Best Value in Victoria Falls?

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Nov 25th, 2004, 11:31 PM
  #1
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Best Value in Victoria Falls?

I am considering spending a couple nights in Victoria Falls to either start or conclude my Zambian safari for next September.

While I had been considering Matetsi Water Lodge in the past, that was mostly when I was intending on visiting Botswana, as it would have only been a 1 hour drive to Kasane (Botswana).

Now, however, I am committed to Zambia. Therefore, I would really like to stay on the Zambian side of the falls.

There are so many places to choose from...

Tongabezi

Songwe Village

Sussi Lodge

Chuma House (there will be four of us, so this may be a good choice, even at rack rates of $1,800 per night, as it does include a private chef, private guide, private Land Rover and private boat)

Stanley Safari Lodge - this place is absolutely stunning, but no activities are included in the $280 pppns tariff. While the tariff is not all that bad, by the time you do a few activities, it really can add up fast. The suites are amazing and measure about 1,100 sq. ft. with amazing views of the Zambezi River.

The Royal Livingstone - Although this place looks nice, I will not be staying in any hotels in Africa anytime soon, unless it is in a major city like Cape Town or Joburg. I would never want a hotel while in Victoria Falls.

If anybody has stayed at any of the above places (or other comparable places in Livingstone), please let me know what you thought of the place that you stayed at, complete with details.

Right now I am leaning towards Stanley Safari Lodge, as it is really beautiful (http://www.stanleysafaris.com/lodge.htm) but I do wish that there were some activities included, even if the price were higher.
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Dec 3rd, 2004, 07:41 PM
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We stayed at Illala Lodge in Zim. We were treated like royalty. Would definately recommend.
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Jan 19th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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Which hotel or lodge has the best view (nearest) of the falls? If i go it will be just for 1 night arriving in livingstone at 3.15 p.m and leaving teh next morning at 10.20. What time is sunset approx in middle of october? and sunrise?
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Jan 20th, 2005, 02:15 AM
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Fil
 
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I visit Stanley Safari Lodge and I find very nice, but is quite expensive and only with 7 suites, and the access is around 10km from the Falls in a bad road.
Near de Falls you have in Zambia side the Sun Hotel, which is nice (4 stars). And the 5 star Royal Livingstone also very nice.
I visit the fall from Zimbabwe (1H30 walking) and from Zambia side (30 minutes). But you can walk more…or less.
We stay in Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and we pay per nigh B&B, around 170 usd.
The VF Safari Lodge is about 6 km far from the falls.
Near de falls in Zimbabwe side you have VF Hotel, Iala Lodge and Kingdom Hotel.
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Jan 20th, 2005, 04:24 AM
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Hi Roccco,

Having only stayed at Sussi and Chuma thats all i can recommend. Being located i nthe national park it is very common for elephants to come into camp and play in the river just outside the rooms. Whilst i was there, i was sitting in the little secluded area with nice sofas. It was impressive as it overlooked the Zambezi. Whilst reading i kept hearing crunching noises. Within 20 minutes i had a heard of elephants walking infront of me and in to camp. Staying there for the whole night, one female decided to eat underneath my treehouse. On our first day too, They were playing in the water just by the lodge. Highly recommend the boat trip for sundowners. You are taken to a small island(low water) where you saw some various game.

chuma house was not open on my visit, but it sounds fantastic. I did notice though how their rates have shot up. I payed £100pppn, through Maplanga in SA. I dont think that it even half of the current rate.

Will update my OFOTO in a while to let you see wha a ball we had.
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Jan 20th, 2005, 06:24 AM
  #6
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Photoholic,

Unfortunately, I will not have time to visit Victoria Falls this time around. I previously visited Victoria Falls in March, 2002, and the falls were at their fullest.

http://zimbabwe.safari.co.za/best-ti...ria-falls.html

However, in September, the falls are just about at their least potential, and with a choice between Victoria Falls and North Luangwa, I elected to visit North Luangwa National Park.

Here is my full itinerary:

Day 1 - Los Angeles nonstop to London Heathrow

Day 2 - London Heathrow nonstop to Johannesburg (hopefully with a layover of nearly a full day to explore London)

Day 3 - Arrive Johannesburg at 9:30AM, transfer to Lusaka, Zambia, arriving at 11:30AM. Light air transfer to Lukuzi Airstrip in the Nsefu Sector of South Luangwa National Park. From Lukuzi, it is a mere 10 minute road transfer to my first stop, Tafika, where I will spend my first 3 nights. Otherwise, it would be about a 2.5 hour road transfer from Mfuwe, and while this would provide plenty of gameviewing activities, after such a long journey, I would rather get straight to the lodge to rest up for a couple hours before the first evening game drive. Days 3, 4 and 5 at Tafika, enjoying walking safaris, microlighting, cultural visits, and morning/night game drives. www.remoteafrica.com

Day 6 - Chartered light air transfer to North Luangwa National Park for my 3 night stay at Kutandala. This is supposed to be one of the best bush camps in Africa, with reputedly excellent guiding and excellent cuising prepared by a trained "Ballymaloe" chef in charge of the food.

It will be strictly walking safaris here, as the North Luangwa is still very raw and undeveloped. Chances are, that with only a capacity of 6 persons at Kutandala, that my party of 4 may very likely be the only ones in camp. At any given time, there is no more than a capacity of 20 guests in the whole of North Luangwa, a national park that, for example, is 7 times larger than the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, where a few lodges have the capacity for 20+ guests just at a single lodge! Days 6, 7 and 8 will be stalking lions and other wildlife on foot! www.kutandala.com

Day 9 - Light air transfer to Mfuwe Airport. I have made arrangements to purchase a couple new mountain bikes in Zambia, and while my family and my luggage will ride the 20 miles back to the road in the Land Cruiser, I and a guide will ride the new bikes through the town of Mfuwe to the entrance of South Luangwa National Park, stopping for a cold beer along the way! The next day, I will donate these bikes either to a school, a church or more likely the South Luangwa Conservation Society. http://www.southluangwaconservationsociety.com/

I will spend 3 nights at the luxurious Luangwa River Lodge to round out my time in the Luangwa Valley. Luangwa River Lodge is located nearest to Mfuwe Lodge which is in a very game rich area of the park. www.luangwariverlodge.com

Day 12 - Chartered light air transfer from Mfuwe, directly to Royal Airstrip in the Lower Zambezi, a mere 10 minute drive away from my home for the next three nights, Kasaka River Lodge. Canoeing and tiger fishing will keep me occupied during the days, while I will enjoy night game drives each night.

Day 15 - While I will send the rest of my family off to Cape Town for a week, renting a 2 bedroom luxury apartment right on the Waterfront, I will spend the night at the Palazzo Inter-Continental in Joburg.

Day 16 - Light air transfer to Simbambili in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve for a short 3 night visit. After following the updates of the "Leopards Of Simbambili" series on Taga Safaris website for the last year, I knew that Simbambili was the one lodge I wanted to visit in the Sabi Sand this year, especially since I am going solo and do not need all the pomp and circumstance of a Singita or Londolozi (yet Simbambili is still very nice with its own private plunge pool for each room).
http://www.tagasafaris.co.za/african...est-events.htm

Here is a nice video of a game drive at Simbambili, as well:

http://www.tagasafaris.co.za/Simbambili-Safari-21.htm

My time at Simbambili will be focused entirely around game drives...the more, the better. I hope to get some excellent photos of leopards and hopefully lions and also hope to find some rhinos, since they are extinct in Zambia.

Day 19 - I am scheduled to return to Cape Town for my final 3 nights. This will give me Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Cape Town. In this time, I definitely intend on visiting Hermanus for some whale watching and will likely also spend a day cage diving with the sharks near Gaansbai. While I am tempted to spend ALL of my time on safari, adding 3 more nights in the Sabi Sand, for the time being, I will plan on returning to Cape Town for my final 3 nights. This will serve as good incentive for me to train for the Two Oceans (Ultra)Marathon to be held on April 15, 2006.

Visiting South Africa and Zambia in April would be a much less expensive affair, as I would be able to fly to London for very low rates in April, and would be able to take advantage of the Emerald Season specials in Zambia, which are about 50% less than normal rates.

SUMMARY

Tafika, SLNP (3)
Kutandala, NLNP (3)
Luangwa River Lodge, SLNP (3)
Kasaka River Lodge, LZNP (3)
Palazzo I/C, Joburg (1)
Simbambili, SSGR (3)
Luxury Apt. @ Waterfront, Cape Town (3)

I only wish that I had an extra day to add at Kutandala for a total of four ngihts, but I find anything less than two days at a game lodge a tremendous disadvantage and that is why I have kept all stays to a 3 night minimum.

And that is how I plan on spending my summer vacation!
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Jan 21st, 2005, 03:04 AM
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best value - well the camp ground, of course.

How's the background reading going, Roccco?
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Jan 21st, 2005, 03:26 AM
  #8
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Alice,

Why are you on this forum? You spew only negative comments and do not seem like you get anything out of being here other than to insult others. Are you really this unhappy with your life?

Please find a better outlet than this forum...perhaps a mental health forum.
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