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“Best of all of our camps” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wilderness Safaris Toka Leya Camp

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Wilderness Safaris Toka Leya Camp
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Parks Road, Livingstone, Zambia (Formerly Toka Leya Lodge)   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Edmonton, Canada
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“Best of all of our camps”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

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.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Toka Leya Camp, responded to this review, March 3, 2014
Dear A-M197211625,

Thank you for your fantastic review, Toka Leya is a very unique and very special camp and we are glad we were able to share it with you.

The excursion to Devil’s pool is a great activity we have on offer. It is created each year at the fringes of Victoria Falls, when the dry season reduces water levels to create what has been likened to the ultimate infinity pool. There is nothing but a submerged lip of rock standing between bathers and a 100m drop over the worlds largest water fall (and a guide at all times for added protection).

Thank you for sharing this and your time with us at our camp.
The Toka Leya Team
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120 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
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English first
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

Just outside of the town of Livingstone, at the edge of Zambezi river, this lodge has perfect location for enjoying of the wildlife. Hippos, giraffes, impalas walk by your room. Service is excellent and rooms very well equipped with emphasis on detail. All the details that make difference and make your stay comfortable. Highly recommended!!!

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Toka Leya Camp, responded to this review, August 1, 2014
Dear Zoi17,

Thank you for your charismatic review of Toka Leya. We will be sure to pass on your praise to all our staff.

Unlike most parks in the region, the change in vegetation levels does not seem to have an impact on what will be seen in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. The size of the Park combined with a well-thought-out road network makes it very viable for visitors to see many different species. Several great sightings have been recorded this month, amongst them a herd of buffalo that has been seen several times in camp near Tent 12. Over a number of days the buffalo have come in at the end of the day, had a drink at the river and spent the remaining daylight hours in the shade around the camp grounds.

We hope to welcome you back soon
The Team at Toka Leya
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

This was our last of 3 camps. Even though close to livingstone it iis relatively secluded. The view of the river is fantastic as was the boat cruises -hippos, crocs and elephants. Visit to the falls was highlight, plenty of water. Meals were fantastic- best of all camps. We did the short helicopter ride which I highly recommend. Service exceptional. They helped arrange all activities. Special treats in tent. We stayed 3 days which seemed ideal. The local museum was great!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Toka Leya Camp, responded to this review, August 1, 2014
Dear Squashfrog,

Thank you for your affectionate review.

Whether a relaxing sunset cruise or a game viewing cruise, there are scenic views and exciting wildlife to be enjoyed from the comfort of a spacious boat. There's always an abundance of hippo and crocodile, as well as a few other surprises along the way. Other activities on offer in the area include sunset cruises, helicopter flights, micro-lighting, canoeing, jet boating and white water rafting. *These activities are at extra cost.

Thank you again
The Team at Toka Leya
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Calgary, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

Livingston was the first of 3 of our stops with Wilderness safari. So much to do and see in Livingston. If you love adventure, a full day of rafting is a must, plus swimming in the devil's pools at the top of Falls is brilliant ending it with a delicious inch on the island. We also opted to take a hell ride to view the falls, very exciting when we dropped down into the gorge where we had rafted the previous day.
Toka Leya, incredibly accommodating and lovely staff, Ondyne, Gift, Evans, Donald are all genuinely lovely people. The food is tops, loved that we selected our dinner during the day. It was delicious and plated well. Breakfast, lunch and tea were all tops. If you time try fishing in the Zambezi with Donald to catch a Tiger fish! Resident hippo Moto provides free entertainment. The tents were well appointed with little surprises occasionally left that put a smile on your face. Although it is a small reserve, there were plenty of animals.
Overall, lovely experience and have recommended it to many of our friends.

Room Tip: A few extra steps to get to your tent won't hurt anyone. We were in tent #9 and heard many anim...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Toka Leya Camp, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Thank you Kathy J, for your great review. We are thrilled to hear that you had such a great time with us at Toka Leya and took advantage of all the great activities we have on offer.

Devil's Pool is definitely one of the guests favourite. It is a natural rock pool on the edge of the Victoria Falls. During the dry season, Devil's Pool is shallow enough that people can safely swim right to the edge before the waterfall drops more than 300 feet (100m). You don't get swept down by the force of the falls because of a natural rock wall just below the surface. This is as close as you can get to the thunderous roar and permanent rainbows that adorn this magnificent Natural World Wonder. A guide will tell you exactly where to jump, make sure you bring your camera! Once everyone in the group has jumped safely and you are sitting on the rock wall, the guide will hold your ankles and you can lie and hang your arms over the edge. It is truly fantastic to look down on rainbows, hear the roar of the waterfall as it thunders past you, and look far, far down into the frothy, spray below.

We hope you return to visit us and Moto-Moto again.
The Toka Leya Team.
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

Right on the banks of the Zambezi river with amazing currents and whirlpools right in front of the hotel. Pods of Hippo to see from the deck. Great sundowner cruise on the river.
However after being at the Mombo camp immediately before we were expecting more.
Needs to improve on the all inclusive wine selection which was limited . Rooms Ok but could be improved with better lighting and a fridge or cool box.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Toka Leya Camp, responded to this review, July 25, 2014
Dear 362MichaelD,

Thank you for your kind review.

The main element that makes Toka Leya such a great camp is the large variety of activities. The top of the list being The Victoria Falls. No matter how many times one has seen the indescribable Victoria Falls, one is awed by the volume and the sound of the Zambezi River as it cascades down into the zigzag gorges before continuing on to Lake Kariba and finally along the Lower Zambezi – home to Mana Pools National Park, a Ramsar site – before heading down to the Indian Ocean. From quite a distance now one can see the spray of the Victoria Falls and a visit at this time of year requires a rain poncho and an underwater camera to capture the magical moments of the ‘rainy’ spray.

Thank you again.
The Team at Toka Leya
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Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

Toka Leya was a pleasant surprise at the end of a 15 day 5 camp adventure from the Kalahari, thru the Okavango, ending at Victoria Falls. We went thinking the Falls would be the main attraction and it is something to behold but in November the water was low and you had to use your imaginations only 20% of the falls had any water. But the best food of the trip and the unique experiences of the Zambezi River cruise with Donald (twice) were the best surprise of the trip. The hippos, crocs, and birds were plentiful and active. The highlight was following a big bull elephant on a swim across the river near the top of the falls where it was 300-350 meters across. The food was just GREAT!! and the staff helpful and knowledgeable. And of course, best feature of Toka Leya, found nowhere else on this long journey, AIR CONDITIONED TENTS

Room Tip: Stayed away from common area (#9) and had a fabulous view of the river from the deck
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Toka Leya Camp, responded to this review, July 25, 2014
Dear Davidwpatricia,

Thank you for taking your time to write us this fantastic review.

Overlooking the Zambezi River and some of its islands is Toka Leya Camp, comprising 12 raised, spacious en-suite safari-style tents. Tent interiors boast wooden flooring, tasteful African décor, climate-control, and an expansive wooden deck from which to soak up the views. Family units are positioned to offer quiet seclusion.

The camp’s dining and lounge areas offer ample space for relaxation. Meals are served on the sundeck, the pool deck and dining room all overlooking the Zambezi. There is a novel pizza oven and a curio shop.

Thank you again
The Toka Leya Team
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here Dec 27 to Dec 30, 2013. From the moment we arrived the manager Ondyne made us feel welcome. Nothing was too much trouble, all information about what to see and do was accurate, and what game would be around to see at the time of year. It is the most beautiful 'Wilderness" safari camp we stayed out of 4, the room was magnificent on the Zambesi River. The Wilderness company is eco-friendly, must comply to strict guidelines to maintain their licence on the particular site, and give back to the local community. This camp had recently built water tanks plus solar cells to pump the water for their local village. As for their resident hippo Mo-Tow Mo-Tow ........who calls this patch his territory, what a treat it was to see this big fella up close. The food was excellent, in fact for dinner, they took our order before hand, so our meal was freshly cooked. Our guide/tracker (Evans) was terrific. You can also be taken by local Mosi-oa-Tunya Nat Pk rangers (fully armed) to see the white rhino, this was a treat, as we had seen programs on this in Australia of armed wardens camping with the rhino i order to protect them from poachers. Only one point worth noting prior to departure, the guides at all the parks are paid a 'gratuity' aka tip, usually US $10/day per person, and there is a 'gratuity' box available for other staff. We had no prior information re this, and consequently did not have enough US$ with us. At other camps we paid the guide via Visa card. Fabulous camp, great experiences there.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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WildernessSafaris, Public Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Toka Leya Camp, responded to this review, July 25, 2014
Dear Ozros,

Thank you for your splendid review.

Tipping can be a tricky subject to breach but this is usually outlined in the documentation you receive from your travel agent. We do have a few guidelines which you may find easy to follow, but please note these are purely guidelines and all gratuities are at your own discretion.

Tipping is not compulsory. If, however, you would like to tip because you have received good service, we have enclosed a brief guideline to assist you. You may wish to add a nominal amount ranging between US$ 10.00 to US$ 30.00 per day for services.
Guides, Specialist Guides & Butlers – We recommend US$ 10.00 per guest per day.
Mokoro Paddlers & Trackers – We recommend that each paddler receive US$ 5.00 per guest per day and that camp/lodge trackers receive US$ 5.00 per guest per day.
The General Safari Camp, Lodge or Hotel Staff – We recommend about US$ 10.00 per guest per day for safari camps. This should be placed in the communal tipping box to be distributed equally amongst all the staff.
Transfer Driver – We recommend about US$ 2.00 to US$ 3.00 per guest per movement.
Porterage – We recommend about US$ 2.00 to US$ 3.00 per guest per movement.
Some properties have slightly different gratuity schedules and these are usually clearly stipulated in their collateral.

Thank you again
The Toka Leya Team
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Additional Information about Wilderness Safaris Toka Leya Camp

Address: Parks Road, Livingstone, Zambia (Formerly Toka Leya Lodge)
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 43 Specialty Lodging in Livingstone
Number of rooms: 12
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

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