Victoria Falls- Zambia

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Apr 15th, 2005, 05:42 PM
  #1
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Victoria Falls- Zambia

I am going to Victoria Falls (Zambian side) for three nights in eary Sept. Has anyone ever stayed at either the Sussi & Chuma Lodge or the Stanley Safari Lodge? I can't decide which on to stay at. They both look great. One is directly on the Zambezi River the other is set back in the Masi Nature Reserve. I tried for the River Club and Tongelbezi, but both were booked. We also looked at the Zambezi Sun (looked too Disneyesque) and the Royal Livingstone, but those were not "unique" enough. I would appreciate any feedback you have. Or is there an even better place to stay? Thanks.
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Apr 16th, 2005, 02:30 AM
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Hi

I can not comment on Stanley's, but i felt Sussi and Chuma was excellent. Set on the Zambezi and in the national park, we had elephants in and around camp on on most of the days that i was there. They also offer very private boat excursions too. We got taken to a very small island just of Zim to enjoy sundowners. Plus the tiger fishing was good too.
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Apr 16th, 2005, 08:34 AM
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We enjoyed our overall experience at Sussi and Chuma, despite some drawbacks. After the tented camps, we missed the intimacy of the camps; it was a different atmosphere. We happened to be there at the end of the season - only one other room was occupied. The food was not the greatest, but they changed out the chef just before we left and we saw an improvement in the quality of the food. I think any downside we experienced was strictly because it was the end of the season.

Our room was very large and luxurious - we had a great view of the Zambezi from our private deck. We were delighted with the sundowner cruises offered on the small boat - having elephants cross the river not too far from the boat was a terrific experience. In addition to spending a day at Vic Falls with one of the guides (both sides of the Falls), we took the safari to Mosi oa Tunya NP (make sure you ask them to remove the canvas top of the vehicle).

Other than Vic Falls, the standout experience of our stay was going on an elephant back safari operated by the Zambezi Elephant Trails outfit. They picked us up and dropped us off at S&C, we rode one of the elephants through the NP and interacted with the elephant afterwards. (this can be arranged through S&C, but it is not one of their "included" activities.

If you care to check them out, here are some photos we took while at S&C:

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/eerkun...rkun/my_photos

The S&C photos start with #256.
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Apr 17th, 2005, 05:13 PM
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eenusa,

Thanks for posting the pics. We are headed to Duma Tau in Sept and enjoyed seeing the camp and the variety of wildlife you saw. What time of year did you go?

Cindy
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Apr 17th, 2005, 05:21 PM
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Cindy,

So what does your final itinerary look like?

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Apr 22nd, 2005, 07:22 PM
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Thanks for the notes. Unfortunately (or fortunately) Sussi was all booked, so we will be staying at the Stanley Safari Lodge. Will let you know how it is.
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Apr 23rd, 2005, 05:41 AM
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Cindymac - we were in Duma Tau the first week of July 2004. If you can, try to get Cilas as your guide - he is terrific ... really knows the animals habits and behaviors. Have a great time, and do post your impressions when you return - I'd be interested in hearing about the differences in September vs July.
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Apr 23rd, 2005, 07:29 AM
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eenusa,

Thanks for sharing your photo album. Quite a gory sight watching those wild dogs with their kill and I imagine it must have been very tense once they were forced to share their kill with that hyena!
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Apr 23rd, 2005, 11:23 AM
  #9
sandi
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eenusa - Great photos and fantastic sunsets... there's nothing like an African at sunset. Thanks so much for sharing these with us.
 
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Apr 24th, 2005, 06:22 AM
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Glad you all enjoyed the photos. We had a fantastic time on our trip, and overall I was happy with what I was able to get with my Sony F707 - but then again, we were quite close to the animals in most instances. (In the wild dog scenes, for example, the dogs were no more than 10-15 ft away from us.)
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May 4th, 2005, 05:45 PM
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Lin
 
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to junruts: I stayed at Sussi & Chuma House last August. Here is the review I sent to my travel agent, which is obviously only my own personal perspective: First of all, to help you advise your clients, this camp is too far away from the Falls and the town (20-30 min. drive). Itís the only lodge in sight and on an almost private stretch of the Zambezi. I wouldnít recommend the location unless staying for several days. Did you ever stay someplace and know that the staff are doing their utmost best, so you love them, but they arenít trained to do the job properly? It was like that at Sussi. It is a gorgeous location and camp, but it seemed like it was built and then left to slowly slide downhill. All the ingredients are there for a perfect romantic accommodation: gorgeous hardwood floors and thatched roofs, spectacular views from the balcony, a lovely lounge and pool area, glassed-in showers with views to the outside, candles everywhere, nice touches such as cultural legends left on your pillow at night, even an espresso machine! But the staff didnít seem to know how to keep everything up. The food was inedible, the kind of thing where you take one bite and spit it out. We are troopers about eating, so Lord knows what fussy people would say. The napkins and silverware were almost comically filthy. The sliding glass doors to both balconies were off their hinges so they donít close, leaving gaps for anything (as well as the cold) to enter. The power went off and on continually so the lights and electric blankets didnít work (and it was numbingly cold). Every day they absolutely bomb the rooms with strong-smelling insecticide so there were no (live) insects in the rooms. However, Sussi was exotically lovely; the staff were friendly and happy; and our guide was good too and took us wherever we wanted, even waiting patiently at shops and markets. What Iím saying is that Sussi is not the luxury retreat that itís represented to be in the ads (definitely over-priced), and itís certainly not a tree house as described (itís built on stilts). In spite of this we enjoyed our stay because it was so different. I hope someone rescues the place before itís too late.

We took a private sunset cruise on the river with the hotel boat and it was the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. I donít have the words to describe it. It helped that we were alone on the boat and on the river and it was absolutely serene.
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Sep 16th, 2005, 04:44 AM
  #12
 
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Hi, I am also considering Stanley Safari Lodge in early Dec (quite reasonable rates compared to everywhere else it seems!). Has anyone stayed in there since this topic was started? Looking for somewhere different but not too pricey to finish off our 3 week trip so would be interested to know if this suits the bill or if there is somewhere better.

Thanks
John
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Sep 16th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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JSCChan-I'll be staying there the end of October if you can wait that long for a report.
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