Every year thousands of people from around the world flock to Victoria Falls, and it’s no wonder, this little city offers much more than one of the 7 Wonders of the World. There is a plethora of sights, sounds, activities and adventures; enough to satisfy the most mundane of tourists.
However, we’d like to divert your attention to the lodges of Victoria Falls as we believe there is a beauty here which is almost equal to that of the Falls itself. Some of the best lodges on the continent can be found here, each offering more than world class luxury, but a chance to truly experience Africa. We’ve worked with some of these places for years and to demonstrate just how incredible they are, we’ve put together a list of what we think are the top 10 lodges of Victoria Falls.
10. Victoria Falls River Lodge
Encircled by the vast plains of The Zambezi National Park with panoramic views of the Zambezi River and the spray of the Victoria Falls in the distance… it’s the ideal opportunity to slow down the clock and open your senses to uninterrupted splendour. Victoria Falls River Lodge makes the most of its privileged position as the first private game lodge in the Zambezi National Park. Each luxury tent provides constant game viewing opportunities through large windows and outdoor shower facilities. The main lodge is strategically placed a few feet away from the elephant’s evening walking route and the open-air dining facilities have breath taking views of the Zambezi River. It’s not hard to see why time slows down.
Being in close proximity to the Victoria Falls, guests have the opportunity to explore it and partake in many of its numerous activities. However, an attractive characteristic of the lodge is in its own select product offering. You can venture into the bush on a guided 4×4 safari, go birding, cruise the river on a boat excursion, catch a fish, glide along well known canoeing trails or simply lie by the pool with a good book. Victoria Falls River Lodge is all about relaxing and if you have children, there are numerous children’s programs and safaris to keep them entertained and help you further unwind. Get back to the simple life with Victoria Falls River Lodge.
9. Ilala Lodge Hotel
llala Lodge is the closest hotel to Victoria Falls, with the Victoria Falls National Park bordering the front lawns of this elegant boutique style property. Spacious rooms lead out to either a balcony or the well-manicured gardens, offering a view of the spray from the mighty Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls). With its colonial thatched roofs it evokes an ambience of a bygone era, yet it never fails to lose sight of the modern luxuries guests are accustomed to.
The two onsite restaurants, The Palm Restaurant and Kubika, will satisfy all your culinary cravings with glorious buffet breakfasts and sensational à la carte menus. The crystal-clear swimming pool offers a cool respite from the midday sun whilst delicious cocktails await you at the pool bar. Being walking distance to the Victoria Falls, you can explore it whenever you like, attempt many of its activities, or simply retire to your large traditional African decorated rooms. For the closest Victoria Falls experience, you’ve got to spend a few nights at Ilala Lodge Hotel.
8. Sussi and Chuma
Nestled below a canopy of giant ebony trees along the banks of the Zambezi lies the Sussi and Chuma. It’s a luxury lodge that unites you with nature. Suspended under tree tops, the chalets and walkways are situated on stilts and appear to be floating above the Zambezi blending into the surroundings with its use of natural materials. It’s a setting which accentuates the utopian African dream and even though your chalet is filled with modern amenities to increase comfort, it does not detract from the tapestry of sights and sounds found below and around you.
The harmony with nature is further accentuated in Sussi and Chuma’s heart-warming service. You have the opportunity to explore the environment through well-informed game drives, game walks and boat safaris; enjoy cuisine of fascinating local flavours and encounter in-depth insights into the Victoria Falls through guided walks. They know the area and they know how to best enjoy it. With heavenly spa treatments, sundowners over the infinity pool, boat cruises and the chance to see wildlife whenever and where ever… I’m sure you’ll agree, Sussi and Chuma bring you closer to Africa.
7. Stanley Safari Lodge
Are you looking for a secluded getaway with spectacular views of the world’s largest waterfall? Set on a hill only 3 km from the iconic Victoria Falls, Stanley Safari Lodge offers complete tranquillity. With only 10 chalets or cottages, the lodge creates a personal luxury experience for each guest in an exclusive atmosphere.
Stanley Safari Lodge is made up of 4 luxurious open chalets and 6 enclosed cottages. Each chalet is uniquely designed in an open concept so that it feels like you are sleeping outdoors but with all the high-class luxury offerings of a hotel – and of course, mosquito nets. The lodge caters for dinners on your private deck as well as in the restaurant or outdoors. Take a dip in the infinity pool that looks onto the valley below – or if you’re after more privacy, enjoy a swim in your own private chalet pool.
Bordering the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, every room has spectacular views of the unspoilt African bush and Victoria Falls. Location is key at the Stanley Safari Lodge: it’s secluded enough for peace and quiet, away from the circling tour helicopters, and close enough to easily visit Livingstone and the Falls. At night, you can listen to the lions roaring under the starry skies – of course candles, hot water bottles and huge, comfy beds – set the perfect mood.
6. Victoria Falls Safari Lodge & Club
For many this lodge needs no introduction. Winning multiple awards, it has stood its ground against its competitors by providing a unique, authentic experience with top class service. It’s only 5 minutes away from the Victoria Falls town, yet, when you sit on your private balcony, all that lies before you is a vast untouched wilderness. One of the lodge’s famous attractions is its restaurant- Boma Placing of Eating. Guests are dazzled with authentic African food while being serenaded by African dances in an amphitheatre enshrined with African décor. It’s an experience unlike any other.
With great food comes great responsibility, and the lodge keeps its high standard by providing modern accommodation with a selection of activities. Each of its 72 rooms have luxury baths, mini bars, air-conditioning and complementary Wi-Fi. Activities include safaris, canoe trips, sunset cruises, adrenaline junky bungee jumping, spa treatments, cultural tours and even the highly unique vulture feeding. For an exciting African experience, make sure your next vacation involves Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.
5. Royal Chundu Island Lodge
Are you ready to escape to an intimate island hideaway in the meandering Zambezi? Royal Chundu Island Lodge offers the comforts of four remote villas directly on the paradisiac Katombora Island but also fresh air, elegance for days and views of the gentle streams of the Zambezi River, baobab trees and thousand-year-old Jackalberry trees from your private villa deck.
A short trip on a pontoon boat gets you to the island. Quiet, incomparable privacy and romance is in ample supply at the Royal Chundu Island Lodge. With only four villas on the island, each one offers unobstructed, magical views of the tranquil water channels and surrounds. Step through the sliding doors and enjoy a large open-air bath, a private deck and dining area, and listen to the soothing sounds of the Zambezi river. The décor is a mix of African chic with a contemporary, luxurious edge, echoed in the cobalt blue, white and dark wood lodge – complemented by thatched roofs and teak walkways.
Situated 30 km from the thundering waters of the iconic Victoria Falls, Royal Chundu Island Lodge also offers day trips, activities such as tiger fishing, wildlife viewing, white water rafting, bird watching, sunset or sunrise cruises, spa treatments, and traditional canoe trips to local villages. Awarded as Zambia’s Leading Safari Lodge a few years running – it’s guaranteed to be a royal adventure!
4. Royal Livingstone
Just before the Zambezi River meets the majestic Victoria Falls, a lodge of another majesty resides with considerable opulence. Zambia’s Royal Livingstone is a lodge that has well lived up to its name of ‘royal’, yet while it presents a grand allure, it is surprisingly welcoming to your wallet. Picture high ceilings and colonial architecture, old oak furniture with polished brass furnishings, antique china and 19th century art… all this combined with the surrounding African savannah and it’s the perfect setting for the perfect vacation.
From the moment you arise to the moment you retire, you have a multitude of activities to choose from. Dine aboard a steam locomotive, view the falls from your spa bed, stroll through the Herb and Rose Garden, tackle the Zambezi rapids on an exhilarating jet boat ride, go on safari, bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge, glide above the waterfall in a microlight, watch the sun set on a river cruise or take a siesta on one of the many hammocks found along the water’s edge. It’s truly a unique experience, one which warrants the hotels slogan ‘a million miles from ordinary’.
3. Victoria Falls Hotel
Set amidst tranquil gardens, lily ponds, palm trees and semi-tropical shrubs, the 5-star Victoria Falls Hotel greets all who enter with a colonial charm. It’s the chance to turn back the clock to a simpler time where elegance and grandeur governed the atmosphere. Everything from the building structure to room furnishings speaks of a Victorian era, yet as you gaze from your balcony onto the rising mist of the Victoria Falls, you’ll be reminded that although you’re couched in a romantic English past, you’re surrounded by a breath taking African present.
Combined with the vintage appeal, modern touches make this a world class hotel. Every room has air-conditioning, digital televisions and modern furniture with a look and feel of the 19th century. There are swimming pools, tennis courts, libraries, a spa, a hair salon, fine dining, dancing and, being located in the Victoria Falls National Park, there are game drives and a short trip to the Victoria Falls at hand. The Victoria Falls Hotel provides a surreal experience befitting of her colloquial title, “the grand old lady of the Falls”.
2. Elephant Camp
There’s no place in Africa that holds an elegant charm quite like Elephant Camp. It’s situated on its own private concession with a spectacular view of the smoky mist rising from the Victoria Falls and the gorges which separate Zimbabwe and Zambia. The feeling one gets here is of elegance and intimacy.
Each of the 12 luxury tents are modern, with warm inviting colours and luxuries such as private viewing decks, plunge pools and lounge areas. The cuisine leaves your mouth desiring more and when combined with the comfort and view, you’ll soon tell yourself this is not a place that’s easy to leave.
View and luxury is one thing, adventure is another and Elephant Camp offers this through safaris on their private concession, game walks, Victoria Falls activities and an exclusive chance to interact one on one with Africa’s precious elephants. Elephant Camp is waiting for your next active, elegant vacation.
Sitting on the water’s edge upstream from the Victoria Falls, Thongabezi is surrounded by peaceful African serenity… and there is nothing that separates you from it. No matter if you’re lying in your bed or relaxing in your claw footed bath, you can encounter every sight, sound and scent from your open fronted lodge. There’s no wall dividing absolute luxury from the wild African bush. With warm personal service, private outdoor dinners, nights on a private island, sunrise and sunset boat trips and Sampan floating candle lit dinners… this may be the most romantic place on earth.
At Thongabezi, the African encounter is perfectly combined with luxury. Internationally recognised chefs provide a Zambian flair for your pallet and locally sourced materials give an African authenticity to world-class décor. Combine this with a staff that genuinely cares and the experience is almost surreal. No matter if you are exploring a nearby island, going on a game drive, fishing, taking a canoe trip, visiting a local village or heading down to the Victoria Falls, Thongabezi staff seem to think of things before you do. Place all that is Thongabezi together and you understand why this is our number 1 lodge in Victoria Falls.