Reviews of Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge review
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is a big hotel built in the park itself. The rooms are facing a waterhole and the sunset, so a great view is guaranteed. We enjoyed the room and its facilities. The bar offers light lunch and we felt that the food there was even better than the one in the restaurant above. We loved the pancakes with the orange sauce for breakfast.
Even though the hotel is not in the town center, we used the shuttle service running every hour, which was very convenient. An activity desk service is available and we appreciated the good service there.
We felt that this hotel was the right place to end up our trip.
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge review
We enjoyed our stay of 2 days/nights in the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, the room was well appointed with a view to the water hole way beyond, the staff was friendly, warm and efficient. We had our breakfast and dinners here for both days, and we enjoyed the inventive food with plenty of local specialities, particularly the lightly smoked duck breast with lichee and plum compote, the crisply fried Zambezi river bream and the tender and tasty warthog tenderloin.
The highlight in our opinion was definitely the location a bit outside of the town, which at first appeared to be a draw-back, but the quietness and the wonderful view from many parts of the hotel over the countryside and to the water hole beyond with the procession of different animals made this a very positive experience.
Day trip to Chobe National Park
We very much enjoyed this trip. Even though this was a day trip and all the viewing was during the day instead of the cooler hours in the morning and the evening, there were plenty of animals to see, in all our previous trips to Africa, we have never seen so many elephants as here in Chobe. The cruise was good, not too many birds but plenty of hippos (groups of up to 10) and families of elephants along the shore as well as bathing in the water. Furthermore, we saw cape buffalos, crocodiles, lizards, warthogs, etc.
The lunch buffet at the Chobe Safari Lodge situated right on the Chobe River offered a reasonably good variety of local specialities, our favorite was the tasty stamped impala.
We saw plenty of animals on the afternoon drive as well, particularly the ever-present elephants and impalas, but also groups of giraffes, kudus, warthogs, marabou storks, etc.
Overall a very positive experience, possibly the only criticism I would have that at times too many vehicles from the same company were at the same spot viewing animals, maybe a more timely phased departure of the vehicles from the lodge would reduce this bunching of vehicles.
Interesting and mixed experience
We were concerned that the location, a couple of miles away from the town, would be a problem but the excellent free bus service proved invaluable. It was both frequent and punctual. It was great to be able to sit in the Buffalo Bar or the restaurant or by the pool and watch the animals coming to the water-hole.
Our room was comfortable with a limited view of the water-hole. It was a bit dark but had a semi-private balcony and air-conditioning. It also had a safe, fridge and tea/coffee making facilities. The bathroom was clean and well-equipped.
We have rated service as average because it ranged from terrible on the first night to excellent on the second - after our complaint! On the first night we were asked to move, in the middle of our soup, to enable staff to re-arrange tables for a large party which had just arrived. Following this, we received very little service at all because due to lack of staff, everyone concentrated on the large party.
Two courses were missed out altogether and the other two took 2 hours! We spoke to a manager who persuaded us that if we came again the next night we would have a good table and excellent service. This proved to be the case and we had a very enjoyable evening.
Food was generally excellent but on our first night the steak was disappointing and the manager adjusted our bill to reflect this - after some persuasion! Food and service in the Buffalo Bar at lunch time was excellent on both occasions. Staff were particularly friendly and welcoming.
We enjoyed a lovely walk on our own by the Falls. It was good to be there again and see that it has changed very little apart from the entrance and car park. Afterwards, we walked back to Ilala Lodge and went in for a cooling Malawian shandy by the pool, which gave us a glimpse of what might have been! The sundowner cruise was a very different experience from our last one; the boats were very much bigger, there were more of them and a great many more people which indicates the improving level of tourism. This made for a rather less peaceful cruise but still enjoyable, with excellent snacks and drinks.
We used the attractive little gift shop and were able to purchase stamps there and post letters in the reception area. It is a truly amazing building which provides maximum viewing opportunities on many levels. The pool is beautiful and kept immaculately clean, with changing/shower rooms nearby. Television and internet were available but we did not make use of them.