Trip Report – Late Nt. Monkey Break-Ins – Elephant Hills Resort – Victoria Falls, Zimbabawe

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to multiple baboons and monkeys banging as loud as possible on your sliding hotel room terrace door and not knowing if they are going to be able to get inside…this was the first night of my stay at the Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

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This is the final part of a ten part trip report from my travels to South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and covers my stay at the Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

To finish the above story, there seriously were multiple monkeys and baboons outside on the terrace, banging as hard as possible like they wanted to break down the door. I called the front-desk to ask if this was normal and they told me to keep the lights off and to try not to move about the room. They informed me that as long as I did not open the door, I’d be safe. Wow, quite difficult to head right back to sleep with that type of assurance. Once the lights were out again, the banging stopped about twenty minutes later…but then repeated itself the next night as well. I guess it’s all part of an authentic Victoria Falls experience!

The resort was $200 per night, which seems extremely high for Zimbabwe, but when booked with a local South African travel agency (there are multiple all over Jo’burg and Cape Town), it includes breakfast, dinner, drinks, and a wildlife cruise on the Zambezi River. I’m not usually one for package deals (or non point redemptions), but our days were so packed that I didn’t mind having dinner at the resort and the Zambezi River cruise was actually pretty cool, stumbling across elephants, hippos, and crocs with the sound of the Falls in the background.

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Lobby – No upgrade (and no loyalty program), but one king room with a terrace and golf course / nature preserve views. The Falls in the far background.

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The grounds and pool…note that while it’s extremely warm all year in Victoria Falls, the pool is freezing!

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The room – a bit dated with regular comforters, wicker chairs, and tube TVs…

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View from the room was great, that’s the Falls in the extreme background. The grass area usually had wildebeest, monkeys, baboons, and other animals roaming freely.

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Breakfast – You could choose to have it delivered to your room or you could head to the restaurant for assorted stations including an omelet area.

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The included Zambezi River Cruise – It started off cheesy with this welcome upon the hotel shuttle arriving…

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…but the cruise itself was pretty spectacular and the non hotel guests paid $40 per person. Food and unlimited drinks were included. This was probably my favorite part of the hotel experience!

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the Falls in the distance…

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Now, the hotel also had a “free shuttle” into town and then on to the border. Interestingly enough, it’s also the transportation allowing the resort workers to get to the hotel from the center of town. It’s an old school bus (probably from the early 70s) and it’s completely filled with workers by the time it gets to the guest pickup. We are talking packed! There also weren’t many other guests on the shuttle, in-fact no one else besides a family of three from Pretoria, South Africa, who adopted me as their fourth for the weekend. We met the first evening on a packed shuttle and they didn’t feel safe having me roam on my own in town and later taking the shuttle back…very cute but unnecessary. We ended up walking together and then having dinner that first night and later ran into each other at the Falls, Bungee, and even at the airport. Here they are waiting for our separate flights back to SA…

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Interested in checking out Elephant Hills, you can visit their website here, but remember their rates (and Expedia, Hotels.com, etc.) are by far more expensive than booking locally.

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  1. Awesome to see you stayed in the Zim side! Back when I went in 2009, the hyperinflation was still going strong and the Zim dollar was still the official currency so most of the tourists stayed in Zam. It was funny to see locals selling all that Zim dollar currency as souvenirs since they were worth practically nothing. Some even suggested using them as toilet paper since they’d be cheaper.
    BTW, pls check the spelling of Zimbabwe on the title.

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