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“Great Location Near the Falls!”

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AVANI Victoria Falls Resort
Ranked #3 of 18 Hotels in Livingstone
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 August 2008

We really enjoyed our stay at the Zambezi Sun. The location can not be beat- it is just steps from Victoria Falls. The staff were so friendly and nice. The rooms were colorful, nice and spacious. We even saw zebras right on the property. Since we didn't have a car, we weren't able to leave the hotel to eat elsewhere. Prices for dinner were very expensive and the food wasn't great. Overall, I would recommend staying at the Zambezi Sun.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jerseycitygirl07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 August 2008

We flew to Zambia from San Francisco to speak at a conference and afterwards my daughter and I went to Livingstone to stay at the Zambezi Sun.

Overall, the hotel was wonderful. It is steps away from Victoria Falls and all you do is take a hotel slicker with you and there is no cost to enter the partk. "The Smoke that Thunders" is awesome.

As the taxi from the airport entered the hotel grounds, we came across a giraffe - since the hotel is in a national park. We arrived before our room was ready, so we went to the activities center to book our fun. We were only going to be there on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a departure on Sunday. At the activities desk, we booked a helicopter ride to view the falls, a walking safari the next morning, an African Queen boat ride that evening and high tea at Livingstone Island.

The helicopter ride was fantastic and highly recommended. You see the entire layout of the rift of the falls. We also saw a herd of elephants from the air.

We returned to the hotel and found our room ready. As the porter drove us by cart to the room, we had to pause to let the zebras move on by. We also saw the hotel animal handlers working to get the vervet monkeys off the balconies. We had a nice room with two beds that faced the pool.

It was wonderful to find that we could drink water from the tap because all of their water is filtered and we had no problems eating the food. The hotel electrical sockets take the round three prong adapters and one socket accepted a square three prong adaptor. The room included a hairdryer, safe, television, phone service and we had a view of the pool, zebras and monkeys from our room. Water conservation efforts were in place which we appreciated.

The following morning we were picked up for the walking safari - highly recommended. Our guide had us walk single file for safety reasons and we were escorted by armed guard for our protection. We saw a white rhino, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, wildebeast, gazelles, monkeys, baboons, birds and lots of animal droppings! The elephant herd had left its destruction. We came across one lone elephant and had to quickly back out of the way - we did not know if it was hurt, confused or a mother with her baby. The morning safari is preferable because it gets warmer in the afternoon.

That evening we took the African Queen cruise up/down the river. We saw hippos and a beautiful sunset.

It seems that anywhere you travel in Zambia that VISA cards are immediately accepted - not so for other credit cards or travelers checks. Hotel/airport taxi took US dollars.

Breakfast and dinner was buffet style with many selections - European, American and African. Lunch by the pool was a la cart. The hotel had a resort feel to it and the restaurant staff were eager to please.

The business office had Internet access available although it was busy with conference cyber cafes underway. We were there for at least two conferences and on the day we left, a reception for a wedding was being set up. The grounds were clean and well-kept with iron and stone sculptures.

The walk to the Hotel Livingston was short and we took a look at the river deck and facilities. It seemed that no one was there that weekend and that the place to be for music and activity was at the Zambezi Sun. The boat trip to Livingston island for high tea was memorable. We did not realize that we would be walking at the edge of the falls, in the water, with our guides holding on to us. If you are afraid of heights, I do not recommend it. It gave true meaning to "walking in the steps of Dr. Livingstone!"

I would not hesitate to stay at the Zambezi Sun again.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank FireflySanFrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2008

We booked our rooms using the Suninternationa.com website which offered Internet special pricing that was 1/3rd of the travel agent pricing! At that price, it was a steal and a wonderful experience. The hotel is right next to Victoria Falls and entrance to the Falls is included in the price and a 2 minute walk is all you need -- nothing better than to be able to casually visit the Falls at different times of day or to dry off quickly in your room on your return! The swimming pool is wonderful, as are the helpful and friendly staff.

The highlight though is the large herbivores that casually stroll through the grounds mere feet from the walking paths, and the cheeky monkeys who must be watched. Take a walk to the adjoining ultra-luxury Royal Livingston and see the magnificent river pour into the Falls and have their decadent tea (a piece of cake and a pot of tea is the affordable compromise) but watch out for monkeys who will enter into the hotel and eat the frosting off the cake!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank rpaditya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2008

After 6 nights on safari in Botswana, my wife and I spent our last 2 nights in Africa at the Zambezi Sun and it was very relaxing and pretty. The hotel is well laid out, with the rooms all centered around a central grassy area with an outdoor bar, pool and music all the time. The rooms were comfortable, clean and exactly what you need. Location wise, you can't be closer to the falls and it's great to come and go as you please through the gate leading to the falls. They are truly amazing.

The sister property, The Royal Livingstone is a step up but honestly, not necessary. We walked to that hotel to watch the sunset from their deck on the river, have drinks and eat light food and it's great. They welcome you and you can stay as long as you like, walk around (watch out for monkeys and zebras) and enjoy their property as well. For half the price, I suggest staying at the Zambezi Sun as we did. The food was good, not great, but everything else is quite nice.

One note, the poverty at the African Market and on the bridge to Zimbabwe is sad and eye opening. We brought some shirts to trade for souvenirs, but if you have old shoes that is what we were asked for most. They need everything, but again shoes seem to be at the top of their list.

Overall, this hotel makes for a great stay and an interesting comparison to the scene just outside the gates. Africa is a land of contradictions and seeing both sides betters us all.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank nycastle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2008

We stayed 5 nights at this Hotel and found it to be very comfortable and very good value. The room are a reasonable size and the surounding grounds and swimming pool are excellent with plenty of sun lounges.
The breakfasts were excellent,plenty of variety and the service was first class.
The hotel is a 5 minute walk to the Victoria Falls, and you will see plenty of monkeys baboons and zebras in the hotel grounds.
If you walk to the sister hotel the 5 star Royal Livingstone you will probably be lucky enough to see some giraffes grazing.
We preferred to have a room overlooking the gardens and swimming pool as the back rooms look out onto scrub, although one of thes rooms maybe better for seeing the the giraffes.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank portmagpie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2008

..sad to see the demise of the old Mosi o a Thunya Hotel, which has been demolished and replaced by the Zambesi Sun and its sister Royal Livingstone on the same site. (But, let's be honest - if the old Mosi o a Thunya was still there - we wouldn't be able to afford to stay there!)

There is definitely an impression of the Zambesi Sun being a 'Resort' hotel - once you are inside the gate everything you need is on hand, and you are a captive audience. Walk to the Falls as often as you wish, book any manner of excursions leaving directly from the Hotel, stroll through the gardens to the Royal Livingstone for brunch just to see how the other half live.

But, if you are only passing through for a few nights to visit the Falls, put away your prejudices and just enjoy the location. The food isn't too bad (despite the inevitable US-style Buffets), the rooms are reasonably comfortable and most of the plumbing works, staff are friendly, pool is good, and the evening entertainment is unobtrusive and better than you might anticipate.

There are a number of new Hotels in the same class springing up (such as the new Protea) but none have the same location advantage. In fact most (like the Protea) seem to be located in the middle of nowhere - in walking distance of neither the Falls nor Livingstone Town.

If you stay at the Zambesi Sun, apart from the standard trip offerings we would recommend a taxi to Livingstone ($10 there, even less return) and explore the Museum and the many historic buildings before they fall into complete disrepair. [The North Western Hotel, the oldest in Central Africa, is now derelict with just a couple of rooms being used as a local gym.]

We found prices for the Zambesi Sun widely quoted, and obtained a reasonable discount through shopping around on the web.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Catterbutts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2008

This hotel has major character - it is beautiful! You can walk right to the falls from the grounds, animals walk on grounds all around you, the food is impossible to beat, and the staff is amazing! If you want a really, really nice hotel (without the stuffy-old person feel) this is the place to stay! It is one of my favorite places ever, and I will never forget my stay! Loved it!!!!

Stayed: June 2008
Thank WorldTravelerLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about AVANI Victoria Falls Resort

Address: Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, Livingstone 20100, Zambia (Formerly Zambezi Sun)
Region: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Livingstone
#2 Family Hotel in Livingstone
#4 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range: £192 - £330 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — AVANI Victoria Falls Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 212
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Get wild in the heart of Africa, with the iconic Victoria falls at your doorstep. We put you at the centre of the action, so you can explore, discover or just relax and let us take care of all the details that matter. Whether it's for family fun or taking care of your business, AVANI Victoria Falls offers contemporary comforts and uncontested convenience, all just five minutes’ walk from Victoria Falls. Work, rest, stay and play in AVANI signature style for dazzling days and enchanting nights ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zambezi Sun Livingstone
Zambezi Sun Hotel Livingstone

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