Victoria Falls.
Victoria Falls.
Makuwa Kuwa Restaurant.
Makuwa Kuwa Restaurant.
DAVE Glynn, on a run one day, crested a high plateau outside the town of Victoria Falls, squinted into the west and figured this was where he would build his dream.

That spot is today marked by a tree - outside room 41 of Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, set on that natural boundary to the Zambezi National Park, above a watering hole and with spectacular sunsets as standard fare.

Sprawling Victoria Falls Safari Lodge (I’ve seen smaller hotels) is a four-star but recently added the private, all-inclusive and swish enclave, Safari Club, which is very much five-star. There are also new upmarket, self-catering Safari Suites.

The standard rooms at the lodge are spacious and comfy enough with lovely ablutions, balconies and excellent aircons. All have hairdryers, toiletries including insect repellent and sunblock, extra-length beds, balconies and minibars. The staff are great too, with many long-termers - a good sign in an industry noted for shuffling feet.

The thatched lodge rises several levels, giving the impression of a vast treehouse. Conservation is at the forefront. Glynn chairs Africa Albida Tourism, which was the first organisation in Zimbabwe to hire an environmental architect.

Uprooted trees were replanted on the huge property - the swimming pool was delayed by four months because Glynn refused to let the tree originally there be cut down. The lodge is very involved in anti-poaching and offers a daily “vulture culture” experience - something not to be missed.

MaKuwa-Kuwa is the tranquil, split-level restaurant. Madras crocodile, Zambezi bream, ice cold beers in ice cold glasses, overlooking the waterhole were superb. Fancy a Bloody Mary for breakfast? There’s a table for that, a pancake station and virtually the biggest breakfast selection I’ve ever seen.

About 500m from the lodge, The Boma spikes the appetite with traditional dancers, an interactive drumming show - way more fun than the normal touristy offerings - and mouth-watering dishes. Eland, kudu, mopani worms - and plenty of vegetarian grub too. A huge array that will defeat any appetite.

A complimentary shuttle service transports guests to the Victoria Falls and town centre on an hourly basis throughout the day. First up was a sunset cruise.

Qubekhani flitted about almost like the birds he enthusiastically spotted from our Wild Horizons Zambezi riverboat. He proffered the Roberts guide book open to the red bishop, Swainson’s francolin for instance, while the chef proffered freshly made canapés, and the bubbly and cocktails kept coming as our skipper sensitively, noticeably more so than others, navigated pods of hippos, making for the best hippo sightings I’ve had.

Sunset glows were co-opted by fast-approaching storms and our docking could not have been better timed, with rain falling as we closed the door of our shuttle.

It was back into the shuttle the next morning for everyone’s highlight: Victoria Falls. If you are going, take your time. Take the next shuttle back, don’t rush. It’s not one of the natural wonders of the world for nothing. It is awe-inspiring, magnificent. Mackson, our Wild Horizons guide, was very knowledgeable and advised on the best photo spots.

To find out more visit www.africaalbidatourism.com