Imagine a river home to hundreds of hippos and crocodiles, tree houses and dreamy cottages, playful yet cheeky monkeys, stunning sunsets and candlelit dinners under the stars. This is romance and nature at its best. Welcome to Tongabezi Lodge, a private piece of paradise built 24 kilometers upstream from Victoria Falls. Situated on the banks of the Zambezi River in Zambia, Tongabezi scores points for its exclusivity, privacy and truly unforgettable setting in nature.
Started in 1990 by adventuring Ben Parker, Tongabezi Lodge is the ultimate place to stay in Livingstone for romantics, honeymooners as well as nature – and animal lovers.
The only 11 houses and cottages at Tongabezi all face the setting sun and boast peerless views over the Zambezi River. Every Tongabezi villa is completely unique and evokes the character and essence of Africa. We stayed in the dreamy open-plan Tree House which was the most romantic house we’ve ever stayed. The Tree House features a sunken bathtub large enough for two and a truly unforgettable setting that allows a sense of being surrounded by the natural environment. The Dog House is a brand new pool villa, ideal for groups or families. Each house at Tongabezi Lodge has its own valet who will look after you throughout your stay.
At Tongabezi Lodge in Zambia the food is good, but not fantastic. The good thing is: all meals are included. Dine on the deck under the stars, join the communal table or enjoy room service in the privacy of your villa. A must-try is the floating dinner, which is something very special and super romantic. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to have dinner aboard the Royal Livingstone Express, but we’ve heard it’s a unique experience.
Tongabezi offers loads of activities (some are included) from game drives, fishing, canoeing between crocs and hopefully not hungry hippos to boat trips and a helicopter tour over the Victoria Falls. A must-do is the lunch on Livingstone Island. Dare devil? While visiting Livingstone Island, you have the opportunity to swim in Devil’s Pool – centimeters away from the yawning 100-metre drop -, which we highly recommend! Check the YouTube movies and you’ll understand why this is such an amazing and thrilling once-in-a-lifetime-experience. Victoria Falls and the area surrounding it is a lure for adrenalin junkies and visitors can participate in a number of extreme sports, such as bungee-jumping, white water rafting or canoeing up the Zambezi. How cool is that?
There is no gym or spa – Tongabezi offer massages in the privacy of your villa -, but they have plans to build both in the near future. When it’s extremely hot (in October), just jump in the refreshing pool – a far safer option than the crocodile-infested Zambezi River.
Nice to know: Ben and Vanessa Parker opened the Tujatane School in May 1996. They wanted to provide primary education to the children of their staff and their close families. If you want you can visit the school.