Victoria Falls Safari Lodge Celebrates 20 Years

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge will celebrate its milestone 20th anniversary in December 2014. Africa Albida Tourism chairman Dave Glynn described the hospitality group’s multi-award winning  flagship property, located just 4km from Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, as a “massive success”.

 “Over the last 20 years, the last 15 or so have been tough in Zimbabwe, and what I’m most proud of is that we’ve endured through that, and we’ve never compromised on standards,” Mr Glynn said.

“We’ve always outperformed in terms of our share of occupancy for the town of Victoria Falls,” Mr Glynn said.

Africa Albida chief executive Ross Kennedy said: “In our first full year of operation, being 1995, we achieved an average occupancy of 72 per cent, which for a new resort property in a long haul destination was a remarkable achievement.

This was especially pleasing given room rates were above average for Africa, and to this day the lodge continues to go from strength to strength, with latest statistics indicating occupancy is now at an all time high, Mr Kennedy said.

“It’s incredibly rewarding that in August 2014, just four months before our 20th birthday, all of our previous operational records were smashed in terms of occupancy, room rates achieved, and the number of food and beverage covers served.

“One of our proudest achievements is the fact that we have more than 20 members of staff who have been with us for at least 20 years. Some of them started their employment with us in 1991 and 1992 when we first started to develop the property,” Mr Kennedy said.

Mr Glynn attributed the success of the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, in part, to its celebration of Africa.

“When people are coming to Africa, they want Africa, they don’t want Europe in Africa ... so we went to great lengths to provide an African authentic feel,” he said.

“ We incorporated thatched buildings, lots of timber ... and we built all of the rooms facing outward so they are completely open to the wilds, and visitors can hear the sounds and smell the smells of Africa.”

As well being on the doorstep of Victoria Falls, an iconic destination, guests enjoy the wildlife, incredible sunsets and unspoilt views to the horizon, he said.

During construction an environmental architect was employed to ensure a minimal impact on the lodge’s surroundings, he said.

No mature trees on the land were destroyed during  building, and 6000 young trees were replanted on and around the estate.

“When we opened in 1994 it looked as though we had been there forever, all over those mature trees were still standing, and they were undamaged. That was quite a remarkable feat.”

These efforts were recognised when the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge was awarded the prestigious international Green Globe Distinction Award in 2000 for outstanding environmental practices in its construction.

Mr Glynn said the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, where  a $1 million refurbishment , including an upgrade of all 72 rooms, was completed in July, would continue its trademark pursuit of excellence into the future.

 “We want to elevate our standards to a level that is peerless, where we are unquestionably the best in the region in terms of quality of product and service delivery,” Mr Glynn said.

Other Africa Albida properties include the exclusive 20-room Victoria Falls Safari Club, the newly opened luxurious Victoria Falls Safari Suites, the Resort Condominium International  Gold Crown Resort Lokuthula Lodges and Ngoma Safari Lodge located in Chobe, Botswana.

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