Reviews of Islands of Siankaba
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Excellent lodge with community project
We had only 2 nights here and requested to be taken to the falls straight from the airport. Our flight was over one hour late but we were still able to do so. They even provided us with a picnic lunch. Sydney picked us up and took us for the tour of the falls. We were overwhelmed by the falls. The feeling of being completly drenched while walking in what feels like the fall itself is difficult to describe. Having seen lots of pictures of the falls we were surprised at how different you feel when you are actually walking there, in the spray, with the roar and the massive amount of water of the falls. Of course at this time you do not get a clear view of the falls, but you do get a feeling of its power!
The following morning Victor took us for a village tour and again this is an amazing experience, difficult to describe properly. We spent a couple of hours walking around the village and meeting the local people. We also met the headman (who offered to marry us and give us a big party!) and the school teacher Malindi. We were impressed by the school and its facilities. We visited on a Sunday so the children were not at school, but we had a chance to talk to Malindi and he explained to us what they do. Everything was really well organized. They were building an outside playing area as well. It seemed to us that they put a lot of effort in educating and teaching these children.
Everyone we talked to undelined what big difference the lodge has made. Most people working at the lodge are from local villages and the old school used to be just a tin roof, before the lodge. To us this a excellent example of running a "responsible" lodge, giving something back to the community. We really liked all this.
The lodge itself is beautiful, with "jungle-like" footbridges, a perfect terrace where meals are served, a nice pool and great location. Our "tent" was not short of luxury and the veranda is a private window on the river.
We missed our sunset cruise as the weather changed and it rained. We liked the remoteness of the lodge, but it may not be the place for people who want to be in the middle of the falls activities as it is about one hour drive from there.
Food quality was really good and they catered for vegetarian really well.
All the junior members of staff were great with us.
In our personal opinion the atmosphere created by the managers was too formal, especially at dinner, during which there were a few awkward conversations.
Islands of Siankaba review
A perfect way to end a trip. The rooms are luxury especially the baths! Food, company and optional activities really enjoyable.Read more about the whole trip
Perfect post-safari relaxation
Staying on the Islands of Siankaba was the perfect relaxing end to our trip to Zambia. It is far enough away from Victoria Falls to feel very peaceful, but only took around 30 minutes to reach the Falls. The Islands provided both a tranquil setting and enough birdlife to keep my partner occupied! There were sightings of resident African Finfoots, four different species of Kingfisher and Orange-breasted bush-shrike among lots of others.
There are plenty of activities available or you can just sit on your deck watching the Zambezi rush by.
The staff are very friendly and attentive, but if you have a special dietary requirement it is best to keep reminding so you are not served fish for dinner, or meat at breakfast, when you are vegetarian! That aside the vegetarian menu was very good.
What a location!
From departing at the mainland to arriving by boat, it is an exceptionaly beatiful and well liad out camp. The accomodation is superb and waking up wit hthe sun straming in and seeing the river and wildlife so close by is an amazing experience.
All the staff are excellent and the guides are very knowledable. River trips by mokor are a must - what a great way to expeience the Zamezi! Evening sun downer trips, massages, swimming and great food! The local village expeience is well worthwhile and the ethos of the owners supporting the local community and school is very commendable.
Thoroughly enjoyed our experience here and we will return!!
Peace and relaxation at Siankaba
We loved Islands of Siankaba and were so pleased that we had started our trip with the more relaxing part of the holiday. Ok you are a fair way of out Livingstone but the setting is stunning and the lodge is so peaceful.
We were given the honeymoon "tent" which was lovely - the shower and WC could do with a spruce up (nothing significant) but the room and open areas were very comfortable and nicely designed. Housekeeping and laundry were excellent.
The staff were friendly and accommodating. We did not see that much of the managers Sonja and Paul but Sarah, Nami and Steven were always around to talk and see that we had all that we wanted. We were particularly impressed with the waiting and bar staff as they were extremely efficient but charming with it. No wondering where your food/drinks had got to but not rushed either.
The food was consistently very good. A good choice for breakfast and lunch and, although the 4 course dinners had a set menu, all dinners were excellent. As with the safari lodges, the only difficult part is that you are served so much food and we always felt bad about what we could not manage (and we are big eaters!) With breakfast, a substantial lunch, afternoon tea, canapes on the river and then dinner, we had to ration ourselves.
We were really at Siankaba to relax so we may not have done as much as other guests but we did not feel pressured to do anything. We went out on a sunset cruise each evening. Victor, our guide and boatman, was very interesting to talk to and knew a lot about the bird and animal life in and along the river. We also did a nature walk around the islands with Victor and were amazed at the different trees and plants and what they can all be used for.
We had a half day trip to Victoria Falls and went to Livingstone Island and to swim in the Devil's Pool - quite an experience! Although the falls are low at this time of year on one side, there is a lot to see on the far side of Livingstone Island so we were pleased that we made the trip. It also meant that we saw some of the Livingstone hotels that we could have stayed in. For us, Siankaba was perfect as it felt outdoorsy and like part of our safari and the hotels that we saw would not have given us this. Anna was spot on in suggesting Siankaba for us.
Islands of Siankaba review
We loved Islands of Siankaba - it really is a magical place. Activities at the Falls are very easily arranged from here but they also do an excellent guided village walk as well as sunset boat trips.
The staff were all lovely and the food good - we did not want to leave.
Islands of Siankaba review
This was our fourth visit and we were really looking forward to it. However we were so disappointed. On arrival we were given the honeymoon/VIP chalet (great) but turned out to have no hot water – OK this happens but management showed no energy in sorting the problem – water finally returned on our last morning after numerous requests.
The Islands are beautiful and rooms very comfortable but the suspension bridges had been re-built following this year's floods and, in our opinion (and that of some other guests), the safety of one was questionable.
The food and beverage manager has changed and a choice is no longer offered at lunch and dinner. This is consistent with the approach of many safari lodges, but breakfast is also now a set menu with choice only for 'cooked' – we were very disappointed by this. Not everybody loves muesli and yogurt (combined). The food is still generally good but there is less choice than there used to be.
We had an enjoyable trip to Vic Falls and an excellent lunchtime River Safari (no longer offered by the lodge (why?) but we'd pre-booked with the owner by email). A good range of activities is offered but they are expensive, partly due to the charge per person for transfers if not combined with the trip to Vic Falls included in the room rate – for a family this could be prohibitive.
Sundowner cruises on the Zambezi remain a highlight.
Siankaba is still an excellent way to end a holiday and relax but for us it has lost its sparkle and we're sad to say it's unlikely we'll return.
NB our grading for Facilities relates to our hot water problem.
Islands of Siankaba review
We had a lovely stay here. After the wildlife and lodges of the Okavango lodges, it did feel a little more commercial and hotel like and less special but still very good.
The connection with the local villages and the chance to visit was a bonus.
A great morning guided around the Victoria Falls.
Victoria Falls Encounter
We were met at Livingstone airport and in no time at all we were outside the reception at I of S where we ran through some of the do's and don'ts with Sonia - very low key.
We were then taken by boat over to the island, given a welcome drink and taken to our room which turned out to be the VIP/Honeymoon suite even though there appeared empty tents available. I don't know why we had this treatment but it was certainly appreciated - you didn't have anything to do with this did you?
Later that evening went on a sundowner cruise and saw the most beautiful sunset imaginable along with the hippos, crocs and the birds. Next day we did the helicopter flight and walk to the falls (not much water on the Zambian side but this was expected). At this time of the year the flight is a must as you don't see too much from the Zambian side just walking.
Our last day was spent doing a nature walk around the villages birdwatching and generally relaxing.
The food at I of S was just great and couldn't be faulted (as good as any 5* hotel). The transfer to Kasane went smoothly in the main thanks to our drivers on each side of the river and the speedboat crossing instead of the ferry. After a short wait at Kasane we were taken out to a little 4 seater plane for the flight to Lebala Camp.
R and R at Siankaba
A beautiful place to stop over and relax after a safari- the food deserves a particular mention being imaginative and high quality.The staff were attentive and friendly , and the sundowners on the river were memorable.
I think 3/4 nights for a stay here is about right as the distance from the falls means repeated trips take a bit of time.