During our trip we stayed at 5 different camps and this was the best. This was our first Wilderness Safari camp of three and we enjoyed it the most.
The staff here are wonderful. One of the female managers took extremely good care of us while we were there. She helped us arrange tours in Livingstone, helped with massage booking and in general strived to make sure our stay was as great as possible. She even had one of the staff drive us into town when our prearranged transfer didn't show up. I also received the best massage of my life at the camp and I've received massages all over the world. It was sublime. The staff also had a fire on the beach with music and dancing for our entertainment.
The food was excellent (as it was at all Wilderness camps) but what made Toka Leya just that much better was the effort they put into the experience. You would select your dinner entree during afternoon tea so that you could be served a proper plated meal at dinner. This was much more enjoyable than the dinner buffet experience at Duma Tau and Seba. There was no shortage of food between breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner you would never be hungry.
The property was beautiful and in a great location. It is far enough from town to feel out of the way but close enough to allow you to take advantage of the activities. I believe the drive was just under 30 minutes. The main common area for eating and relaxing was open and inviting with lots of comfortable seating. There was a bar in this area near the pool and books on wildlife. Everything was open air with amazing view and wildlife viewing opportunities. Everything was spotlessly clean. They also have a boat which is used for evening water safaris which I would highly recommend. This property also has internet access.
The "tent" was the best part and the biggest reason why this property gets my highest rating. It had wodden floor and framing with canvas walls but was completely sealed to keep out bugs. The beds were comfortable and had ample netting. There was a fan to keep the room cool. The morning view was spectacular. Each tent felt very secluded and private. There was a private deck overlooking the water. The bathroom facilities were first class...double sink, private toilet, clean shower with hot water. Because of the proximity to town the tent had sliding glass doors which locked. Most importantly for me, the tent was clean and mostly bug free - a few small bugs did get in when the door was open.
Some things that were common to all WIlderness properties.... they provide towels and toiletries. There is no bar soap provided - only liquid soap / shower gel. I would suggest you bring your own soap or bring a sponge for the shower, I never quite felt clean and used a lot of soap trying to get a lather. Each tent is equipped with a safe and a charging bar that accomodates different types of plugs. They do provide bug repellent and insect killer but Wilderness prides itself on its eco-responsibility and as such neither of these products are very powerful or very useful. Bring your own. They request that you be conscious of water / power consumtion. They will do laundry free of charge. You leave it in the morning and it comes back that afternoon. They will also wash underclothes but they need to be separated from the rest of the laundry. There is daily housekeeping as well as turndown service. The properties are all inclusive so all meals and drinks (including alcohol) are included in the room charge. All activities offered by the camp (boating / jeep safari etc) are also included. There will be a tip box where you can leave something for the staff. There is a small giftshop where you can purchase souvenirs but not other travel necessities. The tents are not equipped with telephones or alarms clocks so you should have an alarm of your own. Guests are not allowed to walk on the property after dark / before sunrise without an escort. This is for your safety with respect to wildlife as the properties are not fenced. Someone will come to make sure you are up and 30 min later someone will come to walk you to breakfast. By then it is usually light enough for you to wander freely. In the evening someone will get you for dinner and walk you back afterwards.
The only real downside to this property as compared to the Wilderness camps in Botswana that we stayed at - you don't feel like you're in the middle of nowhere on true safari. Toka Leya does offer a jeep safari but we did not participate. We did the evening water safari and took a walking tour of Victoria Falls. Both were included in our nightly rate. We also took two extra paid excursions - helicopter over Victoria Falls and the Devil's Pool swim at the edge of the falls. We would highly recommend both of these tours and Toka Leya can make arrangements for you.
We wanted clean and comfortable and this was that and so much more. Definitely worth the price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on the western sector of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Toka Leya Camp perches on the banks of the precipitating Zambezi River. Only 12km upstream from the world-renowned Victoria Falls, the camp is well placed for you to explore the scenic and vibrant region. Limiting our footprint on this pristine land, wooden walkways snake between the 12 spacious en-suite safari-style tents. You will feel safe and comfortable in your tastefully decorated room with an expansive wooden deck looking out at the mighty river - often presenting the sight of rambling elephants, grunting pods of hippo and idle crocodiles. Under a canopy of shady trees, the camp's dining, lounge and bar areas offer ample space for you to relax, complete with an infinity pool. Did you know? Toka Leya has a worm farm and indigenous nursery so as to rehabilitate the plant species of the area. The densely vegetated islands in front of camp form part of the braided channel of the Zambezi River. 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' is the local name for Victoria Falls, literally meaning 'the smoke that thunders' which accurately describes the rising spray that can be seen 30km away. Additional activities on offer include guided walks and adventure pursuits. The park offers wildlife viewing of buffalo, giraffe, zebra, impala and white rhino. The prolific bird life includes the African Finfoot, a rarity elsewhere, yet here a resident. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Toka Leya Hotel Livingstone