The Avani Victoria Falls, Zambia – Best of Two Worlds
The minute our shuttle pulls up to the The Avani Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Zambia I know we are in for a treat. After an early morning, a flight from Lukasa and a drive to the destination, the journalists on my shuttle are sleepily staring out windows until someone hollers – GIRAFFE. We roll up to the lobby where we are greeted by a group of four local dancers who take turns placing hand fashioned crowns on our heads while someone snaps photos.
Located in Subsaharan Africa, the Avani Victoria Falls is a welcoming, unique resort located within walking distance to the wonderous Victoria Falls. The nature reserve the property sits on features zebras, giraffes, monkeys and more, roaming the grounds daily at dawn and dusk.
This past October I had the chance to spend three wonderful nights at the Avani when doing a fellowship in Zambia. From the moment I arrived I felt welcome and safe. Staff are attentive and friendly and the surroundings are immaculate and magical.
It’s All About Location
Just like that real estate adage: it’s all about location. The Avani Victoria Falls in Livingstone has location in spades. Imagine waking up and opening your drapes to see zebras all over the courtyard grazing on grass. Now imagine driving back on your shuttle at night after a long day working or exploring and finding a bull elephant crossing the road with a small entourage. You get all that and more at The Avani Victoria Falls. Even now, writing this and reflecting on being there, I can’t help but shake my head in wonder at how incredible it was watching wildlife peacefully grazing while tourists stroll past.
Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park
The Avani Victoria Falls is not far from the banks of the Zambezi River, in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. Rated at three stars, this resort felt much higher to me. There are 221 en suite rooms and numerous spaces equipped for conference capabilities as well. Every room has either a view of the landscaped in ground pool at the heart of the resort, where wildlife can be spotted daily as well, or a view of the lush SubSaharan bush.
A Moroccan Style Beauty
Moroccan style rooms are charming and remind you that you are immersed in a completely different culture. Each of the rooms has ample space for at least 2 people and a small family could manage in the room that I stayed in. There is a large bathroom space with shower and bathtub.
There are two restaurants on property. Buffet style breakfasts and dinners are perfect for conference, business or family travel. This is not a place that stands on formality and yet there are many opportunities to enjoy traditional African dishes here. The grounds are lush and the grass is peppered with quirky animal sculptures. On arrival you will be escorted by shuttle to your room. You are likely to pass by a cute looking pond but beware the sign regarding a crocodile on the premises. If you are traveling with small children they will need close supervision due to the wildlife here.
Located a really short walk away is the Royal Livingstone Hotel. The Avani Victoria Falls shares some privileges with the Livingstone so be sure to take advantage of those.
In your off hours you can easily walk the pathways to the falls or to the neighbouring Royal Livingstone Hotel. The patio there overlooking the Zambezi River is gorgeous. Make it a priority to visit at least once when the sunsets. Have a sundowner as you watch a family of Hippopotamus yawn and play in the river. Be sure to snap some photos and a selfie or two.
Best of Two Worlds Near Victoria Falls
A stunning location, the Avani Victoria Falls is the more affordable of the two resorts both located on the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. The Royal Livingstone is the second of the two. Visitors can freely move between the Avani and The Royal Livingstone.
Wifi is free but be warned you are in Zambia and it is not as reliable as some other destinations.
[tweetthis]Traveller Tip – #travel You are able to freely move between the Avani Victoria Falls and The Royal Livingstone.[/tweetthis]
Temperatures in this area of the world are extremely hot and can hit 40 Celsius regularly. It’s important to hydrate and take breaks in your room. Water at this resort is safe and drinkable. Bottled water is also readily available if you prefer. Always check with your local travel clinic or family doctor to determine which vaccinations are crucial. I had numerous vaccines preparing for this important trip.
The Avani Victoria Falls, Zambia
There are so many things to do nearby. The Avani Victoria Falls is the perfect spot to stay if you plan to take part in any of the adventure activities nearby. Because this resort essentially backs onto Victoria Falls, you are within 5 to 10 minutes of the Zimbabwe border and can cross over. Do your research first though and check to see if it is safe, what it costs and how to cross – by foot or car. The view from either side of the Falls is gorgeous but there are better photo opportunities on the Zimbabwean side. And there’s a wicked crazy bungee jumping activity on the Zimbabwe side of the falls.
I travelled as a recipient of the UN Foundation’s Zambia Fellowship this October. I received transportation, accommodations, excursions, and meals while visiting Zambia. My opinion is my own and my stories are truthful.
What a beautiful resort! I love knowing the water is safe and drinkable. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to those views every morning? I’ve always wanted to visit Zambia.
Giraffes are my all time favorite!!! I would absolutely LOVE to visit there someday! It sounds like an amazing place to visit.
This looks amazing. Being able to be that close to so many animals must have been magical. Could you get up close to them?
It’s so cool to interact with the wildlife at Victorial Falls in Zambia. The place also is really scenic and naturally beautiful.
This place looks amazing! I would love to go to Zambia. Having zebras and giraffes just roaming free would be amazing to see.
You are so blessed to see these wonderful creatures. I would love to see the beauty of Africa and other places.
I will just have to enjoy Victoria Falls and Zambia through your photos. Looks like a great place to visit and experience.
My husband has been wanting to take a trip to Zambia and Zimbabwe. It would be so cool to see the rhinos and elephants.
Any place that has zebras and giraffes running around has to be good. That place looks awesome. I may not ever make it there, but it is great to know about it.
The pictures look amazing! And the experience? Fabulous! I love reading traveling stories and hope I can make it there.
Africa is one place I would love to explore. You are so fortunate to be able to do that. The waterfall is breathtaking! Hoping to visit someday and be awed by the beauty of nature!
What an amazing place to visit! And, the accomodations look high end compared to some US motels I’ve stayed in.
It sounds like an amazing time at The Avani Victoria Falls resort. I would love to go on an adventure like this some day. It would be amazing to see all the wild live around so close to the resort. Thanks for sharing your amazing experience.
Zambia looks like such an amazing place to explore. There is so much to learn about the land and its people…I bet this was the trip of a life time!
What an experience! I would love to visit and see all these animals, though a elephant crossing in front of us might be a bit intimidating.
Jenn @ EngineerMommy
I would love to explore this place. It looks like such a fabulous destination. I know the kids would have a blast checking out all the attractions here.
Wow, what a beautiful place! The pictures and the scenery are breathtaking! Looks like a great time!
Agness of Fit Travelling
I have never thought that Zambia is so stunning, Paula! Your post convinced me the contrary. I hope I will visit it one day.
Wow! It looks very peaceful and well-done. A very good escapist place.