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Tongabezi, Livingstone & Victoria Falls

Tongabezi

Offering a small number of individually-styled cottages and houses set in a tranquil spot along the Zambezi River, Tongabezi Lodge makes for a peaceful stay before or after a safari or for those looking to explore the Victoria Falls and Livingstone area. In the center of the lodge is an open-sided thatched dining room and lounge, while the swimming pool has been built into the natural rock by the river. Guests can sit out on the spacious, raised wooden deck overlooking the river to enjoy leisurely breakfasts, while pre-dinner drinks are served around the atmospheric fire pit. Privately owned and run, the property offers a warm, friendly service.

Our rating: Deluxe

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Rooms

The River Cottages have an African style with high ceilings, stone floors and large windows facing the water. They feature spacious bedrooms and en suite bathrooms with clawfoot baths, as well as their own entrance porch with seating and colorful cushions.

The individually-styled houses differ in size, with the two bedroom Garden House and Dog House offering ample space and amenities for families, including private plunge pools. The three bedroom Tangala House for larger families features a pool, trampoline and dedicated chef. The Tree House enjoys a secluded location amongst the branches of an ebony tree with excellent river views, while the Nut House has folding doors opening out to a private garden and plunge pool.

Location

The lodge enjoys a scenic position on the banks of the Zambezi River, around 30 minutes upstream from Victoria Falls and several kilometers northwest of Livingstone. The area affords a variety of activities, from bush walks and boat trips to game drives and hikes.

Food and drink

Guests can dine around the large communal dining table, out on the deck beside the river or on their private terrace. Alternatively, the relaxing Lookout makes for a more exclusive dining experience, with guests able to book a whole floor if they wish. The menu is regularly updated according to the seasonal produce grown in the property’s vegetable and herb gardens and fruit orchard to ensure fresh, tasty dishes.

Families

Children aged seven and over are welcome to stay at Tongabezi, with rollaway beds and extra mosquito nets provided and a number of larger accommodation options available. A children’s menu is available and food can be served at preferred meal times. A variety of child-friendly activities are offered, from tracking animals to playing games with local children in nearby Tujatane, drumming sessions around the campfire and African treasure hunts.

Honeymooners

Tongabezi has a Honeymoon House featuring a private balcony overlooking the river, providing a romantic setting for a candlelit dinner. Couples can also enjoy romantic dinners floating on a sampan in the river, with each course delivered by canoe. Alternatively, book a meal in The Lookout, which offers privacy and peaceful river views.

Facilities and activities

Activities include visits to Victoria Falls, canoeing on the river and trips to Tujatane Village for an insight into local life. A trip to Livingstone Island, on the edge of Victoria Falls, is recommended; you’ll be taken by boat and given a brief history tour before swimming across the channel, crossing a rocky outcrop and jumping into a rock pool right next to the main flow of water – a spectacular sight and sound as the water cascades over the rocks.

Environmental and social responsibility

Tongabezi helped to establish and still supports Tujatane Trust School, which since 1996 has grown from teaching 15 to around 250 students. It also helps to fund housing for local teachers.

Staff at the property are involved in the Aids Council of Zambia to raise awareness and break the silence over the disease.

To protect the environment, solar power is used for lighting, water is recycled for irrigation and wood is sourced from sustainable forests.

Our opinion

Tongabezi appeals to us due to its style, peaceful riverside setting and exceptionally attentive and friendly service, with staff doing everything they can to make your stay enjoyable without being obtrusive.

Victoria Falls tour ideas

Nearby accommodation

Nearby places

Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    • The pool

      Avani Victoria Falls Resort

      Medium

      The Avani Victoria Falls Resort is only a ten minute walk from the Victoria Falls. The resort is quite large with over 200 rooms that are simple but comfortable, arranged around a large lawn and extensive swimming pool.

    • Royal Chundu River Lodge, Livingstone & The Victoria Falls

      Royal Chundu River Lodge

      Deluxe

      Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge has a private and secluded setting approximately one hour upstream from the Victoria Falls, away from the hustle and bustle of Livingstone.

    • Royal Livingstone Hotel, Livingstone & The Victoria Falls

      Royal Livingstone Hotel

      Deluxe

      The elegant Royal Livingstone Hotel is one of the closest accommodation options to the Victoria Falls, offering unlimited access to this natural wonder. Wildlife lovers will also enjoy watching zebra grazing in the grounds and can explore the nearby Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Wildlife Park.

    • Sindabezi Island Lodge, Livingstone & The Victoria Falls

      Sindabezi Island Lodge

      First Class

      This is one of our favorite places to stay in the Livingstone area. Right in the middle of the river you are totally away from it all. It's an exciting place to stay as you're surrounded by wildlife, listening to the Zambezi flowing down toward the Victoria Falls.

    • Tree-house, Sussi Lodge

      Sussi Lodge

      Deluxe

      Sussi Lodge has a lovely location above the Zambezi. The rooms are very luxurious and stylish and we warmly recommend it. There are ten thatched and brick tree-houses, built into the living canopy of giant ebony trees lining the bank.

    • Thorntree River Lodge, Livingstone & The Victoria Falls

      Thorntree River Lodge

      Deluxe

      A taste of luxury on the banks of the Zambezi River, Thorntree River Lodge offers beautiful accommodation in a pretty setting with plenty of activities to fill your days.

    • Toka Leya,Livingstone & The Victoria Falls

      Toka Leya

      First Class

      This is a beautifully designed property in a great spot right in the national park, only a short drive from the Victoria Falls. The relaxed and flexible atmosphere means that is a great place to chill out before or after a safari.

    • Waterberry Zambezi Lodge , Livingstone & The Victoria Falls

      Waterberry Zambezi Lodge

      Medium

      Situated on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River within lush grounds, Waterberry Lodge is an excellent mid-range option just a 30-minute drive from Livingstone and the spectacular Victoria Falls.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • Victoria Falls bridge from the 'Boiling Pot'

      Livingstone Island Excursion

      Victoria Falls

      You are taken by boat to the island on the edge of Victoria Falls and taken on a brief history tour before swimming across a channel, crossing a rocky outcrop and jumping into a rock pool.

    • Sunset on the Lower Zambezi

      Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi

      Victoria Falls

      The cruises are shaded and gently make their way upstream towards the National Park, usually accompanied by a brief talk about the river and its wildlife by your skipper.

    • Helicopter flight over the Falls

      Victoria Falls Helicopter Flight

      Victoria Falls

      Flying lower than a conventional aircraft, you will fly a complete circuit over the Falls in both directions, giving you spectacular views of the Falls.