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Zambia Safari

Tongabezi Lodge

Livingstone & Zambezi River, Zambia

View of Tongabezi Lodge at night
Return to Victoria Falls / Livingstone Hotels, Camps & Lodges                    Image © Tongabezi Lodge

View images of Tongabezi Lodge: Tongabezi Images


Tongabezi Lodge is an exclusive lodge, away from the crowds, on the banks of the Zambezi River, 15km upstream from the magnificent Victoria Falls. The lodge accommodates 18 guests, with four twin-bedded cottages, one double-bedded cottage and four luxury double-bedded houses.

Tongabezi Lodge, the first river lodge on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls, was established in 1990 by Ben Parker and the late Will Ruck-Keene. It is privately owned and run, with the emphasis on exclusivity and romance, enhanced by the warmth and hospitality of the people of Zambia.

A ratio of four friendly staff to every guest ensures a luxurious and relaxing stay. Activities available include visits to Victoria Falls, gorges, Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and Livingstone museums and markets, as well as boat trips, canoeing, white water rafting and tiger fishing on the river, tennis on a grass tennis court, swimming in the pool built into the rock, golf, croquet and riding. Also, special champagne luncheons on Livingstone Island in the middle of the Falls and fully catered canoe safaris camping on islands. You can enjoy the view and do nothing too.

Accommodation            For images of Tongabezi Lodge, click Tongabezi Images
Tongabezi is small and secluded and set in a tranquil grove of African ebony trees on a sweeping bend of the Zambezi River. The guest accommodation, located only meters from the river, consists of five cottages and four spacious, open-planned stone and thatch houses. All rooms have fabulous river views and en-suite bathrooms.

The four houses - Honeymoon House, Tree House, Bird House and the Dog House are uniquely designed of local materials and have an open-plan bedroom with four poster double bed sheltered by a large airy mosquito canopy. The quirky and open plan design of the Houses means that certain of the baths and "loos" have arguably, the best views in Africa.

Each house and cottage at Tongabezi has its own valet who will be with you throughout your stay to ensure that you make the most of all the comforts it has to offer. With his in-depth knowledge of Tongabezi and the surrounding area, he can become your indispensable companion.

The camp's swimming pool is landscaped into a natural cliff and meals are served in the large dining room or on the deck overlooking the river. The camp also has its own croquet lawn (African rules apply!), jetty, tennis courts and a school for the local children.

Days at Tongabezi have no set pattern and can be spent exactly as you wish. Choose simply to relax at the lodge or make the most of the wealth of activities, both inclusive and exclusive, that will keep you busy for several days. Whatever and whenever your choice, the staff and guides are always at hand to fulfil your wishes.

Activities at Tongabezi are numerous and include river boat trips, picnic lunches on islands in the river, visits to Livingstone, Victoria Falls town, and both sides of the Falls, birding, white water rafting, horse riding, bungee jumping, or for something truly unique, having lunch on Livingstone Island! Tongabezi is also ideal for just relaxing in camp and lazing around the pool.

Livingstone Island
Perched on the edge of the Victoria Falls in the very midst of this thundering mass of water, Livingstone Island is the place from where Dr Livingstone first viewed the Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke That Thunders). During your guided exploration of the island, you'll truly understand the real power of this Wonder of the World. Thereafter, enjoy a sumptuous lunch, high tea or light breakfast whist the Zambezi waters roar past. If you're feeling brave, take a heart-stopping peek over the island's edge to the churning mass of water below, or a dip in the Falls' very own pool (at times of low water).

The Tongabezi Trust School, which opened in 1996, was set up and is run by Vanessa Parker, Ben's wife. It provides education to the Tongabezi staff children, as well as children from the local community in an area where educational funding and materials are scarce. Tujatane has grown from a pre-school with 15 children into a primary school with over 100 children and recently attained UK charity status.

Education in Zambia needs help. Through education, Tujatane becomes the starting point for change; the children and their parents understand that education will bring opportunity. You can help make that opportunity happen. The school is self-funding and, apart from the first classroom, the rest of the school has been built purely from donations. Anything you could bring out with you would be hugely appreciated, including old toys, used books and videos, reading and writing materials. You are encouraged to visit Tujatane - the children love welcoming visitors to their school.

Sindabezi Island Camp
If you are visiting for a few days, consider spending an unforgettable night or two at Sindabezi, Tongabezi's private island paradise nestled in the waters of the Zambezi near the Victoria Falls. Access from Tongabezi is by a short banana boat ride, or a guided canoe trip, where you may be lucky enough to spot a pod of wallowing hippo or elephant drinking on the river bank.

The camp consists of 4 thatched chalets, each with its own private river view. If you are in a party of four or more, the entire island can be yours exclusively at no extra cost. The open-fronted design of each chalet brings you close to nature. With no electricity on the island, there is a real sense of adventure and romance, as you dine by candlelight on the sand and fall asleep in the glow of a hurricane lamp, to the music of the inimitable African night.

Although Tongabezi is not a game lodge, the Zambezi National Park is located just across the river, and Lion calls can often be heard at night. Rich birdlife is found in the area. Hippo are regularly sighted (and heard) along the river's edge. Fishing is good, with Tiger fishing featuring prominently in the warmer months. Birding in and around the lodge is superb.

Top           Return to Victoria Falls / Livingstone Hotels, Camps & Lodges           Return to Map of Zambia Camps

For History and General information about Zambia, click More Zambia
For further information about the National Parks of Zambia, click Zam Parks

For History and General information about Victoria Falls, click More VicFalls
For further information about the National Parks of Zimbabwe, click Zim Parks
For History and General information about Zimbabwe, click More Zimbabwe

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