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We recently gushed (get it?) about how amazing Victoria Falls is and why it’s Africa’s greatest wonder. It seems only fair now that we tell you what the best places to stay are. Some of Africa’s classic hotels and lodges, oozing class and luxury can be found under the spray of the world’s largest waterfall. These are the best of them:
Image credit: Victoria Falls Hotel
Established in 1904, The Victoria Falls Hotel was the first hotel built in these parts and is set in the Victoria Falls National Park. It even has a private path leading directly to the entrance gate of the Victoria Falls. With epic views of the Victoria Falls Bridge, gorges below and spray from the Falls, the grand dame of Victoria Falls is steeped in history and plenty of colonial grandeur.
The hotel’s 161 Rooms and Suites are decorated in a style that cleverly mingles a bygone age with today’s modern conveniences. The corridors reflect the past glories of the Empire, while the exquisite lounges wrap you in seclusion and serenity. The Livingstone Room specialises in silver-service, elegant dinners and dancing. And Stanley’s Terrace showcases a delectable à la carte menu, a renowned High Tea and a sundowner venue that is hard to beat.
Image credit: Ilala Lodge
Ilala Lodge is the closest hotel to the mighty Victoria Falls, where attentive service is the order of the day. The National Park borders the front of the small property, with the spray of the Falls as the backdrop to the wildlife grazing on the lawn.
Ilala’s Palm Restaurant is well-known for its à la carte menu showcasing the flavours of the region. Dine outdoors against the backdrop of the world’s largest waterfall. Onsite facilities include a poolside cocktail bar, swimming pool, lounges, wellness treatments and an activity centre. Ilala offers 32 Standard Rooms, 20 Deluxe Rooms, 2 Standard Suite Rooms and 2 Executive Suites. The décor recalls the early era’s quest for discovery in Africa.
Image credit: Royal Livingstone
Royal Livingstone offers more colonial elegance overlooking the Falls, but this time from the Zambian side. It’s located within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, a World Heritage Site overlooking the mighty Falls. From the banks of the Zambezi River, you can see the spray rise above the bushveld and feel its thundering sound reverberate in your chest.
Named after the intrepid explorer Dr David Livingstone, the hotel’s accommodation consists of 173 luxurious guest rooms with private verandahs. All rooms are tastefully decorated and the en-suite bathrooms have showers and Victorian baths. In the hotel dining room, a combination of old-world savoir-faire and contemporary dishes are served inside or on the verandah. And the traditional high tea is a treat for which the hotel is well-known. Indulge in a treatment at The Royal Spa, take a dip in the refreshing pool or wander down to the Livingstone river-deck to take in the magnificent view while sipping a favourite sundowner.
Image credit: Batonka Guest Lodge
This environmentally-friendly lodge is more entry level compared to the other lodges on our list but offers great value for money with an excellent level of service. Batonka is just 2.2 km from the entrance to Victoria Falls and its rainforest. The charming town, sharing the same name as the nearby natural wonder, is also close, only 1 km away.
Batonka’s dining area is on a large spacious outside terrace overlooking the garden and swimming pool and provides three meals a day. 11 of Batonka’s Rooms have full bathrooms while 11 have showers only but all 22 overlook the garden and have a balcony. Batonka is a superb option for families, groups and business travellers.
Image credit: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Set high on a plateau adjacent to The Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is ideally located just 4 km from Victoria Falls. With free shuttles into town and to the Falls, you’ll have the best of both worlds – a safari lodge near to the majestic Victoria Falls. The 72-bedroomed, eco-friendly lodge has an on-site watering hole, which attracts a wide variety of game ensuring stunning views of the African bush.
The award-winning MaKuwa-Kuwa Restaurant is a split-level restaurant, with views overlooking the watering hole and offering a tasteful à la carte menu paired with a variety of fine wines. The Buffalo Bar offers light meals, all-day refreshments and is a splendid evening sundowner spot. The Boma, just 500 metres from the Safari Lodge, offers a unique African cultural experience and showcases the warmth and hospitality of the Zimbabwean people. Other facilities include a swimming pool with sundeck, guest library, lounges, curio shop and activity desk.
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Matt discovered a passion for writing in the six years he spent travelling abroad. He worked for a turtle sanctuary in Nicaragua, in an ice cream factory in Norway and on a camel safari in India. He was a door-to-door lightbulb-exchanger in Australia, a pub crawl guide in Amsterdam and a journalist in Colombia. Now, he writes and travels with us.
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