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
Tongabezi was true luxury! Set along the side of the river Zambezi, with stunning views of the landscape and wildlife. When we arrived check in was simple and we met some of the staff who took us to the deck overlooking the river and we had a huge lunch, so much food, and it was all fantastic quality. Beside the deck was the pool, the fire pit and the bar/dining room. Jato, our valet, showed us to our room; one of the Riverside Cottages - which was a beautiful rondavel with large doors onto our own private deck facing the river. The bed was massive and so comfy, with a big mosquito net. The room had loads of different lights to set the mood and had A/C and a fan to keep you chilled. The large bathroom had his and hers sinks, cool black and white decor, a walk in shower and a separate bathtub by the window. There was lovely shampoo, conditioner and body wash too.
The room was always clean and the fridge was topped up with water and clean glasses. There was a safe and built in wardrobes and plenty of electric sockets to keep the camera charged! Outside on the deck was a sofa, table and chairs (where Jato brought our breakfast one morning) and sunloungers. All the staff were lovely, so attentive and friendly.
One afternoon we used the lap pool with its relaxing shallow area, and deck with sun loungers. All this was close to the gym, which we didn’t try, but looked stocked enough!
All the grounds are well kept and the lodges set apart for true privacy. There are so many activities you can do, we ran out of time. Which gives us a great excuse to go back again!
This stay was the most relaxing part of our time in Africa, I think due in part to the river itself. What a beautiful view! The rooms were cool and comfortable, the staff friendly and helpful, with options for day tours were plentiful, and the food very good as well. We particularly enjoyed interacting with the local people.
We had no idea what to expect. This was our first safari and safari camp on our 3-week safari in Africa. We were blown away by the tranquility of the Zambezi, the warmth and friendliness of the staff and the amazing animals. We also loved our room!
Nothing is impossible, all can be organized in an easy and friendly way. Your butler manages your linen, your meals and your wishes with a smile. We had the most marvelous family time thanks to Nyambé, Captain Felix, Mike, Chris , JC , Ophelia, William and the Chef who is a mighty talent who can turn his hand at many different types of cooking (sorry for the rest of the team I did not mention...;-)). I would recommend the Island picnic as a secret MUST...
From the first step of your arrival the service is courteous, warm and very helpful.
I am always pleased with good service on a trip , but this was exceptional- every staff person I had contact with !
And that was exceeded by my ‘butler’ for Bird House.
Bird House is superb, great view of the river and wildlife. Coffee in the morning was a delight.
The staff does an excellent job of helping to arrange a wide variety of activities that are available.