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“A spectacular place to begin our African adventure” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The River Club

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The River Club
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Nakatindi Road, Livingstone 60469, Zambia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Livingstone
Tiburon
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A spectacular place to begin our African adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Following many hours of travel and a spectacular boat ride up the Zambezi River spotting elephants, hippos, crocodiles and baboons we arrived at the River Club which was heaven. We had to pinch ourselves to prove we were really in Africa. We received a genuinely warm reception and a completely thorough and organized itinerary. Our open aired room could not have been more comfortable and well appointed. July is winter in Zambia, but we were wonderfully cozy under our warm blankets and the view from bed was breathtaking. I must mention, although it did not deter us from enjoying our stay, there were many tiny ants in the bathroom. Nothing a little bug spray, which is available in the room, couldn't take care of. Adjacent the warm fire, an intimate dinner (and all meals) was set at a lovely long dining table lit by tall candelabra. It was, as another reviewer suggested, like a step back in time. The food was wonderful and the company even better. A helicopter tour of the falls was planned for us and I cannot recommend that experience more highly - a must! Visiting Somonga Village was a highlight for all of us, especially our 16 and 18 year olds. Thank you Eugene, Christelle, Trudy, Mack, Peter and those whose names escape me! It was an amazing stay!

  • Stayed July 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, August 30, 2013
Dear IanPageMac
Thank you for your review on the lodge and it was a real pleasure to have had you all to stay. The Simonga village experience is indeed a moving one. Like you I think it is a must for everyone to go and see, especially the younger generations. Thank you for your feed back on the ants. We have instituted a programme to combat the problem.
We hope that the rest of your trip went well and we all look forward to see you again.
Best regards
Peter
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104 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

Of all the camps we stayed at on our African Safari this had the BEST common area…a snooker room, indoor/outdoor library and various other exposed lounge type rooms all in horseshoe shape exposed to a beautiful outdoor courtyard with croquet. The manager Eugene and his lovely wife Crystal welcomed us very warmly. We left another hotel quickly and unexpectedly due to horrible service and Eugene and Crystal could not have been more gracious and friendly. They showed us a soon to be completed villa large enough for a family as we expressed interest in returning in the future. They set up our delicious dinner each evening at the pool, away from the other guests, as they knew we were looking for some private time. The villa was cozy and warm, up high on the hill giving the vibe of a treehouse. The sunset cruise was delightful. Just a few other couples joined us on the small powerboat and we cruised for 90 mins with a guide to point out the wildlife along the way whle we enjoyed cocktailes and small bites. Just 30 mins by hotel shuttle to the Falls and away from the Disney like atmosphere of hotels too close to the Falls (helicopters, parachuting, etc...). The River Club is a real gem of a camp with an old colonial era feel!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, 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
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PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Dear Dalocopa,
Many thanks for your review and for your kind words. I am sorry that I was not here during your stay but am delighted that Eugene and Christelle looked after you so well whilst you were here at the lodge. I look forward to meeting you next time.
Regards from all of us
Peter
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Tanunda
2 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

This property has a lovely main area and there are some great included activities. They have a great chef who cooks good basic meals and they are included in the package. Wines are included but quality average. There is no mini bar which I have not seen in a hotel that charges over $Us1,000 a night and amenities very basis. Rooms are poorly constructed and designed. Others issues are the rooms are open to the elements so it is cold in winter and not in the summer. At $US580 a person ($US1,160) these issue are not acceptable. On top of this it is 30km from Victoria Falls and there is a 5 star hotel at the falls for half the price.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
We would like to thank the reviewer for their feedback on TripAdvisor. Our response to the cost difference between the two properties is what one would expect between a private fully inclusive 22 bedded lodge with activities as opposed to a public 400 bedded hotel on a bed and breakfast rate.

On arrival the reviewer and his group indicated that their rooms had the “wow” factor and expressed their complete satisfaction with the evening cruise on the river on their own private boat. Although the author has now indicated his dissatisfaction with the house wines this was not done during the time of their stay and they did not change to one from the cellar available for purchase. I personally hosted the family on their first night and the compliments about the food were far better than is suggested in the posted letter on TripAdvisor. During the meal we discussed the comparisons between The River Club and the family’s own lodge which they had recently started. The following morning during breakfast, there were no complaints about the accommodation or any negative comments about the lodge at all. The group was given their own private vehicle with driver/guide for the duration of their stay and it was only after they returned at 1900 hours from an all day activity during which they went to compare rates at a bigger hotel that comments about costs were talked about. On departure from the lodge the reviewer indicated to me verbally was that their only issue was the difference in costs between the hotel they went to and ourselves. It was never suggested that our rooms were unclean for example.

To ensure that other readers might know what is included in the daily rate which this reviewer paid at our lodge:
• Accommodation with aircon / heater (all their rooms had two bathrooms). The third room had a plunge pool.
• Breakfast, lunch, dinner, high tea
• All drinks (excluding premium wines and spirits) including 4 house wines (A good South African brand (Douglas Green) Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), a range of teas and Zambian coffee
• 5 activities: Private guided tour of the Victoria Falls, evening cruise on the Zambezi River, tour of the local village including projects supported by the lodge, game drive in the Mosi-oa-Tunya game park and fishing (the last two activities were not undertaken by the reviewer).
• Private vehicle for their sole use during their stay
• Use of the facilities within the lodge: tennis court, croquet court, gymnasium, running track nature trail, swimming pool
• WIFI and use of computer
• Laundry
• Staff service charge
• Agent/booking fees

It should be remembered that the rate of the hotel they went to only included bed and breakfast.

Our evening cruises take place on a quiet section of the river with a maximum of 10 people on each boat. Further downstream the cruises are conducted on craft with up to 250 people on board with many other boats in the area. Our location, 18 kms from the Falls, ensures that we are able to provide a quiet respite from the air activities which take place all day over the alternative accommodation the family went to visit at the Falls. The River Club is private and very personal lodge hosting a maximum of 22 guests, who not only do we get to know all on a first name basis, but get to know personally. This is simply not the case with the other property.

The author did complain to their agent and had asked for a refund on the difference between the lodge and the hotel prior to posting this review.

Peter Jones
Co-owner
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Watsonville, California
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

Several years ago, a friend and I were traveling together prior to flying to Cape Town to board the old QE@ for a cruise to Southampton. Through another mutual friend in Cape Town, we dealt with a very competent travel agent who booked us at The River Club. I still reflect on that trip, as it was one of the best of the best I've ever done ... and I've visited all 50 states, 37 countries, and soon to be all seven continents. (Yes, I've been fortunate!). Anyway ... I couldn't afford The River Club now on my retirement, but while I was working it was definitely worth the splurge! I would love to go back ... it sort of seems like a wonderful dream these days. Trust me, you will NOT be disappointed! I can't praise it high enough.

Room Tip: Just make sure you get an open-wall room facing the river so you can hear all the animal sounds at n...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Dear William L
Thank you very much for your review and I do hope that you will be able to come back and see all the various little changes that have been made since you were here. There are often specials available during the year at different times and if you were to speak to your travel agent they may be able to put something together for you.
Until then, enjoy your time in retirement.
Best regards
Peter
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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

Probably my new favorite place to stay in the world. Old world British hunting lodge charm. Impeccable furnishings in the main lodge and cabins. My cabin was private on the hillside overlooking the river. The front was screened but completely open to a fabulous view. The lower level had a large old cast iron free standing tub and I enjoyed the best bubble bath of my life - facing the wide open river and under a beautiful moonlit starry sky - magical. The staff was exceptional and the food was delicious.

Room Tip: Bring a bathing suit as the pool over looking the river is so inviting.
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  • Stayed April 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Dear Phbell
Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review on the lodge and we all appreciate your kind words. The bathrooms are indeed a highlight especially at sunset and twilight with the hippos chorkling in the river below. The chef was thrilled to hear about your comments on his food.
Very best wishes and happy further travels in the future. Hope to see you again soon.
Peter
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Truro, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

We arrived very late, dusty and travel weary after 13 hours of driving through the Kafue National Park. We were not sure whether our rooms were going to be held for us as we had had no phone signal for 4 days prior to our stay. When we arrived we were greeted by Trudy and all the staff, we were greeted by our Christian names. A fantastic dinner was ready for us on the terrace outside the main building. The bedroom was beautiful but little did we know what was in store for us when the morning sun came up. The noise of the Hippos and wild life seemed excitingly close.
We awoke to the most amazingly stunning view of the Zambezi river, the whole side of our room, which had seemed like a black screen the night before transformed in front of our eyes to this fantastic view.
The infinity swimming pool was beautiful too with again this fantastic view. The staff could not do enough. Peter the owner made us feel so welcome. We will definitely stay here again on our next visit to Zambia.

Room Tip: Our room was a suite with terrace & plunge pool overlooking the river which we can recommend. Ou...
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  • Stayed May 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
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PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Dear Ticeans
Many thanks indeed for your report on TripAdvisor. We thoroughly enjoyed having you to stay and I am delighted that the lodge offered a comfortable and relaxing interlude during your holiday. Safariing is just the best way to see Africa and a hot bath/shower, good food and comfortable bed always caps the end to a great day especially after that long drive from Kafue.
Do come back and see us again sometime.
Kind regards
Peter
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Great place , even better location, and fantastic people to help . Peter, Trudy and all the staff were wonderful, Gilbert our guide to Victoria Falls was an amazing day. Great start to our holiday in a truly wonderful setting. Can't wait to come back.

Room Tip: We were lucky as we had 2 different rooms after they learnt we were on our honeymoon. Both rooms wer...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PeterROJones, Owner at The River Club, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
Dear TerryO
We are delighted that you had a great time with is us on your honeymoon. It was great to have played a part in making it so memorable and we look forward to helping you celebrate one of your anniversaries when you return! Same room?
Very best wishes and hope that all is well with you both
Peter and everyone at the lodge
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Additional Information about The River Club

Address: Nakatindi Road, Livingstone 60469, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
#1 Luxury Hotel in Livingstone
#3 Family Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The River Club 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The River Club overlooks the Zambezi River, 18km upstream from Victoria Falls. Zambezi House our main building is well-appointed with lounge, dining room, library, shop and veranda/terrace for outside dining. Cell phone coverage and complimentary Wifi. The gardens are extensive and include a croquet court. The gazebo and Summer House (with games room) are alternatives for private dining (this can be used as a 16 delegate board room style conference facility). The summer house has complimentary WIFI available to all guests. The pool seems part of the river itself, and beauty treatments are available in the Spa. For the energetic the gymnasium, running track on the secure property and all-weather tennis court are perfect. Eleven luxury en-suite chalets(all with bath and shower, eight with two bathrooms, 3 suites with plunge pools one being a family room and one executive luxury suite). 7 Double storey chalets have sliding glass windows and screens, the luxury suite Mary is more like a villa whilst the 3 suites are screened. All rooms have air-conditioning over the beds and have uninterrupted views of the Zambezi. Laundry is included. Activities (on fully inclusive rate) include a Victoria Falls Tour, sundowner cruises, game drives, tiger fishing, and visiting a village. Others (at extra cost) include helicopter flights, white water rafting, elephant back safaris, bungee jumping, canoeing, Jewish interest tours etc. The area is steeped in local history and rich in wildlife; hippo and elephant are seen regularly from the lodge and bird life is prolific. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The River Club Hotel Livingstone

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