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“Tongabezi - a disappointment”
Review of Tongabezi

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Tongabezi
Ranked #1 of 18 Hotels in Livingstone
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 27, 2011

Included guided trips: Chris’s sunset cruise: excellent. Other guides generally ok, but we always felt rushed and the guiding felt ‘canned’. Vic Falls trip was a major disappointment: Trip was hurried and canned. No option was given to visit on site interpretive center or walk to the bridge as we had asked. All of a sudden the guide just said, "The guided tour is over". We were taken aback. Generally Tongabezi is way overpriced for the service and guiding options. It was the low point of our trip.
Hotel Services: Good, but their formality got in the way of being efficient and helpful. I missed the “hands on” friendliness of the Safari Camps.
Accommodation: Very nice. Valet was gracious and helpful. Clean & pretty.
Food: Good, but not special. Dining room staff was too formal & structured to be relaxed. No snacks or drinks were available to serve oneself between meals. Everything was a big production. Table service was extremely slow and no intro about what was going to be served.
A trip to visit Livingstone Island was an add-on of $65 or $120 with lunch. A ridiculously high priced add-on that should have been included. All in all Tongabezi Lodge is way over-priced as compared to other very high-end choices in Zambia. It was not as special as they would lead you to believe.

Room Tip: All rooms have a view of the gorgeous Zambezi Rivr
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank AbbyKel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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305 - 311 of 401 reviews

Reviewed June 26, 2011

This lodge was fantastic..... I can't think of a better place to stay in Zambia. The food was great. The activities were so much fun. Victoria Falls was amazing. You have your own personal butler that washes your clothes everyday. The personal guides are there to help with all the activities including giving you a personal tour of Victoria Falls. Victor was a great guide for sunset tours, canoeing, fishing, and other activities.

This Lodge is very much for Couples..... but the still did everything to make our stay wonderful...

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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Thank aucubbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2011

My husband and I spent 2 night at Tongabezi and wished we had more time. We stayed in the cottages and felt like we died and went to heaven! It was all inclusive and the meals were wonderful. They sat us at a different venue every meal. We had a private butler, which made us feel extra special. He had a bubble bath waiting for us every night. We fell asleep both nights on our porch to the sound of hippos. We were directly on the Zambezi River!

During our stay, we visited Vicgtoria Falls, which was spectular. However, the highlight of our entire trip was walking with the lions and cheetahs! You HAVE to do it! We played with 4 month old white lions that crawled all over us.

In summary, you will be thrilled with your choice of staying at this resort. It will be an incredible stay for you, as it is now an incredible memory for us!

Barbara and Danny

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BambisMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2011

We had a wonderful stay at this lodge. The service rendered here is unforgettable. The staff took a lot of pain in doing things for us to make us comfortable and happy. Their charm completely puts you at ease. The meals were great too. We had a variety of freshly cooked delicacies here. The serving style and the locations were also highly appreciable. We enjoyed the view of the river from Tongabezi lodge. The rooms are pleasant, tastefully decorated, clean and comfortable. Our visit to the Victoria falls is a memorable one. We would definitely stay at this lodge again. It is expensive but worth the price.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kenyko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights as part of our honeymoon, in the wonderful Bird House and had a beautiful stay! Accommodation was out of this world and the service by Given, our valet, was first class. This was also true of all the staff members. He was discreet, but always on hand for whatever we wanted. Highlights were the trip to Victoria Falls, obviously, but also the boat trip on the Zambezi, with Victor, who doubles up as the local crocodile catcher! Food was equal to a high class restaurant. It was also great to just sit back at the lodge and relax and enjoy the spectacular river views. If you are thinking of going to this area and want a memorable time, then Tongabezi will not let you down. It is expensive, but is genuine 5 star.

Room Tip: All rooms looked beautiful.
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank rayd123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2011

We started our honeymoon with 3 nights at Tongabezi, staying in the very special and memorable Honeymoon House which has wonderful views over the Zambesi. We can't praise the accommodation and staff enough. And as for the food - where to start? Locally-sourced produce freshly cooked in a number of innovative and delicious meals served in a variety of wonderfully scenic locations, including, on a boat on the river. We were brilliantly looked after by Trega who ran us a bath under the stars each night and couldn't do enough to make our stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The other staff were all extremely friendly and helpful. The rooms are all beautifully designed and comfortable, although the open-air features are not for the faint-hearted and the noise of the river animals at night takes some getting used to. This is a really pleasant alternative to the more touristy and commercialised options nearer Vic Falls. We would love to go back some day.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Vietnamfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2011

We can not recommend this lodge enough. The rooms were quirky and all very different. The food was excellent and the service was outstanding. It by far beats staying in a modern hotel.
All the excursions put on by the Tongabezi were excellent. We stayed in the NUT HOUSE which caused us some amusement. It was so unusual and huge with our own plunge pool.
Our Butler Isaac was great organising our washing and preparing a bath for us when we returned from our days out. Our Guide Chris was excellent nothing was too much trouble for anyone. All the Staff are efficient and friendly and enjoy a laugh

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RubiesTorbayDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tongabezi

Address: Private Bag 31, Livingstone, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Livingstone
#1 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
#1 Family Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range: $1,243 - $1,870 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tongabezi 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tongabezi Lodge, the first river lodge on the Zambian side of the Victorian Falls, is a privately owned up-market lodge, built with emphasis on exclusivity and romance, located on the banks of the Zambezi River. Tongabezi has four open-fronted thatched houses and five river cottages all with sweeping views over the river and a Garden Cottage set in its own private walled garden. In addition we have the private island bush camp at Sindabezi Island and the Tangala House family home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tongabezi Hotel Livingstone

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