Reviews of Avani Victoria Falls
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Good choice to stay overnight
Nothing special but good place to stop over to see Victoria Falls. A busy place which might not be conductive to relaxation.Read more about the whole trip
The hotel was fine, wifi was very expensive!!
The Zambezi Sun was pretty much what we expected for a big hotel. The rooms were fine, pretty, clean and comfortable. It was an easy walk to the falls, Francis at the front desk was really helpful and patient. They say free Wi-Fi, but you get 15 minutes a day only, then you have to pay. We never got our second free 15 minutes, and we ended up paying almost £60 for a day and a half's worth of internet.
The food was average, however the food at the Royal Livingstone next door was fantastic. The Royal Livingstone seemed to be a really wonderful hotel, but much more expensive than the Zambezi Sun.
Our only complaint was the internet price, and misleading advertising.
Victoria Falls experience
The Hotel is in the perfect location for access (free) to the Falls.
Great Access to Falls
A great and easy place to recover from a long flight before embarking on Safari. A bonus having free access to Victoria Falls from 6am-6pm.
Nice to have some wildlife in the grounds, Zebra, Impala and Giraffe and many colourful birds. Very comfortable beds. A few options for eating, we used Squires which was very affordable and served excellent steaks. Breakfast buffet was very varied and of good quality. Large pool in pleasant surroundings.
Easy and safe to take a taxi into Livingstone centre not expensive we paid 50 Kwacha (about £6) but agree price first. We changed a small amount £ for Kwacha at the airport, there is a Barclays bank to the left as you come through arrivals. Tip; Hotel has large Umbrellas to borrow for visiting the Falls, no charge.
Great helicopter ride
Great location. Very slow service (specially at the front desk and laundry facilities).
With Max having trouble walking around the grounds, we were not offer a ride from the lobby to our room on the day we arrived. Considering the trip from Madrid to Zambezi Sun took over 24 hours, we would have appreciated that extra help. Again, the front desk people were not very helpful in trying to help us move around in their golf cart; we had to "befriend" one of the cart drivers and bypass management.
Check in and check out processes were painfully slow. Breakfast buffet service was not very "visible"; it would take forever to find someone with a coffee jug.
However, the location is great; you could easily walk (or be driven in a golf cart) to the entrance of the Vic Falls Park. We heard from people who went to Zimbabwe had to pay for entering the park every time, and we did not. We also could take advantage of the other hotel in the property and got dinner there one night, experiencing the different ambiance and extraordinary view of the Falls from afar.
The helicopter ride is a must to recommend; exciting, well organized. The only thing to complain about it is that the video that they tried to sell to you after the ride is quite expensive ($140), specially when you think that it was not taped during your flight except for the camera inside the cabin...
Our third stay in less than a year!
It says much for our satisfaction with the Zambezi Sun that this was our third stay there in less than a year (and fourth in all) and there is little if anything we can usefully add to the feedback from our previous two visits.Read more about the whole trip
Zambezi Sun review
No complaints.Read more about the whole trip
Good reasonable priced place to stay
Rooms were very nice as is the pool area. Dining options are not great. We eat in the hotel restaurant the first night at the buffet but we found the quality of the food very poor for the price charged. The other 2 nights we eat in a different restaurant located at the conference centre.
The food was much better here and not as expensive
Location, Location, Location!
We had 3 nights at the Zambezi Sun at the start of our holiday in Zambia and we really enjoyed it.
The hotel itself is big and brash but we knew that before we chose it. There are loads of facilities on site including a pool, activity centre, ATM, and a few restaurants. The rooms are air conditioned with nice bathrooms and excellent showers. We ate at the buffet restaurant on the night we arrived as we were tired and wanted something quick. The quality was ok but it was a bit pricey. The following two nights we went to Squires Steakhouse (also on site) which did great steak and was much more reasonably priced. The grounds of the hotel are extensive and definitely worth exploring. There are zebras, impalas, giraffes, baboons and vervet monkeys in the grounds as well as a variety of birds.
The best feature of this hotel is it's location. You walk out the back gate of the grounds and you are at the Victoria falls. We explored the Zambia side of the falls twice - once in the morning and once in the afternoon - which is definitely worth doing. Not only are the views great but we saw some nice birds as well. We also spent an afternoon crossing over to Zimbabwe to see the falls from there as well. We were there in October and the view from Zimbabwe was considerably better as there was a lot more water flowing over the Zimbabwe side of the falls. If you want to do a day trip to Zimbabwe first you need to exit Zambia and get your passport stamped (the border is only 3 minutes walk from the exit gate of the Zambezi Sun). Then you need to cross over the bridge to the entrance to Zimbabwe. This sounds quick but it would probably take you an hour if you walked so we got a taxi for US$5. You then need to buy a visa to enter Zimbabwe (US$55 for British passports or $30 for Australian). It is then a few minutes walk to the entrance of the national park, which costs $30 each to get into. So it isn't a cheap afternoon out but we thought it was definitely worthwhile. If you want to cross into Zimbabwe make sure you get a double entry visa when you arrive in Zambia, so you can get back in without buying another visa.
We also did a number of other activities while we were there. These included Horse riding (good horses and a nice ride but we didn't see any wildlife apart from some distant birds), Walking safari to see the rhinos (excellent - we got really close to the rhinos. The walk itself is very short which was good as it was very hot, but is followed by a long game drive which was considerably better than I had expected), Livingstone Island/Devils Pool (this was brilliant fun - the views are spectacular and we really enjoyed it), and we also did walking lions and cheetahs and an elephant ride at Makuni Big 5 safaris. I was a bit dubious about the ethics of this but they explained how their conservation programme worked and it all seemed fairly sensible. The animals were all very well cared for and seemed content. Our favourite bit was the cheetahs who started purring as soon as we got close to them. They seemed to love the attention and when you started patting them they would lick you back to say thank you. I could have spent hours with them and it still wouldn't have been enough!
For anyone who wants to pick up some cheap souvenirs there is also a craft market just outside the back entrance of the hotel where the quality is good and the prices are reasonable (although you still need to bargain a bit).
Excellent hotel, especially the zebras!
The Zambezi Sun was the first stop on our holiday and it was perfect for this. It was relaxing and enabled us to chill out after the long journey, but had plenty of facilities and activities when we did want to do something. Its proximity to the Falls was also a huge bonus.
The Zambezi Sun is beautifully appointed but not in an intimidating way which made it ideal for our party (2 adult women plus 12 year old girl). Our room was a little cramped with 3 beds in it but as we weren't in it much it didn't really matter. We made a lot of use of the pool, which is excellent, and only ate in the hotel. Food was good quality and plentiful.
The hotel felt safe enough to allow Kirsty (the 12 year old) to wander around the main hotel complex without us being worried for her safety, and all the staff were great with her (especially when she discovered how to charge things to the room!!)
We went on a sunset cruise of the Zambezi (arranged by the hotel) which we loved and would highly recommend.