A Romantic Guide To Southern Africa | Ilala Lodge Hotel | Victoria Falls
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How to have a love(ly) trip to Victoria Falls

By Ilala Lodge on June 26, 2019

We had the pleasure of hosting Lily La Tigresse from the well-known blog, Jetaimemeneither recently as she explored Southern Africa in her quest to put together her top choices for “A romantic mini-guide to Southern Africa”. Please take a read of her suggestions on having the most love(ly) trip to Victoria Falls, and the rest of the continent too. If you would like to book any of these activities, our Activities Desk at the hotel will be able to help you – just get in touch here.

Victoria Falls

“No matter where you go in Southern Africa, a few days or even a week in Victoria Falls is a fantastic complement. Home to the largest waterfall in the world, it has a width of 1,708 m and height of 108 m. There is an abundance of activities to do in the area besides merely visiting the falls and there are also some unique ways to take in this incredible natural wonder. You can visit via Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe or Livingston in Zambia, we chose the former as there were more activities which appealed to us from there and that side is considered to have the best views of the falls. It is also possible to do both sides, although depending on where you are from, you may need to get a visa for both countries. The following activities are from Zimbabwe, yet some can also be done from the Zambia side.


Experience the Falls at Dawn

Getting up early can be worth it, for a good cause and this is definitely the case for visiting Victoria Falls. You can have the falls virtually all to yourselves by taking the Sunrise Photo Tour offered by Tamuka Travel. You’ll be met at your hotel by one of their friendly driver-guides who will take you to the falls for the opening time of 6am. As you stroll on the verdant pathways towards the falls, you’ll learn interesting facts and history about the falls, which provides you with an excellent background before you arrive. Their guides know the right spots to snap the best pictures of the roaring falls, where to catching rainbows, admire interesting perspectives of the falls and have fun along the way — all of this with no one else in the background of your photos or interrupting the serene ambiance of this mystical place. An unforgettable experience!

Victoria Falls At Dawn

Take an Enchanting Sunset Cruise

Taking a cruise down the Zambezi River, the source of Victoria Falls, is a fabulous way to extend your experience of visiting the falls. There is a variety of cruise options, however, for a stylish and romantic cruise book aboard the Ra-Ikane. With a small fleet of three beautiful wooden boats that hold no more than around 20 passengers, the Ra-Ikane creates the perfect romantic setting, made even more romantic on their sunset cruise. You will observe close up wildlife such as crocodiles, hippos and birds. In the near distance you’ll also be able to see the famous thunderous mist of the falls. As you cruise along, the golden light shimmering over the river will gradually descend into pink waves with the setting sun on the horizon. This spectacular setting is paired with gourmet snacks and an open bar. This cruise is definitely an enchanting and very romantic way to cap off your day at the falls!

Ra-Ikane Cruise at Sunset

Dinner aboard a Vintage Steam Train

Travel back in time to the heyday of glamorous travel to Victoria Falls on the magical Bushtracks Express by Bushtracks Africa. An authentic vintage steam train, guests are elegantly welcomed aboard at their Victoria Hotel station. Settled in the lounge car, you can enjoy before dinner drinks and live music as the train makes its way through the jungle towards the Victoria Falls Bridge. After briefly crossing over into Zambia, the train stops right on the bridge where passengers can get off and admire the falls as well as the gorge and the Zambezi River below. As the sun slowly sets over this gorgeous panorama, passengers are invited back aboard and into the chic dining car. Diner is an equally stylish affair with a five-course meal of beautifully presented dishes accompanied by fine wines. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind romantic experience!

Dinner Aboard Stream Train Victoria Falls

Discover the Real Culture of the Area

If you are interested in learning more about traditional Zimbabwean life, then join one of Tamuka Travel’s Cultural Tour. Guests have the unique privilege of being invited to a local homestead located a short drive from town. Here you’ll be warmly greeted by its owner, a vivid storyteller, who will introduce you to different local customs and traditions, from marriage to farming. Touring the various buildings of the homestead, you’ll learn about their various purposes, a particular highlight being the winter kitchen. Depending on the day and time, you may also get to meet a few other members of the family or visit the nearby school. The tour also includes learning about the different communities in town and could involve a craft market if you wish. You can pair this with the sunrise tour and lunch can also be included.

Victoria Falls Community

Get Wet & Wild White Water Rafting

For more adventurous couples, it’s hard to beat the thrills, and teamwork, of rafting on the mighty Zambezi River. For both beginner and experienced rafters, Shockwave Adventures provides an exceptional experience that puts safety first. Their half day white water rafting trip is perfect and goes over different levels rapids (ours went up to 4), carefully maneuvered by the guide of the boat. At certain points you can even get off for a swim alongside the raft. From down at the level of the river, you have an unparalleled view of the aweinspring gorge, truly glorious! The only downside is that you have to walk down and back up the gorge, however, the amazing adventure of the rafting makes you forget all about this.

White Water Rafting Vic Falls Activities

Have a Perfectly Romantic Candlelit Dinner

If you’re looking for a romantic dinner in Victoria Falls, then you can’t go wrong with the Ilala Lodge’s alluring Palm Restaurant. The award-winning restaurant is one of the top restaurants in town and is open to outside guests. The terrace is beautifully lit in the evening, creating the perfect romantic atmosphere. The food is also refined and inventive with a modern take on some traditional Zimbabwean specialities. It’ll certainly be one of your top special moments of your stay at the falls!

Candlelit Dinner Setup Palm Restaurant


Where to Stay in Victoria Falls

The Ilala Lodge is also one of the top romantic hotels in Victoria Falls. The four-star hotel has an enchanting decor evoking the early days of travel to the falls. The common areas have a mix of vintage images and antiques while the rooms feature classic modern appeal with some African touches. For an extra special romantic trip, reserve their wonderful new Strathearn Suite. Located on the top floor, the vast suite was originally built for the hotel’s owners and features a large lounge, a kitchen, a spacious bedroom with a romantic four-poster bed, an en-suite bathroom and a private terrace with a Jacuzzi and views of the forest and mist of the falls in the distance, magical! Learn more about it in my review here.”

Ilala Lodge Hotel Victoria Falls

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