Victoria Falls Hotel has to be one of Africa’s most iconic destinations. A hotel so grand and so classic that it takes you back to a time gone by… a time of Gin and Tonics, cucumber sandwiches and lunch parties galore. A tribute to the colonial times and November’s Property of the Month. Here’s what we think makes this “Grand Old Lady” worth a visit:
The Victoria Falls Hotel (VFH) is perched on the edge of the abyss that is the gorge of the mighty Zambezi River – less than five minutes from all the adventures and wonders the legendary falls has to offer. The ‘Grand Old Lady’, built in 1904 and surrounded by beautifully tranquil gardens, exudes Edwardian grandeur and energy while offering every possible modern creature comfort. The halls, draped with artefacts of a forgotten time, whisper the nostalgia of an era of opulence, pioneering and adventure. Beyond the terrace and over the sprawling manicured lawns, the Victoria Falls bridge is revealed through the mist and thunder of Mosi Oa Tunya – the Victoria Falls.
You will start your Victoria Falls adventure in the wood panelled VFH reception. It is here that you will have your first encounter with famed Zimbabwean hospitality – nowhere is the friendliness and efficiency of Zimbabweans more obvious than at the VFH where the smiling staff genuinely delight in crafting you a visit you will never forget.
The luxurious lounges and reading rooms, hung with Edwardian paintings and furnished with commodious leather and cloth sofas, ooze history. They urge you to pull an aged leather-bound book from the library shelves and sink into blissful relaxation – possibly with a cocktail at your side, the sound of the Zambezi streaming over the falls a constant, comforting companion.
The secluded and beautifully appointed pool offers ultimate serenity and coolth in the heat of the midday especially after a massage in the salubrious African spa.
Edwardian rooms of luxury and history
The VFH rooms are situated on two levels, some offering spectacular views over the Zambezi River canyon while others look onto the tranquillity of the magnificent gardens. Iconic Africa recommends the four executive or honeymoon suites that conjure the privacy, luxury and romance of the turn of the 20th century – steam engines, wild untrammelled Africa and unbridled adventure. The suites have private entrances, cosy four poster beds and generous sitting rooms from which to enjoy a pre-dinner cherry or single malt.
The Royal Suite defines spacious opulence – it opens out onto a private balcony with views of the gardens and panoramas of the Zambezi gorge in the distance.
Adventure from the Victoria Falls Hotel
From the VFH, every conceivable entertainment that the Victoria Falls has to offer is right at your fingertips.
A ten minute stroll from the hotel, the Victoria Falls rainforest clings to the walls of the gorge. From the seclusion of this verdant jungle retreat, nurtured by the spray of the falls, you can watch the waters of the Zambezi tumbling over the colossal cliffs, plunging down into Africa’s most awe-inspiring gorge. Out of the forest, you can face the wall of thundering water, breathing in the healing spray while you marvel at the plants that manage to hug onto the little crag-face islands of calm in the booming falls.
For the adrenalin fiend, there is the terrifying bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge or a toe-curling zip line across the gorge. White water rafting over the boiling cataracts of the Zambezi must rank as one of the world’s most exhilarating experiences.
If you’re less inclined to risk, go on a breath-taking helicopter ride over the falls. Any number of safari activities can also be arranged from the VFH.
After a day of adventure, unwind on a Zambezi cruise. Quaff your favourite cocktail while you watch herds of elephants graze on the banks, hippos grunting in the protection of the current and myriad spectacular bird species – the African sun passing fat, lazy and crimson over the palm trees.
Fine colonial dining
There are three charming and distinct restaurants at the VFH. Your generous breakfast will be served at the Jungle Junction, a delightful open-air restaurant filled with a multitude of scents from the gardens and wild bush beyond. Lunches and high-teas are served al fresco on the Stanley Terrace which offers unfettered views all the way to the Victoria Falls Bridge and, at night, the twinkling lights of Zambia on the opposite bank. A la carte dinners are served in the Livingstone Room – an extravagant, semi-formal experience that that will transport you to the age of the great explorers.
Please do let us know if you have any questions on this iconic destination.