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“A great 'out of Africa' combination - falls and safari”
Review of Old Ursula Camp

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Old Ursula Camp
Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A great 'out of Africa' combination - falls and safari”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

Within moments of arriving at Ursula Camp we were whisked onto a jeep for a night safari which gave a marvellous sighting of a black rhino mother and calf and a memorable dinner in the bush. Cedric our guide was highly informative and most impressive. We found the dinner bed and breakfast package good value with included transfers to town and a daily safari option. The first night we had the camp to ourselves and felt thoroughly pampered to have our own chef cooking breakfast in the morning. The camp was clean and the gardens very well-maintained. The chalets were very comfortable and the atmosphere wonderfully peaceful and relaxing. The staff were experienced and very helpful, nothing was too much trouble. I loved Ursula Camp, it was all we hoped for and more!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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1 Thank LizF43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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42 reviews from our community

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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2014

We booked 2 nights at the Old Ursula Camp as a stop off to Hwange National Park and had an amazing, unexpected stay. Old Ursula Camp is further out of Victoria Falls than we thought, but as soon as we arrived we were glad, as it's a beautiful small place with such quiet and relaxing surroundings - nothing you would get in Victoria Falls! We stayed in the master chalet which was beautifully decorated and good value for money. The food was really good, although a bit limited. The highlight was, however, having a safari on our doorstep. From sitting by the pool we could see zebra and kudu out in the grassy area beyond. We weren't going to do a safari as we were on our way to Hwange, but when we heard about the black rhino we decided to go for it - and it was the best decision we made as it turned out to be the best safari we did on our whole trip! We saw all of the BIG 5 on our nightime drive - incredible!!! Such an amazing experience. Our guide Richard was incredible - so knowledable. Make sure you ask for him if you go! Old Ursula Camp comes highly recommended if you are after an intimate, boutique and relaxing stay, with animals on your doorstep.

Room Tip: The master chalet was only $20 more and from what we could make out, definitely worth the extra mone...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank 1984_Annie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014

We decided to stay at the Old Ursula Camp rather than in town because we wanted peace - and this is what we got. The camp is very quiet, has very clean, pleasant "huts", a small but nice swimming pool and, most importantly, animals at the doorstep. We saw antelopes and zebras literally 100 metres from us (not to mention dozens of species of colourful birds) which was absolutely amazing.
Breakfast was a bit average but we did enjoy evening meals a lot. All the staff were genuinely nice and helpful, cannot say one bad word about anyone.
It takes about 15 minutes to get to the falls, we paid $10 for a taxi (you have to haggle!), so not too bad at all. They will pick you up from the airport for free.
Overall a very pleasant experience, we would definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank mjjw2405
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2013

We stayed at Ursula Camp two weeks ago and had an overall good experience.

The first thing to know is that Ursula Camp is part of (and adjacent to) the much pricier and more lavish Stanley Livingstone Hotel. If you can't afford the Stanley Livingstone or the other jaw-droppingly expensive safari lodges in and around Victoria Falls, but don't want to resort to a hostel, then this is a good option. It's still fairly expensive for what you get, but much better than anything else in town!

When we arrived the lady on duty (we think she may have been the cook) seemed very surprised to see us. We had booked through the Stanley Livingstone and I guess she wasn't aware of our arrival. That was a little strange, but she put in a quick call to the hotel and everything was resolved.

There are three huts and a chateau. We started out in one of the huts (Rhino), which had a pair of twin beds. Not ideal but after having the same set-up in Kruger, we were used to it. After unpacking our stuff, however, a manager (I presume) came by and asked us if we'd prefer a double bed. We said yes and he moved us over to the master chateau. At first this seemed great - we got a bigger room with more character (decorated in the "old world" style) for the same price! The room was very hot though, so the first thing we did was turn on the AC. We went out for the afternoon and when we came back later it didn't seem as though the AC was working, but just blowing air like a fan. Not wanting to complain, we bedded down for the night. An hour later, realizing we just couldn't handle the stifling 90+ degree room (and considering we had opted out of a hostel due to its lack of AC) we asked the guy on duty to switch back to Rhino. He was very accommodating and we once more moved our stuff over. All the room switching was a bit of a bummer, but again, we didn't expect them to fix the AC in the middle of the night and they were very nice about it all. That said, they should probably make sure the AC is working in the rooms.

The pros:
- Ursula is on a private game reserve, and you literally can see a host of animals from your porch. We saw Zebra, warthog, and kudu, among others. Unfortunately no rhino sightings, but apparently they aren't in that area of the reserve.
- You can use the Stanley Livingstone facilities (pool, bar, restaurant, etc). The grounds of the hotel are beautiful and definitely worth checking out.
- Stanley Livingstone/Ursula offers their own guided safaris. These are expensive, but comparable to all the other safari tours in town. As we had already done 4 days of safari in Kruger and Chobe (and it's much cheaper in those parks), we passed on this. However, the other group staying at Ursula did an afternoon drive and said it was great.

The cons:
- Meals. The rooms have mini-fridges but no microwave or burner. If you want them to prepare you food, dinner is at minimum $25 for an entree, something like $40 for a pre-fixe menu per person. You can also eat at the Stanley Livingstone, but that was more like $50 per person. Since the hotel is situated out of town, it's costs about $20 for a taxi one way. The Stanley has shuttles running, but only at certain times and it also appeared that they charged $20 round trip per person (which equaled the same as a taxi round trip for 2 people). So basically, you are stuck at the camp for meals. Luckily, we figured out the situation ahead of time - by reading reviews, etc - and arrived with sandwich makings and snacks. We did 2 dinners in this manner and although not ideal, saved us from spending another $100+ on mediocre meals.
- Mosquitoes. There were a TON of mosquitoes hanging out in the room when we arrived. By the second day after we'd had the AC running for over 24 hours they dispersed a little. The strange (and fortunate) thing was, they didn't really seem to be biting much. However, seeing them whining around was bad for my peace of mind. I think that Ursula should consider getting bug netting for over the beds, especially considering that the door and windows didn't appear to really close all the way.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Lindsey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2013

We stayed at the end of September in the Master Chalet, which is very spacious with large bathroom (separate shower and bathtub). The location is great right next to the waterhole so one can watch the animals practically from your bed.
We were surprised that there are no reviews of this property since 2011, but maybe it has undergone major renovations in the meantime, because the three smaller chalets look very different and new now than they did on the earlier photos.
Breakfast was average, as was the first night dinner, but it was wonderful to eat outdoors and watch the birds and animals at the water hole. We ate our second evening dinner at the nearby Stanley and Livingstone lodge, which is truly amazing but for our taste a bit "over-the-top". Unfortunately, that evening all S&L guests went for a night safari and dinner in the bush, so we were alone in the large dining room.
Airport transfers are complimentary, but a shuttle to Victoria Falls is $15 or $20 and one has to adhere to the S&L hotel schedule (first shuttle at 9:30 am), So we took a taxi for $20 at 8:00 am to be at the falls early before the crowds and heat arrive.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Rose_Inger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Illinois, USA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2011

We stayed here two nights. The sights right outside our chalet included zebra, kudu, giraffe, and about 20 species of birds. Room had twin beds, tub, shower, and 2 small wooden closets for our stuff. Food was prepared by a chef who works parttime at Stanley & Livingstone Hotel. We met folks from Hungary and Switzerland. One afternoon we had the place to ourselves as we sat and watched the animals come in to feed on the grasses. Enjoyed the peaceful setting and the air conditioning, as it was very hot. The vans from Stanley and Livingstone hotel picked us up and took us back to the airport. Drivers are very polite and interesting guys. Only down side is that there were a few mosquitoes.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank MaryJoUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2011

I'm almost loathed to write a review for Old Ursula in case everyone discovers it and loses its quaintness and charm!

Old Ursula is without a doubt one of the best places I have stayed in in Africa (have lived and travelled the region for 8+ years). Attached to (but separate from) the Stanley and Livingstone hotel - an old colonial style hotel with 5* everything, we ate dinner there one night (phenomenal but slightly amusing out of this world posh atmosphere) and organised all our activities through the hotel (so helpful, friendly, no difference in prices).

We chose Old Ursula because we didn't want the stuffy hotel thing, and as we were driving ourselves through Malawi and Zambia, it just seemed to fit our needs better. We didn't realise that a chef was provided (brilliant), and we had the whole camp to ourselves. We were in the master chalet, which was fantastic. The outside space was phenomenal, with sweeping vistas over the bush - we saw zebra and buffalo so close to us (electric fence between you and them though don't panic...!) and we enjoyed a great braai one night out on the terrace.

The only two criticisms: firstly- is that the chalet didn't have a mosquito net or netted windows - we did clock a few mosquitos (in August). Don't be too put off, the supermarket in town sold repellent and coils that you can burn. Given the quality of service offered by the Stanley and Livingstone, i'm sure they could muster something together if you were really desperate.

Secondly, the guard/staff at Old Ursula weren't overly friendly or approachable... whereas nothing was too much effort at Stanley and Livingstone, this was not quite the approach at Old Ursula. However, i'm splitting hairs here, it's a self catering camp and designed for self sufficient guests. It's pretty secure, off the beaten track etc

A truly beautiful hidden gem, wish we could have stayed for a few more days... We saw lots of other big hotels and were reminded how lucky we were to stay at Old Ursula. Might not be overly practical if you havn't got your own car, but i'm sure tour operators can organise transfers and the S+L hotel seemed happy to provide transfers to and from town.

Oh and how could I forget, AMAZING VALUE for money. Unbelievably cheap given what you get for your money and the relative prices of other places in the area. Didn't quite know what to expect for the money, but very pleasantly surprised.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank hfhtaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Old Ursula Camp

Property: Old Ursula Camp
Address: Old Ursula Road, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Region: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 35 Speciality Lodging in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Old Ursula Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
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