Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
At a Glance
Closest hotel to the Victoria Falls
Dine at the award winning la carte Palm Restaurant
Relax by the swimming pool
The hotel has a relaxing elegant colonial feel
The hotel has a Safari Salon, to resurrect windswept hair
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 celsius or more, in October and November, causes high levels of humidity.
To start planning your holiday to Ilala Lodge
Ilala Lodge is a perfect base from which to explore the Victoria Falls. The hotel is classically elegant, set in beautiful grounds and is close to the Falls as well as the buzz of Victoria Falls Town. There are 56 rooms across the hotel.
Ilala Lodge is the closest hotel to the Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side and offers a comfortable and charming base for your explorations here. The falls are within easy walking distance, as is the charming Victoria Falls town centre.
There are 56 rooms here, all ensuite and with influences of colonial style in their design. Each standard room has French doors which open onto a small patio which leads onto the gardens beyond, where animals such as warthog are often seen grazing. The two deluxe suites are located on the upper floor and are larger, ideal for honeymooners or families wishing to add an extra bed for a child into their room. The hotel has recently completed the construction of a new wing to enhance those rooms in the original building and give more options to visitors.
There are two restaurants to choose from here, the Palm Restaurant which serves a la carte dishes ranging from international to African cuisine, and Kubika which serves more unusual delicacies including kudu, crocodile and ostrich.
When water levels are high, guests can enjoy views of the spray that rises up from the torrent of water at the Falls, witnessing the "smoke that thunders" first hand.
There is a lovely swimming pool where guests can relax when they are not exploring the falls and the numerous activities which are offered in the area. The hotel has a desk who can assist with booking excursions from a helicopter flip over the falls to canoeing on the Zambezi river or a sunset boat cruise.
Ilala Lodge has 30 standard twin rooms, two standard double rooms, two standard suite rooms, 12 double deluxe rooms, eight twin deluxe rooms and two executive suites. All rooms have en-suite bathroom with separate shower, air-conditioning, overhead fan, satellite TV and have individual coffee and tea facilities. The rooms are spacious with railway sleeper teak furnishings and patio doors leading onto either open lawn or a balcony where you are afforded a view of the spray of the falls from the upper level rooms.
All rooms throughout the property have a balcony or terrace for guests to enjoy the views from the front of the property.
Children of all ages are welcomed at Ilala Lodge and the deluxe suites are big enough to easily add in an extra bed for children who would like to share with their parents.
Guests or visitors can dine at Ilala Lodge in the la carte Palm Restaurant, whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner. Tables are set up on the terrace so guests are able to dine under the stars. There is also Kubika restaurant which serves more unusual cuisine including crocodile and ostrich dishes. There is also a pool and cocktail bar that is a popular spot at the end of the day.
Most of the activities revolve around the Victoria Falls and there are also opportunities to go game viewing in the Victoria Falls National Park. Guests can tailor their activities to their own requirements, there are guided fishing trips, cultural village walks and sunset river cruises. From Victoria Falls the options include: Helicopter flights over Victoria Falls, white water rafting, micro light flights, fishing, abseiling and bungee jumping.
Sophie Levey (Staff)
Just a short walk from both the town and the Falls, Ilala is a fantastic base from which to explore the area. The accommodation is simple, but comfortable, and the spray from the falls can be seen from the outside dining deck.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
The Ilala Lodge is a lovely small hotel just of the main street in Victoria Falls Town. It has a very tranquil colonial feel and very friendly helpful staff. Ilala Lodge is the closest hotel in Town to the Victoria Falls so is a great base from which to explore the area.
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.
Dinner on the Livingstone Express
Dine onboard the Livingstone Express, a vintage train, offering guests the chance to travel in style, discover the mighty Victoria Falls at sunset and enjoy fine dining with a difference.
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.
The Boma - Place of Eating
The Boma - Place of Eating is a restaurant that specialises in a selection of traditional Zimbabwean dishes and is famous for its warthog fillet.
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.
Highlights of Southern Africa
South Africa, Namibia, Victoria Falls
from £7500 pp inc flights & transfers for 31 nights
- This month-long itinerary is the ultimate tailormade adventure for those who have a lot of time to play with.
- Explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town, before escaping to take on the lesser travelled Northern Cape.
- Journey through Namibia, immersing yourself in the otherworldly, arid landscapes and desert adapted wildlife before enjoying water-based activities in the contrasting Caprivi Strip.
Northern Namibia & Beyond
Okonjima, Etosha, The Caprivi, Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls
from £4500 pp inc flights & transfers for 14 nights
- Experience the arid, vast wilderness of Etosha, coupled with the lush, verdant landscapes of the Caprivi Strip.
- Out in the wilderness of Namibia, undisturbed by light pollution, gaze up at the midnight sky brimming with star constellations.
- Get some spectacular photos as you observe herds of animals in Etosha’s salt pan, which seems to shimmer in the sun as a result of a mirage effect.
Zimbabwe by Canoe & Victoria Falls
Mana Pools National Park & Victoria Falls
from £5000 pp inc flights & transfers for 7 nights
- Get up close to the wildlife of the Mana Pools by canoe - the ultimate safari adventure
- Spend four days paddling along 40 miles of the Zambezi river, accompanied by an expert guide
- Visit the Victoria Falls, a true bucket list experience
Zimbabwe for Teenagers
Victoria Falls, Mana Pools & Hwange
from £4200 pp inc flights & transfers for 9 nights
- Enjoy the activities that are on offer in The Victoria Falls from bungy jumping to white water rafting to seeing the mighty Victoria Falls
- Fantastic game viewing in Mana Pools and Hwange National Park
- Fantastic canoeing on the Zambezi River as you float past pods of hippo
Location & directions
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
It is hard to get closer to the falls than Ilala Lodge. The entrance gate opens off the bottom of the road which runs down through the town and over the bridge to Zambia. It is less than 10 minutes to walk from Ilala to the entrance of the Victoria Falls National Park
How to get there
11-hour international flight to Johannesburg International Airport, followed by a 1-hour 45-minute flight to Victoria Falls. The Elephant Camp is a 15-minute road transfer from Victoria Falls airport. Alternatively, you can fly to Victoria Falls via Harare.
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