The source of the 1600 mile long Zambezi River is high up in the Barotse Floodplains of Northern Zambia. Any rain falling in that region takes several months to wind its speedy way through Zambia before reaching the precipice of the mighty Victoria Falls. The peak overflow generally happens during the month of May. The Barotse have had a good rainy season this time around so now is a great time to plan a trip away to Victoria Falls. The weather over the April / May period is normally perfect – the rains will have subsided with long warm, sunny days – ideal for just chilling by the water’s edge with a good book and plenty of cold drinks available when one’s thirst needs quenching. I was up there a few weeks ago and took time out to watch the mass of water falling so fast over Devil’s Peak with mist spraying far and wide displaying bright colourful double rainbows.
I had been invited up to evaluate the fancy new Palm River Hotel built on the edge of the Zambezi River. This latest addition to the travel industry has been well thought out and developed by the Ilala Lodge Group in what must be the best location for a hotel in Vic Falls. It is situated halfway between Elephant Hills and the A’Zambezi. In my humble, non-artistic mind, the architect has put together a well thought out plan with many thoroughfares and features incorporating the Vic Falls Bridge. The 73 rooms are spaciously spread out over a large acreage with each room having its own full-on view of the Zambezi River.
Two of the givens that must be ticked off in my book for any accommodation in my travels are the cuisine and the bedding – Palm River excelled in both. They have employed a world-class chef, Genna, to head up the kitchen. Jen has spent many years enhancing her culinary skills in Vietnam restaurants so guests can ask for some truly special Vietnamese Meals. The dining room with its extra high ceilings has been cleverly designed to give one the option of eating either inside or outside dependent on mood and weather. The staff too went out of their way to acknowledge their guests. If you are up in Vic Falls on business and need a little exercise they have a 24m lap pool – see the evening lighting effects below. Another noticeable feature is that very few trees have had to be cut down to fit in the new structures.
The National Parks entrance is just a couple of hundred metres away meaning that those arriving at lunchtime can easily fit in an afternoon game drive before returning for sundowners by the open-plan bar situated just in front of, and slightly below, the dining room – well placed so as not to affect the comfort or sight of early diners. Now that travel is opening up why not take your family up to the Falls for a few relaxing days at Palm River Hotel sometime over the coming school holidays.
Cheers Mike G.