Vic Falls is on everyone’s bucket list, but travelling there with children has never been this easy. For starters, the new airports (both Vic Falls and Livingstone) are a breeze and everyone’s so welcoming – and before you know it you’re entering the Zambezi National Park and being whisked off upstream by boat to the River Lodge, a haven of tranquillity and the perfect base for exploring the area.
Victoria Falls River Lodge was the first private game lodge to be built inside the Zambezi National Park, which gives it the edge on some of the lodges further downstream, especially if you’re only here for a few days and have younger kids or mature teens who want to explore the Rain Forest (it’s just over ten minutes to the Falls from here), walk over the historic bridge, or go white water rafting, zip lining or bungee jumping. The diversity of activities on offer here is superb and together with the Victoria Falls National Park, this protected area covers 56 000 hectares and game viewing is excellent. It’s ideal for families with younger children who are on their first safari or mature teens who want to experience all the adrenaline sports Vic Falls offers, from white water rafting, to hurtling down on the gorge swing or dipping into Devil’s Pool, right on the very edge of the Falls.
What we love!
• the setting: it’s right on the water and elephant and hippo come up close to the lodge, especially in the early evening and often while guests are eating
• that children are welcome, and the family tents make a holiday so easy with little ones
• the Toa spa for a spot of pampering in an idyllic setting, overlooking the river
• that the lodge is very close to Zambezi House, the hippest restaurant built from shipping containers on the banks of the Zambezi with interiors by Amatuli – don’t miss it!
What you need to know…
• there are 8 tented suites and 5 thatched family suites, making it easy for families to travel together
• it’s so quick and easy to fly direct into Victoria Falls from Joburg and Cape Town, but you can just as easily leave from Livingstone if the flight times suit you better. It doesn’t take long to do a transfer over the bridge
• canoe safaris are only for children over 10 but fishing safaris are available for children over the age of 4 with sole use of the boat and walking safaris are for over 12s only
• Little Livingstone Children’s activities are fun and Junior Discoverer’s Game Drives are aimed at 4-7s but private game vehicles need to be booked if families would like to do their own game drive. Under 3s are not permitted on river cruises or game drives for safety reasons
Reviewed by Michelle Snaddon