6 Reasons to Host Your Next Conference in Victoria Falls

December 14, 2023

by Conor Walsh & Jonathan Lechtman

If you’re considering a conference or large event in Africa, there’s no place like Victoria Falls. 

The “Smoke that Thunders” isn’t just one of the continent’s most iconic landmarks. It’s also an emerging hotspot for events and conference travel. Imagine delighted attendees, spellbound by sunset cruises on the Zambezi, traditional dance performances under starry nights, and modern conference centers meters from the magical mist of the Falls. 

In this quick guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about hosting an event or conference in Victoria Falls, including: 

  • The best conference centers on both sides of Victoria Falls (Zambia and Zimbabwe)
  • Accommodation options for international attendees
  • Unforgettable post-event experiences 
  • Getting to Victoria Falls
  • Government incentives and support for conference organizers

Planning an event in Victoria Falls? Our local teams in Zambia and Zimbabwe can guide you through every step to ensure a successful execution and memorable experience for everyone involved. Contact us  to start today. 

 

1. Unbeatable Location

There’s one obvious attraction to hosting a conference in Victoria Falls: the Falls!

If you’ve never been, trust us: they live up to the hype and are truly one of the world’s great Natural Wonders. 

However, Victoria Falls isn’t the only attraction that will delight participants. Keep reading for a taste of all the incredible activities your participants can take part in while in the area. 

But for now, let’s focus on the venues. (They’re kind of important, after all…)

 

2. State-of-the-Art Conference Facilities

Of course, the natural scenery is just a “nice to have.”

You also need modern, well-equipped conference venues that can accommodate participants in a comfortable setting. 

Victoria Falls boasts several world-class event and conference venues in Livingstone (Zambia) and Victoria Falls town (Zimbabwe).

Livingstone, Zambia

  • Radisson Blu Mosi-Oa-Tunya, Livingstone Resort: Situated in the tranquil Mosi Oa Tunya National Park, this 4-star resort provides 1244-meter-square / 13,390-square-feet  of versatile event space. Attendees can enjoy on-site dining on the banks of the Zambezi, luxury accommodations, and additional amenities like a spa, gym, and tennis court.
  • Avani Victoria Falls Resort: A stone’s throw from the Falls, Avani offers a main conference hall for 500pax, 11 additional meeting spaces, and high-speed Wi-Fi throughout. The resort encapsulates the African spirit with its design and offers accommodations, dining areas, and wildlife-rich gardens.
  • Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara: Although not a dedicated event venue, this luxury hotel exudes Victorian elegance and African warmth. It offers a private boardroom and breathtaking wedding locations with a capacity up to 700pax.
  • Protea by Marriott Hotel Livingstone: This modern hotel boasts a 210-meter-square/ 2,260-square-feet conference hall for 120pax. It also provides on-site catering, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

  • Elephant Hills Resort: Overlooking the Zambezi River, this luxury resort offers seven meeting spaces, including the spacious Kalala Room for 500 attendees. Facilities are equipped with modern audio-visual technology. The resort also features leisure activities like a golf course and spa.
  • The Lookout Cafe by Wild Horizon: A unique cliff-face venue offering panoramic views of Batoka Gorge and Victoria Falls Bridge. It can accommodate up to 300pax and is suitable for informal events.
  • Victoria Falls Safari Lodge: A blend of luxury and nature, this lodge features six event spaces and offers unique experiences like the Vulture Culture Experience for bird-watching enthusiasts. Event attendees can also enjoy the legendary Boma Dinner, and the lodge provides various accommodation options.

Every venue in Victoria Falls comes equipped with advanced audio-visual technology, air-conditioning, and high-speed Wi-Fi – ensuring seamless connectivity and smooth presentations. Some also offer dedicated business centers and on-site event coordination.

 

3. Plentiful Accommodation Options

Participants traveling to Victoria Falls can choose from many excellent hotels in Livingstone (Zambia) and Victoria Falls town (Zimbabwe). 

Our top recommendations are:

Livingstone, Zambia

  • Radisson Blu Mosi-Oa-Tunya: Located in a national park, with a blend of luxury and nature.
  • Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara: Luxury on the Zambezi River, featuring an elegant blend of Victorian aesthetics and modern amenities, with private access to the Falls.
  • AVANI Victoria Falls Resort: Unique architecture and expansive grounds, featuring cozy and colorful suites.
  • Protea Hotel by Marriott Livingstone: Strategically located with modern amenities for relaxation and easy access to conference venues.
  • David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa: Riverscape luxury with spa services and an award-winning restaurant.
  • Tabonina Bis Guesthouse: A peaceful retreat near the town center, ideal for solo or family stays.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

  • Livingstone Lodge: A quiet, budget-friendly, and eco-conscious choice.
  • The Victoria Falls Hotel: Iconic luxury with Edwardian elegance and easy access to local attractions.
  • Ilala Lodge Hotel: Closest to the falls, offering stylish rooms and an award-winning restaurant.
  • Elephant Hills Resort: Breathtaking views, an 18-hole golf course, and prime event venues.
  • Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel: Mid-range comfort with a picturesque swimming pool and proximity to the Falls.
  • Nguni Lodge: A tranquil retreat with African art-decorated rooms and a serene pool area.

Participants who fancy a post-conference retreat can choose between plenty of luxury lodges a short drive from Victoria Falls, including:

Livingstone, Zambia

  • Maramba River Lodge (15 minutes from Livingstone): Serene riverside retreat offering immersive African experiences, from wildlife spotting to traditional design. 
  • Mukwa River Lodge (25 minutes from Livingstone): Boutique lodge on the Zambezi bend, known for its unique chalets, riverside restaurant, and abundant local activities.
  • Waterberry Zambezi Lodge (30 minutes from Livingstone): A blend of luxury and eco-friendliness, this lodge offers distinct suites with stunning river views and supports various community projects.

Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

  • Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel (15 minutes from Victoria Falls): A fusion of Victorian luxury and African landscape, it offers exquisite suites and a unique dining experience near a wildlife waterhole.
  • Ursula’s Camp (10 minutes from Victoria Falls): An authentic retreat offering African-style chalets, communal spaces, and diverse wildlife encounters.
  • Batoka Gorges Lodge (30 minutes from Victoria Falls): Perched on the edge of Batoka Gorge, it offers stunning views, stone cottages, and an array of exciting activities.

 

4. Unforgettable Experiences

Victoria Falls offers a blend of thrilling adventures, peaceful nature, and captivating cultures. 

With so much to do, balancing adventure and conference or event commitments will be a challenge. 

So here’s a quick sample of our favorite activities in Victoria Falls when you have limited time. 

Sightseeing Tours

  • Walking Tour of Victoria Falls: Spanning both Zambia and Zimbabwe, the tour takes approximately two hours, revealing mesmerizing views of the Falls.
  • Helicopter Flights: Experience the grandeur of the falls from above, with the Zambezi River cascading below and rainbows bursting into the sky.
  • Livingstone Museum: Located in Zambia, this museum dives deep into local history, including displays on David Livingstone.

Evening Activities

  • Sunset River Cruise: An ambient journey on the Zambezi River, showcasing nature’s splendors during sunset. 
  • Boma Dinner and Drum Show: In Zimbabwe, enjoy an immersive cultural evening with traditional food, music, and dance.
  • The Elephant Cafe: Located in Zambia, this cafe offers fine dining and a chance to interact with resident elephants on the banks of the Zambezi.

Safaris and Game Drives

  • Mosi-oa-tunya National Park: Located in Zambia, it’s home to a variety of wildlife, including white rhinos.
  • Livingstone Rhino Walking Safaris: A unique experience in Zambia focusing on rhinos.
  • Hwange National Park: Zimbabwe’s largest park, boasting a significant elephant population.
  • Chobe National Park: Easily accessed from Zimbabwe and Zambia, this park in Botswana offers spectacular wildlife encounters.

Adventure Activities

  • Bungee Jumping: Experience the thrill of jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge, or choose the flying fox and zip lines for a gentler thrill.
  • Devil’s Pool and Livingstone Island: Swim on the edge of the falls or take in the history where Livingstone first discovered the Falls.

 

5. Accessibility and Connectivity

Despite its remote location, Victoria Falls is quite easy to reach. There are two small but well-connected airports and good roads from Lusaka in Zambia and Harare or Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. 

We’ve written a comprehensive guide to transport options for Victoria Falls, but here’s a quick rundown. 

Zambia Side: Livingstone

Air Travel

Direct flights to Livingstone are available from cities including Lusaka, Nairobi, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Nelspruit. Lusaka, Johannesburg, and Nelspruit offer daily services.

For a wider range of international connections, consider flying into Lusaka first, with direct routes from various African and Gulf countries. 

Flying via South Africa is also convenient and cost-effective.

Overland

Buses from Lusaka to Livingstone run from 6.00am until the afternoon. The trip takes 7-9 hours, with prices starting from $9.

Self-driving is an option. The drive from Lusaka is about 480km/ 298mi, taking around 6-7 hours. Travelers should be cautious of potholes and animal crossings.

Navigating Livingstone

Livingstone’s compact nature allows easy exploration by foot during daylight. At night, use taxis. Bicycle rentals are available for approximately $13-15/day.

Daily private car hires are available for $20 (half-day) or $50 (full-day). 

 

Zimbabwe Side: Victoria Falls Town

Air Travel

There are direct international flights to Victoria Falls from cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg, Gaborone, Windhoek, and Nairobi. Domestic flights from Harare, Bulawayo, and other locales are also available.

Alternatively, you can fly to Harare and take a connecting flight to Victoria Falls.

Overland

Daily bus services link Harare to Victoria Falls, taking around 12-14 hours. From Bulawayo, buses take approximately 6-7 hours.

For self-drivers, the journey from Harare is roughly 9 hours, while from Bulawayo, about 5 hours. Major roads are generally in good condition, but some secondary roads may be challenging after rains.

Navigating Victoria Falls Town

The town is extremely walkable, with major amenities centered around the Elephant’s Walk Shopping Centre and Livingstone Way. Taxis and hotel transfers remain the ideal transport means, especially for more distant locations.

 

6. Safety & Hospitality

The Zambian and Zimbabwean governments have worked tirelessly to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for visitors to Victoria Falls. Their work has paid off. In all our years organizing events and conferences in the area, we’ve never experienced crime or harassment targeting tourists or business travelers to Victoria Falls.

We don’t have time to provide a detailed breakdown of safety in both countries, but rest assured. If your participants use common sense, they should have a stress-free experience on both sides of the border. 

Zambia

Zambia stands out as one of the safest destinations in Africa. 

The nation has a low crime rate, especially in tourist-centric areas. That said, as with any destination, exercise the usual precautions: don’t display valuables conspicuously, be wary in isolated areas, stay informed of local customs and traditions, and use taxis at night.

Also, Zambian hospitality is legendary. 

As soon as you set foot in the country, you’ll be greeted by warm smiles and a genuine willingness to help. Zambians take great pride in their rich cultural heritage and love sharing their traditions, folklore, and music with visitors. 

Visitors to Livingstone can expect to be well looked after and invited for numerous games of pool in one of the local (perfectly safe) bars. 

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe remains a secure destination for travelers, despite its economic challenges. Tourist areas like Victoria Falls, Harare, and Bulawayo have robust security, ensuring the safety of visitors. 

Walking around Victoria Falls town during the day, you can expect lots of men approaching you trying to sell trinkets and novelty Zimbabwean currency. While they’re very persistent, they will eventually leave you alone if you’re polite and friendly. 

Like Zambians, Zimbabweans are known for their gracious and amiable nature. Many tourists leave the country raving not just about its stunning landscapes but about the heartwarming interactions they’ve had with the locals. Human connections in Zimbabwe run deep, and expect lots of enjoyable chats with drivers, staff, and event hosts.

 

Conclusion

Hosting a conference at Victoria Falls offers a compelling opportunity: 

Combining world-class facilities and luxury accommodation with one of the most beautiful locations in the world. 

But, a successful conference also requires seamless execution, efficient visas, and expert support. Contact us today, and we’ll provide everything you need to guarantee your conference runs smoothly.

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