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Lodge Review | Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls

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Antoinette van Heerden

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Antoinette van Heerden

Author: Antoinette van Heerden - 26 September 2018

Last Update: 30 January 2024

Ilala Lodge Hotel is the grand old dame of Victoria Falls. The original building was established in 1989 and has an old-world feeling to it, contrasted by the modern comforts you can expect from a fine hotel.

Ilala lodge zimbabwe safari the palm restaurant

The family-run lodge is situated right next to the Zambezi River and is less than ten minutes walk away from the rumbling and thundering Victoria Falls. The word ‘Ilala’ means to ‘lie down’ in the local Ndebele language, and that is exactly what the lodge offers its guests, a place to relax, a refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Accommodation varies from standard rooms to executive suites, offering guests something for all budgets. Comfortable and perfectly equipped, guests can enjoy all the modern luxuries they’re familiar with. The rolling green lawns are a relaxing delight and are frequented by warthogs and game and the occasional curious elephant.

Worth special mention is The Palm Restaurant, an award-winning, fine-dining hub that offers contemporary French-style cuisine that both surprises and delights. For the more adventurous palates, a sample of the crocodile and mushroom risotto is a must-try.

Book your day trips and excursions through the Hotel Activity Centre, an easy way to explore the different facets of this Zimbabwean gem.

Ra ikane sunset cruise zimbabwe safari

A Zimbabwe safari just wouldn’t be the same without a stay at Ilala Lodge.

Our rating:

Luxury level: 4/5

Malaria-free: No, but considered low risk.


  • Ra-Ikane river cruise
  • Guided tours of the town of Victoria Falls
  • Scenic flights (including microflights) over the falls
  • River-based activities like white water rafting (seasonal)
  • Bungee jumping, zip lining
  • Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Park game drives and day trips

Wildlife highlights: Big Five can be found in Victoria Falls National Park, Hwange National Park (one hour’s drive from Victoria Falls), ample game and birds

Best time to visit Victoria Falls: June to August to see the falls at its best

Type of traveller: Adventurous travellers who like to keep active, couples looking for a different take on a romantic holiday

Ilala lodge zimbabwe safari pool

What previous guests had to say

Hidden gem

“This is a wonderful hotel with a superb staff. The rooms are very nice and we had a view of the mist coming off of the falls. But the thing that makes the hotel is the staff. They are phenomenal. From the check-in staff to the waiters, the service is what I would expect from a much more expensive hotel. Great place,” Mike K, USA

Comfortable, convenient luxury at Victoria Falls

“The Ilala Lodge is conveniently located walking distance about a quarter mile from the Victoria Falls Park which has spectacular views of The Falls. It's also walking distance to many nice restaurants, shops, and even a brewery. The on-site Palm Restaurant is phenomenal with creative and artistically prepared meals for both dinner and breakfast with great views and outdoor dining of…the falls above the lush jungle landscape,” takeaction, USA


Ilala lodge zimbabwe safari romantic dining

“What a great way to start our honeymoon holiday. Ilala Lodge standards have always impressed me. Thank you to the Ilala team that made our stay very special. It’s unfortunate (that) there are only 5 stars (to award) because they exceeded our expectations,” Takudzwa G.

Victoria falls safari

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