Victoria Falls (Zambia)
Tongabezi Lodge is an ultra-luxurious and exotic place to start your trip – especially for honeymooners looking to unwind – or to relax post-safari and be spoilt rotten. It is an owner-run, quirky river retreat close to Victoria Falls itself and offers a range of memorable activities, such as visits to Livingstone Island and plunging into Devil’s Pool, a 167m high natural rock pool jutting over the edge of the Falls (not for the feint hearted!). Guests can also go canoeing, fishing, visit local villages, take guided bush walks and go on sunrise and sunset boat rides. Game drives, bush walks and boating trips are all included in the price. Tongabezi Lodge’s majestic setting, warm service, safari-chic décor, private dinners and sunset cruises are all exceptional. One of the highlights here 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 the Tongabezi Lodge there is an open-sided thatched dining room and lounge decorated with a stylish African vibe. Set next to the main lodge is a beautiful swimming pool built around the natural river boulders. Evenings are for gathering by the fire pit for drinks and chats with other guests, and dinner can be taken on a big communal dining table or, more commonly, on private tables 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. There is also a media room hidden behind it with wifi.
Tongebezi Lodge contains a series of pretty gardens and pathways (often frequented by hippos!) that lead from the main lodge to the six Houses and five Cottages. The rooms are all strung along a bend in the Zambezi River with expansive views over these hippo-filled waters. The Cottages are the base category and though they are river fronting, they are not open-fronted. While they are luxurious and individually decorated, we would recommend opting for any of the six stunning Houses, which each have their own unique charm and individual names: Honeymoon House, Bird House, Tree House, Dog House, Nut House and Garden House.
Set against the basalt rock bed, the Treehouse is particularly special, named after the thick ebony tree trunk winding up through the floor of the room and out of the thatched roof. It has a huge open-air layout, enormous deck over the river, a claw-footed bathtub, exotic Anatolian carpets and beautiful West African artworks. The Dog House is another favourite, and this is where Ampersander, Sacha Smith-Laing spent her honeymoon! It is set at the furthest and most private edge of the Tongabezi garden and with three separate decks, it is the perfect house for honeymooners wanting to stretch out, or for families and groups of friends. The Garden House is also fantastic for families with lots of garden space for kids to play and it comes with a private plunge pool, as does the Nut House, Honeymoon House and Dog House. All Cottages and Houses come with their own dedicated butler who also acts as their activities concierge.
Features in the following itineraries
- Leslie Siben, India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka