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Hotels in Victoria Falls
5 Things You Must Know Before Booking Your Victoria Falls Accommodation
Apologies but this article is now extremely outdated having been written originally in about 2012 - Things have changed dramatically and very little of the information detailed below is now applicable. I will endeavour to re-write this page with relevant up-to date information but in the meantime please return to our Victoria Falls accommodation page for the correct up-to-date information.
Choosing the hotel for your vacation is the most frightening part of the any holiday. Make a mistake here, and your whole vacation can be ruined. We have all watched in horror, the TV programs where someone's dream holiday has turned into an absolute nightmare because of their rotten Hotel.
can't think of anywhere that you could stay in Victoria Falls that would end up being a nightmare and I know Victoria Falls intimately as I have lived here for many years. But in these 5 points below, I would like to help you to choose the best accommodation for your needs when visiting Victoria Falls. It is beyond the scope of this article to review each hotel individually but the idea is to give you an overview.
Choosing Hotels in Victoria Falls
1) Types of accommodation -- I guess as with any tourist destination there is a vast spectrum of accommodation on offer. If you have not been there before you might wonder what sort of quantity and types of accommodation there are. So roughly here goes:- 8 Large Hotels 4 Game lodges 15 B&B's and self catering 5 Backpacker hostels with camping facilities 1 Timeshare complex Houses, apartments or villa's are generally not hired out like one finds in many other parts of the world.
2) Location -- Victoria Falls is not a city it is a small tourist town. The town centre is no more than a kilometre from the actual Victoria Falls Waterfall. Everything is geared towards tourism and there is very little other industry. Hotels in Victoria Falls are scattered around so I thought it would be useful for you to know which ones are where.
Victoria Falls Hotel, Kingdom Hotel and Ilala Lodge are within a short walk from the Waterfalls themselves. Within a 5 to 10 minute bus shuttle service are the Elephant Hills Hotel, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, A Zambezi River Lodge, Rainbow and Crest Sprayview Hotels. Regular free shuttles are laid on by all the hotels.
20 minutes to 1 hour away you have the more exclusive Game lodges which offer a wilderness and wildlife experience yet are still close enough to visit the spectacular Falls. These are the Elephant Camp, Stanley and Livingstone Hotel, Imbabala and Gorges Lodge.
The residential area of Victoria Falls Town is located just beyond the town centre and is no more than 5 to 10 minutes from the Waterfall, here you will find numerous B and B's, self catering, backpackers lodges and camping.
Smack in the middle of the town centre is the Rest Camp which offers camping backpacking and self-catering at very reasonable prices.
Have a look at our map below for more exact locations:
Map with Hotels in Victoria Falls
3) Quality - One might assume that because of Zimbabwe's political instability and decline in tourism in recent years that the standard would have fallen. One conjures up images of dilapidated hotels and overgrown gardens. This could not be further from the truth. All the major Lodges and Hotels in Victoria Falls are in immaculate condition with beautifully manicured gardens.
With regards to the B and B's there really is a mixed bag here, some are decidedly ropey and some are exceptional so I would be very cautious booking one of these without getting some sort of recommendation first. Please check with us or see the one that we recommend on our site.
4) Prices - Being located so close to one of the Natural Wonders of the World one would expect to pay outrageous prices for accommodation. However I think prices are very fair in relation to prices in the rest of the world.
What is evident is that prices fluctuate considerably, I have phoned a particular hotel reception on 2 consecutive days only to be given a completely different room price. Prices you see on the internet are so often not updated and some prices are quoted per person and some per room. The best is to book through a reputable agent who is familiar with the area. Package deals are often the best way to go, again check these out with your agent as to what's on at offer at the time. Agents should not charge you any more than if you were to book directly with the hotel. Agents get paid a commission from the hotel. See our Why Book With Us article.
For good quality 3 star family accommodation in Victoria Falls expect to pay between US$120 and US$160 per person per night sharing in one of the good hotels.
Top end accommodation in one of the finer hotels anything from US$190 and above per person per night sharing.
The exclusive game lodges are upwards of US$250 per person per night but these include all meals and in-house activities.
B and B's range from US$40 pppn to US$100 pppn and a bed in a backpacking hostel can be picked up for about US$12 to US$20 pppn.
Self catering chalets sleeping four cost upwards of US$90 per chalet per night.
An important thing to note here is that there is a 2 tier price structure. Rates above are for international guests, if you are a from a SADC, country accommodation can be considerably cheaper.
Also of particular note is that hotels from time to time have massive specials on. Get in touch with an agent who is dealing with this all the time and they should be able to give the best deal around at the time.
5) History - Victoria Falls experienced its real boom in the 1980's after Zimbabwe became independent and with the introduction of many of the activities like white water rafting. Huge volumes of tourists started to pour in and hence many hotels were upgraded and new ones were built.
The oldest and really the only one worth mentioning for historical purposes is the magnificent Victoria Falls Hotel. This hotel has an aura about it that is impossible to describe it is quintessentially colonial. It has hosted members of the royal family, numerous heads of state and celebrities. Even if you don't stay there it is well worth a visit, especially for High Tea on the veranda overlooking Victoria Falls Bridge and the gorges below.