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“Wonderfully tranquil”

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Bushbuck River House
Ranked #6 of 29 Livingstone B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
basel
Level Contributor
49 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Wonderfully tranquil”
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Bushbuck is a wonderfully peaceful spot on a large area of land on the banks of the Zambezi. We were lucky enough to see a herd of elephants bathing in the river just after we arrived so right from the start we had that feeling of really being in Africa. While having dinner one night we also saw a hippo munching away on the watered grass near the house. The rooms are small but beautifully decorated. The food is good and they have a reasonably priced honesty bar. On their excellent website there is a huge range of activities to choose from, which they can book for you. Really liked this as it was nice to already get an idea of the activities on offer in advance. We did a river drift and a microlight flight. Both were fantastic And last but certainly not least, the hosts Alan and Oriel are really lovely people, very friendly and knowledgeable. A very enjoyable stay and a great start to our holiday.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sammyBasel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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139 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Antonio, TX
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2012

Oriel and Alan were lovely hosts during our 3 day stay there. They prepare breakfast and supper, and put out light snacks for lunch. You dine family-style with Oriel and Alan, evening meal is out on the covered patio by the pool, and the food was delicious. Oriel makes a fabulous apple crumble. They have an honor bar and snacks. There was a resident herd of about 50 Cape Buffalo on the property, and Elephant came through during the night while we slept. You can see scat and tracks of impala and other wildlife down by the water. The site is located adjacent to the Mosi-oa-Tunya (smoke that thunders) natural preserve, close to the Falls. Alan and Oriel are happy to arrange for transportation and activities in the Victoria Falls area. I went rafting one day and took an ultralight flight to view the Falls and the nature preserve the next. But just hanging out and reading or lounging by the pool is lovely and relaxing. There are resident cats, 2, and a resident dog, that make the place even homier, as as they will come and visit you whilst you are lounging as well. They are well behaved pets. Alan and Oriel make for a comfortable atmosphere, as they have their private area, but plenty of public area, and they don't make you feel like you are intruding into their home, which we have experienced at some B&Bs. Overall, it was a lovely place to wind down from after a month in Southern Africa.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank iluvtravl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2012

Bushbuck River house is a wonderful place to stay for a few days in the Livingstone area. The hosts, Oriel and Alan, are gracious, helpful and most accommodating. It is a peaceful spot on the Zambezi River where the meals are outstanding! Transportation can be arranged to almost any place you wish to go in the area. Be sure to ask Alan and Oriel for their recommendations and help in organizing game drives and other types of activities for you. Bushbuck was a welcome retreat after spending several weeks doing volunteer work in other parts of Zambia.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Chapman11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2012

The Bushback Riverhouse is on the banks of the Zambezi River, a quiet respite featuring daily visits by herds of elephants, a resident crocodile and a marvelous host couple. Dinners a fresco were a delight. The rooms were cozy and the atmosphere comfortable. Real drinkable water from the tap was a welcome convenience too often taken for granted when not living in the bush.

Room Tip: Book early before it fills up.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank tedmag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2012 via mobile

We visited Alan and Oriel for three days after our safari in the South Laungwa area. Bushbuck is very homely and has great hosts who really do go to lengths to ensure you have a great time at the Falls. We did trips such as the helicopter, quad biking, sunset cruise, micro light etc and Alan was great at shuttling us there and back which was great as I had not quite appreciated that the house is 10 miles outside Livingstone. The chef Albert was very good. The food was of a very high standard. One thing we did not appreciate was how cold it gets at night time in July. It was very cold so, bearing in mind you dine outside family style, make sure you take lots of warm clothes and possibly hats and scarves to keep warm!

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Garythegrump
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2012

If the below is what you are looking for, then you should look no further and stay at Bushbuck River House.

1. Personalized attention. Just let Allen and Oriel know what it is you are looking for in your trip and they will customize it to ensure that it fits your desires. This holds true for everything from how you would like your eggs cooked in the morning, to which room you should stay in, to the impromptu walk through the bush with Allen, who is an experienced and knowledgeable safari guide.

2. A cozy, intimate, homestay sort of experience. With only 5 rooms, one of which is an orchard loft separate from the main house, you feels as if you are welcomed guests in the home of a friend you have not seen in years, rather than hotel patrons at an impersonal hotel. This is not to say that privacy is not possible, but people who enjoy interacting with other travelers over meals would probably enjoy staying with Allen and Oriel more so than people who would prefer to mostly keep to themselves.

3. A beautiful, riverfront setting. Tranquil is probably the best word to describe the grounds of Bushbuck River House. This is also the natural environment for hippos, crocs, bushbuck, waterbuck, elephants, giraffes, cape buffalo, and innumerable bird species. During our 7 day stay at Bushbuck we did see all of the above. You can also lounge around the pool in between activities, watch the kingfishers fish from the observation tower, or admire the fruit/vegetable/flower gardens around the thatch roofed house.

4. AMAZING FOOD. This is definitely a highlight of staying at Bushbuck. Breakfast is hot, made to order, at the time that you request. Dinner is a multi-course meal that will not disappoint even the savviest foodie. My favorite dessert was the chocolate mousse, although lemon merengue pie was a close second.

5. Central location. Although Bushbuck is situated on over 100 acres of land that has been left in its natural state for the wild animals, it is near to Victoria Falls, the Lion Walk/Elephant Encounter, and town. It is even on the way to Chobe National Park in Botswana. We never had any problem with transportation as Allen can often provide transport and if not, he will call a taxi for you (one of two brothers who have a clean and reliable taxi, speak excellent English, are very kind).

6. Affordability. I spent a lot of time looking at lodging options around Livingstone and I can say that I could not be happier with the value of staying at Bushbuck. They make a conscious effort to keep their prices reasonable while not sacrificing any personalized attention. They also waive VAT if your activities booked through them are more than 25% of your lodging expenses. I am thankful that they do not charge more (which they probably could) as it would make the sort of experience they offer financially prohibitive for many travelers, including myself.

As an aside, I recommend white water rafting and Chobe overnight camping experience, both of which I booked through Oriel. Enjoy Livingstone and Bushbuck, you will be glad you came.

Thank you Allen and Oriel.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank ALC1115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2012

What an amazing experience we had at Bushbuck. From the moment we drove through the gates we knew we picked the right place to stay. Oriel and Alan were the perfect hosts welcoming us into their home. They organised all our trips, dropping us off and picking us up from where we had to go. Nothing was a problem. Going on a walk with Alan one morning on their property, "stumbling" on a herd of elephants and just watching them was an amazing experience! He is a wealth of information about all the animals and birdlife in the area. Situated right on the beautiful Zambezi river it truly gives you the African experience. Bushbuck, impala, hippos, birdlife this place has it all.

Having only 4 bedrooms at the house made it so much more personal than staying at one of the hotels in town. The rooms were large and beds were so comfortable. Albert the chef with that wonderful smile, cooked fantastic food for breakfast and dinner where all the guests sat together in the outside area enjoying the sights and sounds of the animals while eating dinner.

We spent only 3 nights but wished we stayed for more. Alan and Oriel are lovely genuine people who not only provide a beautiful setting to stay at, but its their personal touch that make Bushbuck House so much more special. This place has soul!

Thank You for a wonderful time and we will be back on our next trip to Africa.

Room Tip: Add on at least an extra 2 nights than what you plan to stay for. You wont be disappointed!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Vicstar09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bushbuck River House

Property: Bushbuck River House
Address: Plot 1607 Liyoyelo Farm | off Nakatindi Road, Livingstone 60060, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 29 B&Bs / Inns in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bushbuck River House is set in 105 acres of bush on the banks of the Zambezi, 16km from Livingstone. It is the first property beyond the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. The house is an owner-run traditional Zambian farmhouse, which has been renovated and thatched to a high standard. All rooms in the main house are en-suite and there is a swimming pool, pool boma and tree house/viewing platform overlooking the river. ... more   less 
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