Built in 1904, the Victoria Falls Hotel was the first and finest of the Falls’ hotels, and, after a complete and thoughtful renovation, it’s back at the top of the list. High tea on the hotel’s Stanley Terrace, with Victoria Fall’s mist creating rainbows in the near distance, is an unforgettable treat. As are the hotel’s Edwardian-era ambience and lovingly maintained details: evocative old paintings and memorabilia, lush gardens, inviting tennis courts, up-to-the-minute fitness and business centres, swimming pools, and rooms that recall all of the old era’s charms, with none of their discomforts.
The hotel’s 143 rooms and suites range from the monarchical to the merely magnificent (your Micato safari expert will provide you with the full range of possibilities, all of which are supported by a highly trained and, in the finest African tradition, cheerfully attentive staff). We may choose to dine at the bountiful breakfast and dinner buffets of the Jungle Room, enlivened by local musicians and dancers, or in the stately Livingstone Room, with wines from the hotel’s excellent cellar, and herbs and vegetables from its organic garden. And then there’s traditional high tea on the Stanley Terrace, named for the man who back in 1871 found David Livingstone, who was the man who first spread word to the outside world of Mosi-oa-Tunya, the Smoke that Thunders.
Victoria Falls is the cynosure of our visit to this pacific corner of Zimbabwe (though the hotel is a lovely destination in and of itself). A seven-minute walk on private pathways leads us from the hotel to the Falls, but Micato’s experts will plan, and your Safari Director will accompany you to many other spectacular vantage points from which to marvel at scenes that Livingstone famously called “so lovely [they] must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” (And one of the most spectacular of those points is above, from a helicopter, a deeply memorable experience of Victoria Falls’ booming personality.)