super luxury at every stop. But it would be nice to have better doorlocks, bathroom shelving, good shower heads etc.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay, and would return again.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CPHShenzhen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Maramba River Lodge

Property: Maramba River Lodge
Address: Mosi Tunya Drive | Livingstone, Victoria Falls 60957, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Victoria Falls
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Maramba River Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
4km from The Victoria Falls, Maramba River Lodge provides a most attractive all-year-round base to access The Victoria Falls. Maramba River Lodge is situated in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park overlooking the Maramba River. The lodge is visited by the resident wildlife with elephant wandering through the grounds at certain times of the year. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maramba River Hotel Victoria Falls
Maramba River Lodge Zambia/Victoria Falls

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