Victoria Falls indisputably ranks among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. When you see it, you’ll know why! Here, the mighty Zambezi River, a full 1.7km wide, tumbles over a 108-metre high cliff shared between Zambia and Zimbabwe to form the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Thinking of going there? So you should! Here are the top 10 best safari lodges and camps near Victoria Falls:
The Elephant Camp
Set within Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls National Park, The Elephant Camp is a tented camp with a classic African feel overlooking Zambezi Gorge just below the falls. A sunken fire pit is the main focus of the communal area, while the suites are equipped with a private viewing deck, plunge pool and outdoor shower. It offers fabulous views of the permanent mist spray alluded to in the local name for Victoria Falls: Mosi-Oa-Tunya (‘Smoke That Thunders’).
Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma
Located on the bank of the Zambezi in Zambia’s Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park , Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma is the perfect base for visiting Victoria Falls, a mere 12km downstream. Accommodation is in 12 luxury tree houses in the canopy of ancient ebony trees, but two private houses are available as well.
Victoria Falls River Lodge
Victoria Falls River Lodge is situated in Zambezi National Park, which is home to large animals such as lion, elephant and giraffe. Thirteen luxury tented suites with private decks and plunge pools boast uninterrupted views of the Zambezi River. To really get away from it all, stay in one of six tree house suites on a nearby private island. Victoria Falls is little more than a stone’s throw away – you’ll see the spray from your room.
Toka Leya in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park offers a true bush experience. Guests are accommodated in 12 luxury safari tents overlooking the mighty Zambezi River. The camp is in harmony with its surroundings, and wildlife such as elephant, hippo and crocodile is regularly spotted.
Islands of Siankaba
As its name suggests, Islands of Siankaba stands on a pair of privately-owned islands, linked together by series of walkways and bridges, smack in the middle of the Zambezi River. Situated halfway between Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park, it is a small luxury lodge comprising just seven secluded tented chalets spread out to maximize river views whilst maintaining total privacy. With a maximum of 14 guests, a lot of thought goes into the dining experience; locations for intimate dinners include a forest clearing and the panoramic deck.
Royal Chundu River Lodge
Royal Chundu River Lodge scatters 10 luxury suites with private decks along the Zambezi riverfront. Plush furnishings accentuate the surrounding natural beauty. Although the emphasis is on privacy, sociable dinners hosted in the African-themed outdoor boma offer an opportunity to mingle around the mesmerising campfire.
The Victoria Falls Hotel
Built in 1904 on the Zimbabwean bank of the Zambezi, the Edwardian-style Victoria Falls Hotel has been a luxury icon in Africa for longer than a century. A proud member of the Leading Hotels of the World, it has a prime location offering dramatic views of Victoria Falls’ spectacular gorges. It features several fine dining restaurants, but is most famous for the classy High Tea offered daily on the veranda.
Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel
This contemporary boutique hotel, though thoroughly modern in its luxuries, exudes the charm of a bygone era. Only 15 minutes away from Victoria Falls, it is located in a 4,000ha private game reserve that provides sanctuary to all the Big 5 and many other animal species. The reserve is an Intensive Protection Zone for the black rhino, and provides an excellent opportunity for close-up encounters with this endangered creature.
Little Gorges, the more exclusive sister of Gorges Lodge, comprises five luxury safari tents built on wooden decks perched on the edge of Dibu Dibu Gorge, 10km below Victoria Falls. It’s a truly spectacular setting, best appreciated from your private veranda at sunrise. The tents have a classic safari feel; you’ll know you’re in Africa. Service is personal, and tales of the bush are shared around a communal dinner table.
Located in a private concession within Zambezi National Park, Mpala Jena is the unique creation of the award-winning photographer team Dereck and Beverly Joubert. It comprises just four tented suites, accommodating a maximum of eight guests, on a beautiful stretch of the Zambezi River above Victoria Falls. The décor is classy yet homely, and the sky is the limit when it comes to service and food. Although Mpala Jena comes at a hefty price, the rate is fully inclusive of meals, drinks and all activities.
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