My husband and I can't think of any other place we have ever stayed at that compared to this lodge. It's in an amazing location and the accommodations are totally unique. We visited the beautiful Livingston Hotel for drinks and it would be in the same 5 star category but Tongabezi is just so different that it would be a shame to miss it. We stayed in the Nut House and our friends were in the Honeymoon House. Both were fabulous. The houses are all different and very spacious. The front wall is open to a private patio that overlooks the Zambezi River (and the Nut House had it's own infinity splash pool); the private shower is outdoors, outside of a huge bathroom; our bedroom was 2 levels with a big sitting area built into lava rock and king bed facing the view. It's a long walk slightly uphill to the Nut House so you have to be prepared to walk a lot but the entrance to the Nut House has lots of character. All the houses are spaced out so you don't even realize anyone else is around. One morning I woke up to a lot of noise and clatter. When I stepped outside I saw the trees full of monkeys all playing tag and chasing each other around. They were running across our tin roof and that was making all the noise. It really added to the character of the place.
The service at Tongabezi was first class. There isn't enough room to write about all the great things they do for you here but the staff cater to your every need. The general manager, Rudy is very friendly and stays on top of everything. We were there for 2 nights and got to know our guides, servers, and valets. The food was excellent. We did the evening boat ride both nights and drank champagne out on the river watching the beautiful sunset. Then back to the lodge to sit around the firepit with the other guests and we met some very interesting people. For dinners we could sit at our own private table or join the rest of the guests at a big communal table. We did both and it was very enjoyable. Lunches were also excellent and it was very pleasant sitting at the edge of the river. At the time we were there, there was a daily thunderstorm for about an hour at 2pm each afternoon.
The two "not to be missed" activities that the hotel set up for us were the helicopter ride over Victoria Falls and the Gorge and the breakfast on Livingstone Island. The breakfast was one of the highlights of our entire trip. They took us in a little boat to the island in the middle of the river and it hangs out over the top of the falls. The view is amazing and they served us a gourmet breakfast of eggs benedict under a tent looking down over the falls. It's incredibly wet from the spray and you have to wear a raincoat to walk around but then we dried out under the tent. It was the last day of this activity because the river is too high now but if they are offering the breakfast, we highly recommend it.
We have nothing negative to say about this lodge and we will be recommending it to any friends who go to Africa. If we ever get to Africa again, we will definitely return to Tongabezi.
- Also Known As:
- Tongabezi Hotel Livingstone
- Tongabezi Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tongabezi Lodge, the first river lodge on the Zambian side of the Victorian Falls, is a privately owned up-market lodge, built with emphasis on exclusivity and romance, located on the banks of the Zambezi River. Tongabezi has four open-fronted thatched houses and five river cottages all with sweeping views over the river and a Garden Cottage set in its own private walled garden. In addition we have the private island bush camp at Sindabezi Island and the Tangala House family home. ... more less