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Ilala Lodge Hotel

Ilala Lodge Hotel is a well-established hotel located in the centre of town and just a short walk to the Victoria Falls.

Ilala lodge is a comfortable, family-owned hotel which has been operating since 1991. The hotel is located right in the heart of Victoria Falls and offers a wonderful base from which to explore the Falls. Accommodation is comfortable with rooms set in blocks overlooking the beautiful, manicured gardens. The central areas have a friendly atmosphere and lovely buzz and at certain times of the year you can hear the ‘thunder’ and see the spray from the falls themselves! With its central location, the hotel is in an ideal spot to walk to nearby shops and restaurants as well as being just a 10-minute walk from the falls themselves.


The hotel accommodates around 150 guests in 73 Classic rooms, Deluxe rooms and suites, each with en suite facilities (toilet, shower and vanity – the suites have baths also). The rooms are either situated below the reception area, pool deck and pool bar and have direct access onto the lawns; or in two separate two or three floor wings which extend from the pool area (ground floor rooms have patios, while rooms on upper levels all have private balconies). Additionally, the Strathearn Suite comprises an en suite bathroom (including a bath), private lounge, kitchen and balcony with spa bath. This suite may also convert to family accommodation with the option to interconnect to an additional suite and deluxe room either side.

Central Areas

The main areas of the hotel are built beneath a huge thatch roof, which covers the reception area, the the restaurant and the bar. Surrounding the main areas are lawns leading into the bush and a spacious terrace that extends around a small swimming pool and poolside lounge, beyond which is an additional plunge pool. There is also a small health spa.


Wi-Fi – Yes
Power for Charging – Yes
Swimming Pool – Yes

Habitat & Wildlife

Victoria Falls, known by the local Kololo tribe as ‘Mosi au Tunya’ (the smoke that thunders), is one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World” heritage sites and one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls on earth.

Victoria Falls National Park is a small park that encompasses the falls themselves and the immediate surrounding countryside, including the town of Victoria Falls.

Spanning a width of some 1,700 metres, the waters of the mighty Zambezi actually plunge down five distinct waterfalls, separated by islands which account for just over 300 metres of the total span. Four of these falls are in Zimbabwe: The Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls and Horseshoe Falls, and one, The Eastern Cataract, is in the bordering country of Zambia. The average height is just less than 100 metres.

During the peak flood season (April and May), the flow increases to some 625 million litres per minute. At this time, the spray makes viewing of the falls from the ground almost impossible and it is advisable to take an aerial view on what is commonly referred to as a ‘flight of angels’. By September, the waters of the Zambezi have dropped significantly to allow views of the individual falls. This remains until March when the river starts to rise again.

David Livingstone was the first European to ‘discover’ the falls when he visited them in November 1855. He later wrote, “no one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” He named them after his Queen, for the first and only time deviating from his practise of naming places and features after their local native names, in this instance “Mo ku sa tunya mosi” (nowadays shortened to mosi-au-tunya). The David Livingstone statue can be found near the spectacular Devil’s Cataract viewpoint.

The rainforest area is filled with many species of fig, mahogany and date palm groves, as well as an impressive list of birds and smaller mammals such as vervet monkeys, baboons and bushbuck.

From the centre of Victoria Falls town, the Falls are a leisurely 10 minute walk away.


Aside from a tour of the Falls themselves (either guided or self-guided), some of the many optional activities which can be undertaken during your visit to the Victoria Falls include:

‘Flights of Angels’ helicopter tours over the Falls. The shorter flights concentrate on the Falls themselves, while the longer flights include flying over the Batoka Gorge below Victoria Falls.

Trips to Livingstone Island on the Zambia side of the Falls – you can plan for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea on the island and can also take your swimming costume and include a swim in Devil’s Pool – a natural rock pool on the edge of the falls!

White water rafting – experience some of the finest white water the world has to offer (dependant on water levels).

Bird watching, sunset cruises or dinner cruises by boat on the Zambezi River.

For those that like to be active, other excursions include a full day canoeing on the upper Zambezi, horse-riding and an array of adrenaline-fuelled activities such as a bungee jump, gorge swing and zip line.

Most excursions can easily be booked direct at the property, but some do require advance booking to secure availability.


Ilala Lodge Hotel is open all year round, though it is the rainy season from November to March.

Children of all ages are welcome at the hotel and several of the rooms interconnect, making flexible accommodation options for families travelling with younger children. The fantastic location close to the falls, and lovely gardens, make Ilala a lovely option for families.

The Palm Hospitality Group (PHG) Foundation is a local initiative made up of passionate employees of Ilala Lodge Hotel and sister hotel Palm River Hotel. The Foundation supports the local community by promoting responsible tourism projects such as environmental preservation, recycling, wildlife protection, local fundraisers and various other initiatives that benefit the community and preserve the rich cultural heritage of Victoria Falls town. The Foundation also supports the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU) – a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of local wildlife and natural resources in Victoria Falls.

Every first Friday of the month, the Foundation committee takes to streets, carparks and public areas as part of a community clean up. Their teams have also installed over 20 ‘baboon-proof’ waste bins throughout the rainforest to help maintain and preserve the surrounding tourist attractions.

Internally, the hotel’s sustainable policies include a waste management policy, plastic reduction and sustainable water consumption.