Victoria Falls River Lodge | Victoria Falls Luxury Zimbabwe Safari Lodge

Victoria Falls River Lodge is a true luxury Zimbabwean safari lodge. Although close to the amenities and adventure activities of the town of Victoria Falls, it lies within the Zambezi National Park and so also offers more contemplative experiences in an authentic bush environment. The riverside setting is both energising and calming.

The place

Here, above Victoria Falls, the Zambezi River is a broad sheet of metallic grey water, making its unhurried way towards the Falls. Although we can’t hear the water tumbling into the gorge, we’re close enough that we can see the clouds of spray that it throws up. Hippo wallow and chortle between the wooded islands, and the birdlife is spectacular – within minutes of arrival we see over a dozen species. We’re not the only visitors on the day of our arrival – a large bull elephant makes his way along the front of the lodge, pausing to drink water by the Riverside Bar. I resist the temptation to reach out and touch the elephant, but the fact that this wild creature is literally at arm’s length reinforces our sense of connection with Africa.

Here, above Victoria Falls, the Zambezi River is a broad sheet of metallic grey water, making its unhurried way towards the Falls. Although we can’t hear the water tumbling into the gorge, we’re close enough that we can see the clouds of spray that it throws up.

Hippo wallow and chortle between the wooded islands, and the birdlife is spectacular – within minutes of arrival we see over a dozen species.

We’re not the only visitors on the day of our arrival – a large bull elephant makes his way along the front of the lodge, pausing to drink water by the Riverside Bar. I resist the temptation to reach out and touch the elephant, but the fact that this wild creature is literally at arm’s length reinforces our sense of connection with Africa.

The room

We’re staying in one of 16 luxury tents, cleverly constructed of canvas, wood and glass to give us panoramic views of the Zambezi and its islands. Just as I’m thinking that the many trees around give the tents privacy from each other, a familiar call rings out, and I look up to see a fish eagle take off from the tree shading our tent. The artfully combined African and European decorative elements make us feel at home, and remind us that we’re somewhere rather different – and rather magical. I’m torn between the free-standing bath and the indoor and outdoor showers as the ideal way to wash off the journey to the lodge. With the river so close, I instinctively think I’ll make like a hippo and enjoy a good soak. As if reading my mind, the manager who’s showing us our tent opens the taps and begins to fill the bath. Over the sound of hot, running water, I hear my partner ask about the possibility of dinner on our private deck, and my cup overflows. Happily, the bath doesn’t.

We’re staying in one of 16 luxury tents, cleverly constructed of canvas, wood and glass to give us panoramic views of the Zambezi and its islands. Just as I’m thinking that the many trees around give the tents privacy from each other, a familiar call rings out, and I look up to see a fish eagle take off from the tree shading our tent.

The artfully combined African and European decorative elements make us feel at home, and remind us that we’re somewhere rather different – and rather magical. I’m torn between the free-standing bath and the indoor and outdoor showers as the ideal way to wash off the journey to the lodge. With the river so close, I instinctively think I’ll make like a hippo and enjoy a good soak.

As if reading my mind, the manager who’s showing us our tent opens the taps and begins to fill the bath. Over the sound of hot, running water, I hear my partner ask about the possibility of dinner on our private deck, and my cup overflows. Happily, the bath doesn’t.

What sets it apart

Victoria Falls River Lodge is a far cry from the busy hotels in the town, and with its riverbank location, that cry could easily be that of another fish eagle. As the first private lodge to be built in Zambezi National Park, it offers a genuine safari ambience and experience, and this is the perfect way for us to ease ourselves into game-drive mode. The slick transfer service means that we can also head to town if we wish to observe (or participate in) some of the more fascinating – and extreme – examples of primate behaviour, be it bungee jumping from the remarkable Victorian iron bridge, or flying above the falls on microlights. The highlight for us is being able to witness the falls in all their majesty, and then to return to the lodge and see the same river in a much more languid mood. This contrast perfectly sums up what makes this luxury Zimbabwean safari lodge so special.

Victoria Falls River Lodge is a far cry from the busy hotels in the town, and with its riverbank location, that cry could easily be that of another fish eagle. As the first private lodge to be built in Zambezi National Park, it offers a genuine safari ambience and experience, and this is the perfect way for us to ease ourselves into game-drive mode.

The slick transfer service means that we can also head to town if we wish to observe (or participate in) some of the more fascinating – and extreme – examples of primate behaviour, be it bungee jumping from the remarkable Victorian iron bridge, or flying above the falls on microlights.

The highlight for us is being able to witness the falls in all their majesty, and then to return to the lodge and see the same river in a much more languid mood. This contrast perfectly sums up what makes this luxury Zimbabwean safari lodge so special.

At a glance

  • Luxury tented accommodation in Zambezi National Park, on the banks of the Zambezi, with the spray of the falls visible in the distance. There are eight luxury tents, five family suites and three luxury treehouse suites, each with private deck and plunge pool.
  • Private vehicles, complimentary transfers to town and personal butler service in the luxury treehouse suites.
  • Game drives, walking safaris, sunrise and sunset river cruises, birding on private Kandahar Island, canoe and fishing safaris (additional costs), helicopter flights over Victoria Falls (additional cost), white-water rafting on the Zambezi River (additional cost), ziplining and canopy tours (additional cost), bungee jumping (additional cost) and bridge swinging (additional cost).
  • Awarded ‘best family safari experience’. Five family tents accommodating three children up to aged 17. Special children’s activities and babysitting service (additional cost).

  • Luxury tented accommodation in Zambezi National Park, on the banks of the Zambezi, with the spray of the falls visible in the distance. There are eight luxury tents, five family suites and three luxury treehouse suites, each with private deck and plunge pool.
  • Private vehicles, complimentary transfers to town and personal butler service in the luxury treehouse suites.
  • Game drives, walking safaris, sunrise and sunset river cruises, birding on private Kandahar Island, canoe and fishing safaris (additional costs), helicopter flights over Victoria Falls (additional cost), white-water rafting on the Zambezi River (additional cost), ziplining and canopy tours (additional cost), bungee jumping (additional cost) and bridge swinging (additional cost).
  • Awarded ‘best family safari experience’. Five family tents accommodating three children up to aged 17. Special children’s activities and babysitting service (additional cost).

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

Early in winter, there are still good volumes of water flowing over the falls, and this coincides with prime safari times in Chobe and the Okavango. As winter progresses, the water at the falls decreases, and it eventually splits into several discrete cascades (and may dry up entirely on the Zambian side). Island picnics above the falls and the Devil’s Pool are on the agenda, as well as better views of the rocky gorges thanks to reduced spray. Tamer canoeing options on the Upper Zambezi (above Victoria Falls) are available year round.

The Southern African summer season contains the very best months of the year to experience Victoria Falls at its most impressive. Swollen by summer rains, from around February to May the Zambezi River tumbles over the precipice as a single immense sheet of water, with all the noise, spray and humidity you could wish for. Some activities immediately above the falls (like swimming in Devil’s Pool) are impossible, however. Combine with a safari to any of the two countries’ game reserves to enjoy the best of the green season’s predator activity, and lower occupancies in luxury lodges.

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