Zambia – home of the Victoria Falls… Part 2/4
Tongabezi Lodge is a privately owned and run lodge located in the most amazing and tranquil setting further upstream on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls.
Accommodation consists of a selection of houses and cottages, each beautifully furnished using local materials. An added touch is that guests can choose to dine beside the river or on their private terrace.
You can choose to just relax or make the most of the many activities that will keep you busy for several days. Inclusive activities are sunrise and sunset boating, a guided walking tour of the Zambian side of the Falls, fishing, a game drive in Mosi-oa-Tunya Game Park, guided museum tours, a visit to the colourful markets and Simonga village. For the romantics out there, a must is the private candlelit dinner which you can enjoy whilst floating under the stars on the Zambezi.
Watch out for those hippos! We were warned not to venture outside alone after dark because of the resident hippos, which had slipped my mind until I heard the scuffling in the bushes right next to my chalet. It seems I was located at their favourite sundowner hole! Tregger, my valet, eventually came to my rescue so I could enjoy my delicious dinner.
One of the highlights of my stay at Tongabezi Lodge was the Livingstone Island Excursion, where you are given the opportunity to swim on the edge of the Victoria Falls (Zambian side). This is definitely “bucket-list” material and something everyone should try and do at least once in their lifetime.
After signing what seemed like our lives’ away – there is an indemnity form you are required to sign, but at the end of the day if you listen to your expert guides you will be fine – we were taken on a short boat ride from the Royal Livingstone Hotel to the banks just near Devil’s Pool. You are guided across the river, which involved a short burst of a swim to the rocks, where you then have to jump into this tiny pool – Devil’s Pool – which sends all the adrenaline soaring through your body.
You are only allowed about 15 minutes in the pool before you return to the shore and sit down to a delicious eggs benedict brunch!
Sindabezi Island – Tongabezi’s sister camp – is located a private island about a 20 minute boat ride from Tongabezi. Accommodation consists of five open-sided thatched cottages offering uninterrupted views across the flood plains of the Zambezi, and into the nearby National Park.
In the late afternoon after our arrival we enjoyed a very relaxing sundowner boat cruise before returning to our al fresco dining experience under the stars!
Sindabezi is the ideal getaway for small groups or families traveling together, but also very popular with Honeymooners and couples alike. Sindabezi offers such a relaxing setting, making it the perfect destination for those looking for a quiet getaway. Very popular – and highly suggested – is combining Sindabezi with a stay at Tongabezi Lodge.
Before we left Victoria Falls and made our way into the Lower Zambezi, we were taken on a visit to the Tongabezi Trust School, which was set up by Vanessa Parker (the wife of Ben Parker, who owns Tongabezi) previously a volunteer teacher in Livingstone.
The school opened on the 1st May 1996 and 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. The school has also recently attained charity status and is completely funded on donations, is currently supporting over 160 students. I highly recommend popping in to the school for a visit, which Tongabezi Lodge will gladly help arrange.