When I booked my trip to South Africa, my heart was set on Zimbabwe. I figured – the countries were close enough, I had to make it happen. Every traveler must! I had already flown 20+ hours from the States, two more hours was well worth it.
HOW TO GET THERE:
I flew into Livingstone, Zambia, because it was more cost effective than flying into Zimbabwe. Crossing the border was a breeze and the transportation was organized by Wild Horizons.
I arrived to Ilala Lodge on my last day of a three week journey (NYC > Abu Dhabi > Johannesburg > Hoedspruit > Pretoria > Capetown > Livingstone > Kasane). To say I was exhausted would be an understatement. I was on the search for relaxation and I found it at Ilala Lodge.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by friendly staff and refreshing drinks. I was greeted by the property manager, Martin, who recommended the awarding winning Palm Restaurant for dinner. Out of everything I tasted on my journey, from Rovos Rail to the fresh seafood in Cape Town, this was the best food of the entire trip. You must eat here.
The property is full of beautiful flowers and lush green lawns. There’s an outdoor pool and bar. It’s a great place to bask in the sun or enjoy the moonlight in the evening.
I was shocked how close the lodge was from Victoria Falls – I could see the mist rising in the air. It’s the best location if you don’t want to take a taxi or a guide to see the attractions.
A common phrase among my travels is “It’s Africa.” It’s common for appliances not to work, so I was grateful for the cool A/C and the mini-fridge in our room with complimentary drinks. I also appreciated the USB plugs right next to the bed to charge my electronics.
During out stay, we took advantage of the Ra-Ikane Sunset Cruise along the Zambezi River. It was very romantic, watching the sunset on our final night. My adrenaline was flowing – we saw a couple of alligators and hippos in the water. The bird watching was amazing, especially with their reflection in the water.
Ilala Lodge is a great place to relax, enjoy amazing time, and marvel at Victoria Falls. You won’t regret it, enjoy!