Batonka Guest Lodge: Our full report
Tucked away in a quiet, leafy suburb of Victoria Falls Town, Batonka is just over 2km from the eponymous waterfall.Although its location isn’t quite as convenient for the Falls and town as many other options in the area, it’s only a 20-minute drive from the airport, and its relatively small size and quiet situation do make for a more peaceful and relaxing stay.
With just 27 rooms, Batonka Guest Lodge is one of the smaller properties in Victoria Falls Town, it’s a modern take on a colonial-style building inviting relaxation. The en-suite rooms are constructed in small blocks of 5–6 rooms each, set around peaceful gardens and carefully positioned to allow maximum privacy on their individual balconies. Complimentary WiFi and air conditioning come as standard, as do a mini-fridge, satellite TV, hairdryer, safe and tea and coffee station. Central to each room is a king-size bed (or twins), surrounded by a mosquito net, with a luggage rack and writing desk at the foot, and a substantial wardrobe. Although the rooms themselves are largely identical, half of the bathrooms have both a bath and a shower, while the others have just a shower.
Batonka’s communal areas include a full restaurant serving home-style cooking at breakfast, lunch and dinner. An outside lounge area features an open fire for the colder winter nights, in July and August, while the terrace, overlooking the gardens, is perfect for warmer evenings. A reasonably sized swimming pool set in the charming gardens also offers a superb place to cool down during the heat of the summer months! We also found souvenirs in the lodge’s small but well-stocked curio shop that were of rather better quality than most of those available in town.
The convenient location of Batonka Guest Lodge makes it ideal for a comfortable bed before or after an international flight, but it also works well as a base for exploring the Falls. It's possible to walk from the lodge to this UNESCO World Heritage Site in about 20–30 minutes, but if you don’t fancy the walk, lodge has an agreement with a local taxi firm to provide safe and quick transfers (taking about five minutes) for a fixed price of US$3 each way – no haggling needed!
Although the lodge doesn't include any activities in its nightly rate, most options in the area can easily be arranged through the helpful and friendly reception team. These range from fishing trips and evening river cruises to helicopter flights giving a birds-eye view of the Falls, and adrenalin activities such as white-water rafting and bungee jumping.
Batonka Guest Lodge may not have the historical character or premium location of some of Victoria Falls' more expensive hotels, but it is clean, comfortable, modern and well-run, with very picturesque gardens and a range of amenities. It has convenient access to the Falls, and works incredibly well as an inexpensive base for exploring the area, recovering from an international flight, or just relaxing by the pool at the end of a busy safari.
- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Ideal length of stay
- If you only plan to see the Victoria Falls, then a two-night stay gives you a full day to do this. If you are keen to do more activities in the area, we suggest you spend at least three nights here.
- Guests arrive at Batonka by road, taking either 20 minutes from Victoria Falls Airport, or 45 minutes from the Kazungula border crossing from Botswana.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- Food quality
- During our visit in June 2018 we unfortunately didn't have chance to eat at Batonka, but on previous visits the meals we did have were well prepared and tasty.
Breakfast are buffet-style and include fresh muffins, cereals, fruit, cold meats, cheeses and a selection of juices. A hot breakfast can be cooked to order.
Whilst most guests choose to eat out, you can arrange both lunch and dinner at the lodge. The menu changes daily, but during our visit was as follows (with two courses for lunch, and three for dinner):
Starters: Piri piri chicken livers with salad, or butternut and roasted coconut soup.
Mains: Roast beef with grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes and gravy, or pollo di San Paulo with seasonal vegetables and rice.
Puddings: Apple crumble served with custard and/or ice cream, or fresh fruit accompanied by mixed fruit sorbet.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Private dinners can be arranged on request
- Drinks included
- Drinks are not included
- Family holidays
- With an attractive pool, safe gardens and interleading rooms, Batonka Guest Lodge is a good family-friendly option in Victoria Falls. As a plus, its relatively small size and relaxed atmosphere mean that even those with small children won’t feel out of place here.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- Attitude towards children
- Batonka Guest Lodge welcomes children of all ages.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Special activities & services
- Childcare can be arranged but may not be qualified childcare professionals.
- Extra beds, cots, highchairs and interleading rooms can be arranged by prior request.
- Generally recommended for children
- Batonka is a good option for families with a nice pool safe gardens and the option of interleading rooms. This said Victoria Falls is considered to be in a malarial area so do check the implications of this with a travel nurse or doctor before travelling with young children.
- The pool is unfenced and unguarded so children should be supervised at all times.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Batonka Guest Lodge
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Batonka Guest Lodge have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- There is a back up generator incase of power failure
- WiFi and cellphone reception are available throughout the lodge
- TV & radio
- Each room has a satellite TV
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- All the rooms have flush toilets and plumbed showers.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The nearest hospital is in Victoria Falls town, close to the Lodge. In the event of serious injury or illness, guests would be transferred by air to Harare or Johannesburg if necessary.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- There is security on site 24/7
- Fire safety
- There are fire hoses and fire extinguishers throughout the property
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Available at an additional cost – there are itemised laundry lists in the rooms
- There is a small safe for money and valuables in each room
- Accepted payment on location
- Mastercard and Visa are accepted but not AmEx or Diners cards. For cash payments the lodge will accept US dollars, euro, GB pounds and South African rand.
Other lodges in Victoria Falls
Alternative places to stay in this same area.