Victoria Falls aerial view
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  Zimbabwe
This land locked country once held pride of place in the Southern African Safari Circuit. Sadly political unrest and bad press since 2000 have taken this wonderful nation from pole position in the regions tourism. However for those that still have faith in this country of incredible wildlife and scenic diversity some of the finest safari time can be spent here. The main attractions are the uncrowded parks, prolific wildlife and excellent guiding. The four main tourism areas are Victoria Falls, Hwange, Matusadona and Mana Pools National Parks.

Victoria Falls
Recommended Hotels and Lodges

One of the seven natural wonders of the world, not to be missed in a safari itinerary. This outstanding waterfall boasts the widest single curtain of falling water in the world. Twice as high and one and a half times as wide as Niagra Falls, this impressive set of Falls on the Zambezi River plummets over a basalt ledge, stretching over a mile (1700m) in width. Its local name of ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ earns its meaning of ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ from the roar that this magnificent waterfall emits as the water plunges into a chasm some 100 meters deep, rising up into a smoke like cloud of 450 metres high, seen from a distance of 60 kilometers during peak flow in June.

There are a number of good hotels and lodges in the area, my two favorites are Ilala Lodge and Victoria Falls Hotel on the Zimbabwean side.

Ilala Lodge
This small and personalized, family owned hotel is the closest form of accommodation to the Falls on the Zimbabwean side. The roar of the Falls is a constant background noise from the 30 rooms and 2 suites. A meal out on the terrace looks onto the nearby spray spiraling into the sky.

   
Exterior view   The Terrace   Bedroom

 

The view from the Botoka Suite
The view from the Botoka Suite
  The Victoria Falls Hotel
This gracious old colonial hotel has just celebrated its centenary, truly one of the famous hotels of the world. The front suites and wide pillared verandah of this grand Edwardian building look out across sprawling lawns onto the 200 metre steel arch bridge that connected Zimbabwe to Zambia in 1905. Quietly lit passageways stretch down well carpeted wings of the hotel. Period pictures line the walls. Go back in time with a meal in the Livingstone Room to the background
of the resident band. Have breakfast on the expansive terrace and veranda looking across the gorges to the spray leaping up from the mile wide chasm below. Spend time relaxing in the comfort of the reading room or the various lounges of this ‘Grand Old Lady’. There are 180 rooms and 18 suites to choose from.

An aerial view of the Victoria Falls Hotel
An aerial view of the Victoria Falls Hotel

Recommended camps and lodges in Zimbabwe

Matusdona National Park
>Matusadona Water Wilderness

Hwange National Park
>Makololo Camp
>Linkwasha Camp

Mana Pools National Park
>Chikwenya Camp



Zambia
Recommended Hotels and Lodges in Victoria Falls

One of the seven natural wonders of the world, not to be missed in a safari itinerary. This outstanding waterfall boasts the widest single curtain of falling water in the world. Twice as high and one and a half times as wide as Niagra Falls, this impressive set of Falls on the Zambezi River plummets over a basalt ledge, stretching over a mile (1700m) in width. Its local name of ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ earns its meaning of ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ from the roar that this magnificent waterfall emits as the water plunges into a chasm some 100 metres deep, rising up into a smoke like cloud of 450 meters high, seen from a distance of 60 kilometers during peak flow in June.

There are a number of good hotels and lodges in the area, my two favorites are Royal Livingstone and The River Club on the Zambian bank.

The Royal Livingstone Hotel – Zambia
Few hotels can rival this for its incredible position, situated on the banks of the Zambezi within full view of this famous river which peacefully spills into the gorge below only to rise up in torturous spiraling curtains for all to see from the rooms and suites that overlook rambling lawns growing beneath mature riverine woodland which extends to the rivers edge.

Royal Livingstone verandah view Unparalled view from Royal Livingstone Hotel
Royal Livingstone verandah view Unparalled view from Royal Livingstone Hotel

The lounge, dinning room and bar are from a bygone era tastefully recreated to offer the highest five star quality of any Zambian hotel.

The River Club – Zambia
This romantic lodge, most popular with honeymooners is perched on the edge of high banks cloaked in lush riverine vegetation 18 kilometres upstream of the Falls. The spectacular view is across a kilometer of rapidly moving river, studded with hippo and black basalt rocks with the Zambezi National Park as its backdrop on the opposite bank.

River Club The view across the Zambezi
River Club The view across the Zambezi

Elephant are often seen coming down the sandy bank to drink and feed among the reeds that line the rivers edge. Personalised attention is ensured in this small intimate property which only offers 10 luxury thatched suites which nestle unobtrusively among giant ebony trees, all open fronted to a magnificent view.

Daily excursions to the Falls, wildlife viewing by boat on the Zambezi, fishing, visits to see rhino and at the nearby national park, white water rafting, river surfing, bungi jumping, abseiling, microlight and helicopter flights over the Falls, horse riding and canoeing are some of the activities on offer from The River Club.