Our Visit To Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

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Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is one of Zimbabwe’s highly acclaimed accommodation offerings, an award-winning property located just 4km from the world’s largest waterfall. My colleague and I had the pleasure of being hosted by the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge on a recent trip, so enjoying the experience first-hand. The lodge is part of the Africa Albida Tourism hospitality group and sits on an extensive estate surrounded by some of her sister establishments. The lodge is the focal point on the property and includes MaKuwa-Kuwa Restaurant, the Buffalo Bar and a two-tiered swimming pool. 

We travelled on a quiet Monday morning, taking the first flight from ever busy Harare. We arrived mid-morning to a warm African welcome; the porter donning his traditional Ndebele headgear amused us with some welcome chants. The reception area was stunning; the eye-catching ethnic décor elements spurred a sense of pride in our African heritage. 

After checking in we settled into our room and we were so impressed by the clean functional design, colourful artwork and the overall first impression was absolute comfort. The room, a spacious twin room, had an incredible view overlooking the waterhole. Room amenities include overhead fans plus air conditioning, a mini bar, toilet and spacious shower, a safe for guests to store valuables and mosquito nets.  

We freshened up and went for a tour of the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge estate. Our hostess, Matina, showed us round, giving us a peek of the Safari Lodge’s double rooms and the beautiful newly opened onsite fitness room, a cosy work-out space, that also comes with a lovely view. The grounds were impeccable, every detail so deliberate, the well-kempt lawns and indigenous trees dotted in all the right places. We also took a stroll to see the Lokuthula Lodges, the spacious Victoria Falls Safari Suites and the swanky Victoria Falls Safari Club. Excellence is a common thread in the properties, everything in its place. I was very impressed and made a mental note to return in the near future.

The Safari Lodge offers an in-house activity called ‘Vulture Culture Experience’ a conservation effort whereby wild vultures, which are endangered, are fed daily at 1 pm. A guide gives guests a short briefing on the importance of this exercise and the value of the vulture in the ecosystem and specifically the African savannah. We then had the opportunity to witness these big birds in action. After a cloudy morning, it was rather humid by lunchtime. The atmosphere gave way to a steady drizzle which did not deter guests interested in the activity. We made our way to the hide close to the feeding site and settled down to take pictures and videos. The birds made a quick dive, and it was interesting to note, there were some feisty gate crashers - marabou storks and yellow-billed kites. It was fascinating to watch this activity, which is popular with bird lovers and is open to guests from other lodges and hotels in the area. 

We had a lovely light lunch at the Buffalo Bar, it is part of the airy open plan entertainment area and it was heart-warming to see a squirrel scurrying on the deck, feeling very at home. After lunch, we went to our room to rest awhile. Around dusk we sat out on the balcony relaxing on the armchairs, we enjoyed the view with a cool drink in hand. Unfortunately, we did not see any animals at the waterhole, but it was great to take in some fresh air and soak in the stillness. We did see a family of warthogs and a bushbuck very close to the rooms.

 Around 7 pm we had freshened up for dinner and we made our way to the main lodge to catch the shuttle to The Boma– Dinner & Drum Show. The Boma is a short walk from the lodge and several guests chose to stretch their legs and stroll there. The Boma is more than a restaurant; it is a fun four-course African-themed dinner and interactive drumming show, making for a unique evening which one will remember for a long time to come. 

Most of the meal was served buffet style; however, each table was allocated a waiter to take guests through the offerings and also to deliver The Boma welcome ritual. The décor, crockery and the table linens were colourful and the welcome surprise turned out to be quite special. The spread laid out before us was truly spectacular, various options for each course, the starters, salads, starches, meat dishes and desserts. They even had sushi, but it’s the game dishes that were phenomenal with eland meatballs, guinea fowl, buffalo steak, crocodile kebabs and so forth. Even the day to day meats looked very tempting, everything from pork fillet, sausage to lamb on the spit. 

African snacks were also available, including fruit from the baobab tree, and for the more daring among us, mopani worms to try.

The staff were very helpful; I even requested some plain rice which the chef was kind enough to provide. The entertainment for the evening included an interactive drum show, some traditional dancing and African-themed face painting.   Guests could also see some woodwork artists busy at their craft and guests were free to buy some of the beautiful work as souvenirs. There was a traditional medicine man who would tell your fortune for a small fee, the tools of his trade (bones and other paraphernalia), brought much amusement to many. After the lovely meal, the Ndebele folk singers went around the room serenading the diners; this was a lovely ending to the evening. 

We retired after a long but memorable evening. We had an early breakfast the next morning as we prepared to say our goodbyes. Breakfast was served in the MaKuwa–KuwaRestaurant and it was a rich spread indeed. Continental, cereals, hot breakfast dishes, as well as à la carte options. We were impressed to note the gluten-free selection and some banting diet choices as well. The highlight of our meal was looking out towards the waterhole and spotting a few impala nibbling away at fresh shoots. It was great to walk away with images of this pretty sight.  

After breakfast, we made our way back to the room and a number of mongooses were having a little meeting right beneath our window. Our Safari Lodge experience came to a close on this happy note, as we packed up and got ready to check out. Our visit was exceptional, and we were sad to leave.