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“Beautiful Views”
Review of Taita Falcon Lodge

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Taita Falcon Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 7, 2010

Our party of 9 (4 couples + our 4 yr old son) stayed for only one night on our way from South Luangwa National Park to South Africa and then home, as we had a connecting flight in Livingstone. Didn’t have much of an opportunity to experience the lodge so can only say that the views were great, the food (dinner and breakfast) all good and the service friendly, helpful and responsive. The chalets were rustic and simple thatch syle, but comfortable.
Nice lodge, but quite a drive to get to it. I would recommend it for a tranquil rest, but not necessarily for those who want to go in and out of Livingstone a couple of times a day.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank nkalamo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 - 109 of 120 reviews

Reviewed August 10, 2010

Taita Falcon Lodge has the possibility of being really nice, but fell a bit short for us. As others have mentioned, the road is very rough and takes 45 minutes to go the 11 km. This effectively cuts about an hour out of the day compared to the time for a smooth road. This should be communicated to potential customers so they can decide if this is acceptable before they book. Another area that should be understood before booking is the electricity. Other than solar powered lights, the only electricity available is from around 6 PM to around 11 PM when the generator is running. Further, we were not told that we had an outlet in the chalet, but were told to bring any batteries for charging, etc. to the bar area for charging in the evening. This proved to be inconvenient for cameras, and totally unacceptable for charging our notebook computers. The four ladies in our group also could not use their hair driers or curling irons. We accidentally found a single outlet that was 'hot' when the generator was running, but it was the third day of our stay by then. As with the road, this situation may be perfectly acceptable if known in advance, but is unpleasant as a surprise.

Two of our chalets had hot water problems the first two days. In one, there was a strong gas smell when we arrived and we were told that the 'geyser' (tankless heater) had been fixed that day and it should be OK. After dinner we found no hot water for showers - not fun. We reported the problem the next morning and were told when we returned that it was fixed. Again, no hot water. After several minutes of work they said that the propane tank was empty and brought a full one. Still no hot water. When I complained more firmly at the bar Faan, the owner, came over and determined the line was partially blocked somewhere and they got if flowing properly, allowing the geyser to work. Two days of no hot water for what should have been a simple fix before we arrived.

Gripes out of the way, the lodge was otherwise great. The location and views are wonderful, the food was great and the chalets are nice - we slept well under our dunas. surrounded by mosquito netting. Our guide, Brighton, was wonderful - knowledgeable and friendly, putting up with all of our questions and changes of plans very cheerfully, but we found the rest of the staff to be light on real customer service, sitting at the bar smoking and talking among themselves rather than spending time with the clients.

Summing up, had we known ahead of time the situation with the road and electricity, I believe we would still have come and it would have been a better experience without the surprises. I would recommend it to anyone who understands its quirks and likes a semi-luxury experience in an 'off the grid' environment. All-in-all, we enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank donlboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2010

First, we are experienced travellers who have staid in various lodges and camps in different countries and continents. We know what to expect from a five-star hotel as well as from a jungle camp.
The Taita location high above the Zambezi river (downriver from the falls) is exceptional, though it takes 45-60 minutes to get there or to go anywhere, and they charge you each time for using their driver. The place and the huts have a primitive charm, away from civilization. The food was quite good and the service very friendly. Unfortunately the water pump broke down several times during our stay, so repeatedly we couldn't have a shower or had to wait for water bags to be brought in. This inconvenience should have been compensated by a substantial discount on the room rate, but the owners only offered us one transport free of charge (approx. USD 50)! Forget the pool, it didn't work and anyway it is tiny, impossible to swim in.
Everything in Zambia is very expensive, but here we got a feeling of being ripped off, even the welcome drinks were charged. We know we can't expect 5 star comfort in the middle of nowhere, but running water is a basic requirement at the price we paid. If we hadn't paid in advance we would have changed to one of the hotels upriver from the falls.
Don't waste your money on the luxury sunset cruises, but if you dare, do the canoe trip - it is a fantastic experience, though we wouldn't recommend it if you never canoed before, as there are some rapids, and you get really close to crocodiles and hippos! However the guides are very competent and reassuring.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lennart51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2009

Hello Oom Faan, en Tannie Ann Marie. It's Scottie here. A lot has happened in the last 3 years since I was at Taita Falcon. My Sister in-law is pregnant with her 2nd. I now have a girl friend, her name is Natasha, the love of my life at the moment. I would love to come back as a guest, with my girlfriend. How is everyone? Please send my wishes to my knight in shining armour, Brian. Miss you guys stacks. My Folks want me to be there guide at the lodge, so maybe, I could crack a nod. Lots of Luv, Scotty Hawkins.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled solo
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Thank hawkins1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2009

Taita Falcon perches above Zambia's Batoka Gorge overlooking the Zambezi River, and you can sit on the deck and sip your drink while gazing down on eagles BELOW you. The owners, Faan and Anmarie, have created a magnificent spot in the African bush, with excellent food and great hospitality.

Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
Thank CapeTownTony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2009

Place is beautiful and the shalets are great. Food is wonderful and there is always plenty of coffee ,tea and other drinks available. Owners and staff are a pleasure to chat with and will help out if you have travel difficulites (lack of transport happened to us twice in two years and Annmarie and Mervis saw to it that we awere not stranded.)
Since we were there in "winter-May", the hot water bottle in the bed and turn down service were especially nice. We felt safe and Mervis stayed up with his four security guards if he thought there might be a problem.
The view of the Zambezi below was awesome and to sleep with the sound of the river flowing at night was really peaceful. Chalets were between a tent camp and Safari lodge. My group was totally suprised and loved every minute of it.
If you are on a tight budget, then this may be a bit much for you.
Road to lodge takes forever and best with a four wheel drive although we have used a bus the last two times.
I take a medical mission team to Zambia each year and after 7-8 days holding clinics in the North, my team really enjoys the down time at Tatia Falcon lodge with visits to Victoria Falls.

  • Stayed: June 2009
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1  Thank William H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2009

I really can't fault this place. I was met at the airport on schedule and paid a visit to Victoria Falls on the way to the lodge. Brian, my guide, was knowledgable and friendly and I enjoyed the time I spent in his company during trips from the lodge. The lodge itself is in a stunning location with magnificent views up and down the Zambezi River. A lot of thought and care have been put into the accommodation. The rooms - individual chalets -are comfortable, clean and attractive, and the grounds are well kept whilst maintaining a feeling of an African experience. I kept discovering yet another sculpture or interesting addition to the grounds and room. I was travelling on my own and was made to feel incredibly welcome, I had dinner with my hosts both evenings I was there and enjoyed myself, feeling as if I was with people I had known for years. The food was excellent and there was a good range of wines. All in all a stay I will keep in a treasure chest of memories, my only regret that I had not had more time to spend there.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled solo
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Thank rowanglasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Taita Falcon Lodge

Address: Batoka Gorge | Mukuni, Livingstone 10101, Zambia
Phone Number:
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 93 Specialty Lodging in Livingstone
Price Range: $215 - $300 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Taita Falcon Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Taita Falcon Lodge is only 11 km from the Victoria Falls and is stunningly perched 200m above the Zambezi on the edge of the Batoka Gorge and is a luxurious bush experience at the Victoria Falls. Owner managed, the lodge's focus is on providing personalized service to each individual client. With only 7 chalets, the lodge offers an intimate stay or an exclusive venue to smaller groups. Each spacious chalet is en-suite with its own private garden and outdoor shower. The chalets are constructed of reed and stone with 3/4 walls bringing the outside in. All creature comforts are catered for in their elegantly down to earth design. Chalets are individually prepared as double, twin, triple or family rooms. The indigenous gardens are blended with "bush zen" sand gardens at the lodge entrance and chalet exteriors, and a "green theme" around the swimming pool. There is a boma where evening winter meals are hosted around an open fire. The large viewing deck and adjacent lounge play host to meals and pre-dinner drinks in conjunction to providing expansive views downstream and miles beyond! Our meals are hearty "Afrikaans style" cooking with healthy options prepared in conjunction. We offer full board packages as well as fully inclusive tour packages incorporating visits to the Victoria Falls, cultural village tours, guided bush and bird walks, game drives and a sunset cruise. Any of the numerous activities in the region can easily be arranged by the Lodge. A paradise for birders, Taita also offers guided hiking trails in and around the Batoka Gorge.An ideal beginning or ending to your African Safari - spend a few days taking in the natural wonder of the Victoria Falls and the many adventure activities that the region has to offer!! ... more   less 
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