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“Expensive but nice...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Three Cities David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa

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Three Cities David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Riverside Drive, off Sichango Road, Livingstone 10101, Zambia   |  
Hotel amenities
Wilmslow, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Expensive but nice...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the lodge in April and had a good time.There was 3 of us girlfriends who took a break and wanted to get away for a couple of days of relaxation and chilling out and that's exactly what we did. We all had lovely massages in the spa which were well worth the price and a luxury mani & pedi. The rooms were amazing especially as we looked out onto the river.The food was good but not amazing, a bit on the pricey side but that's typical of the industry in Zambia, and the one night we had the bbq or brai...the food was ok. My only disappointment is that there were no local tourists i guess due to price and we were a but offended by the chef complaining that the bread want as good as it could have been because he used Zambian flour. Seeing as he was speaking to Zambians i thought this was a very telling offensive and more to do with his skill or lack of rather than due to not greeting his south African brand of whole meal flour. Anyway most people assumed we were not Zambians as we were probably the only indigenous tourists at the lodge that week.

All that said, i would go back as it is a luxurious and tranquil place to stay where you really get to volk and unwind. The evenings were very boring though i must say coz there was no entertainment organised.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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220 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
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English first
Ipswich, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

A great location with very friendly and helpful staff. The activities centre is efficient with very attentive staff although if busy you will need to be prepared to wait. The food was excellent and the chef needs congratulated! The room was good, very clean and the bed in particular was very comfortable. Beware of the monkeys but keep your shutters closed and all will be OK. No hesitation in recommending this hotel - wonderful!

Room Tip: Ask for unobstructed view of the river
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Reigate, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

A lovely hotel, very helpful staff, very welcoming and sitting overlooking the Zambezi river from the swimming pool is great. The rooms are luxurious and air conditioned. There is a nice bar and restaurant. The hotel has its own boat which cruises every evening at 4pm up the river. Don't miss this, we saw elephants, hippos, a biiiig crocodile and all sorts of other wildlife.The things to do here are visit the Victoria Falls - you will get very wet but it is worth it. Visit Livingstone town, it is safe and you can haggle in the market with the locals. Visit the museum which is good and get the hotel to drive you up to the bridge over the Zambezi which divides Zambia from Zimbabwe - you can walk across the bridge into Zimbabwe for 5 minutes and bungy jump off the bridge as well!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

I had just finished a safari and couldn't wait for a peaceful afternoon and night in Livingstone. The David Livingstone lived up to all my expectations. For a start, the hotel is beautiful, it big without feeling distant. Staff were incredibly helpful - nothing too much trouble - including catching a spider for me.

I stayed in room 269 on the first floor overlooking the Zambezi. The room was tranquil, clean and cool. The bathroom
Included a separate shower and bath and had lots of toiletries and towels.

The bed was very comfortable and I could have stayed in the bed for another night very happily.

Tea and coffee making facilities were in the room and it was lovely sitting out on the balcony with coffee and a book.

I had lunch, dinner and breakfast at the hotel and the food was great - service was efficient and friendly.

I used the complimentary shuttle car to the town and the driver was friendly, chatty and kind.

Everyone in Zambia was friendly but at the hotel everyone smiled and chatted. There was definitely an air of happiness around all the staff and guests.

I can't recommend this hotel highly enough.. Absolutely superb.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

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.)

Room Tip: You might ask for the riverfront rooms that are least accessible to monkeys. If you sit outside afte...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

My husband, sister-in-law and I have just returned after staying at the lodge for 10 days, as soon as you approach the lodge you cant help but be impressed by the entrance overlooking the Zambezi river which is beautiful. Unfortunately during our stay my sister-in-law was taken ill and had to receive medical help, the hotel staff including management did everything to help us from arranging food to be taken to the medical centre as well as supporting us in any way they could. They were fantastic and alleviated alot of stress. My sister-in-law recovered and we were able to recommence our holiday. We booked our excursions through the activity centre at the lodge who were extremely knowledgeable and helpful, the trips were fantastic and would definately recommend the 'walk with the lions' to the 'elephant ride'. The rooms were very comfortable with fantastic views overlooking the Zambezi river. My only contructive critism would be that the evening food was buffet style and became a little 'same as same as' and was yearning for something a little less spicy with not so much herbs, other guests had similar comments, if this were improved the whole experience of staying at this lodge would be 'Excellent'. The service at this hotel cannot be faulted in any shape or form, they were wonderful.

Room Tip: Request a room overlooking the Zambesi river - it is breathtaking.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Philadelphia, PA
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

My daughter and I stayed here for 3 nights during the first week of December, 2012. The lodge is not as ritzy as the nearby Royal Livingstone or the Victoria Falls Hotel across the gorge in Zimbabwe. But it's an excellent upscale alternative that will cost you less.

The property is located directly on the Zambezi River and is actually the departure point for the Lady Livingstone sunset cruise, a popular and worthy local activity made super convenient when you're a hotel guest. All other excursions can be arranged easily in the hotel's tour office. We had no hitches in any of the arrangements we made here. It's a five-minute ride to downtown Livingstone, or to the falls. The hotel grounds are nice, with a moderate but decent-sized pool, and there are a number of decks and seating areas with patches of well-attended gardens.

The rooms are not enormous but big enough with a very nice bed (two doubles squniched together) and a modern, tasteful bathroom. It is possible to see through the slats a tad into the shower area from the bedding area, though, which required a little attention since I was here with my adult kid, not my wife, but we worked it out. You have two chairs on a small deck with a view of the river through trees (we were in 144, perhaps some other rooms have a clearer view?). A vervet monkey was sitting on our deck rail as we first entered the room and you have to remember to keep your big fold-out porch doors latched when you're away to avoid monkey invasions. The doors do not meet the floor tightly, either, so expect visits from the occasional beetle or spider. The mosquito net around the bed is pretty much standard in Africa and did the trick against insects. Keeping the lights off when you're out in the evening is probably not a bad idea (there's a room safe, so no worries). But we were not overrun by bugs, by any means. There were no roaches on patrol. In general, the property is clean and well appointed. Oh yeah, we also got a small frog one night in the room, but that was actually desireable! We placed him back outside after a close inspection.

The restaurant is open-air with friendly staff. Breakfast is included with the room. Other meals are not but we didn't feel the prices were all that bad. Our exit bill for food, bar drinks, and a couple of sips of the hotel's wifi service came to $164 US for 3 days. I think that was 2 dinners and two lunches, and a couple of bar visits for the two of us, plus the wifi.

You can buy 2-hour chunks of wifi, by the way, for $6 US each. It's a little hinky, so make sure you stay connected and aren't accidently being switched to expensive satellite service! They have no computer access for guests (a little dissappointing), but if you email them documents like boarding passes from your iPhone, they'll gladly print them out. Back to the food, the quality was generally good with upscale presentation. There was one pasta dish my daughter didn't like all that well, but mostly, it was tasty eating. Ask them to make you a yummy omlette in the morning. While you wait, you can feed off the ample breads, rolls, fruit and meats on the breakfast bar. You will not starve here, that's for certain.

In general, I thought the location was great for accessing Victoria Falls and the Zimbabwe border. The guides they contracted were all excellent and on-time. I would recommend heading over to Zimbabwe for the Zim side Vic Falls tour, but I would do this with a guide because it takes all of the confusion out of the complicated border-crossing procedure. If you're not the tour-guide type, a cab ride to the falls or town is about $10 US round trip. The hotel staff can get that together for you.

By the way, the four-circle rating I gave this place could have easily been 5, if not for the hinky wifi and the lack of a computer and printer for guests to use. Everything else about this hotel is really pretty top-notch and just only a rung or two under the pricier Royal Livingstone down river, which is insanely ritzy. You can check that hotel out if you take the Livingstone Island tour as it leaves from that property.

Room Tip: 144 on the ground floor had a river view that was partly obscured by trees and was near the boat lau...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Three Cities David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa

Address: Riverside Drive, off Sichango Road, Livingstone 10101, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Three Cities David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 77
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

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