Victoria Falls (Zambia)
Tongabezi Lodge, on the edge of the mighty Zambezi River, is a luxurious and exotic lodge to start or end your trip, especially for honeymooners looking to unwind or to relax post-safari. Stepping into Tongabezi induces the same feeling as one would imagine experiencing at the top of the Faraway Tree - total relaxation and separation from life’s daily constraints. Whimsical, bohemian and utterly charming this owner run property close to the Victoria Falls offers a range of memorable activities, such as visits to Livingstone Island and walking with the endangered White rhinos in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, from which the Victoria Falls takes its local Tonga name. Guests can also go canoeing, fishing, visit the school attached the lodge, take guided bush walks or go on sunrise and sunset boat rides (highly recommended).
Tongabezi Lodge’s majestic and secluded setting, warm service, east African inspired décor, private dinners and sunset cruises make a stay here exceptional. One of the highlights is having private picnic set up for you on a tiny island in the middle of the Zambezi River – wildly romantic! At the centre of Tongabezi Lodge there is an open-sided thatched dining room and lounge decorated with a stylish African vibe and a plunge pool built around natural river boulders. Recently refurbished, the lodge now has a larger pool right in a sun trap, surrounded by welcoming loungers and the separated shallow end is perfect for enjoying a Zambezi beer.
Evenings are for gathering by the fire pit for drinks and enjoying private dinners on the spacious wooden deck jutting over the river. Guests can also treat themselves to a "floating dinner" on Tongabezi's private pontoon, with food and drinks delivered to you by canoe. There is another special area for guests to chill out called the Lookout, a 2-storey wooden hideaway stilted over the riverbank with magnificent views; the perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink and a board game or to book out for an exclusive private dinner.
Tongabezi Lodge contains a series of pretty gardens and pathways (often frequented by hippos if the river is high enough!) that lead from the main lodge to the six Houses and five Cottages. As Tongabezi has grown organically over time the rooms are dotted throughout the property and it has a truly homely feel. The Cottages are the base category but are simply gorgeous river facing rooms with recently added private terraces. The six Houses, all individually named, are larger than the Cottages and are set higher up on the banks of the property. Particular favourites of the Ampersand team are the Tree House and Nut House. Set against the basalt rock bed, the Treehouse, named after the thick ebony tree trunk winding up through the floor of the room is fully open with panoramic views over the river and a clawfoot bath tub – safari chic at its very finest. The Nut House – the most recently refurbed is in the top corner of the property and boasts a private infinity pool and the walls are adorned with modern African artwork. All Cottages and Houses come with their own dedicated butler who also acts as guests’ activities concierge.
Even a short stay at Tongabezi will feel like you have rested for 100 years and departing will leave you dreaming of it for months to come.
Features in the following itineraries
I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.
- Anonymous, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Jaime Benitez, South India