Victoria Falls Hotel
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
At a Glance
High Tea on the terrace watching the spray from the Victoria Falls
Watch the sun rise through the spray from the lawn of the hotel
Absorb the history which seeps from every corner of the hotel
Just a short walk to the park gate of the Victoria Falls
Have a relaxing afternoon by the pool
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
There are two very distinct seasons at the Victoria Falls, the wet/flood season and the dry season. These seasons do not reflect the quantity of rain, rather reflect the volume of flow of the Zambezi River. From around March through to July the river surges in size as the rainfall in Angola and Zambia from months before swells the current. The falls are at their most dramatic at this time of year with huge columns of spray. The nights are cold and the days warm at this time of year. From around September to January the water levels drop, the falls are more accessible and views are clearer as the flow can drop in volume by 90%. It is worth noting that the rains come from late October through to February, this combined with high heat, 40 celcius or more, in October and November, causes high levels of humidity.
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Fondly known as the 'Grand Old Lady of the Falls', the Victoria Falls Hotel was established in 1904 welcoming visitors from throughout colonial Africa and beyond. A wonderfully atmospheric hotel in a fantastic location, ten minutes walk from the falls.
Opening its doors in 1904, the Victoria Falls Hotel, the 'Grand Old Lady of the Falls', has seen it all over the years. Set in its commanding position with views down to the Victoria Falls Bridge and the column of spray that rises from the falls themselves, it is easy to see why this hotel has been a favorite of visitors for so long.
The grand rooms of the hotel are hung with portraits of colonial explorers, Matabele Chiefs and royal visitors of the past century. The corridors are lined with sable, eland and kudu horns, the size of which are hard to find in the wild today. Sitting on Stanley's Terrace with a deserved drink, warthogs digging in the lawn below, and the roar of the whitewater in the background, it is easy to let yourself imagine you have stepped into a past era.
The hotel is set in lush and well-established gardens providing plenty of space for all at the hotel and forming an relaxing oasis away from the drama of the waterfall, just a 10-minute walk away.
All rooms at the Victoria Falls Hotel are en-suite and air-conditioned. There are 161 rooms in all over a wide range: standard rooms are perfectly comfortable although quite small, the suites feature a sitting room in addition to the bedroom.
A feature of note are the vast Edwardian baths, many of which are claw footed and the water is piping hot. All rooms have satellite television and there's a same day laundry service. 24-hour room service is also available.
A number of rooms are inter-leading with private connecting doorways, perfect for families.
The Victoria Falls Hotel offers a range of dining options. The Livingstone Room is the most formal option with a classic à la carte menu and an award wining wine list, there is a dress code. More relaxed options include the Stanley's Terrace which serves light meals throughout the day and is the location for afternoon tea and sun downers with a view down to the Victoria Falls Bridge. The Jungle Junction offers a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner and focuses on a menu that fuses western and African flavors.
The pool area is a great spot to relax during the heat of the day, the hotel offers full service by the pool and guests can choose from a full range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks as well as light meals and snacks. This is a great spot for lunch with the hotel often setting up a barbecue and salad bar in the shade of the trees next to the pool.
An in-house spa offers a full range of treatments, and a hair salon is located in the building.
All activities can be arranged at the activities desk in reception, or in advance of your visit. A visit to Victoria Falls is not complete without experiencing some of the fantastic activities on offer. Helicopter flights over the falls, sundowner cruises and fishing on the Zambezi, canoeing, golf and, for the more adventurous, white-water rafting and other adrenalin fuelled pursuits.
The hotel also has a large outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and a business center.
Kelly Connor (Staff)
Step back in time to the early 1900s and immerse yourself in the history and the charming atmosphere that seeps into your bones whilst you are there. If colonial dcor, historical pictures and grandiose interior does not impress you, the views of the Falls will. Take part in the delicious and popular afternoon high tea and nibble on scrumptious bits while you are enchanted by the best views of the Falls without actually being at the Falls.
Rose Gemmell (Staff)
Situated only a ten minute walk from the magnificent Victoria Falls, the Victoria Falls Hotel is an ideal option for anyone planning on spending a few days exploring the Falls and what it has to offer. For the more adventurous, there is white water rafting down the Zambezi (supposedly one of the best white water rafting spots in the world!) and many other adrenaline fuelled activates. For those looking for something more relaxing, there is a large swimming pool and a tennis court. The rooms are very comfortable and from my bedroom, I had fantastic views over the falls. One of the highlights of my stay here was afternoon tea in the garden with the roar of the waterfall in the background.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
The Victoria Falls Hotel was in the process of going through (a much needed) face lift when I visited, however the hotel was full of all the delightful charectures who have made the Victoria Falls Hotel the most famous hotel in the area. The hotel seeps with history and they are very proud of the famous faces who have stayed here. We had the most delicious tea on the terrace with a view of the Victoria Fall Bridge and the spray in the distance, which was a wonderful way to pass an afternoon. I can't wait to see the hotel once the modernisation has happened and it is brought back to its former glory.
Sarah Clegg (Staff)
I have been fortunate to stay at the Victoria Falls Hotel on two occasions, and to visit for the excellent afternoon tea or sun downers on the terrace on many more! This wonderfully atmospheric hotel is a real must for those wanting to be at the heart of the action and soak up the history of Victoria Falls.
You arrive at the hotel opposite the train station, a reminder of a past era when visitors from the European colonies would arrive by rail from as far south as the Cape and down from the Belgian Congo to the north. A liveried doorman greets you with a big smile and walks you through to the wood panelled reception area. The main rooms and corridors are covered in colonial photographs and artifacts, sweeping sable horns or massive buffalo line the walls. The bedrooms are very comfortable, if a little dated. Do be sure to get a room on the front of the hotel with views of the falls.
To be in a location where the Zambezi surges below and the roar of the waterfall can be heard at all times of year is the great attraction to this hotel. There's a brilliant, large swimming pool for the hot afternoons, and the food is better than in many other places I've tried over my visits.
While the tourist angle of the falls is ever present with a signboard listing activities and a guest shop full of the sorts of things you would find at any African international airport, my advice is to look past this, don slightly rose-tinted glasses and fully embrace the experience.
For those wanting to be at the heart of the action then the Victoria Falls Hotel is a great option, however, do be aware that it is considerably larger than most of the other options we recommend in the area, so if 'exclusivity' is what you are after, over proximity to the falls and a true sense of history, you may be advised to look elsewhere. That said, Victoria Falls Hotel is a great option for couples and families, children will delight in the warthogs roaming the lawns and the large swimming pool.
Canoeing on the Zambezi
Join an experienced and qualified river-guide for a canoe safari on the Zambezi River, this is a fantastic way to experience the northern safari areas of Zimbabwe and get a feel for the power of the Zambezi.
Devil's Swimming Pool
Take a swim in the infamous Devil’s Pool, an infinity pool unlike any other. It is a small, natural plunge pool enclosed by rocks and right on the very edge of the Victoria Falls.
Helicopter Flight over Victoria Falls
Take a helicopter flight over Victoria Falls to witness one of the seven wonders of the natural world from the air. A flight over the falls gives a dramatic perspective of the largest sheet of falling water in the world.
Microlight flight over the Victoria Falls
Experience the majestic Victoria Falls in a truly unique way from the open cockpit of a piloted microlight where you can hear the roar of water right below your feet and see the falls from a whole new perspective.
Tea at Victoria Falls Hotel
High tea at the old Colonial Victoria Falls Hotel should not be missed. Sitting on the terrace with the sound of the falls in the background is a truly fantastic experience.
Victoria Falls National Park
Take in the falls in all their glory with a walk through the Victoria Falls National Park. It is recommended to view the falls from the Zimbabwean side as you can enjoy extensive views of the falls as you wind your way along the pathways.
Victoria Falls Traditional Craft Market
After a trip round the Victoria Falls National Park, stop off at the traditional craft village. Here you will see the locals performing traditional skills such as basket weaving, jewelry making and ornament carving.
White-water rafting on the Zambezi
Experience the thrill of white-water rafting on the Zambezi River on the rapids below Victoria Falls. This stretch of water is home to the largest number of high volume Grade 5 rapids on the planet. An adrenaline fuelled experience in a dramatic setting.
Location & directions
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The Victoria Falls Hotel is located high above the Zambezi River on the Zimbabwean side of the magnificent natural wonder of the world, the Victoria Falls.
How to get there
11-hour international flight to Johannesburg International Airport, followed by a 1-hour 45-minute flight to Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls Hotel is a 15-minute road transfer from Victoria Falls airport. Alternatively, you can fly to Victoria Falls via Harare.