Reviews of Avani Victoria Falls
Wildlife sightings and reviews
219 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Avani Victoria Falls and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
The grounds of the hotel are beautiful - the wildlife wandering around - zebra & impala were an added bonus in a very different landscape to where we'd been on safari. I found myself 'held up' by 4 stunning giraffes on my short stroll to the Royal Livingston for a massage one morning! Beats Liverpool rush hour any day!
All the staff we came across were friendly and helpful. We booked the African Princess sundowner trip from the hotel which was a stunning evening and greatly recommended.
The food was disappointing though. Expensive for what is was and the service a bit hit and miss We could have ventured into LIvingstone, but didn't bother, so it couldn't have been that bad! We did book the Royal Livingstone for dinner one evening and while not that significantly different in price, was much tastier. Take the time to take the short stroll through to this hotel - even for a sundowner, as you can see the mists from the Falls from the sun terrace as you gaze across the Zambezi. A truly remarkable view to sip a gin and tonic with. " See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia
"Perfect location - would stay here again"
Incredibly friendly staff with five star service and good facilities on site (including a doctor/clinic). The swimming pool was huge and the grounds well maintained and regularly patrolled by security people.
The hotel was not too busy which made it very comfortable - I can't comment on what it might be like if very busy.
We spent time visiting the Falls which was mind blowing - totally impressive. River levels were quite high. We had organised to go white water rafting and kayaking and we were collected from outside their activity centre. We would stay here again." See all these reviews: 17n in Namibia; 2n in Zambia
"Avani Victoria Falls review"
The Avani hotel staff was always friendly, helpful, attentive, and did everything they could to make our stay pleasant. We enjoyed visiting with individual servers and felt they made an effort to treat each guest with personal attention. I smile to remember various members of the staff and how beautiful their smiles were and how attentively they waited our tables.
The food selection was a bit limited in the evenings, for we had only one meal option--if there were a lot of guests at the hotel, then the buffet was the only food option and there was no ordering off the menu. Some evenings we would have preferred a smaller, less expensive dinner, but the full buffet was the only option. However, if there were fewer guests at the hotel, then there was no buffet and only the menu option. The breakfast buffet, as the half-board option, was very large and offered a bountiful assortment of food and choices, both off the buffet and made to order. I can't imagine anyone not being completely satisfied with the breakfast options.
Our daughter became quite ill at Avani (we believe it was a reaction to her antimalarial pill but perhaps was something she picked up traveling) and needed medical attention from the onsite Avani Clinic, where we were received excellent and effective care. This made us even more grateful that we began our trip in Livingstone rather than with a safari. We were extremely grateful for the medical service she received and the medics' ability to stabilize her.
As to activities, the hotel offered several options but didn't put any pressure on us to purchase them. The hotel was quite helpful in arranging guides to take us to the local markets, as well as making dinner reservations at the Royal Livingstone Hotel, for the Mosi-oa-Tunya rhino safari, etc.
Overall, we were all very pleased with Avani--it was precisely as Maruska had described it, and we thought it was a lovely, relaxing, and fun location to recover from jet lag and adjust to a new environment. We would be happy to visit again. " See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia; 1n in South Africa
"Wonderful start to our African experience"
Breakfast was included in the price at Avani, and was an extensive buffet with a good variety of food
We also made use of the bar and restaurant at the Royal Livingstone next door - including a memorable and special dinner for two under the 'monkey tree', which was not nearly as pricy as expected (in fact on par price-wise with the Avani's dinner menu).
The staff at Avani arranged a taxi to take us into Livingstone town, where we went to the museum and had a look around town. There were plenty of tours on offer, but we were happy to just chill out and get over the jet lag.
We highly rated the Avani - it is not a 5 star hotel, but then it is not charging 5 star prices either. Maruska and information on the Expert Africa website describe it well and we were really happy with the recommendation." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"Avani Victoria Falls Review"
We found the staff very helpful (particularly Selina) and would recommend it to others.
Whilst stay here these travellers did a full day trip to Chobe National Park:
Simply the best part of our holiday. The whole day was organised so well, all we had to do was turn up on time and enjoy the ride.
To see so many Elephants, Giraffes, Impala & Kudu up so close was something I'll never forget
And not forgetting the Hippos, Buffalo and even a Crocodile, from a safe distance obviously
They also did a helicopter ride:
The 12 minute ride felt like 12 seconds.
We had been to the Falls on both sides of the border the day before, but to see it from above was breathtaking
The pilot also talked to us the whole time which was really enjoyable
" See all these reviews: 3n in Zambia
"Stay here and bungee jump"
Also a great place to pick up curios." See all these reviews: 10n in Namibia; 3n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
"Avant Victoria Falls"
OK - it's a 3-star tourist resort - but does it do what it says on the tin? Yes, very well except for the food which was consistently poor.
A word of warning - at the end of the dry season Victoria Falls is very diminished with only half of its length being actually a waterfall - and this part is only visible from the Zimbabwe side. The rest is just a dry rock cliff. Plan your visit according to season if you want to see the full falls in all its glory.
Seeing only half the falls wasn't a problem for us as Victoria Falls wasn't our prime destination - it was a fly-out point after our trip to the Caprivi Strip." See all these reviews: 8n in Namibia; 2n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
"Royal Lvingstone - not up to standard"
Almost nothing went right from the beginning of our stay until the end. The reason for our 'upgrade' seemed to be that the Avani was hosting a major conference, so they were short of rooms... but the whole transfer took almost an hour at the end of a long day of activities and travelling.
The first thing we were told when checking in (now about 6pm) was that we should book in for dinner. We asked for a 7:30 sitting... but this was not available... in fact, nothing was available other than 8:30 pm - or 6:30 pm. As we had arisen around 5am for a safari, 8:30 pm just seemed too far away - so we plumped for 6:30 pm - meaning we would need to rush to our room, get changed and get straight back.
Off we went - to find that the room was not ready. Full of mosquitoes, door wide open, letting in more mosquitoes, 'butler' (who we never saw again) fussing around. We asked him to leave for a few minutes so we could get changed etc. - then went to dinner... (which was quite good)...
Not to mention that, in the supposed rush (why they could not have laid another table I'll never know) - we were not advised of the wifi code.
Returned to the room - same thing, not yet ready - 'butler' there with the door wide open, floor gritty, bath showing signs of squashed mosquito. No water left either - had to ring and ask for that to be brought.
Next morning, after breakfast, we headed out around 10:00 - advising our 'butler' we were going on an activity and would be out until after lunch. Returned to the room just after 2pm - hadn't been touched! Of course, now we wanted to relax in the room, not leave again so that it could be cleaned...
We spoke to the duty manager and it was arranged that the room would be cleaned and replenished when we went out for sundowners and dinner - which happened, and a nice (complimentary) bottle of wine left for us.
Sundowners and dinner - plus both breakfasts we had - were good.
We met with the hotel manager on departure and also received a discount (free meal) in respect of the problems we had encountered...
The issue is this - if a hotel holds itself out to be of a particular standard (the Royal LIvingstone advertises itself as 5 star+), then I expect it to live up to that standard. This was not the case for our visit and - despite the location, which is brilliant, I would strongly advise visitors to consider other options." See all these reviews: 7n in Namibia; 6n in Zambia; 3n in Botswana
"A couple of nights at the falls with family"
The rooms are not massive but plenty big enough, very pleasant and comfortable. Bathroom has a separate bath and shower, all very attractively decorated.
We had two rooms opposite each other (we were with our sons aged 14 and 12) and this worked well - cleaning staff actually changed our rooms for us as reception had not given us rooms opposite - this was appreciated and very helpful.
The only downside was the lack of ability to open a window at night - no mosquito nets or netting on the windows and on the ground floor not safe to keep the patio doors open. After nearly a week sleeping in open thatched chalets this made it a bit stuffy - I hate sleeping with AC on - too noisy and not very environmentally sustainable.
the food at the poolside bar was good, and occasionally excellent (beef fillet recommended) and reasonably priced. The buffet did not seem good value so we skipped that. We ate at the hotel because we didn't have the energy to go into Livingstone.
Location is fantastic, great to be so close to the Falls and to be able to pop in and out of the park without paying fees. We got up early each morning for a walk by the Falls before breakfast. We also walked over to the Zimbabwe side - I would say this is essential to get the best views of the Falls. You have to be a bit thick skinned to refuse the sellers on the bridge but apart from that it is completely feasible to walk yourself. It is an expensive excursion though - $30 extra for the double entry visa to Zambia; $55 for a visa into Zim for UK passport holders; and $30 for over 12s into the park on the Zim side. We didn't make it into Victoria Falls town, opting to lunch at the café inside the Falls park. The only downside to the location is that its harder to get to other places for dining (we looked at the Royal Livingstone menu but although reasonably priced it was not extensive and didn't appeal to the children)
In hindsight, I think we could have spent longer here. We had two nights but could have done with three and even four - I would have liked to have properly visited Vic Falls town; to have gone to the museum in Livingstone and to have dined on the train. I wasn't interested in the rafting or bungee jumping! As it was, we had time to visit the Zim side of the falls and thoroughly explore the Zambian side, including the walk down to the boiling point and upstream walks. I think I reduced the time because it is my fourth or possibly 5th time to see the Falls - but of course only the first for my children. Two nights not really enough to do it justice." See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia
There was other wildlife roaming about the hotel grounds but we felt completely safe at all times with plenty of staff patrolling the area.
The hotel was 5 minutes walk away from the Victoria falls and we spent one evening there and returned for an hour the next morning which was fantastic.
The food was lovely and the all you can breakfast was wonderful
All the reception staff were very friendly and helpful, we had questions about The African Queen trip and they were attentive and knowledgeable.
" See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
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