Reviews of Waterberry Zambezi Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
A god location to visit the falls
A pleasant enough camp in a lovely location but it did not feel like the heart of the wild and it was disappointing that with so much river frontage only two of the chalets (not ours) were on the river. We did not like to be greeted by dogs weaving their way around our legs and sniffing at our knees whilst we tried to absorb information.
Our first evening we went to the bar area for a pre dinner drink and had to keep calling out "hello" for five minutes before we got any attention. The following day on our return from Victoria falls we were told that our lunch would be waiting for us. We sat down and were served a drink and then bread and butter And then we waited. After a further 35 minutes we got fed up and went to reception to complain that we were just not being looked after.. (It didn't help to hear other guests all saying how very well they were looked after) Our lunch (a cold salad) then appeared.
To be fair, after that nothing was too much trouble for them, and we even had a special dinner served on our veranda with a bottle of sparkling wine. We enjoyed two really lovely sunset cruises and saw lots of birds and crocodiles.
The falls were spectacular and well worth the visit.
Perfection on the Zambezi.
An absolutely wonderful stay at Waterberry Lodge with superb caring staff doing their utmost to ensure your stay is perfect (and succeeding!)
Our lovely room (Weaver) had a river view, was only a few steps from the pool and restaurant area and is the only room with a bath. The electric blankets were a very welcome addition. The many in-house activities we enjoyed were a dawn cruise, wrapped in blankets on a misty morning enjoying coffee & muffins whilst viewing the diversity of game & birdlife on the river, a sunset cruise and a very informative bird walk - all extremely enjoyable.
The external activities we enjoyed were a trip to Victoria Falls including microlighting over the falls (amazing), followed by a surprise breakfast provided by Waterberry and a wonderful guide (thank you Kandeenga), a trip to Livingstone Island to stand on the edge of the falls (great fun) & a game walk in the National Park where we stood very close to rhino. All the trips were organised very efficiently and thoughtfully by Waterberry.
We also enjoyed some free time watching elephants across the river and walking around the lodge spotting bee-eaters & kingfishers. Excellent food too on the beautifully situated terrace with the welcome addition of braziers at dinner & the occasional hippo on the lawn! We could not fault it and could easily have stayed for a week or more. A truly magical place.
Friendly welcome at Waterberry Lodge
Waterberry Lodge is a great place to begin or end a Zambia/Botswana safari. We chose to spend two nights here to recover from the long-haul flight and be able to start our safari refreshed.
The management at Waterberry are truly superb - so friendly and welcoming - with nothing being too much trouble to arrange. Charmaine speedily responded to our emails prior to the trip, changing our room from Swallow (the room closest to the river) to Weaver (still with river views but a bit further back) after we requested a bathtub to ease my sometimes aching back. As it turned out it was my husband who needed the tub after an old disc injury decided to play up on our very first afternoon there - what bad luck. Here's where the service excelled itself; Amy and Kim did everthing possible to make his forced confinement as comfortable as possible (cheers Amy, for the loan of your hot water bottle!) whilst still making sure that I didn't miss out on the Falls.
They had booked an early morning helicopter ride for us, so instead of sharing the experience with my husband I enjoyed the trip with Kandenga, the driver, and what good company he was too! If you are planning a flight over the Falls I'd highly recommend including the Batoka Gorge as well - exhilarating. A tip for walking around the Falls is to wear shorts and water sandals as you get SOAKED - but great fun!!
To top it all we were surprised that evening with a wonderful celebratory Anniversary meal on our deck even though our Anniversary wasn't until the next day - the day we were leaving. The food the first night was good but this meal was excellent, without a doubt the best meal we've had in a very long time - home or abroad.
Thank you one and all. We'd love to return one day.
Waterberry Zambezi Lodge review
We felt like we were in civilization...hairdryers at last!
The lodge was very lovely, service was very good, and staff was there to help in every way.
Good place to spend night near Vic Falls
When looking for a place to stay on our visit to Victoria Falls, we wanted to avoid flashy-looking Western hotels. Our travel agent [Ed: Maruska at Expert Africa] recommended Waterberry Lodge, and we're glad she did. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
The Lodge sits on beautiful, lawned grounds overlooking the Zambezi River. Our hosts were extremely friendly and attentive. We ate lunch, dinner and breakfast on the patio overlooking the river, and the food was excellent. We were taken on an afternoon boat ride on the river, where we were able to observe some of the wildlife on the Zimbabwean side of the river including one very big, but snoozy, crocodile and one not-so-friendly hippo.
We stayed in a thatch-roofed guesthouse on the grounds. It was a quiet room and perfectly adequate, though the mattress was a little thin/hard, there wasn't a lot of light for reading in bed, nor were plug points very accessible. We were surprised to find that the lodge had wi-fi service- our first in over a week- to begin our reconnection to the outside world.
The Waterberry staff did a great job of providing transfers, to and from the lodge. Christopher, our driver the next day, took us to Victoria Falls where we spent a couple hours trekking around before heading to the airport. We enjoyed our Zambian experience at Waterberry Lodge.
Expert Africa comments
Waterberry Zambezi Lodge responded with the following comments:
We were pleased to hear that these guests thoroughly enjoyed their stay, and particularly liked the setting of Waterberry Lodge, as well as finding the lodge team extremely friendly and attentive. We appreciate their comments regarding the plug points and reading light in the rooms. We will look into these points and consider ways to improve on these facilities for future guests.
We could not imagine a more beautiful lodge near Victoria Falls.
Outstanding cabins, food, service -- with the most relaxing views and atmosphere.
Two nights at Waterberry Lodge
After setting ourselves a pretty rigorous trip we need to unwind. What better place than Waterberry? Staff we outstanding in every way, the setting was so relaxing, aware of being part of a family in no time. Nothing was too much trouble, events arranged as we wished, including a bird walk for one person, and an hour "activity" with Kevin whose expertise was invaluable as we gained more information about charity work and social scene in general.
By this time we did not need any more game drives, but I expect they could have been arranged.
Here as at Kafunta the all in price was a good thing and it was good to have discovered here as at Kafunta, 55 of our charge was for community development locally. The school and village visits were of great value, as was our contact with Karen and visit from Kafunta to Project Luangwa, which I should have mentioned earlier, and was a highlight experience, particularly in view of our commitment to other charity work.
Great welcome to Zambia at Waterberry
A wonderful place to stay! Peaceful location with attentive staff who tailored activities and meal times to suit individual guests. It is not the nearest to the falls but we appreciated being able to relax here after our flight, and were escorted to and from all that we wanted to see, while enjoying peaceful trips on the river away from the crowds of the town.
Claudia welcomed us, and was eager to know what we would like to do so that she could create a timetable for us. We were seen off on each trip and welcomed back by one of the managers. Claudia was particularly helpful.
All staff were charming and attentive, and we enjoyed talking to them about their lives in Zambia on drives to and from Livingstone. Boat trips and a tour of the village from which several staff came were a highlight. We had not expected to see any animals here, so glimpses of elephants, hippo, crocs were an unexpected bonus, while the birdlife was amazing, and we wished we had done the guided birdwalk which was offered.
This lodge is not one you usually recommend - but we were interested that the rep from Audley Travel was there for a site visit as it is one they use. The lodge managed to combine the camaraderie of drinks together around a fire with the privacy of separate dining , and the meals were delicious!
Great stay in the farmhouse
We had a great stay in the farmhouse. Everything was topnotch, the meals prepared by Josephine and Alex were delicious ( especially the curry on the first night).
The activities were very well organized and everything flowed without a hitch. A 45 minute drive into town. Special thanks to Webster for the morning bird walk.
I was a bit uncomfortable regarding the tip suggestions in the booklet ( service charge included with the staff's salary), and felt afterwards that I didn't tip enough. I will try to make it up.
Expert Africa comments
We sent these travellers comments to Waterberry Lodge and received this instant response from Tessa there, regarding the confusion over tipping. She wrote:
"I will review our wording about tips. What the book is supposed to tell guests is that the staff already receive a payment called the Service Charge as a legal requirement but that if they want to tip they can, either via the tip box for all the staff or to individuals. The wording is not supposed to make anyone feel uncomfortable."
So we hope that these comments may have helped Waterberry Lodge to rectify a simple misunderstanding that may have be confusing for other guests.