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The Top 11 Best Victoria Falls Safari Lodges

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Antoinette Booyse

Safari Travel Planner

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Antoinette Booyse

Author: Antoinette Booyse - 20 April 2023

Last Update: 30 January 2024

Dubbed Africa’s adventure capital, there’s a host of reasons to visit the iconic Victoria Falls.

Thrill seekers can look forward to adrenaline-pumping activities like whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, bridge swinging, ziplining, or even taking a dip on the edge of the falls in the one-of-a-kind Devil’s Pool.

Tourists on the edge of Devil's Pools in Victoria Falls.
Tourists on the edge of Devil’s Pools in Victoria Falls.

Recognized as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls is the world’s largest sheet of falling water and is known locally as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’. Beyond adventure activities, visitors here can also look forward to river cruises and exciting game drives.

A scenic view of Victoria Falls from the Zambia side.
A scenic view of Victoria Falls from the Zambia side.

Accommodation here is diverse and includes a selection of boutique hotels, safari camps, and luxury lodges that ooze comfort and exclusivity. Get inspired with our list of the top 11 best Victoria Falls safari lodges.

1. Thorntree River Lodge

Savor the views of the river from the pool deck by day or the glittering night sky from the boma at Thorntree River Lodge. This classy lodge has a one-of-a-kind architectural design and is an excellent option for families, featuring two family units with plenty of room for four guests.

Thorntree River Lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Thorntree River Lodge.
Thorntree River Lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Thorntree River Lodge.

The lodge facilities are exceptional and include a gym, spa, boma area, infinity swimming pool, activity desk, library, bar, and a unique wooden deck floating on the edge of the river. Featuring just 11 rooms, the lodge offers guests an intimate safari experience. 

Deck at luxury lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Thorntree River Lodge..
Deck at luxury lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Thorntree River Lodge.

Being only a short distance from the iconic Victoria Falls, it’s the perfect base from which to explore the best attractions of the region as well as a safari in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, home to a variety of wildlife, including rhinos, buffalo, elephants, Burchell’s zebra, and various antelope species.

Pool area at luxury lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Thorntree River Lodge.
Pool area at luxury lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Thorntree River Lodge.

Activities provided at the lodge include rhino trekking on foot, cultural village visits, game drives, visits to the Falls, fishing, canoeing, sunset river cruises, and visits to the Livingstone Museum. 

2. Victoria Falls River Lodge

Stay in one of the suites at Victoria Falls River Lodge, and you can expect daily visits from elephants that come to drink at the pool and nearby river. The lodge is a fantastic choice for all travelers, even those traveling with little kids.

Luxury lodge on the Zambezi Crescent | Photo credits: Victoria Falls River Lodge.
Luxury lodge on the Zambezi Crescent | Photo credits: Victoria Falls River Lodge.

There are various activities for children, giving parents time and space to savor the tranquility of being in nature or even indulge in a spa treatment. The rooms at Victoria Falls River Lodge are absolutely amazing and feature big windows and an outdoor shower that really bring home a sense of being in the bush. 

Elephants beneath the viewing deck of a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Victoria Falls River Lodge.
Elephants beneath the viewing deck of a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Victoria Falls River Lodge.

Guests can look forward to an outdoor dining experience like no other with awe-inspiring views of the majestic Zambezi River. The lodge is also practically right next to a route followed by elephants, giving you a great view of these gentle giants as they lumber down to drink at the river in the evenings.

The lodge offers an array of activities, including boat cruises on the river, bird watching, fishing, game drives, and canoeing.

3. Victoria Falls Hotel

Enjoy a relaxing dip in the pool at the Victoria Falls Hotel after a long day of exciting activities at the falls. One of the oldest hotels in the area, this Edwardian-style masterpiece still oozes Victorian elegance and charm.

Stanleys Terrace at Victoria Falls Hotel | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Hotel.
Stanleys Terrace at Victoria Falls Hotel | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Hotel.

Situated directly in the Victoria Falls National Park, the hotel features a private path down to the falls. The views from the balcony of your room are quite simply breathtaking, and you can even see the mists of the falls rising into the air. 

Outdoor dining at the Victoria Falls Hotel | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Hotel.
Outdoor dining at the Victoria Falls Hotel | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Hotel.

The hotel’s facilities are world-class and feature tennis courts, a spa, a hair salon, swimming pools, libraries, and a fine dining restaurant.

Lounge area of the Victoria Falls Hotel | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Hotel
Lounge area of the Victoria Falls Hotel | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Hotel

Being centrally located, you’re never far from all the activities on offer at the falls. Adventures that await you include bungee jumping, seasonal whitewater rafting, cultural tours, helicopter flights, and game drives.

4. Chundu Island

Royal Chundu features an expansive open-plan guest area where you can while away your days taking in magnificent views of the surrounding river. Situated on an island in the mighty Zambezi River, Chundu offers guests an idyllic getaway featuring a wide array of land and water activities.

Deck at a luxury lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Royal Chundu
Deck at a luxury lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Royal Chundu

Look forward to thrilling wildlife encounters with hippos, crocodiles, and various other aquatic species. The birdlife here is also astonishing, with over 400 species being recorded on Chundu Island and in the Zambezi National Park. The lodge is entirely unique for this region, allowing guests to soak up island life and enjoy magnificent sunsets. 

Private plunge pool at a luxury lodge, Zambia | Photo credits: Royal Chundu
Private plunge pool at a luxury lodge, Zambia | Photo credits: Royal Chundu

The luxury suites exude a sense of being one with the surrounding wilderness, featuring private outdoor showers and sprawling wooden decks that afford incredible views of the river and Zambezi National Park.

Luxury room at a lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Royal Chundu.
Luxury room at a lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Royal Chundu.

Lodge activities include canoeing on the river, fishing, sunset cruises with snacks and cocktails, exciting game drives, immersive bush walks, massage treatments, trips to Victoria Falls, and optional scenic helicopter flights.

5. Matetsi River Lodge

The opulent Matetsi River Lodge is a relaxing oasis of calm with an infinity pool just a few steps away from the glittering Zambezi River. Situated in a private conservancy, the lodge offers its guests a truly exclusive bush experience with visits to the iconic Victoria Falls.

Views from luxury lodge in Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Matetsi River Lodge
Views from luxury lodge in Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Matetsi River Lodge

The private Matetsi River House is perfect for families and features four luxurious suites and a private rim-flow swimming pool. The suites are positioned to provide complete privacy with views over the Zambezi River. The lodge features an interactive kitchen and also offers guests dining next to the river. 

Bathroom at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Matetsi River Lodge
Bathroom at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Matetsi River Lodge

Enjoy a refreshing dip in the rim-flow swimming pool, gaze at the wildlife that comes down to the river to drink, or indulge in a relaxing massage in the massage sala as you’re immersed in the sounds of the wilderness.

Outdoor seating at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Matetsi River Lodge
Outdoor seating at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Matetsi River Lodge

The region is famous for its large herds of buffalo and elephants, as well as various plains game and large predators. Activities on offer at the lodge include bird watching, walking safaris, game drives, fishing, canoeing, and boating excursions.

Suite at a luxury lodge in Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Matetsi River Lodge
Suite at a luxury lodge in Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Matetsi River Lodge

Other activities that can be arranged include river cruises, cultural village visits, guided tours of Victoria Falls, bungee jumping, seasonal whitewater rafting, and scenic flights.

6. Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma

The lodge at Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma is constructed entirely from natural materials allowing it to blend in seamlessly with the natural surrounding wilderness. Guests can relax on their own private deck or kick back and relax around the pool.

Pool area at a luxury lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma
Pool area at a luxury lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma

Situated under a canopy of massive ebony trees on the banks of the epic Zambezi River, visitors to the lodge can indulge in an array of bush and river excursions and take trips to the iconic Victoria Falls.

Lounge at a luxury lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma
Longue at a luxury lodge in Zambia | Photo credits: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma

The lodge has a relaxing atmosphere, and you can look forward to amazing hospitality that will leave you feeling at home in no time at all. The beautiful chalets are lifted on stilts extending a sense of being right on the river, and feature modern amenities like minibars and air conditioning. 

Outdoor spa treatment at a luxury lodge, Zambia | Photo credits: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma
Outdoor spa treatment at a luxury lodge, Zambia | Photo credits: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma

When you’re not exploring the wonders of the falls, you can relax on the deck with a sundowner in hand or enjoy a meal under the stars.

Under the care of the best guides, guests at Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma can look forward to tours of the Falls, guided walking safaris, canoeing, spa treatments, fishing, cultural tours of Maramba village and Livingstone, and game drives in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.

Outdoor deck at a luxury lodge, Zambia | Photo credits: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma
Outdoor deck at a luxury lodge, Zambia | Photo credits: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma

The lodge’s convenient location close to the Falls allows guests to take advantage of a wide array of adrenaline-pumping activities, such as seasonal whitewater rafting, micro lighting, bungee jumping, ziplining, bridge swinging, and scenic helicopter flights.

7. Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel

Nestled in a tranquil location of Victoria Falls, Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel offers guests the chance to unwind in luxurious tranquility. Family-owned and managed, it’s the ideal setting for a multi-generational family holiday.

Suite at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel
Suite at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel

There’s also a fantastic kids’ program to keep the little ones entertained. The hotel features all the modern amenities you would expect from a luxury getaway, the food is excellent, and the service is unparalleled. 

Lounge at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel
Lounge at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel

Situated just 15 minutes away from the Falls, you’re ensured of taking advantage of everything the region has to offer thanks to complimentary shared transfers to Victoria Falls town.

Outdoor dining at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel
Outdoor dining at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel

You can look forward to exciting activities such as cycling, historic bridge tours, guided tours of the Falls, ziplining, fishing, walking safaris, guided game drives, canoeing safaris, seasonal whitewater rafting, and canoeing adventures.

8. Royal Livingstone by Anantara

Named as one of the best hotels in the world by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure, guests at the Royal Livingstone can look forward to sightings of zebra and other wildlife during their morning coffee.

Garden of the Royal Livingstone | Photo credits: the Royal Livingstone
Garden of the Royal Livingstone | Photo credits: the Royal Livingstone

The hotel itself looks over the Falls and provides direct access to some of the best viewing points. World-class facilities include a bar, restaurant, activity desk, conference center, kids club, gym, and laundry service. 

Zebras in the foreground of a viewing deck | Photo credits: the Royal Livingstone
Zebras in the foreground of a viewing deck | Photo credits: the Royal Livingstone

Guests here enjoy complimentary access to Victoria Falls, traditional afternoon teas, fireside African dining, massages next to the Zambezi River, one-of-a-kind fine dining experiences aboard the Royal Livingstone Express, a personal butler service, and relaxing in a hammock beside the river.

The verandah at the Royal Livingstone | Photo credits: the Royal Livingstone
The verandah at the Royal Livingstone | Photo credits: the Royal Livingstone

As far as experiences go, there’s something for everyone at Victoria Falls. Take a guided tour of the Falls, try your hand at seasonal whitewater rafting, take a sunset river cruise, enjoy a scenic helicopter flight, go on a full-day game drive in Chobe National Park, or take a visit to nearby cultural villages.

9. Ilala Lodge

The spacious lodge rooms at Ilala open onto private balconies with views over the Victoria Falls National Park or wide well-manicured lawns. Ilala is one of the closest lodges to the Falls, and you’ll often see an array of wildlife, such as impala and warthogs, roaming the lawns.

Aerial view of Ilala Lodge | Photo credits: Ilala Lodge
Aerial view of Ilala Lodge | Photo credits: Ilala Lodge

The African-inspired decor of the rooms exudes luxury, and the rooms themselves are kitted out with all the amenities you’d expect for a comfortable stay.

Pool area at Ilala Lodge | Photo credits: Ilala Lodge
Pool area at Ilala Lodge | Photo credits: Ilala Lodge

Being just a short walk away from the Falls, guests will be able to visit this natural wonder of the world as often as they like and even see the mighty spray from their rooms. Ilala’s award-winning Palm Restaurant is renowned for its delicious gourmet cuisine, and visitors can enjoy dining under the African sky.

Private outdoor dining at Ilala Lodge | Photo credits: Ilala Lodge
Private outdoor dining at Ilala Lodge | Photo credits: Ilala Lodge

The lodge provides convenient access to all the adventure activities of the Falls, as well as historical sites and restaurants. Guests can look forward to seasonal whitewater rafting, fishing expeditions, river cruises, bungee jumping, and day trips to Hwange and Chobe National Parks.

10. Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge has been voted ‘Best Safari Lodge/Resort in Zimbabwe’ for 21 consecutive years. The lodge offers guests the best of both worlds – a true safari experience while still offering awe-inspiring views of the Falls. The waterhole in front of the lodge attracts a wide variety of wildlife which can be viewed from the main deck.

Outdoor dining area at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Outdoor dining area at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge offers a one-of-a-kind authentic safari experience complete with top-notch levels of service. Two exceptional dining experiences await guests here – a traditional African boma dinner with African drumming and a fine dining experience at the Makuwa Kuwa restaurant. 

Balcony at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Balcony at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Accommodations at the lodge are exceedingly comfortable, offering excellent views of the Zambezi National Park. The lodge’s facilities are world-class and include a state-of-the-art gym overlooking the waterhole, which is visited by buffalo, kudu, elephants, and sometimes even lions.

Suite at a luxury lodge in Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Suite at a luxury lodge in Zimbabwe | Photo credits: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Just five minutes from the falls, guests at the lodge can look forward to sunset cruises, spa treatments, canoe trips, cultural tours, bungee jumping, ziplining, seasonal whitewater rafting, guided safaris, and an entirely unique vulture feeding experience.

11. The Elephant Camp

From Elephant Camp’s deck, guests can enjoy jaw-dropping panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness and dine under the wide African sky. The camp is located in its own private concession and features astonishing views of the rising mists of Victoria Falls as well as the gorges between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Luxury lodge viewing deck in Zimbabwe | Photo credits: The Elephant Camp
Luxury lodge viewing deck in Zimbabwe | Photo credits: The Elephant Camp

The camp’s situation in an untouched wilderness area allows guests to enjoy spectacular bird watching and go on relaxing bush walks. Guests here can expect an authentic tented camp safari experience along with all the creature comforts you would expect from a luxury camp, such as private viewing decks and plunge pools. 

Suite at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: The Elephant Camp
Suite at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: The Elephant Camp

A particular highlight of a stay at Elephant Camp is a thrilling encounter with a herd of elephants at the Wild Horizon Wildlife Sanctuary.

Outdoor spa treatment at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: The Elephant Camp
Outdoor spa treatment at a luxury lodge, Zimbabwe | Photo credits: The Elephant Camp

The activities offered at the camp are world-class and include cocktails and canapes at Batoka Gorge, a guided tour of the Falls, lunch at the Lookout Cafe, visits to the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, birding, and nature walks in the concession, cultural village tours, a Victoria Falls canopy tour, and mountain biking through the Victoria Falls National Park.


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