We (father & teenage son) stayed at the David Livingstone for a few nights in June 2008, and I have to say it was excellent.
Our accommodation (second floor room with a balcony overlooking the Zambezi River) was well appointed (flat screen TV, separate bathroom – rather classy, up a few stairs from the bedroom, with 2 basins, separate bath and shower, separate toilet – comfortable bed with mosquito nets, chair and desk). There was a nice turn-down service in the evening, too.
The reception staff was enormously helpful – I can’t say enough about them. We were to have stayed in Zimbabwe as part of a tour, but due to Australia’s travel warning about Zimbabwe announced after the tour started, Peregrine in Australia made hurried arrangements to accommodate us at this hotel in Zambia. So the reception staff was faced with trying to arrange transfers, tours, etc, for us on the run, and especially as to how we were to get to our next tour destination, and assure us that all was well. They handled it well, and kept us informed.
The activities staff were brilliant too – being two girls who arranged for our microlight flight over the Victoria Falls (excellent – highly recommended), a game walk/rhino walk (rather sad, as there is only 1 remaining white rhino in the nearby Mosi oa Tunya National Park, under 24 hour armed guard – poachers got the second last one in 2007) and Zambezi River sunset cruise. My thanks to them both.
Those interested in the lion encounter at Victoria Falls might check the forum on this site on this topic, and make your own decision.
The Lodge’s facilities were very good. We didn’t try the pool, but the bar and restaurant, with open areas to overlooking the river were very pleasant, and the food (buffet style dinner and breakfast) was terrific. I was able to get internet access using the hotel’s laptop provided at reception. They organised some rapid laundering of essentials on a Sunday afternoon for us too.
At the dock adjoining the hotel is a 3 storey vessel called the Lady Livingstone, on which we embarked on our Zambezi River sunset cruise arranged through the girls at the activities office. Constant drinks, nibbles, wildlife (elephant, hippos, crocodiles on the islands in the river) and a great sunset are provided. It was well worth it.
The Falls themselves are awesome. A tip – you will get soaking wet if you follow the whole route, so the ponchos offered are a good idea, especially if you have passports and wads of paper cash in your pocket or wallet, or a camera.
All in all, this was great accommodation, and I wouldn’t hesitate to return. That’s not to say that there isn’t somewhere better to stay in the area, but we couldn’t have asked for more from the David Livingstone and its staff.
By the way, as for Zambia itself, the roads are generally dreadful (it is a poor country, after all – remember that when you tip), but the people were uniformly lovely. Everyone we met (irrespective of colour) was happy, smiling helpful and polite. We even found a taxi driver, Herbert, who amused us by singing “Skippy the Bush Kangaroo” – the theme to the TV show he loved as a child.
This was a great experience and I’d recommend it to those considering visiting Africa.
- 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