Reviews of Sindabezi
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
We ended our trip with 2 nights at Sindabezi (on an island in the Zambezi close to Victoria Falls) followed by 2 nights at Tongebezi (close by on the shore).
Our idea here was that we would conclude our trip with a bit more luxury and relaxation after 13 somewhat frenetic nights on safari. This turned out to work out really well and we were very glad we didn't do it the other was around (starting the trip here and then doing the safari).
Sindabezi itself was really quite unusual. The island setting was really lovely with views across to both the Zambian and Zimbabwe sides of the river where hoards of buffalo and the occasional giraffe and elephants could be seen.
The food and personal service one the island were extremely good - with the Lamb Burger offered at lunch a highlight.
There are a range of activities available at the camp (such as as canoeing and sunrise and sunset cruises) and around Victoria falls (such a trip to the Devils Pool which is an absolutely must).
Our only real negative here was that our guide seems to be pretty hopeless in organising the activities (hence I've marked that down). First of all, it was at least 6 hours after we arrived before he got round to briefing us on what was possible. Then he told us he had booked us into something the following day that we'd specifically said we didn't want to do, which took a huge amount to untangle. Then we had all sorts of trouble organising a trip across the border to see the falls from the other side which included lunch at the Royal Victoria Hotel (which turned out almost impossible to organise car for, so we walked in the 40 degree midday heat).
A final thought, the tents in the camp have no walls (just curtains) and the camp is on an island with no fencing. This means animals (particularly hippos and elephants) have quite free access. Infact, the day after we left a hippo that had had a fight with another burst into the camp just after sundown, when the only couple staying there at that time were having dinner on a small pontoon on the river. They were somewhat startled to say the least (the staff having disappeared into the kitchen to keep out of its way).
great stay on Sindabezi Island
Overall, our experience at Sindabezi was great, and a very pleasant way to begin our African holiday.
It was a very relaxing and beautiful spot, made all the better by having the place to ourselves with chef and butler almost entirely at our disposal.
The activities were excellent with sunset/sunrise boat trips on the beautiful Zambesi River and visit to the Victoria Falls obvious highlights.
The staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful.
A stay at Sindabezi Island, either at the beginning or end of a safari holiday, is thus highly recommended.
A luxurious end to our honeymoon
A short drive (30 mins) from the airport to Tongabezi Lodge. We had a long lunch at Tongabezi, enjoying the views over the Zambezi, before our 10 min boat ride to the island.
Sindabezi is in such a beautiful and serene setting, and our room was gorgeous. We decided to make the most of our personal valet, Charles, and had all our meals served on our balcony. Overlooking the national park on the Zimbabwe side, it was an idyllic view.
After reassurances from Charles that there would be no passing river traffic, we made use of the enormous bath with a bottle of bubbly under the stars.
Of the outings we took part in, the only negative comment is regarding the trip to Livingstone Island. It was that lunch just went on a bit too long for us. This was our only full day in Livingstone and we were impatient to get on and do other things. The views of the falls were most impressive from the island, so worth the trip for that.
Whilst at Sindabezi, these travellers enjoyed a 28 minute helicopter flight over the Victoria Falls, this is what they said about it:
This was excellent. Just the two of us and Jay the pilot. As well as many circuits over the falls, you also fly 'into' the gorge and then circling over wildlife in the game reserve.
Unbeatable views. The trip is filmed, so you can have a wonderful keepsake to take home.
Our own little island
Sindabezi was like our own little island in the middle of the Zambezi river. Where else do you travel to and from your lodge in a speed boat, game and bird watching on the way.
Our room was large with wonderful views over looking the river and stunning sunsets. There were no walls, only curtains around our room which had a large bed, and fairly basic furniture but what did it matter when you had plenty of to see. There was an outside shower and even had a 'loo with a view' . In the morning our butler brought our tea but we were already up and watching the large variety of beautiful birds. Although there was no electricity at the lodge, the ambiance and peace more than made up for it.
The food was great and more than plentiful with lovely fresh vegetables and salads all grown at Tongabezi. One evening we ate pork which tasted magnificent - nothing like our pork in the U.K.
The staff could not do enough for you and even arranged for my wife to leave early the morning of our departure, to use the hairdryer at Tongabezi!!
Great start at Sindabezi
Sindabezi was the first stop on our holiday in Zambia and gave us a great, relaxing start to the trip. Reading and naps in the "treehouse" were especially welcome. We really enjoyed the quiet intimate atmosphere of the tiny island. Communal dining with the other guests was always enjoyable. While we did enjoy the remote atmosphere, we found that being a boat ride away from the mainland made it a bit more complicated to engage in activities. I became ill one day, and the staff was very attentive and helpful.
We did the day trip to Victoria Falls, and at the urging of some of the other guests, we did the extra excursion to Livingstone Island and the Devil's Pool. We wished that we had been warned in advance that the best viewing of the waterfall during the dry season is on the Zimbabwe side of the falls. While the falls were still lovely from the Zambian side, those guests who crossed the border found them to be much more spectacular.
Our own private island
This was a wonderful way to start our journey - given that we were taking our father's ashes back to Zambia we enjoyed the feeling of being the only people in Africa on our own private island. We were well looked after, but in the end found that this was not the place we wanted to do our little service because our father had specifically requested the Victoria Falls and we weren't as close as we would have liked to have been.
We had a magnificent meal and 24 hours just relaxing and enjoying being back in Africa. Although I have to say that it took me a few days to get used to sleeping without doors!!
Stay at Sindabezi
The setting and the hospitality at Sindabezi were extremely good. We had the island to ourselves for one of our two nights and we were looked after in grand style.
We especially enjoyed a bubble bath under the stars overlooking our own private beach on the Zambezi and the bush TV after dinner!
Unique location - wonderful experience
As a "2 centre" holiday I don't think Sindabezi followed by Luangwa Safari Lodge could be bettered for small group such as we were, wanting a really "special" time. 5 of our group of 7 had never been to Zambia before and they are all determined to return as soon as possible.
I don't know what to rave about first - the wonderful position (we never saw anyone else on a boat on this part of the Zambezi during our entire stay bar the occasional local fishermen) the unfailingly helpful and charming people who looked after us as though our happiness and wellbeing was their only concern, the amazing food, the elephant and hippos which came by to visit...................the list goes on and on!!!!
We didn't really have quite enough time to do it all justice and, another time, I would opt for 3 nights so that we could actually lounge round the island a little more. Never mind, a perfect excuse to return!
What a stunning location - an island of excitement and luxury with fabulous food and activities. The staff were so attentive and the guides so informed friendly and helpful - loved the bubble baths under the starsRead more about the whole trip
This was certainly the highlight of our tour. We were treated like royalty. The staff on the island were so friendly,helpful and full of fun.
Vicas made delicious meals for us and I am sorry I did not buy the book by Chris Higgins.
Brian and Lawrence made excellent guides and enlarged on many aspects of the wild life that we were unaware of before. I only hope I will be able to retain it as well as they have done!
We always felt that each journey we made to Tongabezi and the main land was another guided tour and many times I am sure they took us a long way round to ensure we saw as much as possible.
Charles made an excellent Valet and Nature lokked after us well at the table. They were always very willing to sort us out when help was needed! Granted, this is a quiet time of the year for the lodge, we felt very priviledged to have been there on our own and to experience such a wonderful setting and surroundings.
All the activities were numerous and varied we feel we could have stayed for a lot longer to investigate further.
My only criticism , and probably my own fault entirely, was that I bought 15 stamps for postcards for Europe from reception and the Receptionist said not to worry that she would put the stamps on and send them off with other mail from the office,but, so far (3wks later) not one has been received! I only put this in as I think this shpuld be brought to the attention of other guests to stick their own stamps and post them themselves, which we could have done that same morning.
We would love to come back with our family some time and take over the whole island!! Perhaps a Special Occasion! We will certainly recommend it to our friends.