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The Palm River Hotel

The Palm River Hotel is a modern property located a short distance from Victoria Falls town, on the banks of the Zambezi River.

The Palm River Hotel is a contemporary property in a peaceful location about 10 minutes’ drive from the centre of town. The hotel is set back from the river with manicured lawns and tranquil gardens giving it a beautifully natural feel, with a number of mature indigenous trees throughout the grounds. The rooms have all the amenities of a luxury hotel and service is good and friendly. With complimentary shuttle transfers to and from the falls and Victoria Falls town, Palm River strikes the ideal balance of being close to nature but a short distance from the bustling town. Bordering the Zambezi National Park, the grounds are regularly visited by wildlife including elephants and hippo.


The hotel caters for around 150 guests in 72 rooms and a three bedroom private villa. The rooms are split between six blocks all looking out towards the river. The rooms include 60 deluxe rooms, and a variety of suites with additional lounge spaces (executive, honeymoon, presidential, and two family suites). Amenities in room include minibar, television and tea and coffee facilities. Each room has a verandah furnished with a couple of chairs, overlooking the lawn leading down to the river. En suite facilities include double basin, shower and loo.

Central Areas

The hotel has a restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner a la carte, as well as a snack menu, and the possibility for room service as well. There is also an outdoor bar. There are two swimming levels with sun loungers, looking out toward the river. The hotel has a spa which is available for massages and beauty treatments and there is also a gym.


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.


The lodge offers a twice daily shuttle (morning and afternoon) to Victoria Falls town. 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.


The Palm River 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 with family-friendly accommodation options and extensive lawned grounds, the property makes an ideal, upmarket base for families, while being close enough to all the action and activities of Victoria Falls and the town.

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.

Palm River Hotel embraces sustainable practices and environmentally aware initiatives wherever possible. The hotel’s pledge towards a sustainable footprint includes energy saving using solar power and hydroelectricity, sustainable borehole water sourcing, waste reduction and an extensive recycling programme.

During the construction of the Palm River hotel, over 150 indigenous trees and shrubs were identified and protected. This has preserved habitat for wildlife while providing an established feel to the gardens with dappled shade.

The hotel has developed an on-site vegetable production plantation, consisting of a series of onsite greenhouses and herb troughs enabling the production of home-grown produce for use as a fresh, consistent, and self-sufficient supply in the restaurant.