What We Love
- Falling asleep to the noise of hippos chatting to each other in the distance
- When you dine on a floating pontoon boat on the river, the waiters deliver each course by canoe.
- Ordering room service using a two-way radio
What To Know
- The all-inclusive rate also covers boat trips, bush walks, and game drives
- The resort often offers a free extra night when you book three
- Same-day laundry service is included
Quite possibly the most romantic setting in all of Africa, Tongabezi Lodge ticks all the boxes for a honeymoon or couples retreat: open-air bathtubs, private decks, candlelit riverside dining, couples massages, and a personal butler to deliver anything your heart desires. The honeymoon house, one of the more decadent of its sumptuous cottages and houses, has a private plunge pool that looks out over the river, but it’s the treehouse high up in the canopy that secures the best views. Groups of friends and the romantically unattached are still in for a good time, though—the lodge is close to Victoria Falls, which means an array of adrenaline-pumping activities, and you can dine communally under the stars on traditional Zambian dishes made with veggies from the onsite organic garden. Hippos grunt in the distance, exotic birds fly by, crocodiles float past and monkeys chatter in the trees—and that’s all before you’ve gone on a game drive or even seen the Falls.
In the Area
Due to the remote setting, you’d be hard-pressed to arrange outings yourself, but the resort has a number of activities to choose from. Visits to a village market, sunset boat trips, and fishing excursions are all included in the rate. The resort will also arrange day trips to Chobe National Park (known for its excellent game spotting), tours of Livingstone Island, elephant-back safaris, and heart-pounding whitewater rafting trips over the Zambezi River rapids. Victoria Falls is the area’s biggest attraction, of course, and you can see the pounding water from both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides. The truly adventurous can take a microlight flight over the falls in a teensy aircraft—the thrill of seeing the enormous falls from above, as well as hippos and elephants far below, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
How to Get There
My wife and I stayed here after our safari adventure to visit the Victoria Falls. It was OMG amazing, probably the most luxurious place we have ever stayed. It was gorgeous and we were well taken care of every minute. We highly recommend!
We wish we had had an opportunity to stay longer at Tongabezi Lodge. We were in the area primarily to visit Victoria Falls, and our travel agent booked us into Tongabezi. Great choice! Beautiful setting, great staff, wonderful food, many activities to choose from, and an overall wonderful, beautiful, quiet and peaceful visit. We visited the on-site school that Tongabezi founded for employees and now educates 280 local children. A great experience not to be missed! The one area for potential improvement is in the rooms. Ours was in need of a refresher in paint and tile grout, and perhaps a more modern toilet. I would also have like a higher level of amenities in the fridge, etc. Nonetheless, we would highly recommend Tongabezi for a stay in the Livingstone area.
We enjoyed our stay here, it is a great place to take a break in-between safari lodges, relax and not have to wake up early. It is a lovely setting and the rooms are very nice and spacious. Love the decor. Also the staff is very nice and knowledgeable. We had great sunrise/sunset boat rides, which was probably our favorite part. They also set up your lunch and dinner in a different spot each time and we appreciated their efforts to show us new places/views around the property. We would recommend doing the white water rafting if you’re up for it. The company they use is fantastic and very knowledgeable as well.
But for the price point and in comparison to some of the other places we stayed, we thought it was a little lacking. That is why we have given it just four stars. We stayed in the dog house and everything was beautiful, but there were stains on the rug in the den area. They were there when we arrived and there when we left. They didn’t heat the private pool so you are unable to use it. The deck gets almost no exposure to the sun so the sun cannot warm it. They should also heat the pool by the main area, only one pool is heated. There is no bartender around the heated pool so you have to go ask for someone which takes quite a bit of time. The food was pretty good but in comparison to some of the other places we stayed during this trip, just average- particularly the breakfast was lacking. And Tongazebi has the benefit of being so close to a town - all the other lodges were 4-5 hours from a town and had amazing food. We also had a few errors in terms of requests we made that we attribute to miscommunication, but that never happened at any other lodges. I would urge the property to evaluate its standards as my family raved about this place and it didn't fully live up to our expectations. Is it more lax now? I would never complain about these things if not for the reputation and price point. Perhaps it would be a better value if you stayed in a river cottage.
What a place! We absolutely loved Tongabezi and can't recommend it enough. It was our first stop on honeymoon and we stayed 2 nights but wish we had stayed at least 3 nights. We were in the Honeymoon House which was huge with views of the river from our bed past our terrace, plunge pool and outside roll top bath! The food was fantastic - their puddings are out of this world. We were treated like Kings. Every setting for supper is beautiful and the views are fantastic. The picnic was amazing - just us out in the middle of the water with the sound of hippos around us.
We loved the Victoria Falls tour too. Just paradise!!! My husband and I will be recommending you to everyone! THANK YOU ALL FOR MAKING IT SUPER MEMORABLE!
Thanks to Camilla @scottdunn for recommending we start our Zambian adventure at Tongabezi.
We were met and warmly welcomed by Chris at Livingston airport for the short transfer to the property.
CJ welcomed us on arrival, where we met the wonderful Trega who would look after our every need during our stay. His sense of humour is infectious, like having an old friend looking after you. A great skill.
The Honeymoon House is even better than the photos, spacious, beautifully appointed and a haven of calm. We spent many hours just sitting on our balcony, bino’s in hand, watching birds, monkeys, hippo, crocs and even otters on the river.
The activities are excellent, well run, well timed and worth doing. Sunset cruise, game drive, fishing on the river (thank you Capt Ronald!), Vic Falls walk and an unforgettable microlight flight over them in the late afternoon.
The property has every convenience you could wish for, even a gym.
The food is first class. Every meal - breakfast, lunch and dinner - was outstanding. And the chef coming to see you each evening to ask how things were was a lovely touch, these guys really care.
Take a walk through the gardens and meet Terry and the gardening team. We were impressed by the amount of fruit and veg grown on site, organically and with real loving care and attention.
Nothing is too much trouble, every member of staff will greet you with a beaming, genuine smile. It’s clear that they are an excellent team, the number of times I heard laughter and happy chatting as they went about their day was impressive.
Exec summary? A wonderful place, with wonderful amenities, wonderful food and wonderful people. Highly recommended.