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Last updated: 27 October, 2022
Expert travel writer: Richard Holmes

Although the hotel recently expanded to offer 73 rooms and suites, it hasn’t lost its boutique charm, and the homely touches make it a good place to avoid the crowds of nearby resorts.

With rooms giving onto serene gardens, and the Victoria Falls just a short walk away, the location and setting are hard to beat.

The Palm Restaurant is one of the best places to eat around Victoria Falls, and offers contemporary cuisine with views of the spray from the lovely terrace.

Surrounding area

Ilala enjoys the perfect location, set right on the edge of Victoria Falls Town while offering easy access to restaurants and shops at nearby malls. It’s also the last hotel on the road to the Falls, which are an easy 10-minute walk downhill.

Though the location is central, the lush gardens of the hotel ensure there’s no shortage of peace and quiet. Aside from the constant roar from the ‘smoke that thunders’, of course.

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Key facilities

Airport transfers*
Beach: None
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
Kids club
Parking: On-site (free)
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Jacuzzi (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Safaris around Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe[0.2 miles]

Visiting Victoria Falls is not just about the Falls. Take the opportunity to experience a Big Five safari and get a taste of the real African bush.

Best for ages: 5+ | £120 | 3-4 hours

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White-water rafting on the Zambezi River

Zimbabwe[1.4 miles]

Take courage in both hands and raft the world-class white-water rapids of the mighty, crocodile-infested Zambezi River, funneling through the Batoka Gorge at Victoria Falls. And remember to look out for the crocs!

Best for ages: 15+ | £100 | 5-10 hours

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Swim in the Devil’s Pool

Livingstone, Southern Province, Zambia[1.4 miles]

This small island in the centre of the flow offers a mind-blowing picnic spot – right on the edge of the 103m-high Falls. A lucky (crazy) few can sign up for a dip in the small lagoon sitting right on the lip.

Best for ages: 12+ | £115 | 2 hours

Other worthwhile experiences in this destination if you have the time or the interest, closest first

The famous afternoon tea stand with sweet treats

Afternoon tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Town, Matabeleland North, Central African Republic (CAR)[0.5 miles]

Dating back to 1904, The Victoria Falls Hotel occupies a dramatic promontory above the Batoka Gorge. It’s a view best enjoyed over the decadent platters served for afternoon tea, a much-loved tradition.

Best for ages: 13+ | £15 | 1-2 hours

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Tables and terrace at the Lookout Cafe in Victoria Falls, overlooking the gorge

Lookout Cafe

Victoria Falls Town, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe[0.6 miles]

This popular cafe, running by the reliable Wild Horizons, has a unrivalled location on the edge of Batoka Gorge. The outdoor terrace has stunning views. They serve up breakfast, lunch and dinner often with local specialities on the menu, like game meats and crocodile.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Golf course next to the Zambezi river with hippos in the water

Golf at Elephant Hills

Victoria Falls Town, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe[2.3 miles]

Designed by golfing legend Gary Player, the 18-hole Elephant Hills course upstream from the Falls is one of the wildest golf courses in Africa, and players will have to mind the antelope and crocodiles as carefully as the water hazards.

Best for ages: 13+ | £10 | 2-4 hours

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Sundowners at the Royal Livingstone Hotel

Sundowners at the Royal Livingstone Hotel

Livingstone, Southern Province, Zambia[2.5 miles]

With the spray rising downstream and the sun dipping below the Zambezi, enjoy the best sundowner G&T in Africa from the Kubu Bar at the Royal Livingstone Hotel. Non-residents are welcome, and the views are worth the price tag.

Best for ages: 18+ | £12 | 2-3 hours

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Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The world-famous Victoria Falls is also Africa’s adventure playground, offering an array of brilliant adrenalin-packed adventure activities plus Big Five safaris.

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