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
We came to Sindabezi and Tongabezi at the tail end of our two week honeymoon in Zambia. Having stayed there for 4 nights (2 on Sindabezi and 2 at Tongabezi) we cannot day enough about the service, staff and location. The Tree House was magnificent, as was all the food and the activities were great.The staff are all exceptional and we were looked after so well by Nasson and Nyambe, our valets. They went to such great lengths to ensure our stay was special, right down to arranging a very romantic and wonderful dinner for my husband’s birthday, which included a very special visit from local singers who sang Happy Birthday to him! We loved having an opportunity to visit Tujutane school and hearing about what a difference the school has made in the lives of local people. Tongabezi is truly a special place and we really hope we will return again one day!
I grew up in Zambia, with a picture of Tongabezi in my mind - Despite many opportunities to go there, my dream was that I was going to save this special place for my honeymoon.
Its now June 2018 and I'm still not married (I'd like to think that its Not because I'm horrible but it just never happened) Age 50 crept up quicker than a wedding, so I decided to use this big event to celebrate with my boyfriend at Tongabezi.
Oh Boy!! It was a dream worth waiting for and even more than I had imagined or expected. Quite simply, it was perfect. We stayed for 5 nights and spent a night at their private island Sindabezi with the amazing, friendly staff. I was sang Happy Birthday to, by a beautiful choir (wouldn't have got that on a honeymoon) and was spoilt rotten with river cruises, sundowners with hippos, delicious fresh healthy meals (a veggie garden on the property), a private visit to the school (also on the property) a gym workout, a massage, a microlight flight, a picnic at Vic Falls, oh and did I mention the staff? Attentive, friendly, warm and caring, we had our own butler called Conceptor who I kept calling Conception, especially after yet another glass of champagne!
Tongabezi was amazing. The decor, the rooms, the whole eperience. I felt like a princess.
Thanks to JC and her team...
And guess what?? The best news, I got engaged!! So, now... where to for my honeymoon???
Ah! It has taken me a while to review Tongabezi because I just have so much to say. After months of searching for the perfect place for our honeymoon I ran into Tongabezi in Instagram and completely fell in love with the place, it seemed very unique (I was not wrong). I made our reservation directly with them and customer service was very helpful and fast to respond all my questions. The property is beautiful and the decoration is perfect. Every corner of every place is beautifully set up and sets a mood of relaxation. Nyambe was our valet, how we miss him! He is so much fun and I love how every dinner he would set us up in a different table. He spoiled us each and every day and made us not want to come back home ever. We stayed at the tree house for two nights. OMG, such a fun experience. We felt like Jane and Tarzan but in a luxury tree house. We had no problems with mosquitoes or any other (animal) intruders. The sunrise from there is unbelievable. We would hear birds calling, monkeys playing in the trees and hippos grunting from the river, UNBELIEVABLE! Nyambe set us up a romantic dinner and bath in the tree house, it was like out of a movie. We stayed one night in the honeymoon house, very different from the tree house but absolutely beautiful. We had our own private pool and I love how the bathroom is open concept. Food is very good and every day its different. We loved how they offered a different special every day on food and drinks. Our favorite drink was the margarita, Ophelia makes THE BEST margaritas ever. As for our guide, Fabeus, I can't say enough good things about him. I asked him a million questions about everything and he always had an answer. He is extremely knowledgeable, super friendly, always smiling and laughs like Jeff Bezos. During our stay we did the sunset cruise, rhino walk, massage, simonga village, school visit, game drive, victoria falls and micro light flight- everything was incredible. Please please visit Simonga village it was a bittersweet experience but it truly opened our eyes. When it was time to leave Tongabezi our hearts were sad yet happy at the same time. It brought tears to my eyes to say goodbye to everyone since we felt like we were leaving family behind. But, we were happy because we met them and hopefully we can come back to see everyone again. JC, Simon, Rudy, Monene, George, Ophelia, Fabeus (the billion dollar man), Joseph, Nyambe- thank you to each and everyone of you for making our stay and our honeymoon an unforgettable experience. It was our pleasure to meet you in this life. We come back home with great memories and truly inspired by all the good things that are happening in Tongabezi. Don't think about it too much, you will not regret staying at Tongabezi, just GO, GO NOW!
Mariana & Roberto
We stayed at Tongabezi for 3 nights at the start of my husband and my 40th big birthday celebrations and it blew us away!
Our transfer was quick, about 15-20 minutes from Livingston airport and we were welcomed on arrival, checked in quickly and taken to our room, a river cottage.
The river cottages, as the description says, are right on the river and with views to die for, along with the chorus of hippos. Spotlessly clean, lots of space, storage, lovely big bathroom and amazing smelling toiletries. You also have a nice big deck with covered sofa area and complimentary mini bar, table and chairs and sun loungers. We didn't want to leave the room! Also, if you need to travel light, they have all the necessary toiletries, hair dryer and laundry service to help this along.
You are assigned a valet to look after you for your stay and ours was Mercy, she really looked after us (I don't think we are the tidiest people so thank you!), kept us well fed and watered too!
Food is great here, it is pretty much all locally sourced. Lots of choice. Our favourite was the tapas lunches, a big spread of fish or meat and different salads/veg to pick at, washed down with some nice cold white wine. We also enjoyed having our meals in different locations around the lodge. We did start to resemble the hippos by the time we left as we couldn't say no to anything!
We also really enjoyed speaking to the other members of the team and other guests around the camp fire at night with a drink or two.
The activities are great, we did a tour of the falls which we really enjoyed and also the helicopter (definitely recommended to see the falls properly - make sure you do the half hour one as you go around the falls as well as through the gorges and also over the national park, seeing the animals below).
We did both the sunset and sunrise cruise with Captain Felix and loved our time with him. He was so knowledgeable but also very funny too, his hippo impression is the best!
We also did a tour of the gardens with Clifford, which was great and very informative. Then we visited the school, this was a great experience and the children were lovely, they were all very proud of their school and work, it was so lovely to see!
We paid to do the Rhino tracking on foot, this is well worth the money (usd70pp) and great to see these magnificent creatures so close!
I would defini recommend 3 nights as with 2 nights, you don't have enough time to do everything on offer and also have time to relax and enjoy the lodge/rooms too
I would like to think we can come back here one day, it really is a special place, the team that look after you seem genuinely happy and this reflects in the feel of the place. It's not cheap but when you see where the money goes, it is worth every penny!! We have gone home with so many happy memories xx
This has to have been the highlight of a fantastic African holiday. We spent one night at songabezi then transferred to the dog house At tongabezi. We were speechless at the space we had with the mighty Zambezi river flowing past our balcony! The decor at the camp was world class. The staff were above and beyond...our driver and our butler Evans were fantastic.. we will be back ...thanks Jacquie