This is a wonderful place to stay and base your exploration of Mosi-oa-Tunya. It's not in the Zambian national park, but it's a very short drive away. As others have mentioned, it's perhaps not as ritzy as some of its competitors, but you get about 95 percent of the ritziness for 50 percent of the price. The food was superb, the service so good that two years from having stayed there I remember the desk clerk's name and the name of the guide who took us on the river cruise.
We stayed in a room that had a balcony facing Zimbabwe and the river. What a wonderfully peaceful place to spend an evening watching the water go by and the sun go down. In the distance you can see the Smoke That Thunders; close-up you can see crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks.
The dining area was much nicer than we might have expected, and the meals were superb. We ate breakfasts on a deck overlooking the boat launch and it was just about the best breakfast I've ever had in Africa.
My wife and I took the Zambezi River Lady Livingstone cruise where we saw all sorts of wildlife, but mainly the elephants were in control of the patch of the river where we were. I recommend the cruise mainly because you will fall in love with the scenery, but you will also learn something if you listen to the guide.
The bedroom/sleeping area is romantic, with the white mosquito net resembling a bridal veil. While the entire lodge is up to Western standards, the important thing about it is that the details don't let the traveller forget you are in Africa.
Which brings me to my warning here: the monkeys are very naughty. The day we were leaving my wife was in the shower and I was packing the bags. She had left the balcony door open to let some fresh air in. Big mistake. In comes a vervet monkey with a monkey on his back, figuratively speaking, because he headed straight for the liquor bottles we had placed in the trash. I shooed him and he got away with a mostly empty bottle of wine and my wife's shoe. Fortunately, he dropped the shoe on the balcony.
Unfortunately the words I used to shoo the monkey "Get out of here you f----' monkey!" upset my wife, because she came out of the shower with a towel around her demanding to know just who I was calling a monkey. I told her I was calling the monkey a monkey. At that point, the monkey returned with all his monkey pals and then didn't my wife and the monkeys get into it. I'd post the video except the towel slipped a little during the standoff and this is a family-friendly site.
Nothing worse than a monkey with a snootful of liquid courage when it comes to picking fights with the tourists, I guess. Finally, I played peacemaker and suggested that if we just closed the balcony door, not only would the monkeys stop bothering us, they couldn't bite us and send us to the hospital for whatever treatment you need when a belligerent monkey bites you. My wife wanted to keep fighting them for a while longer but sanity at last prevailed.
This is not to say that's any of this drama was the lodge's fault. There are signs telling you not to feed the wildlife; apparently, some people didn't read the signs and now the monkeys are drunks. But should you leave the door open on the balcony, be clear that your stuff will be lifted by tiny sticky fingers when you come back.
I plan to go back whenever I can. It has everything you need and the staff makes you feel at home. (I checked Feb. 2012 as my travel date but really this review was for a stay in Dec. 2010.)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The lodge offers visitors a restaurant, bar, conference facilities, suitable to cater for large groups and the individual traveler, with a variety of safari excursions and activities in and around the falls. The Lodge consists of 77 rooms, all en-suite, of which 5 are suites and 2 rooms accommodate the differently abled comfortably. All rooms look out over the Mighty Zambezi and a leisurely sun downer can be enjoyed from your private balcony. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- David Livingstone Safari Hotel Livingstone
- David Livingstone Safari Lodge And Spa