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“Where to crash in Livingstone?”
Review of Fawlty Towers

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Fawlty Towers
Certificate of Excellence
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Where to crash in Livingstone?”
Reviewed October 14, 2011

Fawlty or Jolly? Where to crash in Livingstone.

Livingstone in south-west Zambia has, for some time now, been gearing up nicely for visitors. The problems in neighbouring Zimbabwe mean that visitors to nearby Victoria Falls are increasingly choosing Livingstone to access the Falls, and simply crossing the border temporarily if they want to indulge in the Victoria Falls Bridge-based activities like bungi jumping.

Consequently the choice of accommodation is now broad, and ranges from luxurious all-inclusive hotels to backpackers. Perhaps the two best-known backpackers are Jolly Boys and Fawlty Towers.

Jolly Boys has three different locations, but the main one is less than ten minutes’ walk from the main bus stop on Mosi en Tunya Road. Jolly Boys has a longstanding reputation for offering an all-round good experience for visitors, based primarily on a lively atmosphere and good quality food. Beyond the reception area, the sleeping facilities include air-conditioned en-suite rooms, chalets, dorms and space for your own tent. A clothes-washing area and shared toilets and showers, all kept in good clean order, are available to all visitors.

However, it’s the area in front of the reception that is Jolly Boys’ hub of activity. An excellent breakfast menu, from which you could choose a full English breakfast, French toast or the healthy breakfast sundae, is available from the bar. Later on in the day a good range of tasty cooked meals becomes available; you might spot some local meats, like kudu and crocodile, but there’s always a veggie option! Right next to the bar area is the small swimming pool and a handful of sun-loungers. This is an easy and welcoming place to spend a whole day by the pool, with instant access to cold beers, tea, coffee and delicious food. While it does attract visitors of all ages and nationalities, most visitors to Jolly Boys are young, white Europeans, many from the UK.

Back on Mosi en Tunya Road, and another ten minutes or so along, is Fawlty Towers. Once you’re through the security gates you enter a large, elegant, high-ceilinged room that serves as bar, Wi-Fi area and reception. The room is always cool thanks to the huge ceiling fan, and it houses deep sofas and shelves of books. If Fawlty Towers has a hub, then this is it, although it’s a far cry from Jolly Boys’ busy, poolside vibe.

The Fawlty Towers pool is through reception and back outside; a large, clean pool, it is surrounded by green lawns, trees and shrubs. It’s difficult to believe this elegant, tranquil space is only metres from Livingstone’s main road. Pathways criss-cross the lawns, leading to the sleeping accommodation and the shared kitchen, showers and toilets. Despite the calm, more grown-up atmosphere of the pool and gardens, the rooms themselves feel slightly shabby and even the en-suites are missing details like bedside lights and air-con. There’s a good supermarket right across the road, but if you’re not cooking for yourself you can get breakfast and lunch in a first-floor room, accessed by an incredibly steep staircase. If you want the evening meal, you need to let the chef know. This is where you can also get free teas and coffees, and it’s particularly worth tackling this staircase at about 3.30pm, as, in a nice touch, the chef provides pancakes – free.

The price difference between Jolly Boys and Fawlty Towers is negligible. So, if you want a young vibe, great accommodation and a constant flow of excellent food, Jolly Boys will be your cup of tea. But if you want peace and quiet, and the nicest pool I’ve seen in Zambia, settle yourself in Fawlty Towers. The choice is yours.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Mari G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Jersey
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2011

Visited Fawlty Towers again for a second time and it still has an enduring appeal. We arrived for a week in the area having booked two nights only, with plans to visit more of the area pretty fluid.

We stayed in one of the double ensuite rooms with what must be one of the best hot showers in Africa. It was clean, comfortable and the whole place has such a great atmosphere. We particularly love the enclosed tranquil garden as a respite from the bustle and dust outside - although that too is an essential part of the African experience.

Since our last visit a few years ago, a very convenient shopping centre directly across the road has appeared (would particularly recommend Kilimanjaro cafe - lovely coffee and free WiFi) and a great restaurant - Olga's Place around the corner.

The staff at Fawlty Towers are lovely - friendly and helpful. I'd particularity like to mention Miriam who was extremely helpful and tuned in to what we wanted for the rest of our week's stay in the area. She booked us in for our last night and got the tickets for our bus trip back to Lusaka while we were off exploring Zim and Botswana for a few days.

One of the amazing things about Fawlty Towers is that you can just turn up with no pre planning as they have so much information about activities from bungi jumping to overnight safaris that they will organise for you at reasonable prices.

This is not the place to come if you want pampered luxury, but if you want a traveler experience rather than processed tourism I would absolutely recommend this place.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank ChristineBJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hermanus, South Africa
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2011

We recently travelled to Livingstone for a couple of weeks for business, and stayed at Fawlty Towers in a private room. We chose Fawlty Towers based on price, and were very impressed - it was great value, clean and comfortable with mosquito nets and a safe, friendly and helpful staff, a funky vibe and a great place to relax (there was even a spa for great massages!). The managers are fantastic and went out of their way to help us, even when we kept changing our plans. We would not hesitate to stay there again and recommend it highly.

Room Tip: The double and twin rooms are at the back of the courtyard away from the road, but all rooms are ver...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Odyssey_Kirsten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napa, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2011

This place couldn't be more convenient or pleasant. Every morning there was a free shuttle to Victoria Falls (no return, though), every afternoon there are free "pancakes" (more like crepes), the private room was lovely, there's free WiFi, a great pool, laundry, and helpful staff. It is a backpackers heaven, with a beautiful lawn for camping, a restaurant on site (we didn't use it), cooking and bathing facilities (we had friends using those), and an ATM and supermarket across the street. There are picnic tables and lounges around the pool, for socializing, and a bar and TV area inside. What more could anyone ask!?

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank canaclay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 18, 2011

Fawlty towers is one of the Best Packers Hotels we stopped at during our tour of Africa.
All the staff were extremely helpful and Friendly, rooms were clean and the beds comfortable.
Great atmosphere all around
We would definitely recommend it as a stop over if you are visiting Victoria Falls

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Colin96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
69 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2011

Stayed here for 4 nights with my two twenty something daughters. Though I was the oldest guest, I am sure, I felt right at home. The staff couldn't have been lovelier or more helpful/friendly. The other guests were great- no mid day (or even late evening) loud drunks here! We met some very interesting fellow travelers doing wonderful things. The food was great and very inexpensive- we ate every breakfast here and one dinner and couldn't have been more pleased The 4 bed room is small but serviceable with a nice bathroom- completely adequate. Although the weather wasn't conducive to swimming, the pool area was lovely and lovingly kept- and the two resident cats were a bonus. We also took advantage of the bookings for a safari ride and boat tour- excellent here too. Great value and experience!!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ChrisMVSS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lusaka, Zambia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2011

This place is not your typical backpackers lodge.

Yes, there are a lot of backpackers but there are others also. It has a pool and a quiet bar and TV. It also has a nice garden for just chilin'

They give free tea and coffee and pancakes. The food is OK, but there are many places within easy walking distance offer something a bit different.

They have a self catering kitchen, but it is not great, but I suppose it all works fine.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Red-110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fawlty Towers

Property: Fawlty Towers
Address: 216 Musi O Tunya Road | Box 61170, Livingstone, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 84 Specialty Lodging in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Fawlty Towers 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fawlty Towers is set in a large, private garden shaded with mango trees, with a crystal clear swimming pool. We offer accommodation for those on a budget, as well as private air-conditioned rooms and with the best service in Livingstone. Enjoy our free pancakes served every day, whilst cold beers and drinks are available at the bar. Try our chef's legendary meals or have your own barbeque round the pool on our braai stand. Internet access and a Wi-Fi hotspot is available. The Lodge is in the centre of town with seven cafes and restaurants less than 500 yards away and the town's largest supermarket is just over the road. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fawlty Towers Hotel Livingstone

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