Personal travel advisor, Lauren Barnard, recently visited the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe, close to Victoria Falls. It was here that she stayed at Victoria Falls River Lodge as part of an exceptional African safari experience. With Victoria Falls being one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Lauren was even more excited and couldn’t wait to see what makes our clients continually want to return.
Upon arrival at the Victoria Falls International Airport or from Botswana, transfer by road will take you to the entry point of the Zambezi National Park where there is a welcome lounge for the guests to freshen up. From the lounge you will be transferred by boat to the lodge’s jetty further downstream on the Zambezi. The superb welcome is taken care of by the camp manager and the team – a real treat. The team then assists you and the guide on the wooden walkway to the main thatched lodge where you can enjoy a glass of sparkling wine and a cool refresher towel. The main public areas have expansive river views. A welcome orientation is conducted in the lounge and is really informative and thorough to ensure the guests know what to expect over the next few days of their stay, for example the incredibly delicious afternoon tea that would be served that day – I was already looking forward to it.
The main lodge looks out onto the river and the private island.
The bar area is found at the end of a little boardwalk next to the main lounge, with a view of the larger dining area further down.
The lodge pool and deck are open day round, but each tented suite also boasts its own private plunge pool with uninterrupted views of the Zambezi River.
There is a complimentary fitness center on site too, situated underneath the deck and pool area. I considered this to have one the best views from any gym I have seen as it overlooks the mighty Zambezi. It most certainly has everything you need to stay in shape with treadmills, including an indoor rower and exercise bicycles.
Spa treatments are conducted in your suite for the ultimate pampering experience and a wonderful menu includes everything from Indian head massages to full body treatments, all using natural plant-based Africology range.
Wi-Fi is available throughout the lodge and in all the suites.
Morning and afternoon game drives are provided in the Zambezi National Park, however you can ask to swap one of these for a guided walking safari. A walking safari allows you to feel the natural earth under your feet.
Both the game drive and walking safari is a glorious experience with an abundance of wildlife including elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, sable antelope, giraffe, waterbuck and more. Game drive snacks are served and the afternoon drive provides refreshing beverages.
Sunrise and sunset river cruises are epic and perfect to further witness the splendor of the park and there is always a gentle breeze in the air. The cruises are conducted with professional field guides. The sunset river cruise is the perfect way to end the day as you watch the sun dip in the horizon over the glimmering water.
An unforgettable guided tour of the Falls is also included in your stay. You will join passionate and knowledgeable guides for this excursion.
Birdwatching is also phenomenal with over 400 recorded species of birds soaring the skies of Zimbabwe.
It is good to note that there is a full list of activities and Lauren recommends you chat to the team on the ground who will help you plan your day.
This property ticks all the boxes for all members of the family from young to old. The location and overall offering is just perfect. Lauren felt that a 3 night stay should be a minimum as there is just so much on offer and the game viewing is equally amazing to any property in Botswana.
Victoria Falls River Lodge consists of 13 spacious luxury tented suites on the river banks and then a further 6 secluded island treehouse suites on a private island. Unfortunately, due to time limitations Lauren was unable to go across to the island to view the treehouse suites.
The suites are set far apart for privacy and a convenient golf cart is available to transfer to and from the suites if required.
A butler will escort you to the suite and they will give you detailed information on the room amenities, including how to operate the A/C and fans. Each tented suite has views overlooking the river, with a beautiful deck and private plunge pool. There are no fences and thus the chance of seeing a lot of wildlife closer to your room is possible. The beautifully decorated open plan suites are cleverly designed with a phone that links to the main lodge to connect if you want to be collected, escorted or to order room service. Lauren stayed in a family tented suite that has an annex for children with a bunk bed and single bed, its own dressing room and bathroom.
Lauren had high tea brought to her suite in the afternoon as she decided to skip the afternoon activity. It was a vast array of sweet and savory items that was freshly prepared and beautifully presented.
Breakfast was served in the main open plan dining area of the lodge. It is a lavish spread with a full continental tray brought to each individual table, as well as an extensive ala carte menu.
Dinner was hosted on the wooden deck dining area surrounded by all the sounds of the river. This was a 4-course set menu with 2 starters, 1 main and ending with dessert. The presentation and service were again first class. The staff are clearly well trained in hosting clients.
Elephants swimming across the Zambezi, as witnessed from the boat on the way in. Then a further 100 plus elephants on the banks of the river on the boat cruise out. There is just an unbelievable abundance of them in this region.
Some small but amazingly personal touches like a chalkboard welcome letter from the housekeeper.
Thank you to all the staff, Clive and NK who made sure that every special detail was seen to and who made the stay even more memorable.
Get in touch with me if you’d like to add this incredible property to your next Africa itinerary!
See you out there.