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“Superb!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Islands of Siankaba

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Islands of Siankaba
4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Kazungula Rd, Livingstone 60845, Zambia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Shoreham-by-Sea, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Superb!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2010

This small island resort was absolutely fab. We reached it by car from Livingston and then small boat across the Zambezi to the Island. Staff were great (Malarone had made me sick and they sorted me out instanty), the water bungalows were fantastic, overhanging the Zambezi so that we could watch hippos popping up and down. Beautiful big bed draped with nets, clawfoot bath - the works! Just like Out of Africa! The hotel sponsors the village, Siankaba, on the Island and all the staff are villagers. We had a great tour of the village to see how they lived - they were very welcoming. Huts made of mud and straw and the children's nursery was held in an old shipping container. The food was fantastic, cooked by a great chef who could seemingly produce whatever you fancied at any time of day. The bar man was great too - he had the biggest tin of mozzie spray I have ever seen and made sure that (as Malarone had upset my tum) I was kept topped up at all times. As it was, neither of us got bitten once! We ate in the evenings with the Manager and other guests so it was great to learn about the other visitors, where they had been and where they were off to next.

Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
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206 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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  • Any
English first
Eugene, Oregon
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2009

I'm a pretty frugal traveler, and I normally avoid luxury hotels. Not only are they usually outside my budget, but with luxury hotels, I expect a certain amount of "snootiness," both from the staff and the clientelle. I can feel out of place. But a friend who lives in Lusaka insisted that my partner and I end our two weeks of canoeing, camping, and road trips with a couple of nights of luxury and pampering at the Islands of Siankaba, her absolutely favorite place to stay in the world.

How did she know exactly what we would love?

After a seven hour car ride in 104 F with no air conditioning, my partner and I were really too hot and exhausted to enjoy the boat ride to the island. But when we stepped off the dock and saw the open air dining room and bar, beaming staff welcoming us like old friends, we started to relax. When we were lead across swinging bridges and catwalks to our "chalet," I was feeling pretty enchanted. But when we stepped into the chalet and saw the claw-foot tub, teak floors, Persian carpets, and beautiful bed with a screen wall that unzips to a deck over the Zambezi River, we both gasped. It was a perfect mix of old world charm and safari style. We felt like we'd landed in heaven.

The hotel is gorgeous and wonderfully unique. The food is absolutely incredible and presented in the style of a five-star restaurant. And the staff anticipate every need, without that sense of servitude that's put me off at other places. In fact, the staff feel more like family than employees. And they seemed to take as much delight in presenting us with luxuries as we did in receiving them. They are real, and warm, and will happily tell you a bit about who they are, or sit down and teach you how to fold a napkin like a suit jacket... if you ask.

We enjoyed massages and a sunset cruise on the river. But my favorite was the walking tour of local villages. It offered a glimpse of what life is like for African villagers, and gave me a sense of respect for what the locals are up against. We could also see the positive impact the hotel has had in the local village, not only offering employment to many of the villagers, but also helping to build a new school.

Our second night, we had the honor of dining with the owners of the hotel, as well as the managers. And I was utterly impressed by their commitment to the local community and to their staff.

Our stay at this hotel was the perfect capper to a wonderful African vacation, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. After roughing it on safari, a little pampering is happily welcomed.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Burbage
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2009

I have a busy work schedule, I had two nights in Zambia where I wanted peace and quiet, I found heaven, within a few hours of getting there I so relaxed that I wanted to go and do some activities, I visited the village next to Islands of Siankaba, I fell in love with the life there, the people, the children, the culture. Everyon in the village lives in Mud Huts, no running water, no electricity and no toilets. Everyone that works at Islands of Siankaba lives in the nearby village as described above. Because the lodge is there the livlihoods of the people of the village has changed dramatically. I found out that the lodge and the guests have raised money to build a Nursery School with running water with toilets and with Solar Powered Electricity, Green! People who come to Islands of Siankaba not only get Heaven on Earth, peace and quiet to recharge the batteries but by coming to Islands of Siankaba the guests actually make a difference to lives of the villages both indirectly by giving them employment but they also can roll their sleeves up and directly make a difference by helping with the development projects run by a charity called The U Foundation.

The food in the middle of remote Africa was as good as any top class restaurant in London. The people at Siankaba were charming and attentive and caring, they wanted to go out of their way to help make my stay as peaceful and as special as possible. Only thing was I found myself wanting to help them! Business Executives head down to Islands of Siankaba, make difference to your life and a difference in their lives.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • 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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cardiff
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2009

Wow where to start...This was truely the best experience of my life. The lodge is incredible...the location, the rooms, the staff, the food, the trips, the village, the people...

The lodge is set in the most picturesque most wonderful place in the world. Words cannot describe the beauty. You get the chance to do lots of trips like visit the mighty Victoria falls, devils pool, elephant rides, white water rafting etc.

By visiting the lodge you are supporting the local villagers as well as having a fantastic holiday. The lodge provides work for the villagers and is closely linked to a wonderful charity, The U Foundation. When you stay there you get a chance to have a village tour and be shown around by the villagers themselves. The most friendly people you could wish to meet.

I could write pages and pages. If you take one more holiday in your life, make it Siankaba.

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled solo
    • 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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Bellevue, WA
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2009

Isolated site on the Zambesi River, superb individual tent/cabins. Lovely bar and dining area overlooking the river. Sunset cruise on the river is a must. Car and driver/guide to take you wherever you wish in Livingstone: the Falls, elephant ride, museum, shopping malls. Staff superbly trained, food is elegant. One of the highlights of our African safari.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2009

It is difficult to put into words how enjoyable our trip was to the Island of Siankaba. The service was great - everyone was willing to make sure your stay was exactly what you wanted and created an unforgettable experience.
Our host Paul and Sonia were most welcoming and able to recognize what you were expecting from your visit, involving you in the community there at the lodge or giving you space if that was what you were looking for.
The road leading to the Island is a dirt track but the lodge is well worth the journey. The chalets are in the canopy of trees and spaced out overlooking the Zambezi River. The way to each chalet is through a roped bridge. Each chalets are named after native trees.
The staff at the lodge was genuine, extremely friendly and helpful. The rooms were beautifully decorated and thoroughly clean; the food was fantastic - out of this world.
There was a great mood in the evenings as everyone met in the main lodge for cocktails and dinner sharing their adventures of the day. There was something exciting about this; you really knew that you were staying in an African Lodge and not just some hotel.
There was no shortage of activities to do if you were looking for more action – Bungee, gorge Jumping, White Water Rafting, Vic Falls and swimming in the Devils pool. All of these adventures were willingly and efficiently coordinated by the Sonia and Nami.

I highly recommend a stay here but try to allow some time in your plans to just enjoying ‘being’ at the Siankaba Lodge without doing anything. It is time well spent. I would go back tomorrow if I could.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2009

I have been in a fortunate position of being able to stay twice at The Islands of Siankaba and both times had a magical stay. Each bedroom was beautifully furnished and has its own deck overlooking the Zambezi River.
All the staff were friendly and attentive to all our needs and the food was excellent.
I also had the privilege of walking through the village and was welcomed by all the villagers. This walk culminated in the Sundowner Cruise where drinks were served before undertaking a canoe trip to watch a most wonderful sunset, the like I had never seen before.
In all a most wonderful place which I would certainly like to visit again.

  • Stayed October 2006, traveled on business
    • 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
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 Islands of Siankaba

Address: Kazungula Rd, Livingstone 60845, Zambia
Phone Number:
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 43 Specialty Lodging in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Islands of Siankaba 4.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Islands of Siankaba is a luxurious lodge, exclusively sleeping just fourteen guests. The principle guest amenities (dining room, lounge, bar and swimming pool) are located on one island whilst the seven guest tree suites are situated on the smaller island overlooking the river towards the game reserve on the southern bank. The two islands are linked by a series of suspension bridges and overhead walkways in the tree canopy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Islands Of Siankaba Hotel Livingstone

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