Victoria Falls - Livingstone camps - Tongabezi


Tongabezi stands out amongst the competition as a lodge with a strong individual identity. The location of the Tongabezi is awe inspiring on the banks of the Zambezi with stunning views of the river from all of the rooms except the garden room. The rooms at Tongabezi don't conform to a single design but vary around a central concept; that being maximised views of the river where possible and well constructed simplicity throughout.

Attention to detail is high and the rooms manage to remain uncluttered, and at the same time, stylish and comfortable. There are nods here and there to a colonial style, but the lodge has forged a niche of its own which is refreshing, particularly given how overdone the colonial 'thing' can feel at Livingstone.
Well thought-out physical construction of the lodge is supported by excellent service at Tongabezi. The Zambian staff are, as everywhere in Zambia in our experience, both welcoming and good English speakers. On arrival you are assigned a valet (ok so that is a colonial concept) who not only looks after your room, makes the beds, brings you tea or coffee in the mornings, but also is able to answer most of your questions. As well as the usual range of subjects, Marshal, our valet displayed an impressive knowledge of botany at least as far as the trees in camp were concerned.

There are four Houses at Tongabezi - Dog, Honeymoon, Bird and Tree - 5 River Cottages and a garden cottage. The houses at Tongabezi are generally more elaborate than the cottages. Honeymoon House for example has a long open front giving wonderful views onto the river and one of the largest and most comfortable leather sofas I have ever fallen into. Tree house was probably our favourite. It is built, as the name suggests, around a large mature tree and the back wall of the house is a vast rock face. There are two levels, the top deck, where the bed and sitting areas are, you then follow a staircase which winds round the trunk of the tree, down to the bathroom where the view are still magnificent. The bath is a large circular one with more than enough room for two.

A more recent addition is the Boathouse which is one of those things that, once built, you wonder how you survived without it. A double deck under thatch directly on the riverfront provides an enticing spot in which to veg-out, eat or (for those that can’t be separated from the www.) get online.

Tongabezi is not just another jumping off point for Vic Falls but very much a destination in its own right. There is plenty to do just around here (from canoeing to fishing, island picnics and trips to the Livingstone markets). So don’t be tricked into thinking that a quick stopover here is all you’ll need. You can certainly spend at least a day around the Falls but also another couple enjoying the vibe at Tongabezi. We’d recommend a minimum of 3 nights here.

Includes full board accommodation, scheduled activities, soft drinks, beer, house wines and local spirits, park fees where applicable.  Does not include special activities, premium wines, champagne and spirits, gratuities, items of a personal nature.

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