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“A time of gifts” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bushbuck River House

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Bushbuck River House
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Plot 1607 Liyoyelo Farm | off Nakatindi Road, Livingstone 60060, Zambia   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Book 2015 at 2014 prices
Ranked #1 of 16 Livingstone B&B and Inns
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A time of gifts”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

Bushbuck River House is a magical place. I spent three wonderful days there and came away feeling that I had been given a very special gift. Or rather, many gifts: the gift of watching elephants feeding and resting by the river in front of the house, the gift of birdsong, of flowers, of exploring an island in the Zambezi, of a lovely, gentle green orchard, of a comfortable home in which to rest, relax and restore. But, most wonderful of all, I was offered friendship, kindness and hospitality. Alan and Oriel and great hosts: helpful and generous whenever I asked for anything, but also happy just to let me be me. My fellow guests shared great company, conversation and companionship. And Albert baked beautiful bread for me, prepared delicious fruits for me, and shared with me his stories and his wisdom.
I will always remember my time at Bushbuck River House as a time of gifts. Thank you, everyone, for making it so.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
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98 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kitwe, Central, Zambia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

What a wonderful place to stay. A haven in Livingstone away from the "tourists". Expect to wait before arriving back at the Lodge for the Ellies and Buffalo to clear a path for you. Oriel and Alan are extremely hospitable and provide a memorable African experience with their Boma dinners.
Albert is just too happy to make you food and takes great pride in his fare. A wonderfully relaxing place to stay. Will definitely return.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
newark, england
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

Had a really lovely time here. Alan and Oriel have made the place really homely and comfortable, and chef Albert provides great homemade dishes with produce from their kitchen garden. We were here four nights, it was very hot outside but the overhanging thatch kept the house cool. Coming back to Bushbuck from excursions it was a delight to cool off in the swimming pool and relax in a shady spot enjoying the peace and quiet.

I shall never forget the battle of the guava tree when a herd of elephants came onto the lawn one evening. Most passed through but 5 young bulls remained and one was determined to eat the guava tree. Alan was equally determined to protect it so there was a tremendous battle of wills which Alan eventually won.

Alan organised a two night stay on the Chobe river at the beginning of our trip and all our
transfers to and from Botswana. Unfortunately we had to return to Livingstone Airport on our second day to collect our luggage that had failed to be loaded in Joburg. This meant that transfers to the border ferry, from the border to Botswana immigration at Kasane and our collection to join our safari houseboat all had to be re-arranged at short notice. We were very relieved that we had booked through Alan as he re-arranged everything and it all went smoothly.

Alan & Oriel are very professional and make everything as clear as possible. They organised a trip to the Zimbabwe side for us, a helicopter flight over the Falls, a trip to Livingstone Island and an elephant back safari. We enjoyed all the activities and I would recommend asking their advice as they know the operators, what the activities involve, when is the best time to do them etc They also organise safari trips themselves and are very knowledgable about wildlife, I know Alan has been a safari guide for 20 years. He was kind enough to take us on an early morning walk onto the islands in the Zambezi that are at the foot of the property. It was a magical experience.

Don't go if you want to be in the centre of everything or if you want easy access to shops. Do go if you want beautiful, secluded surroundings, congenial hosts and great food.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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West Linn, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Quiet, peaceful, secluded house just off the Zambesi River. Oriel and Alan are lovely, and took care of all details, make all the arrangements, and drive you to wherever you need to go, pick you up at the end and take you back to Bushbuck House. The dog is an extra delight, as are the 2 cats that are very friendly, but don't go inside at all. Dinners are wonderful. Albert, the Chef, makes wonderful meals. The Orange Ice desert is talked about several days later. The pool was still very cold when we were there, but some people went in and was very refreshing, as the weather is quite hot during the day in Sept. Nice to just relax in the chaise lounges around the pool in the shade too. So nice to have this quiet, relaxing place to come back to after a hot, tiring day in town, doing excursions, or Victoria Falls. Plenty of places to relax around the house, inside and out, aside from your room. The hide (tree house) is a lovely, peaceful place to animal watch and watch the sun set. The day we arrived, a heard of around 80 elephants wandered through, and Water Buck were always nearby. We had the tiny little twin room, which we chose because it is cheaper, but quite cramped for 2 people with luggage. Not a problem because we didn't intend to spend time in the room, although getting showered and dressed took some careful organization, just FYI if you chose this room. Coffee and tea service in each room. Breakfast is basically whatever you want, order the evening before and it is cooked to perfection for you. Coffee with breakfast comes in a French press. Lovely. Laundry service is also available for a very reasonable price. As the house only can accomodate 8 persons, and dinner and breakfast is eaten around large tables, who is also staying there with you can be a factor in how much one enjoys the stay. It's interesting to hear what the other guests have been doing and where they have been and are going. We had a very pleasant group sharing the house, so made dinner conversation enjoyable. Wish we could have stayed longer. Too much to see and do however to stay more than 3 nights.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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aberdeen
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

We stayed for 2 very enjoyable days with Alan and Oriel at Bushbuck River House. Alan met us at Livingstone Airport and was our travel guide, grocer and taxi driver, imparting his knowledge and understanding of all things African. Oriel was equally helpful and quietly but efficiently looked after us. Albert, the chef, produced superb meals with guests dining communally under the African sky.

This is where we met missionaries from the TearDrop Foundation and we were enthralled and hugely impressed by their accounts of their time in Zambia.

If you wish very personal service and first rate food and lodging at a very affordable price, then look no further.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

After a 90 min queue to get through passport control at Livingstone airport we were starting to wonder what the rest of Zambia was going to be like, but Alan was there to pick us up and on the drive to Bushbuck we knew we were going to the right place. If you are tired of the clean, busy and slighlty clinical hotel experience and want something a little more homely and personal then this is the place to go. As we arrived at the house gates a herd of elephants came rumbling by and this is another aspect that really marks this place apart. It is off the beat and track, right on the Zambezi river, where we saw a croc on the opposite bank and a hippo later in the evening - and we thought we were just comig to see the Victoria Falls! It was the homliness of Bushbuck that we really loved - a honesty bar, with snacks and drinks fairly priced. Do take Alan and Oriel's advice on what to do and what not to do - they really do know. Albert the chef is also to be commended, catering superbly for both my carnivore son and my vegetarian daughter. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bradenton, Florida
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

A small lodge with outstanding hosts and a magnificent chef. The hosts also arrange local tours and will arrange for flights into and out of Livingstone. A bit out of the rush and noise, which for us was just what we needed. We stayed 9 days and enjoyed every bit of it. Evening meals were excellent, served family style. Organic veggies, grown on the property, as well as oranges and lemons.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bushbuck River House

Address: Plot 1607 Liyoyelo Farm | off Nakatindi Road, Livingstone 60060, Zambia
Phone Number:
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bushbuck River House is set in 105 acres of bush on the banks of the Zambezi, 16km from Livingstone. It is the first property beyond the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. The house is an owner-run traditional Zambian farmhouse, which has been renovated and thatched to a high standard. All rooms in the main house are en-suite and there is a swimming pool, pool boma and tree house/viewing platform overlooking the river. ... more   less 

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