Gorges Lodge

Gorges Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
10 Thatched Chalets
Traveller's rating
Excellent (97%) From 6 reviews
Children
Best for 12+
Open
All year

About 30km from the Victoria Falls, Gorges Lodge is perched above the Batoka Gorge with fantastic views of the Zambezi River as it flows by 200m below. The lodge is set amongst lush, indigenous gardens, offering a real sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of town life further upstream.

The drive into Gorges Lodge from Victoria Falls town is largely on tar, although the last part of the journey is along a badly corrugated dirt road. It’s worth a few bumps, though, as heading past villages and smallholdings affords a good opportunity to glimpse local, everyday Zimbabwean life.

Guests at Gorges Lodge are met on arrival with a cold glass of iced tea or orange juice, which is very welcome after the dusty drive. We were immediately struck by how lush and green everything looked.

Beyond the reception area, past a well-stocked curio shop and down a stone path, is Gorges’ thatched, open-plan main area, where you'll catch your first glimpse of the stunning view. Designed to take maximum advantage of its cliff-top location, the main area is perched right on the edge of a vast chasm, affording 180° panoramic views. Guests are more than welcome to help themselves to a drink from the well-stocked bar if there is no member of staff on hand.

The dining room at Gorges Lodge is set back from the edge of the cliff but shares the open-plan feel of the rest of the main area. There is also a separate lounge area with a fireplace, which can be much needed in the colder months. WiFi is temperamental but found throughout the main area. Despite being so open, Gorges feels a little dark in the late afternoon, with brown tiling and lots of teak furniture not helping to lighten things up much, but as the lodge faces north-east, we did enjoy how the rising sun illuminated the area at breakfast time.

Beyond the bar is Gorges’ swimming pool, again surrounded by lush grass and plant life. A few sunloungers provide relaxing places to chill out and top up the tan if that’s your thing.

Each of the 10 thatched chalets at Gorges is reached from the main area via stone pathways. The chalets are perched on the edge of the gorge, facing the sunrise, and all have phenomenal views from their private balconies with a chair and a day bed. All the chalets have been recently renovated, and their slightly dated design is balanced by modern decoration and furniture. Above all else, they are comfortable and clean.

Inside each chalet is a double or twin beds beneath a mosquito net and a ceiling fan, with a bedside table and reading light to one side. A couple of chairs and a coffee table are set at the foot of the bed, and there’s also a chair and writing desk dominated by tea and coffee-making facilities. Tucked away in a cupboard is a fully stocked mini-bar, and each room also has a wardrobe with an electronic safe.

At the back of each chalet, the en-suite bathroom is very modern with clean lines, chrome, and white ceramics. There’s a huge shower with great water pressure and his and hers washbasins set beneath a large mirror. Toiletries are laid out on a dressing table for guests’ use.

Guests staying at Gorges on an all-inclusive basis receive two activities a day, which can include a guided tour of the Victoria Falls and a trip to the curio markets in town. There is also the opportunity to visit a local village or school or to take a walk along the gorge. The area around Gorges is exceptionally good for viewing Verreaux’s, or black, eagles, and a great way to spend an afternoon is to sit watching these from camp with some drinks and snacks. Sundowner cruises on the Zambezi are also on offer.

Activities that are not included in your stay, such as helicopter excursions and white-water rafting, can be booked through the lodge.

Our view

Gorges has to have one of the most spectacular views of any lodge in Africa. It’s important to stress that it is located about a half-an-hour drive from Victoria Falls town, and so won’t suit everyone, but for those looking for a lush and tranquil setting in which to relax, this is the perfect place. Although the buildings are perhaps a little dated, a change of ownership has now given this lodge a renewed lease of life and it’s now looking in great shape.

Geographics

Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Ideal length of stay: We'd recommend a stay of two nights at Gorges Lodge, giving one full day to visit the Falls and enough time to take advantage of the camp’s stunning location.

Directions: Guests usually fly into Victoria Falls and are then met at the airport by a driver for the 30-minute journey to Gorges Lodge. There is a good-quality tarred road from Victoria Falls Airport through town, but after turning off this road towards camp it’s a further 10km down a significantly poorer dirt track.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Imvelo Safaris

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: When we last visited Gorges Lodge in December 2016 we didn't have time to sample the food here. However, on a previous visit we found the food to be of a decent quality. The day began with an early breakfast of tea and coffee, toast and a variety of jams, yoghurt and cereals, all served in the dining room.

After the morning activity guests return to the lodge for brunch or lunch, depending on the time of day. A typical brunch menu might consist of bacon, sausage, fried onions, cheese and mushroom omelette, toast, grilled tomato and a corn and herb muffin.

Afternoon tea consists of something savory and something sweet, washed down with hot and iced tea and coffee. The lemon and poppy seed cake topped with citrus icing and peanut brittle is very popular. Snacks and drinks are served on activities.

Dinner is a three-course meal which, when we last stayed at Gorges, started with garlic mushrooms on toast, followed by grilled pork chops and apple sauce with scalloped potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower cheese. Dessert was a chocolate mousse.

Dining style: Group Meals

Dining locations: Indoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: Bottled water, soft drinks, local beers and spirits, and a selection of South African red and white wines are included. Champagne and imported wines and spirits will cost extra and may need to be requested in advance.

Further dining info: Room service is not available although private dining on your balcony can be arranged for special occasions.

Children

Attitude towards children: Gorges Lodge accepts children of 7 years and older.

Special activities & services: No special activities and services for children are provided.

Equipment: There is no specialist equipment provided for children at Gorges Lodge

Notes: Gorges Lodge is an open camp, on top of a cliff. The danger from wild animals is relatively small but there are still many, many hazards here. Children should be supervised at all times.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: Gorges Lodge operates on mains power and has a back up generator for use in the event of a power failure.

Communications: There is cellphone reception at Gorges Lodge. The main area has WiFi

TV & radio: There is no TV or radio at Gorges Lodge.

Water supply: Borehole

Water supply notes: Each chalet at Gorges has an ample supply of water. The showers are plumbed and there are flushing toilets in each.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: The guides and camp management at Gorges Lodge are all first-aid trained and there is a doctor in Victoria Falls. Medical Air Rescue Service (MARS) is available in the event of a major emergency.

Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk

Security measures: A nightwatchman patrols the camp. There is an electronic safe in each chalet to store valuables.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers placed around the lodge.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: Full laundry service is included, except for underwear, for which washing powder is provided in the bathrooms.

Money: No exchange facilities offered. There are safes in all the tents.

Accepted payment on location: Cash payments may be made in South African rand, US dollars, pounds sterling, euros and Botswana pula. There are no card facilities at Gorges Lodge.

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