(Last updated July 2016)
It can be tricky to choose where to stay in Victoria Falls because there’s such a wide range of accommodation available. Before you start, consider what you want from your accommodation: All-inclusive activities and meals, or independence to come and go as you please? Do you want a personal lodge, a resort with a plethora of facilities, or just a bed to use as your exploration base? Authentic safari experience, theme-park styling, or adventure experience? Some of the hotels are very touristy to the extent of having African dancers greet you on arrival, whilst others are more down to earth. Look at the room photos and the hotel’s website details closely to help you choose.
When choosing accommodation in Victoria Falls, I personally prefer: (a) Lodges that are slightly out of town because they are more natural and safari-oriented (transport isn’t a problem because it’s often included), and (b) Lodges designed to complement the natural beauty of Victoria Falls area.
View from Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Most lodges and even backpackers have free or low-cost shuttle services into Victoria Falls Town so that you can explore the restaurants and shops. The nature of Zimbabwean hospitality is that staff will go the extra mile to make your stay an unforgettable one.
Most of the accommodation options below have on-site swimming pools, wild animals nearby, activity desks and natural surroundings. Their prices are a good indication of how exclusive they are. One of my favourite things to do in Victoria Falls is visit the hotels and lodges for an afternoon tea, lunch, cocktail or dinner: this way I get to experience the different personalities and experiences of them all.
Remember that Zimbabwe is still on the road to economic recovery: Wi-Fi access may be intermittent, and power may be sourced using back-up generators from time to time. Don’t forget to read the FAQ page about payments, etc. My advice would be: Forget about TVs, internet and mod-cons – get out there and just enjoy being outside in one of the most beautiful places on earth! Make full use of the opportunities around you – go for walks, talk to someone new, or do one of the many activities that Victoria Falls has to offer.
Ordered loosely by price (high to low), but do take account of the activities and meals included in the rate. The links take you to the official websites. Key to prices (check websites for current rates): $ = $0-50 | $$ = $50-100 | $$$ = $100-200 | $$$$ = $200-300 | $$$$$ = $300+
Prefer to see it on a map? We’ve created a handy Google Map of Victoria Falls Accommodation!
-Luxury accommodation in Victoria Falls-
Zambezi Crescent (Victoria Falls River Lodge)
Located in the Zambezi National Park on a prime area next to the river, with an elephant feeding path directly in front of the lodge. Rooms are spacious and natural, and the family suites cater for children too.
Location: Further out of town (15 min drive) | See map | Price: From $$$$$ per person per night, inclusive of meals, beverages, daily game drive or river cruise | Great for: Discerning guests with a love of nature | Website: Zambezi Crescent
Guests of this luxury 18-person camp will personally meet the elephants who live at the on-site wildlife reserve. The canvas open-air rooms each have their own private decks and plunge pools which overlook the bushveld and the spray of the Victoria Falls. Intimate, exclusive and luxurious.
Location: Further out of town | See map | Price: From $$$$$ per person per night, fully inclusive | Great for: An exclusive Victoria Falls experience. Website: Elephant Camp
One of the most spectacular views of the gorge and bridge can be seen from this hotel. Built over a century ago, this is a must-visit: whether it be for afternoon tea or a sundowner on the verandah, or dinner in the Stanley Room for a feel of colonial times. In 1903 it was marketed as a place where the traveller could “enjoy European luxury even here in the heart of Africa”. It was refurbished in 2013 – a welcome improvement as there were reports of the rooms being rather careworn previously.
Location: Very central to town | See map | Price: From $$$$$ per person per night, inclusive of breakfast | Great for: Old-world colonial elegance | Website: Victoria Falls Hotel | Read about my visit to Victoria Falls Hotel here: The roadtrip that roared #4
It’s obvious that every detail in this Victorian-styled hotel has been carefully thought through. Look one direction and you’ll see opulent vases and paintings, look in the other and you’ll see ochre-coloured African bush. Winner of African hospitality awards for its cuisine, service and standards, this is a way to enjoy Victoria Falls as colonials might have wanted.
Location: Further out of town (10 min drive) | See map | Price: From $$$$$ per person per night, inclusive of breakfast | Great for: Fans of the film ‘Out of Africa’ | Website: The Stanley and Livingstone Hotel
With views of the Zambezi river as well as a waterhole, this is place is truly special. Elephants walk unrestricted through the lodge grounds, leisurely trimming the trees and drinking from the swimming pool. With rooms for just 18 guests, and packages for game drives and other activities, this is a great option for first-time visitors as well as seasoned travellers to have a no-fuss, exclusive but unpretentious experience.
Location: Over an hour’s drive out of town | See map | Price: $$$$ for an all-inclusive package per person per stay | Great for: First-time visitors to Zimbabwe | Website: Imbabala Safari Lodge
Victoria Falls Safari Club is the deluxe big brother of one of my favourites, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. Newly opened, it’s fantastic for those who want that little bit extra. Stylish and smooth, all in a fantastic natural setting.
Location: Slightly out of town (10 min drive) | See map | Price: From $$$$ per person per night, inclusive of breakfast, afternoon tea, cocktails and snacks | Great for: Experiencing the best of both worlds – natural Zimbabwean beauty and exclusive luxury | Website: Victoria Falls Safari Club
This doesn’t offer the same natural setting as some of the other lodges, nor does it have the history of Victoria Falls Hotel, but it is worth visiting to see the Afro-opulent design. Styled to look like the ancient kingdom of Munhumutapa, its brickwork and giant African dolls (not to mention the 3 restaurants and 294 rooms) are very impressive. It is a fantasy-styled hotel reminiscent of Sun City in South Africa.
Location: Very central to town | See map | Price: From $$$$ per person per night, inclusive of breakfast | Great for: An African theme park-style holiday | Website: The Kingdom At Victoria Falls | Read about my day visit to The Kingdom here: The roadtrip that roared #4
More modern-looking, with a new-world feel and 276 rooms, it is significantly bigger than many of Victoria Falls’ hotels and lodges – great for conferences but a little impersonal. Balconied rooms have views of the Zambezi River and the spray of the falls, and guests can make use of the golf course, tennis courts, squash courts and casino. The 18-hole golf course is something special – players often share the course with impala and warthogs.
Location: Slightly out of town (15 min drive) | See map | Price: From $$$$ per person per night, inclusive of breakfast | Great for: Large conference groups and golf lovers | Website: Elephant Hills Resort | Read about my visit to Elephant Hills here: The roadtrip that roared #4.
With the feel of a hotel rather than a lodge, the 86 rooms are built in a semi-circle layout, most of which have beautiful views directly facing a swimming pool and the Zambezi river. A polite, uncomplicated lodge with a wonderful location. The charming dining deck area next to the river means you’ll be treated to sights of hippos, elephants, crocodiles and more.
Location: Slightly out of town (15 min drive) | See map | Price: From $$$$ per room per night, inclusive of breakfast | Great for: Uncomplicated Zimbabwean hospitality | Website: A’Zambezi River Lodge
-Mid-range hotel accommodation in Victoria Falls-
Upmarket tented camp on a private game estate where the Lion Encounters and Elephant Safaris are held – you’ll be close to the action! With rooms to hold just 20 people, this is another personal and intimate place.
Location: Further out of town | Price: From $$$ per person per night fully inclusive of meals, soft drinks, activities and laundry | Great for: Those who want simple but functional accommodation with wildlife on its doorstep | Booking site: Masuwe Lodge
This is the closest hotel to the Victoria Falls, and it looks lovely to boot. Elegant rooms have teak railway furniture accenting the ivory-coloured décor, and guests are often treated to the sight of animals grazing the well-manicured lawns surrounding the lodge. The Palm restaurant has won awards for its “deluxe” menu – and the soundtrack of the roar of the falls in the background is truly memorable.
Location: Central to town | See map | Price: $$$ inclusive of breakfast | Great for: A safari with more than a touch of class | Website: Ilala Lodge
Situated in a central location in Victoria Falls town which is great for those wanting to spend time seeing the sights rather than lolling around a hotel. It has an endearing ‘swim n’ sip’ bar which means you don’t even need to get out of the swimming pool to have a cocktail! I’m not sure what to make of the Moorish architecture, but this is made up for with the lower price, and I would like to see some more warmth instilled into its furnishings when it is refurbished, hopefully in the near future.
Location: Central to town | See map | Price: From $$$ per person per night, inclusive of breakfast | Great for: Using as a base rather than a home away from home | Website: Rainbow Hotel Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge definitely ticks all the boxes. Constructed with wood, thatch and other eco-friendly materials, it pleases both the eye and the environment. It’s in a peaceful location just far enough out of town to enjoy the bush, and close enough to nip to the craft market. Add that to great service and a private game reserve at your doorstep – that’s a winning combination.
Location: Slightly out of town (10 min drive) | See map | Price: From $$$ per person per night, breakfast included | Great for: Feeling close to the Zimbabwean bush without losing any creature comforts | Website: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge | Read about my stay at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge here: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge: An Introduction.
Located centrally in the town, this motel-styled hotel is basic and affordable. Each room has a parking bay directly outside, providing peace of mind for self-drivers. There’s a big swimming pool to relax in, and staff are friendly and helpful. However, the facilities are rather outdated and unsophisticated, so it may be best to wait until a renovation takes place before visiting.
Location: Central to town | See map | Price: From $$$ per room per night, inclusive of breakfast | Great for: Self-drive visitors who don’t ask much of their accommodation | Website: Sprayview Hotel
Named after the river-ravines that hold the Zambezi River, this hotel has one of the best views in the area – it will truly surprise you (well, it did me). Part of a community-based tourism project that helps build infrastructure and educational development in local villages, as well as conserving wildlife in the area.
Location: Further out of town (40 min drive) | See map | Price: From $$$ per person per night, breakfast included. Fully inclusive options available | Great for: Giving something back to the community while enjoying a stunning view and great service | Website: Gorges Lodge | Read about my day visit to Gorges here: The roadtrip that roared: #8
A new, stylishly decorated and modern guest lodge within walking distance from Victoria Falls town. This is a good family upmarket option.
Location: Central to town | See map | Price: From $$$ per person per night, breakfast included. Fully inclusive options available. | Great for: stylish home-away-from-home feel | Website: Batonka Guest Lodge
-Mid-range self-catering and B&Bs in Victoria Falls-
Self-catering is a smart affordable option for visitors to Victoria Falls – the local Spar supermarket has a good selection of groceries. This way you can also have your pick of the best restaurants in the area if you don’t feel like cooking.
Little sister of The Stanley and Livingstone Hotel, this simple but charming lodge is based on a private game reserve. Each A-frame chalet has a view across the game reserve onto the waterhole – you may even get lucky and see a rare black rhino. This is intimate to a new level, with only 8 guests being accommodated at a time.
Location: Further out of town (15 min drive) | See map |Price: From $$$ per multi-person chalet per night; full board, half board or B&B rates are available | Great for: Independent-minded travellers who want intimacy and elegance | Website: Old Ursula Camp
Great for guests who enjoy solitude, quietness and good facilities – all a short distance from the hubbub of town. The lodges are situated in a woodland, giving a sense of seclusion and peace, but this does mean there are no panoramic views. Breakfast can be included for a fee. Lokuthula Lodges are on the same site as the Boma Restaurant so you’ll be treated to a free drumming soundtrack each night at around 8pm. The lodges are also on the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge property – just a short stroll away if you don’t feel like cooking dinner.
Location: Slightly out of town (10 min drive) | See map | Price: From $$$ per multi-person lodge per night, breakfast additional if required | Great for: Home-away-from-home, natural accommodation. Website: Lokuthula Lodges | Read about our stay at the lodges here: The roadtrip that roared #3
Pleasant garden and simple rooms, cheap transfers around town. There is also a self-catering lodge for those who don’t want to use the B&B rooms in the house.
Location: Central to town (20 min walk) | See map | Price: From $$ per room per night, inclusive of breakfast; self-catering prices on request | Great for: A convenient base for your adventures around town | Website: Pamusha Lodge
Primarily aimed at the overland, backpacker and hostelling crowd, this fun & simple lodge can cater for 160 people at a time. If you aren’t fussed about a bit of grime in a tiny room, this is for you.
Location: Central to town (10 min walk) | See map | price: From $$ per room per night, inclusive of breakfast | Website: Adventure Lodge
This has the feel of staying in a Zimbabwean friend’s home, with its genteel garden, open-sided verandah (patio), friendly pets, and owners who have a story to tell.
Location: Central to town (20 min walk) | See map | Price: From $$ per room per night, inclusive of breakfast | Website: Lorries Bed and Breakfast
This is a relaxed, fresh, B&B which is close to town. The 11 rooms are built around a Mediterranean-style fern-lined courtyard and a swimming pool in the middle – perfect for those afternoon siestas.
Location: Central to town (20 min walk) | See map | Price: From $$ per person per night, inclusive of breakfast | Website: Amadeus Garden
A basic lodge with potential but not much to write home about yet. Simple, unobtrusive decor.
Location: Central to town (15 min walk) | See map | Price: From $ per person per night, inclusive of breakfast | Website: Drifters Victoria Falls Inn
Budget accommodation and hostels in Victoria Falls
Rooms in a bungalow house, with twin, double, queen or king size beds.
Location: Central-ish to town (25 min walk) | See map | Price: From $$ per room per night; camping ($) is also available | Website: Wild Trekkers Lodge
Choice of rooms in the ‘main house’ or a separate cottage won’t win awards for modernity but more than make up for it with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
Location: Central to town (10 min walk) | See map | Price: From $ in the main house, breakfast included; or $ in the cottage, self catering | Website: The Villa Victoria Guest House
Zambezi National Parks (Victoria Falls National Parks)
Run by the Zimbabwe National Parks Authority, booking can be tricky for visitors from outside Zimbabwe due to unreliable phone lines and systems. However, the self-catering lodges and campsites are an affordable option for those who can book from within the country. The simple self-catering lodges face the Zambezi River in a secluded spot with plenty of wildlife on your doorstep; the camping spots are unfenced and perfect for an authentic experience of the wild.
Location: Further out of town (15 min drive) | See map | Price: From $$ per multi-person lodge per night; or $ per person to camp | Great for: Locals who want to enjoy natural Victoria Falls magic without paying tourists’ prices | Website: Zambezi National Parks (Victoria Falls NP Lodge)
Slightly further out of town than other backpackers, but this shouldn’t be a problem for your average adventure seeker. Still atmospheric and comfortable.
Location: Further out of town (30 min walk) | See map | Price: From $ per person night | Website: Victoria Falls Backpackers
Slap-bang in the middle of the town, perfect for the young (and young at heart) who like being at the centre of the action. This is the closest self-catering camp to the Victoria Falls. The site is enclosed from the bustle of the town, which means that even young families can relax. All of the accommodation are no-frills, and range from private fixed tents, chalets, dormitories to camp sites. A large swimming pool and popular restaurant are situated on the property, covering the entertainment and food fronts. Ask for a spot near or far from the bar, depending on your preference.
Location: Central to town (3 min walk) | See map | Price: From $ per person per night (camping) to $$$$ per multi-person lodge per night | Great for: Young families and backpackers alike | Website: Victoria Falls Rest Camp
If you’re looking for nightlife in Victoria Falls, this is the place to be. Colourful and funky, choose from a dorm, private room, or bring your own tent. On-site entertainment ranges from the volleyball court to flame dancers.
Location: Central to town (10 min walk) | See map | Price: From $ per room, or $ per person to camp | Great for: Party-loving backpackers | Website: Shoestrings Backpackers Lodge
Tranquil and well-maintained lodge (despite a rather confusing website). If you are a wheelchair user or a hunter, this place will appeal to you, as the decor and facilities are designed with you in mind.
Location: Central to town (20 min walk) | See map | Prices not advertised online | Great for: Hunting enthusiasts or wheelchair users | Website: Ultimate Guest Lodge
Large rooms, and lots of them, are the main appeal of this affordable B&B. The synthetic fabrics and conflicting decor isn’t to my taste – have a look at the photos on their website to get a better idea of whether or not it’s for you.
Location: Central to town (20 min walk) | See map | Prices not advertised online | Website: Tatenda Safaris
Four charming thatched lodges set in a pretty garden, with swimming and barbeque (“braai”) area. I like the clean-looking main thatch building with its overhanging trees.
Location: Central to town (20 min walk) | See map | Prices not advertised online | Great for: A relaxing and peaceful holiday | Website: Gertie’s Lodge
Single-building guesthouse with a swim n’ sip pool in a pleasant garden. The decor is functional rather than flamboyant, which is something of a relief – what you see is what you get.
Location: Central to town (20 min walk) | See map | Prices not advertised online | Website: Teak lodge
Overland truck-friendly and backpacker-friendly. Fifteen rooms with the option of self-catering or B&B.