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“Great staff, great place. Unforgettable moments there!!!!”

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Natural Mystic Lodge
Reviewed October 22, 2009

Please if you spend a single day in Vic Falls, in the Zambian side, you should not miss this place. The staff is the most helpful and friendly I have ever met. The place is by the river: romantic nights, peaceful mornings....Perfect place for honey moon

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Mariana003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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22 - 28 of 29 reviews

Reviewed September 10, 2009

For most people in their lifetimes, going to Africa is a trip of a lifetime and the chances of returning to the same country may be remote. Do yourself a favor, if you are going to Livingstone to see the the beautiful falls, DO NOT STAY HERE.

Last week, my girlfriend and I stayed for 3 nights at this rip-off tourist trap. First, I read other reviews which makes me feel that I stayed somewhere else but despite that, they praise the lodge for its tranquility and peacefulness. The reason that it is tranquil is that it is 30-35 minutes from the main road in town and is very far and isolated. The lodge, its cheaper than a taxi but expensive, has transfers charging $10.00 US one way per person into town. So, everytime we wanted to go shopping, have dinner, check out the town, see the falls, it costs us $40.00 US round trip and approximately one hour of time. The time and cost considerably adds up and during my stay I wondered why am I staying in a lodge so far away from the falls and the town.

Secondly, the rooms were cramped and dirty. Despite the fact that it was the dry season, they excessively sprayed the room with bug spray giving us headaches and coughing fits.

Third, their food, like most things at the lodge, was poor and expensive. On our first day, we arrived from the airport very tired and hungry. I had one chicken thigh with french fries costing me $17.00US. BTW, this was the theme of this lodge, the geographically challenged captive audience theory. It goes like this, since we are so far away from civilization, we can charge what we want because guests are not going to spend the time and $ to go to town and pay significantly less $.

Fourth, whatever you do, do not take either the lodge's morning, lunch and sunset cruise. This rip-off activity will cost $50.00US per person for the pleasure of being on a small dirty pontoon with no wine included and overcooked snacks for 1 1/2 hours. I highly recommend for $55.00 per person a 2 hour cruise on a large beautiful clean three story ship with open bar, the Lady Livingtone cruise leaving from the Stanley Livingstone Hotel.

Fifth, if you decide to stay here and at the end pay the bill with foreign currency, please make sure that you are receiving the correct exchange rate. At the merciful end of our stay, we wanted to pay in US dollars. The exchange rate was $4750.00 kwacha to 1US. They "mistakenly" converted it to $4500.00 per 1US. I brought this to their attention and they corrected it, but I heard from other guests that they experienced this same "mistake."

I could go on and on but the bottom line is it my recommendation to stay at a quality hotel near the falls or that has free shuttle service near the falls. For example, the Stanley Livingstone is a beautiful 3 star hotel that charges $225.00 US per person for double occupancy per night which is approximately $125.00 US more than the lodge's nightly rate. Even though its more expensive, you are making up the $ by not paying for transfers every time you want to go to the falls or town. They also have a free shuttle to the Royal Livingstone which is close to the falls. Additionally, you cannot compare the high quality luxury accomodations to Natural Mystic and without question it is a better value.

if you are in Zambia and want to see the falls, make it count and stay in a quality hotel, not here.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank KPTravelNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2009

I accompanied my husband and his office mates and their spouses for an annual office review (some sort of office retreat). Well, I was not part of the office retreat and hence I had all the time when my husband was busy in their meetings. The place is great. The chalets are very clean and nice. We had an opportunity to see a hippo and was told it was friendly.

The Natural Mystic Lodge is close to the Zambezi and one needs to go there to witness the beauty. It is a place for someone who needs some peace, away from the bussle and hassle of Livingstone town and a great getaway too!

In the evenings, we would enjoy ourselves at the bar and the owner was very nice to everyone.

The day we were leaving, I bought a beautiful ceramic antique at the Reception Desk which I have cherished up to now.

I would not hesitate to go there again.

  • Stayed: April 2006, traveled on business
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1  Thank Chitsangwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2008

Positive:
nice place close to the river. But that's it.
Negative:
25 km from town, difficult to get back to the lodge in the evening.
no shuttle to town is available.
mealprices are 8x price of a good meal(and better quality) in Livingstone.
Chalets are put very close together,no privacy.
This is a cold place

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank MarieSal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2008

If you want to stay in a Lodge, that is neither pretencious or upmarket and just want to escape from the rat race - then this is the place for you - Natural Mystic Lodge!

Good service, home cooked meals (although limited variety), no phones or TV's in your rooms - the idea to just relax besides the pool or have sundowners overlooking the Zambezi flowing by - what more could you ask for?

The Lodge is located on the banks of the Zambezi River (just some 20km oustide of Livingstone) and the only sounds you will hear, whilst you are there, are the sounds of birds to wake you up, the occassional owls hooting in the night, monkeys playing in the trees and beautiful butterflies flying around - what more could you ask for?

After being met at Livingstone's International Airport by the driver for the Lodge - a very polite African gentleman named Godfrey, who made me feel very welcome, we travelled in the Game Viewing Landrover to the Lodge - which was an experience in its own. On the way to the Lodge, you travel through the "Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Game Park" so be on the look out for wild game!

Once we reached the turn off to the Lodge (just after Simona Village) on the left hand side, we turned onto a dirt road (which was pretty good, consider the other roads that I encountered during my visit which lead you to other Lodges and Hotels) - therefore a 4 x 4 would be suitable, but assume that a normal car would be okay, providing you drove carefully. However, most other offroads are terrible - so please take this into consideration!

At the entrance to the Lodge - a lovely thatched building with a water feature, featuring an African woman in traditional clothing, kneeling down and emptying a pot of water into the water feature - rather authentic, we were given a warm welcome by Elizabeth and another member of staff.

The area is lush with natural vegetation and you immediately feel at home and relaxed. We strolled past the lovely swimming pool area, along a wooden walkway, which crossed over a river. There are some traditional African instruments - the Muramba (Xylophone) and an African drum, that you can play around with too!

Wow, the location of the main Dining area and Chalets takes your breath away - and you will be very happy that you choose this location!

The buildings were all beautifully thatched and accommodation provided in Chalets (round buildings - which in South African we refer to as "Rondavels" (meaning round building). The building style is based on the traditional African mud huts. Choices of accommodation are either - Riverside Chalets, Riverview Chalets or Standard Chalets (with no view of the river), but still located in lovely Mopane forest and lush vegetation and near the swimming pool.

Accommodation rate is currently inclusive of Bed & Breakfast. Other meals, can be eaten as and when required at the average cost of between USD $11 to $13 (at current rate of 360 Kwacha to 1 x USD $ or 500 Kwacha to 1 x South African Rand).

All rooms come standard with 2 x double beds, wardrobes (but I only had 1 coat hanger), dressing table and mirror, mosquito nets, a standing fan, en-suite bathroom with shower, toilet & basin. Towels are available from house-keeping for use at the pool area. Complimentary iced water is provided each day in your chalet, which is great as it is not recommended that you drink the local water. Your laundry can be washed and ironed for you and returned to your room the following day, which is fantastic!

The upstairs area of the Dining / Bar area boasts a large area, which is used for conferences. It has a large TV with Satelite coverage and another lounge suite for just relaxing. Once again no windows, so at night time remember to put on your insect repellant!

All staff members are more than willing to attend to your every whim and certainly go out of their way to making your stay a most memorable occassion!!

They can organize activities for you too - ranging from Game Drives, Sunrise & Sunset Cruizes on the Zambezi (which includes free alcholic & non-alcholic drinks) and all other activities in the area - e.g. Helicopter flights over Victoria Falls, tours to Victoria Falls, Elephant Back Safaris, visit to local Curio Markets or shopping excursions, canoeing, Micro-flight trips over Victoria Falls etc.

Meals are taken in the lovely thatched dining area, overlooking the Zambezi River. The building is completely open in the front, there are no doors, or windows to obstruct your view of the river, so you could not wish for more! The restaurant & bar opens early in the morning and normally stays open until late.

The meals are wholesome home-cooked style, but unfortunately choice is limited. For breakfast you have a choice of cereals, fruit juice, fresh fruit and also includes a cooked breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato, toast and sometimes freshly baked muffins, bread rolls & teas & coffees. Luncheons & Dinner normally consists of a choice of soup / fish / chicken / meat & vegetables. Luckily they do cater for vegetarians too, so I was quite happy.

Special thank you to Kathy (Managing Director), Joe (Tour Guide and Jack of all trades), Godfrey (Driver), Frieda (waitress), Elizabeth (Front Office Manageress) and to Frederick (Chef - for keeping me well fed!) and everyone else behind the scenes - who made my trip a most memorable one!

What are you waiting for - visit "Zambia - the Real Africa"!

You won't want to go back home.. it was very difficult for me to leave and hope that I will be back someday soon!

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled on business
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1  Thank AfircanRoots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2016
Google Translation

  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
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Thank 62giusy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2012
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Dagmar B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Natural Mystic Lodge

Address: P.O. Box 60638, Livingstone, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 91 Specialty Lodging in Livingstone
Number of rooms: 10

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