Hotels, Lodges and Camps of Zimbabwe
Our list of Zimbabwe's finest hotels, lodges and tented camps - properties we consider truly special and recommend to our clients.
Due to Zimbabwe’s fragile economic and political situation we are very cautious as to which properties we will book there. The only tour operator we trust in Zimbabwe is Wilderness Safaris. As they have operations throughout southern Africa they are able to support their Zimbabwean properties very well (unlike many Zimbabwean companies which are struggling or have already failed). When booking travel 9+ months in advance we can’t risk working with a company which may be out of business by the time our client’s travel. We are confident in the stability of Wilderness Safaris and most Victoria Falls hotel and lodge properties.
Elephant Camp, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe - Situated on its own private game reserve bounded by the Masuwe River and the Zambezi gorges, Elephant Camp has breathtaking views of the Victoria Falls’ as well as the spectacular gorges which separate Zimbabwe and Zambia. This luxury lodge under canvas is a short 10 minute drive from Victoria Falls and all its attractions and activities. Elephant Camp offers exclusive suite accommodation for only 18 guests in 9 luxury tented suites. All suites are gorge facing and offer private viewing deck and plunge pool, a private lounge area, air-conditioning and fans, a bath tub as well as indoor and outdoor shower, complimentary mini bar and tea/coffee stations as well as 220V main electricity. Elephant Camp offers close interaction with wildlife - in particular elephant at the Wild Horizons Wildlife Sanctuary. All guests staying at The Elephant Camp will have an opportunity to meet the Wild Horizons elephants. All other activities on offer in Victoria Falls area are available at an additional cost. Selected spa treatments are available in the privacy of your suite as well (at extra cost of course). Elephant Camp was nominated the Best New Safari Camp in Africa Award 2012. Best of all – the host, Jonathan Elway, whose humor, enthusiasm and zest for detail make it a real gem. Jonathan’s safari history goes back many years. I (Ian Proctor) first met him when he managed Landela’s Sekuti’s Drift Lodge in the mid 1990’s!
Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – A great value three star property located in town. From air conditioned rooms and a fantastic outdoor sitting / pool area this property works very well for traveler’s looking to keep overall trips costs down.
Little Makalolo Tented Camp, Hwange, Zimbabwe – The sister camp to Makalolo Plains this classic luxury tented safari camp is set deep within Zimbabwe's largest wildlife reserve - Hwange National Park - on a private concession. The area is frequented by a wide variety of game, including hundreds of elephant, especially in the dry season, June through October each year. Little Makalolo has no fence so wildlife wanders freely through the camp. Guests are accommodated in 6 tastefully appointed walk in tents with en suite facilities (completely remodeled in 2008). There is also a plunge pool. Activities include professionally guide wildlife viewing walks and day and night wildlife viewing drives in open 4x4 vehicles. The perfect location for families and small groups looking for their private piece of Africa.
Makalolo Plains Tented Camp, Hwange, Zimbabwe - Opened in April of 1997, and completely remodeled in 2008, Makalolo Plains is situated within Hwange National Park on the private Linkwasha concession. This luxury tented camp caters to 20 guests who are accommodated in 9 tastefully appointed walk in tents with en suite facilities. There is also a plunge pool (which elephants love to drink from – even when guests are in the pool) with magnificent views across savanna plains frequented by numerous wildlife species. Makalolo Plains has no fence so wildlife wanders freely through the camp. Activities include professionally guide wildlife viewing walks and day and night wildlife viewing drives in open 4x4 vehicles. Adventurous guests may overnight in the hide affectionately known as the "bunker". A few years back professional guide Garth Thompson observed 1,255 animals from 17 species during 31 hours at the bunker!
Mana Canoe Trail, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe - This 3 night / 4 day safari is perfect for adventurous travelers, allowing guests the closest possible encounters with wildlife on one of the greatest rivers in Africa - the Zambezi. This thrilling experience traverses the Mana Pools National Park; a wildlife enthusiast's paradise. Wild and remote, the area abounds with elephant, lion, leopard, wild dog, hyena, buffalo, hippo and numerous species of antelope. Mana Pools is considered one of the best walking areas in southern Africa and this is the only canoe safari that includes guided walks within Mana Pools National Park (this safari is led by a professionally licensed Zimbabwean guide – the highest level of guide training in all of Africa. All other canoe safaris are led by canoe guides who have far less than training than their professional guide counterparts and are not allowed to lead walks). Days are spent canoeing in stable Canadian canoes. Nights are spent in pre-erected camps consisting of large walk in tents with cots and duvets. Each camp has a hot bush shower and bush toilet. Meals at camp are of a very high standard. Food is freshly prepared in camp. Evening snacks and drinks are provided as well as cordials and red and white wine with dinner. Guests should be reasonably fit, especially those traveling during September when constant winds can blow up river slowing progress. This safari should be avoided during the very hot summer months of October and November. Please NOTE that walking can lead to encounters with potentially dangerous wild animals. Walking is, therefore, at your own risk.
Ruckomechi Camp, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe - Completely rebuilt on a new site in 2008 Ruckomechi Camp is situated on the western side of Mana Pools National Park (a world heritage sight) overlooking the Zambezi River and shaded by a grove of massive acacia trees. Guests are accommodated in 10 luxury tented rooms with en suite facilities. Ruckomechi has no fence so wildlife wanders freely through the camp. The camp is well known for its outstanding variety of game, and its unique bath and loo with a view. Ruckomechi won "Best Safari Camp" in Zimbabwe for four consecutive years in the 1990's. Activities include professionally guided wildlife viewing walks, wildlife viewing drives in open 4x4 vehicles, canoeing on the Zambezi River, boat trips and fishing (fishing is at extra cost when guide availability allows for it, fishing equipment is not supplied).
Stanley and Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe - The privately owned, all suite, Stanley and Livingstone, near Victoria Falls, has justifiably established itself as one the region's premier small luxury hotels. In our opinion the most luxurious in the Falls area. 15 minutes by complimentary road transfer from the Falls this property has expertly combined the safari experience with Victoria Falls. Guests at the Stanley and Livingstone are accommodated in 16 exquisitely furnished air-conditioned suites with gracious living rooms and separate bedrooms. Each suite has a private patio overlooking lush gardens and nearby waterholes. The main lodge area includes a bar, wine cellar, dining room, lounge, a swimming pool and gym. But The Stanley and Livingstone is not just about being pampered. The hotel is situated on the 6,000-acre Stanley and Livingstone Private Game Reserve where it is possible to encounter the Big 5 wildlife species - elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino - in fact the Stanley and Livingstoone is the only property where guests have an opportunity to see rhino on the Zimbabwean side of the Falls! Activities include wildlife viewing drives, and professionally guided walks. In addition elephant back safaris are offered on the estate (at extra cost).
Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – Always incredible! A visit here is like stepping back in time. The posh Edwardian Victoria Falls Hotel, built in 1904, was once noted as one of the top 50 hotels in the world. These days it is looking a bit tired... more 4 star than 5 star... Along with being the closest hotel to the Falls it is a great value. The hotel’s 180 rooms and suites provide the perfect balance of modern amenities (such as air conditioning, digital satellite television and hair dryers) without losing the grand Edwardian architecture and pure graciousness (please note that most rooms do not have views of the Falls). Set in acres of lush lawns and exotic flora, the hotel is only a few minutes walk from the center of Victoria Falls Town and a ten minute walk, along the hotel’s private path, from the actual Falls. For over 100 year’s members of Royal families, international statesmen and celebrities, have chosen to stay at The Victoria Falls Hotel.
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe - Situated on a plateau, which forms a natural boundary to the 80,000 hectare Zambezi National Park, guests at the westward facing Victoria Falls Safari Lodge enjoys uninterrupted views and spectacular sunsets. Thatch, rustic finishes, vibrant fabrics, clay tiles and an extensive use of local hardwoods are key elements in the creation of a distinctly African ambience. Each of the sixty-six bedrooms and six luxury suites have stunning views over the park. The rooms are air conditioned with en-suite facilities including a bath and separate shower. During the day light meals and drinks are served around a beautiful rock swimming pool. At sundown enjoy a cocktail whilst watching game congregate at the floodlit waterhole. For dinner, move upstairs to the candlelit Makuwa-Kuwa Restaurant or experience the traditional food and atmosphere of the Boma Restaurant. The Safari Lodge is considered one of the "10 Best Kept Secret Places to Stay in the World!"