Have you found yourself in the middle of Victoria Falls requiring a place to stay, but don’t know where to start looking? Perhaps you’ve just finished an overland tour like my tour from Cape Town to Victoria Falls with Nomad Adventure Tours, and were looking to spend a few extra days next to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Victoria Falls is also home to some extreme activities – such as bungee jumping, a 75m gorge swing, walking with lions or even white water rafting. Adventure Lodge is a decent budget lodge just off of the main drag.
While the rooms are basic – it’s all you really need. Standard rooms are equipped with two comfortable twin-sized beds, a small bathroom with shower, sink and toilet, and a large wardrobe to hang your clothing. It’s important to keep in mind value for money – have I stayed in nicer hotels? Yes. But that was reflected in the price I would have paid. At the end of the day, Adventure Lodge gives you exactly what you’re looking for, especially if you’re like me, and have just finished overlanding and camping across Africa for weeks on end – a bed, and private bathroom. It’s not the type of place you write home saying “Look at this luxurious accommodation,” but if you’re like me, you will cherish it just the same.
There were some things that I found strange, or underpar – such as the fact that I did not have a television in my room (others did) but there was a dangling cable that ran from the ceiling. I did not receive a towel upon my arrival, and my shower had an annoying drip that drove me insane when I tried to fall asleep. Some of the other rooms had issues such as locks not working, window handles being broken off and missing shower curtains.
The staff is very welcoming, and does try to accommodate your requests – so while my room issues were very minor, I didn’t complain, but others I knew who were also staying at Adventure Lodge were given new rooms to make up for the issues such as broken locks or window handles. The laundry and housekeeping staff were very nice, always smiling and even took the time to learn my name and would ask me how I was doing or how my day was going, during my 8 night stay.
What Adventure Lodge DOES have may come of a surprise. Some of the extra amenities available include the pool – which is a great way to beat the heat of an African afternoon. They also have a great bar where you can get your favorite tipple or even a filling meal. Breakfast is even included and is cooked to order and very filling.
Beside the bar is a small gift shop, where you can buy everything from snacks to souvenirs. During my first stay at Adventure Lodge in 2012, I even purchased a pair of flip-flops made by orphans out of car tires and beads. Be aware though that this shop is not open all the time, so if you really need something, walking into town may be the more reliable option.
They even have laundry services for a small fee and free wifi available – definitely something every overland tourgoer looks for once they get back to a main town/city. The wifi isn’t always the best connection – and it can drive you crazy just trying to connect to their server, but I was happy to simply have a connection. TIP: I found it worked best around midnight and later.
Remember those extreme activities I mentioned at the beginning? Adventure Lodge can hook you up – and you can make bookings for virtually ANY of the activities offered around the town – everything from bungee jumping to a helicopter ride. The lodge is known for and prides itself on its white water rafting excursions – something I personally did not partake in, but noticed was quite popular.
Adventure Lodge is now being used as the home for volunteers with the Lion Encounter program (an affiliate of ALERT – the same lion conservation project I volunteer with in Gweru, Zimbabwe). This means that there are volunteers hanging around during their off time and at night- not a big deal for me, it was actually a nice change from my initial visit in 2012, when the Lodge was only at 10% capacity.
The Final Word
Like I said –if you’re looking for luxury, you’ve come to the wrong spot. There are definitely pros and cons to Adventure Lodge, but overall it’s a decent place to stay. If you are not part of an overlanding tour – despite their website advertising rates from $44USD per night, expect to actually pay upwards of $70USD per night for a single supplement (very expensive, if you ask me). If you’ve just traveled with Nomad Adventure Tours (and I’m assuming any other overland tour company) rates are $54USD per night (still on the expensive side, but much better than the normal rate). Adventure Lodge needs to fix the little issues – like ensuring locks on all the doors work properly, all showers have a curtain and that windows can be secured, and ensuring that all rooms have the same amenities in them so that if you are paying for a room, you are receiving everything that is advertised. Despite this, I would still recommend this lodge, as I found it to be nice to be a little bit removed from the Vic Falls strip, and the bar was never too noisy – as it is every night at Shoestrings- another budget accommodation across town.
DISCLAIMER: While I was given a complimentary 4-night stay at Adventure Lodge, all thoughts, opinions and viewpoints expressed remain my own.