Victoria Falls Safari Lodge: Our full report
High up on a plateau bordering the Zambezi National Park, the relaxed Victoria Falls Safari Lodge offers ...... a comfortable and relatively tranquil place to stay for visitors to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. An imposing wood-and-thatch building, it has spectacular views over the bush, the national park and a waterhole that attracts game all year round.
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is located 3km from Victoria Falls Town, and 4km from the Falls themselves, so while not close enough to walk to the Falls, it is far enough away that you don't hear the helicopters and microlights that hover over the Falls, lending a more peaceful atmosphere than you might find in town.
The lodge – more of a hotel in style – consists of 72 rooms: 66 standard rooms (including one designed for those with limited mobility), and six suites. Every room has a balcony overlooking the Zambezi National Park towards the sunset, and most face the waterhole.
We last visited in June 2018, and found the rooms boasting a smart and contemporary décor after a significant restyle in 2013 and a further soft refurbishment in 2017. Each room has air conditioning as well as a ceiling fan and is equipped with twin beds or a king-size bed, a hairdryer, large safe, telephone, tea- and coffee-making facilities and a minibar, which is complimentary in the suites. The en-suite bathrooms have a flush toilet, single washbasin and shower.
The suites follow the same design, but are split level, with a small lounge area downstairs and bedroom above. All are en-suite, each with a bath as well as a shower.
The main area of Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is set across different levels. Upstairs from the reception area, with views towards the waterhole, is the Makuwa-Kuwa restaurant, which offers a buffet breakfast and à la carte lunches and dinners at individual tables topped with brightly coloured tablecloths. Dinner may also be enjoyed in the Boma restaurant, which specialises in traditional Zimbabwean dishes cooked on a barbecue. The cultural experience extends to traditional dancing and singing, and after dinner guests are invited to join in with some local drumming.
Two floors below the Makuwa-Kuwa restaurant is the Buffalo Bar, where drinks and snacks are served all day. Guests often enjoy sundowners and pre- and post-dinner drinks on the large deck here, while watching game around the waterhole.
At the very top of the structure is a small viewing deck, ideal for photographers to while away some time looking down to the waterhole. There’s some comfortable furniture, and it's possible to eat up here on request. Downstairs there is also a curio shop, an internet café and a television lounge, and WiFi is available throughout the lodge.
The lodge's two-tier swimming pool has been built to look as if it is nestled into the rocks, its pools connected by a small water feature. Surrounding the lower pool is a sunny deck area, with sun loungers and umbrellas. The pool is popular with children and, in our experience, is kept impeccably clean.
Although large, the lodge has much more of a safari feeling than properties in Victoria Falls Town, a feeling enhanced by the waterhole in front. There is a small hide next to the waterhole that you can visit with a guide, and while it may not be as productive as those in some of the larger national parks, it's still an interesting and relaxing place to spend the afternoon. For those with an interest in birds, there is vulture feeding at 1.00pm every day.
Regular, complimentary shuttle buses run from the lodge to various locations in Victoria Falls, conveniently stopping at the main points in town such as the market and the Falls.
With its location on the boundary of the national park, overlooking its own waterhole, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge makes you feel that you are still on safari, even though you are in an international-style hotel. You do sacrifice some convenience in terms of visiting the Falls, but this is compensated for by a more peaceful location.
Country manager: Zimbabwe
- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Ideal length of stay
- A stay of two or three nights works well here, to give you time to enjoy the variety of activities on offer in Victoria Falls.
- The lodge is 24km from Victoria Falls airport, a journey that takes approximately 30 minutes by road.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- Food quality
- Though we didn’t have the chance to sample the food on our last visit, during previous stays we felt the quality of the food was very good. Breakfast and dinner are served in the lodge's upstairs restaurant, Makuwa-Kuwa, which overlooks the property's iconic waterhole,.
Breakfast offers both a continental buffet and a cooked option. The buffet had an assortment of breads, as well as a range of croissants and muffins, along with cheese and sliced meat platters, fresh fruit, yoghurt, muesli, juices, and water. There is also a coffee and tea station with a wide assortment of teas.
Lunch is served in the more casual Buffalo Bar, which is downstairs and close to the pool. Sandwiches, burgers and salads are available – on a previous visit we enjoyed a tasty roast beef sandwich on toasted wheat bread with spicy chipotle mayonnaise, tomato, and lettuce, alongside a bowl of fresh fruit.
Dinner is à la carte, with options including spicy tomato soup to start, local beef fillet and stewed vegetable medley, and plenty of both sweet and savoury options for dessert.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Drinks included
- For those staying on a B&B basis, only breakfast, coffee and tea are included. In the deluxe rooms and suites there is a complimentary minibar stocked with wine, beers, soft drinks and water. Drinks from the main bar, and the minibars in the standard rooms, are not included.
Bottled water is supplied in all of the rooms, and is readily available from the bar.
- Attitude towards children
- Victoria Falls Safari Lodge has a relatively informal atmosphere, and families with younger children are welcome.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Special activities & services
- The lodge does provide babysitting facilities, although guests should be aware that the babysitters may not be trained up to UK standards.
- Cots are available for the rooms, and high chairs for the dining areas.
- Generally recommended for children
- We recommend Victoria Falls Safari Lodge for children as the staff are warm and accommodating, and there is a large pool where children are routinely seen splashing about.
- There is minimal risk of dangerous wildlife going through the property. Parents may feel free to relax at the bar or on the sunloungers while children play and swim in the pool (not lifeguarded).
- Power supply notes
- There is a back-up generator in the event of a power outage.
- There are phones in each of the suites and there is good cellphone reception as well as complimentary and reliable WiFi throughout the property. There is also an internet lounge.
- TV & radio
- There are no TVs in the rooms, but there is a TV lounge with international channels available.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- All rooms have plumbed running water for the washbasins and showers, and flushing toilets.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The closest doctor is in Victoria Falls Town. Serious medical issues would be referred to Harare or even Johannesburg if necessary.
Swimming pool warning: Please be aware that the swimming pool at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge does not have a barrier between the children’s pool and deep main pool. Young children should only swim under strict adult supervision.
- Dangerous animals
- Moderate Risk
- Security measures
- Guards patrol the property day and night, and there is a guard at the entrance gate around the clock.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are positioned around the suites and each room contains instructions on what to do and where to go in the unlikely event of a fire.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- A same-day laundry service is available at additional cost.
- There is a large electronic safe in each room and suite.
- Accepted payment on location
- Visa, Amex and Mastercard are accepted forms of payment, along with cash in major currencies.
Other lodges in Victoria Falls
Alternative places to stay in this same area.