From the verandah of Ilala Lodge, whitish spray rose wafted effortlessly above riverine vegetation on the east, in characteristic protest of the huge plunge down the Victoria Falls. When the wind is right one can feel the spray from the world’s mightiest waterfall, while sitting on the hotel verandah.
Ilala Lodge is the closest hotel to the Victoria Falls and its lawns front the Victoria Falls National Park.
Between the lodge and the curtain of mist, stunted Mopane bush shrubbery gives hint of the huge elephant population that frolics, buffalo moo and spatter and grazes to within a spitting distance from the verandah.
The vegetation then graduates in height and size, as it nears the banks of the mighty Zambezi River and of course, the Rain Forest.
There is also a VIP nocturnal visitor, a hippo who quietly grazes on the lawns in the stealthy of the night and on many occasions guests have come out of their rooms to watch the huge mound of flesh.
That is a rare spectacle. On the lush green hotel lawn, territorial warthogs graze in spectacular style on bended front legs, juxtaposing themselves with the guests, having meals by the verandah. More often than not, nimble-footed impalas pass by and so do kudu bulls, showcasing their corkscrew iron polished horns. This is the guest’s delight at Ilala Lodge.
The Ilala palm trees have come to symbolise an experience of exceptional quality and unforgettable pleasure. Ilala Lodge is one of the major hospitality centres in Victoria Falls and is expected to play its part at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly slated for August 24 to 29.
Ilala is the hotel situated the closest to the falls and is a walking distance of about a kilometre to the entrance of the falls.
|Fast facts about Ilala Lodge:|
|Location||Closest Hotel to Victoria Falls (1km)|
|Rooms||32 standard rooms2 deluxe suites|
|Decor||African teak furniture|
|Restaurant||Palm Restaurant (A La Carte menu)|
It gives scenic views of the falls, the famous Livingstone Bridge and has over the years pocketed awards in excellence, especially in the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority national tourism awards. The Palm Restaurant has dominated the restaurant category for several years.
The lodge makes you feel at ease in its elegant and spacious rooms with African Teak furniture, soft, crisp linen — all en suite with bath and shower, air conditioning, overhead fan and satellite television.
Ilala Lodge is a small boutique style, upmarket hospitality centre with personalised facilities. It has 2 deluxe suites with kingsize beds, 32 standard rooms with 2 x three-quarter beds each. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with separate shower, satellite television, telephone, ceiling fan and air conditioner, wall safe, hairdrier, tea and coffee facilities, Wi-Fi internet access, and room and laundry services.
In Victoria Falls summer runs from September to April, with the hot, dry months being October and November followed by the rains from December until April. The UNWTO is being held in good and fair weather in winter.
Zambezi Wildlife Safaris, situated at the Hotel, offers:
Tours of the Crocodile Ranch and Wildlife Sanctuary
Game drives and guided walks in surrounding National Parks
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and sunset cruises on the Zambezi River
Riverside dinners at their jetty site
Guided tours of the Victoria Falls
Bookings for onward touring and all other activities in Victoria Falls, which include: bungi, gorge swing, flying fox, rafting, walking with lions, elephant back safaris, canoeing, village tours, ultralight flights, helicopter flights over the falls and more.
The lodge also runs the Ra-Ikane: the graceful riverboat.
On the boat, breakfast, lunch and sunset cruises on the upper Zambezi river above the Victoria Falls aboard the boat.
The Palm Restaurant is one of the most popular eating-out outlets with English and Continental breakfast, an à la carte lunch and dinner menu.
The most famous place is the Pool Bar and Pool: The teak cocktail bar next to the swimming pool has a large wooden sun deck overlooking the Victoria Falls National Park. One or two sips of beer, while watching the spewing and wafting mist on the eastern horizon, is certainly an experience.
The lodge, like many in the Falls, has been sprucing itself almost on a yearly basis and is certified ready to host guests for the UNWTO General Assembly and give them a memorable stay.
Date: 26 July 2013