Reviews of Avani Victoria Falls
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Zambezi Sun review
A good place for a short stay with easy access to the falls. twinned with the Livingstone a short walk away with the same owner if we visited again we would stay there.Read more about the whole trip
Very convenient to Vic Falls. Good reasonably priced dinner; Greet breakfast buffet. Decent sized rooms with good air conditioner. Great shower with plenty of hot water. We received an invitation to the high tea at the Livingstone Hotel and it was very upscale with excellent finger food and a great "Safari" tea. We went on the Livingston Express dinner train - a great experience with a sundowner when we stopped half way on the bridge looking over Vic Falls - excellent 5 course diner.
The next morning there was a lot of confusion as to when we should leave for the Kasane airport - the afternoon before some said 10AM, then it was 11:30AM and finally we were told at 7:30 AM on the day we should leave that it was at 8AM!!! Fortunately we had breakfast at 7AM so we hurried up and packed quickly. The transfer is quite complicated: you are driven for about 1 hour to the crossing point on the Zambezi river. As you approach the river there are huge lines of trucks - about 200 of them lined up against the road awaiting crossing the river. The driver then escorted us to Zambia customs where our passports were stamped.
Then we went to the river bank and awaited the "launch" - an aluminum boat about 30 ft long powered by an outboard. The launch was full of safari travelers and came to a halt at the shore in between the loading docks of the truck ferries. Passengers and bags scrabbled out of the launch and we went on board. The bus driver gave the launch a push and off we went for the short 10 minute crossing. On the Botswana side there was an actual dock where we tied up unloaded bags. We were escorted though Botswana customs and then boarded a safari jeep for the 20 minute ride to the airport. As on the Zambia side there was a long line of about 200 trucks awaiting crossing the river. The driver informed us that it was customary for the truck drivers to wait for 7 to 10 days to cross the river.
The entire process of getting from the hotel to the Kasane airport was a very interesting 2 hour experience!
Expert Africa comments
We followed up with the transfer company regarding the confusion over the departure time from the Zambezi Sun Hotel to Kasane Airport for these guests. We understand that this occurred because the flight transfer company who were to fly the guests from Kasane Airport to their first safari camp changed their schedule twice the day beforehand. This is an unusual occurrence - once the schedule is set by the flight transfer company it usually remains unchanged. In this instance, the schedule was changed and the latest information only passed on to the guests at the last minute. The transfer company apologised for the inconvenience caused by this.
Zambezi Sun review
We loved the location of the hotel and the grounds were well tended but from the beginning the place had the feel of a huge family resort. Hallways were narrow and rooms were a bit small. Staff was helpful.
We walked to the Royal Livingstone Hotel next door and what a difference. We loved the ambiance and the grounds and saw one room from the outside. We ate dinner here and the food was well prepared and served with good wine selections.
Victoria Falls--Zambezi Sun
We really enjoyed the Zambezi Sun. The staff were attentive without being overbearing. On short notice we were able to arrange an elephant safari for the family, a local green market tour, and a sunset river boat cruise.
The access to Victoria Falls National Park is what really made for a great stay. The park entrance was practically at our door step. This made visiting the park with children really easy. We were able to enter and leave as often as we wanted, which we did a total of 3 times during our stay. The variety of food served at the breakfast and dinner buffets was great. We also really enjoyed the close encounters with zebra and baboons that were wandering the property. In addition the free Wi-Fi was a plus.
The only things that would have made our stay better would be the ability to have dinner by the pool. This would allow the children to play at the pool while the adults eat a leisurly dinner. Also it would have been nice if the WiFi access extended into the hotel rooms rather than being limited to the public areas of the resort.
Great location, over priced restaurant
Restaurant was a fixed price buffet, very expensive for what we wanted to eat but we had no other optionRead more about the whole trip
Zambezi Sun - good spot, fabulous location
After 11 nights in gorgeous bush camps, the Zambezi Sun is a real change of pace. The rooms are just ok, a bit small and looking a bit tired, but totally fine for a few days relaxation. The hotel itself is beautiful, with a nice free form pool, great restaurant options and several shops, including a very good curio shop. The restaurant in the Falls conference center next door was great and very reasonable. But of course the best part is that you just walk out the back gate of the hotel and you are at Victoria Falls! And it's included in your rate.
The Curio Market at Vic Falls is just as good as the one in Livingstone, so you can really do all your shopping there too. Staff were friendly and accomodating and getting a ride to your room in a golf cart was a nice touch!
Zambezi Sun is a great option if the 5 star hotels are too much for you, but the local hotels are a bit too dingy. I would stay there again for sure.
Nichols at Zambesi Sun
A good resort hotel within a short walk of the Falls. The two-storey accommodation blocks are built around a large green containing a swimming pool and bar, across which herds of impala and zebra frequently graze.
There were large numbers of children when we were there, but it wasn't noisy and most people seemed to go to bed quite early.
We decided to have one dinner in the Royal Livingstone, the neighbouring hotel, but we had some difficulty in booking a table - their administration didn't seem to be very efficient. We managed it in the end, and it was well worth it, but make sure you book early.
You need to take a taxi to get into Livingstone, but for the typical visitor, staying at the Falls is probably preferable to staying in Livingstone.
Zambezi Sun review
This a large anonymous complex catering for essentially the Victoria Falls trade. The Falls are easily reached through the rear manned gates. Choose the right time to visit the falls for the majority of the year the Falls are quiescent. However, this does allow you to see the underlying structures.
As the hotel lies in part of the National Park animals were able roam freely through the grounds.
The room was very sparsely furnished. Two beds, one chair and a TV cabinet. The veranda door and thus a fire escape could not be opened. However a request for an additional chair and table and repair to the door was quickly and efficiently dealt with.
We did not eat in the dining room in the evening, going instead to the Squires Grill as advised by previous clients. Breakfast was more than sufficient in both quality and variety with very pleasant waiting staff.
At the time of our visit the hotel was never crowded.
Zambezi Sun review
Transfer arrangements from Kasane airport to the hotel worked well (interesting river crossing etc!)
Enjoyed watching the animals in the grounds, lovely swimming pool, really good buffet breakfast. Choice of dining options for evening could have been better.
Hardly the fault of the hotel that the falls on the Zambian side were particularly dry this season!
Two nights at Zambesi Sun
Chosen for location near Falls. Less expensive that Royal Livingstone. The setting was good, short walk to Falls, excellent pick up point for day in Botswana which was a substitute arranged because Chobe accommodation was not available.
The long day to Botswana was an anxiety in advance, but proved a great success, not least because all changes and pick ups were trouble free and staff were all on hand to make every part of the day a happy and relaxed event. Morning boat trip was superb, afternoon drive involved a great deal of information from the guide, very short drive, but plenty of interest. It was very hard to understand the guide. I do have hearing problems, and that problem was not only mine. Other guides were communicating well.
Zambesi Sun advertised three restaurant facilities. Only the buffet was available on the first night. I felt at 214 kwatchas it was costly, even granted plenty of choice for main courses. I told them so, and we used another place for the second night. Staff helpful. I would hesitate before to using it again. On the make, from tourists? They combined well to get an earlier departure to Waterberry Lodge, whose staff readily arranged transport. Planned half day at falls was enough.