Reviews of Tongabezi
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Luxurious, relaxing and romantic Lodge
Beautiful situation in Zambia overlooking Zambezi river. A little far from the Victoria Falls and we were not told that the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls were dry at this time of year. The lodge advised that the walk at them was not worthwhile.
Well laid out with luxurious single houses with balcony and veranda. Nice room, bathroom with shower and bath. Fans, fridge and safe. Good bed with mosquito net. Subject to occasional power failures.
Excellent with personal valet who ran bath for us.
Good with nice variety. However it sometimes took a little long to arrive.
Excellent range but some were difficult to book - particularly the visit to Livingstone Island, the only way to see the Victoria Falls close up from Zambia. We did finally get on it and it was spectacular but t would probably have been advisable to have pre-booked from the UK.
The 30 minute helicopter ride over the Falls and through the gorges was expensive but spectacular.
The nearby wild life reserve has one of the few herds of White Rhino which we were lucky enough to see. The rest of the reserve is not worth driving round if you have come from other reserves/safaris.
The sunset cruise was pleasant.
Most activities are an "extra" at this lodge and we ended up spending a significant amount of extra money doing them.
Good but the main emphasis is on romanticism and in this it succeeds superlatively. Private meals are available on your own terrace. A feature for us was the interesting nature of the other guests with whom we had fascinating conversations in the evening over drinks around the fire and over shared dinners.
Fabulous safari lodge
We loved it here. Had our own private family quarters with a sitting room, two rooms and a plunge pool. There were many activities on offer and we spent a lot of time on the river. A stunning location with wonderful staff.
I met Ben and Vanessa and talked to them about Tongabezi and the school. The food was amazing and I want them to bring out a cook book ASAP!
A beautiful setting and an amazing room - we stayed in the Tree House.
Service here was absolutely top class, starting with our 'personal valet'. Sunsets over the Zambesi form our room were a truly memorable experience, as was dining on the river and island
Victoria Falls were, of course, an amazing sight
Beautiful hotel. Would recommend the rooms without walls.
Great settings for dinner.
Excellent accommodation and service. We had the honeymoon house ,which was interesting as it was our 34th wedding anniversary! My wife thought I had booked it purposely ,I didn't tell her it was the only room left!! It doesn't have the edginess of a bushcamp but the range of activities make up for it.
The breakfasts were superb, I thought the lunch where there was no choice could be improved by having simpler options presented on a buffet . Evening meals were very good though take a torch. I prefer not to be rotated round the various romantic options and outlooks for dinner ,missed the opportunity to socialise with other guests apart from the pre dinner drink round the fire.
Very good excursion to Vic Falls, the museum and local market. We only found out on our last day that historically there is some Jewish interest in LIvingstone (the facilities manager is an Israeli) it would have been useful to have known this in advance and organised a tour.
Tongabezi was luxurious
After all the hastle of leaving and entering several countries, filling in arrival and departure forms. We were met at the ferry by a car that wasn't large enough for 6 of us each with 3 weeks luggage, so our journey to Tongabezi was not comfortable, so on arrival, Tongabezi was a haven!
Having left the houseboats we were all a little anxious that our final place would be an anti- climax, but luckily it wasn't. Our welcome, was excellent, we were introduced to our personal valets, Joe and Mr Forbes, both of whom could not have been more helpful.
Our cottages were beautiful, and very comfortable. The communal areas were excellent, we felt a lot of thought had been put intio all aspects. The sunset river trip, with our guide, Brian, was lovely, and to come back from the river to find our cottages prepared for us by our valets, was amazing, even the baths had been run for us!
Brian was our guide for the trip to Victoria Falls, he gave us lots of information about how they had formed, and historical facts about Livingstone. Brian also took us to the airport the following day, so the continuity was very good.
Understated but fabulous
We all loved Tongabezi. It is a place where you can bring the family and feel really at home and comfortable and there is so much to do. Everything we did exceeded our expectations, from the included visit to the falls, the sunset cruise, canooing etc to the other activities we paid extra for. We did the walking with lions and cheetah which my nieces and nephew were totally blown away with. The visit to Livingstone Island was also fantastic. Ideally, we would recommend a minimum of 4 nights here, as there is so much to do as well as just being a lovely place to relax.
[Ed: These travellers organised the extra activities - including the 'walking with lions' - themselves, and paid for them locally, whilst they were staying at Tongabezi.]
Again the staff were brilliant and were all excellently briefed on what you were up to. We liked the effort they made to know you as individuals and do what they could do make your stay the best. You never felt hurried or that you had to fit into someone else's timetable. Only staff member who was not so good was our valet, but the others more than made up for it.
Minor point for furture reference, the Family Cottage double room is very open and we would only think it is suitable for families, two couples might not find it private enough.
River Cottage was lovely.
This was a beautifl lodge but there were one or two minor points that we would not expect: cracked toilet seat, no shower cap, no writing paper, pen or note pad. This may sound petty but was suprising.
My husband can't walk very far and there were a lot of steps to the reception but the staff were helpful and when we were out in a vechicle dropped us off nearer our cottage.
The menu, especially for lunch was restricted and if you didn't like Thai, this was a problem on one occasion.
Lovely relaxing time at Tongebezi
Finally Tongebezi where we had a two nights r+r, and it really was – in an amazing position on the banks of the Zambezi - although the mosi net could have been more effective it was torn with holes in it – not so good, but apart from that small grumble the rest was great.
The highlight was the trip to Livingstone island and the devils pool a completely unique experience of the falls!
Good location for relaxing end of trip
Was lovely being situated by Zambezi. Lodges in need of refurbishment as bit scruffy and gave the impression of being dirty as for example the bed cover where it should have been white was grey as old and the Mossy net was yellowed did not fit well and generally tatty.
We found it of no great benefit having our personal valet and felt that this job had been created so we would have to tip him generously. Pool needed refurbishing. Breakfast and dinner were good but lunch was outstanding
Expert Africa comments
We were pleased that these travellers generally had a good stay at Tongabezi, however we were sorry that these travellers had a problem with the linen. Ben (the director of Tongabezi), has informed us that all their linen is going to be upgraded before the end of the year. Put this review into context by reading about their trip as a whole.