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“If you are prepared to party...”
Review of Shoestrings Lodge

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Shoestrings Lodge
Kerry, Ireland
Level Contributor
123 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“If you are prepared to party...”
Reviewed 7 June 2014

Stayed here for 2 nights in a 4 bed dorm for $10 per night. The location is about 30 mins walk from the Zimbabwean/Zambian border crossing, but there will be plenty of locals accommpanying (read: harrasing) you through the town so they'll show you the way while also showing you their trillion dollar notes! The setting itself is nice with some art and souvenir stands insdie the backpacker gates.

They have a bar and eating area. Drinks here are expensive compared to half an hour away in backpackers in Zambia. You pay $2 for a beer compared to down the town of Vic Falls, where in certain local bars they cost $1. Food seems like good value but the portions are served on very small plates. Paying $2 for a cup of tea or coffee is not backpacker style!

The music plays from about 10am til midnight and gets louder as the day goes by. Lots of local guys drink here at night (don't know how they can afford it, unless they get it at a chaper rate) and at one stage I was the only mzungu girl with about 15 local lads; other guests had moved on to another bar.

There is hot water, but some shower taps do not work so it's hit and miss - try them all out first.

They have lockers in the communal seating area but none in the rooms.

There are only a few keys for each room, so the first night I had to get off the top bunk to let in a late night partier knocking at 2am! (You can't leave the keys for roommates at reception as they close at midnight and pull the shutters down.) Then the cleaning staff start making noise and chatting around 7am, so no opportunity for a lie in.

The swimming pool defintiely is not clean! Generally the water in pools should reflect the colour of the sky, right? I'm sure people use the pool for other reasons.

Shoestrings is about a half hour walk to the falls.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
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Thank KerryGirl_14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2014

It's a party hostel and If you want to relax, don't go there! It's impossible to sleep because of the music. I stayed only a night in a dorm and couldn't stay there longer because it was dirty and stink. I changed for a twin room and it was the best choice.
It's near the falls and the stuff are nice.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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1 Thank Adriana_Sato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Victoria Falls hotels

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2014 via mobile

I only stayed here for one night, not sure I could manage another. It is unbelievably noisy. Don't bother with ear plugs they won't help.

Noise aside, the facilities are OK but if you actually want to sleep stay somewhere else.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Scal_78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

Firstly... I know this is Zimbabwe and it's 3rd world etc etc, but I have stayed in hostels just 20 minutes away in Livingstone which were 1000% than this place. I was there just after new years, and the weather was terrible, just pouring with rain everyday (totally not the hostels fault!) but yeah... it was very busy and seemed to be more full with locals hanging around the bar everyday and every night than travellers. I met some amazing Zims who took me under their wing, as even though I have travelled all over the world... there was definitely a bit of culture shock arriving at this place! I was in a 4 bed bunk room which was fine, there were people there for my first night, and after that I had the room to myself which was great. The mosquito nets across the bottom bunks had blood all over them but basically did their job. My room was very close to the bar and the music was going till all hours, thankfully I'm a pretty heavy sleeper so I could deal but it was ridiculously loud for most people. The bathrooms and toilets are incredibly run down and gross, they reminded me of the bathrooms you see on the Alcatraz tour in San Francisco. Some new friends saw what I was supposed to use and kindly let me use their bathroom in the double rooms, but still wasn't fab... Couldn't swim in the pool as apparently there was quite a bit of broken glass and broken beer bottles on the bottom plus the water was so murky and grotty you wouldn't want to swim there anyway... Internet was expensive (as was everything in Zim!) and often it wouldn't arrive till mid-morning which could be a pain. Location was great, you could walk quite easily into town though I would never recommend walking around by yourself at night, there were no streetlights so take an iphone with you or you end up almost stepping on baboons in the middle of the road! The lock on the door to my room was a joke, there were about 4 different keys that they would try so you could get in and out of the room, eventually the door handle just fell right off so it was nailed in just to the right of the original spot. I know it's Zimbabwe, and I know the price was cheap for Victoria Falls but it was definitely the worst place I have ever stayed... and most definitely the dirtiest!

Room Tip: Definitely pay more for the twin or double rooms, anywhere away from the bar!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
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1 Thank travelling_cass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

I had an incredile time at Shoestring Lodge. The bunkbeds were more than adequate, the french fries (I know, random) were delicious. Great location...not far from Victoria Falls (you could walk there). Clean beds, nice bar. Bring flip flops for the shower. Music is loud at night, which is great if you're looking to party. Can be a bit disturbing if you're trying to catch some z's early. Either way, I have great memories of this place and would recommend it to anyone who wants adequate lodging for an excellent price!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Taynea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
225 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2014 via mobile

Went there last night for a couple of drinks and danced till very late into the nigh. The music was gest and tv crowd very friendly. Saw big smiles everywhere and all had a great time. The Dj played a wide variety of music from pop to dance to rock to Reggae. Really amazing evening out. Nicest night spot in Vic falls

Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Henk S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonn, Germany
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2014

Very nice hostel in Victoria FAlls. One can choose from two hostesl, the place to be was this one. We (2 ppl) had booked a twin room (you can choose with fan or aircon, aircon isa bit more expensive) with a fan, but actually got one with both. :) Room was clean, beds were nice, bed clothing clean. There was no hot water though, but being in Vic Falls (hot anyway) i guess we survived :)

Breakfast is not included, you buy something from something like a b-fast bar, it was nice, althouhg 8 USD for an omlett, kind a ripoff.

The hostel is the place to be in Vic Falls- Friday and Saturday is the party place :) turns into this cool disco, with live musci, local visitors, not only tourists.

Highly recommend :)

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank vmizorov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shoestrings Lodge

Property: Shoestrings Lodge
Address: 12 West Dr, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Region: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Victoria Falls
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 35 Speciality Lodging in Victoria Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This brightly coloured backpackers is a short five miniute walk from town. There is 24 hour security, a lively bar, a small restaurant that makes the best pizzas in town, self-catering kitchen, a swimming pool, DSTV and two very friendly dogs. The staff are very helpful and can assist you with all activity bookings and information on onward travel. ... more   less 

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