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Thorntree River Lodge
Thorntree River Lodge
Thorntree River Lodge
Thorntree River Lodge
Thorntree River Lodge
Thorntree River Lodge
Thorntree River Lodge

Thorntree River Lodge


17°50’36.1"S 25°45’10.6"E

About Thorntree River Lodge

Following a complete rebuild under new ownership, Thorntree River Lodge opened its doors to guests in May 2017.

The lodge sits on the banks of the Zambezi River inside Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, and has been re-built with a focus on the environment, combining contemporary ideas with African-style structures.

The rebuilt Thorntree River Lodge is arguably Livingstone’s finest lodge within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. It’s luxurious, comfortable and stylish, offering attentive service and a wonderful connection to the bush – with a passionate landscaper who is hard at work planting plenty of trees and shrubbery. We couldn’t fault it!

Accommodation
12 suites
Children
Best for 10+
Open
All year

Activities

Birdwatching

Birdwatching

Boat trip

Boat trip

Canoeing

Canoeing

Cultural excursion

Cultural excursion

Elephant encounter

Elephant encounter

Fishing

Fishing

Helicopter

Helicopter

Kayaking

Kayaking

Microlight

Microlight

White-water rafting

White-water rafting

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Traveller reviews of Thorntree River Lodge

3 real, un-edited reviews from Expert Africa's travellers.


100%
3 reviews since August 2007
Excellent
3
Good
0
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Carol MfromIllinois

Arrived 12 Nov 2018, 3 nights

"Elegance Personified -- That's Thorntree!"

"Everything about Thorntree is so polished and, to me, seemed just right. …" Read Carol M’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mrs MWfromW London

Arrived 1 Oct 2018, 4 nights

"Fantastic Thorntree"

"The location is superb and the lodge is modern and stylish. …" Read Mrs MW’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mrs HfromKigali

Arrived 6 Apr 2018, 3 nights

"Absolute luxury"

"Thorntree - wow! ...we would highly recommend it to anyone. …" Read Mrs H’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

See all Thorntree River Lodge reviews

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Thorntree River Lodge

Click an animal to see our traveller's success in sighting them.
How we work this out.


Buffalo

100% success

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Hippo

100% success

White Rhino

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Thorntree River Lodge's location

Look closer at the environment and surroundings of Thorntree River Lodge.


When to go to Livingstone & Victoria Falls

Our month by month guide: What it's like to visit Thorntree River Lodge in Livingstone & Victoria Falls


Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Zambia in January

At the peak of Zambia’s rainy season, you can expect heavy rainfall for a few hours most days, with sunny spells in between. Temperatures remain high, reaching over 30ºC, with high humidity. The rainfall is yet to make a significant difference to the Victoria Falls, and the flow of water here remains low.
The landscapes are green and lush and the air crystal clear, but with the abundance of water the wildlife disperses, and the thick bush can restrict sightings. It severely limits walking safaris too. Migrant birds boost the species count at this time.
With seasonal rivers in flood and dirt roads and airstrips unusable, many camps in Zambia become inaccessible, and close. Only a few lodges in the central Kafue and the South Luangwa remain open.
Few people visit in January, so the parks are incredibly quiet and the camps charge their lowest rates.

  • Peak of rainy season: hot & humid, with rain for a few hours most days
  • Majority of camps closed throughout the month
  • Bush incredibly green & lush, with clear air – great for photography
  • Big game dispersed & thick bush makes sightings difficult
  • Very few visitors: the cheapest time to visit

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in January

Zambia in February

February remains in the heart of the rainy season, with dramatic thunderstorms delivering a few hours of rain most days, interspersed with clear sunny skies. There is still an abundance of water in the environment, dispersing game and closing camps. With the thick bush, game viewing is limited and walking safaris restricted, but the swollen rivers allow some activities that would be unavailable in the dry season, such as boat trips on the Luangwa River.
After a couple of months of rain, water will once more be making its way to the Zambezi River, and the flow of water over the Victoria Falls will start to pick up.
Visitor numbers and costs at the few open camps remain low.

  • Peak of rainy season: hot & humid with rain for a few hours most days
  • Most camps closed throughout the month
  • Bush lush & green: good for photography but poor for game viewing
  • Very few visitors, & the cheapest time to visit
  • Water levels at Victoria Falls still low, but starting to pick up

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in February

Zambia in March

March is the last month of the rainy season in Zambia, and there are still heavy downpours most days. Water levels are at their highest making it difficult to get around the country. Temperatures still reach over 30ºC most days, too, with the rain causing high levels of humidity.
Many camps remain closed, and the thick bush limits game viewing and walking safaris. However, many animals are raising young at this time of year, with predators taking advantage of the easy prey, so sightings can be incredible, if sporadic. Wild dogs in the South Luangwa are particularly active at this time of year. With clear air and increasingly frequent blue skies as a backdrop, photography can be spectacular. The birding remains excellent as thousands of birds prepare for their winter migration.

  • Peak of rainy season, hot & humid, with rain for a few hours most days
  • Majority of camps closed throughout the month
  • Bush remains green & lush: good for photography but poor game viewing
  • High abundance of animals with young
  • Very few visitors, & the cheapest time to visit

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in March

Zambia in April

As the rains change from intense downpours to lighter and sporadic showers, April is very much a transitionary period in Zambia. The landscape remains exceptionally green and lush, with sparse viewing of larger wildlife.
Although camps start to reopen in April, most remain closed, and others that were open at the start of the year may shut to prepare for the coming dry season. This is the first month of the year when it’s possible to visit the Lower Zambezi.
The Zambezi River will be at its highest level with the Victoria Falls in full flow, but with huge amounts of spray kicked up views of the waterfall are often obscured.

  • Tail end of the rainy season; hot & humid with light rain most days
  • Some camps reopen; possible to visit the Lower Zambezi
  • Bush still green & lush: good for photography; poor for game viewing
  • Victoria Falls in full flow but with poor views
  • Very few visitors, & the cheapest time to visit

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in April

Zambia in May

May is typically the first month of the dry season. While there is the chance of an odd shower, the majority of days are clear and sunny. As winter approaches, temperatures start to drop, with most days reaching highs of around 26ºC.
As the landscape dries out, access to the parks improves, and all but the most remote bushcamps reopen.
After five months of rain there is still a lot of standing water, but despite the thick bush May marks a distinct improvement in game viewing, and clear air is a continuing bonus for photographers.
The end of the month can be a popular time for visitors, taking advantage of typically good weather, improved game viewing, and the last of the low-season rates offered by the camps.

  • Start of the dry season in a typical year, with mostly clear & sunny
  • Majority of camps open
  • Bush still green & lush, with clear air for photographers
  • Game viewing starts to improve
  • Last month of low rates at the camps

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in May

Zambia in June

Zambia sees virtually no rainfall in June, with a strong chance of sunny days throughout. The humidity drops dramatically and, as winter approaches, temperatures reduce, falling to around 10ºC at night but still warming to 25ºC during the day.
The landscape remains lush but the bush starts to die back significantly, improving visibility for game viewing and walking safaris.
All the camps in the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi are open by the start of June. While some have a ‘shoulder season’, others start charging their highest rates.
The water coming over the Victoria Falls starts to recede, reducing the mist and spray kicked up, providing better views of the waterfall itself.

  • Reliably sunny days, but dropping temperatures, especially at night.
  • All camps in the South Luangwa, southern Kafue & Lower Zambezi open
  • Wildlife viewing continuing to improve
  • Increased visibility & cool weather perfect for walking safaris.
  • Viewing of the Victoria Falls at its best

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in June

Zambia in July

As the dry season continues, vegetation and long grasses have mostly died back and water starts to become scarce. Wildlife starts to cluster around the major sources of water and the game viewing approaches its best.
July is the first month of winter, and while daytime temperatures are in the 20s Celsius, temperatures at night can drop to single digits. Early morning and late evening drives in open vehicles are particularly cold, and blankets and hot water bottles are often provided.
Visitor numbers increase significantly and space at popular/small camps can get tight. Nearly all properties are now charging their highest rates.
Even floodwaters on northern Kafue’s Busanga Plains have now receded, and all camps in Zambia are open.

  • Warm, dry days; cold, crisp nights
  • Significantly improved game viewing
  • Walking safaris are unrestricted by vegetation, with good temperatures
  • Approaching peak season, so significant increase in costs
  • Northern Kafue now accessible

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in July

Zambia in August

By August, the vegetation has died back and wildlife is now congregating around the remaining water sources, providing excellent game viewing. With virtually no chance of rain you are almost guaranteed sunny days, although dust and smoke in the air means a visible haze starts to appear on the horizon.
Temperatures can drop below 5ºC at night but climb to the 20s Celsius during the day. Jackets and gloves are recommended for morning and evening drives.
This is one of the most popular – and most expensive – months to travel. European school holidays have little impact on travel within Zambia, but they do increase international flight costs, and all camps are charging their highest rates.

  • Very dry with warm days but cold nights
  • Excellent wildlife viewing, as animals congregate around water holes.
  • Haze developing on the horizon, potentially affecting photographs
  • Cool temperatures & clear sightlines: ideal for walking safaris
  • Peak season: camps & flights at their most expensive

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in August

Zambia in September

September is the most popular, and arguably the best, time of year to travel. Rain is almost unheard of so humidity is low, and temperatures are starting to climb. Morning drives are more comfortable, with daytime temperatures normally in the low 30s Celsius.
Water is scarce, so wildlife clusters around the few remaining sources. Game viewing is very nearly at its best, with a good chance of seeing interactions between species.
Camps are charging their highest rates and are at their busiest, with popular camps often fully booked more than a year in advance.
A significant haze appears on the horizon, impacting on landscape views and affecting photography.
Depending on the rainfall in the wet season, the Victoria Falls can start looking dry, with more cliff face than waterfall on show.

  • Dry hot days with clear skies, & warm nights
  • One of the best months for wildlife viewing
  • Dust & smoke creates a haze over the landscape
  • Peak season: camps are expensive & often full
  • Victoria Falls starting to look dry

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in September

Zambia in October

As the dry season peaks, the landscape in October is brown and barren, with little ground-level vegetation, though the promise of rain may bring the occasional shower. Temperatures can be uncomfortably hot, reaching over 40ºC in the daytime and rarely dropping below 20ºC at night. This is particularly challenging on walking safaris and in camps without air conditioning.
A thick haze on the horizon turns photographic backgrounds grey-brown rather than sky-blue.
The lack of water sees hippos and crocodiles cram themselves into the few remaining shallow rivers, with other wildlife carefully skirting around them in order to drink. Game viewing is at its absolute best, and you’re most likely to see hunts in October.
On the Zambian side, the Victoria Falls often presents a dry cliff face.

  • The best month for wildlife viewing
  • Very hot both night & day, with little chance of rain
  • Air can be very hazy with dust & smoke, so not great for photography
  • Victoria Falls largely dry on Zambian side
  • Camps less busy & some start to drop their rates

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in October

Zambia in November

November typically marks the end of the dry season. Although the timing of the rains is always uncertain, temperatures remain reliably high and the humidity builds as the rains approach.
While you may avoid the rains in the first week of November, it’s not unusual to see some spectacularly heavy thunderstorms, followed by an explosion of green growth. Wildlife disperses rapidly after the rains, no longer restricted to limited waterholes closely monitored by predators. However, Kasanka’s bat migration is at its peak, and wildebeest gather on Liuwa Plains.
Many remote camps close, and those that remain open significantly drop their rates.
The initial rains have little impact on the Victoria Falls, but do significantly reduce the atmospheric haze.

  • Typically the start of the wet season; very hot and humid
  • Increased chance of heavy rain as the month progresses
  • Greatly diminished game viewing once the rains arrive
  • Bat migration in Kasanka, and wildebeest migration in Liuwa
  • Camp rates lower, & visitor numbers reduced

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in November

Zambia in December

December is typically the first month in Zambia’s rainy season, with heavy thunderstorms most days interspersed by sunny spells. Temperatures start to fall, but still reach over 30ºC in the daytime, with high levels of humidity.
As the rainfall increases it brings plentiful water into the landscape, encouraging the growth of thick green vegetation. Wildlife remains in the national parks and sightings are possible, but overall game viewing is poor. Access to the parks becomes problematic and all but a handful of camps around the entrance to the South Luangwa and the centre of Kafue national parks close. Those that do remain open charge their lowest rates and are very quiet.
The rain removes any smoke and dust from the air, returning the sky to a dazzling blue that is great for photographers.

  • Start of rainy season, with hot, humid & wet days
  • Poor game viewing as wildlife disperses & bush thickens
  • Majority of camps close; others charge their lowest rates
  • Landscape green with blue skies; photographic opportunities improve
  • Victoria Falls still dry

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in December

Zambia fact file

Useful information and advice to help you prepare for a trip including Thorntree River Lodge


Excursions from Thorntree River Lodge

Optional extra day-trips and excursions possible whilst you're staying at Thorntree River Lodge. Talk to us: these are usually best arranged before you go.


Chobe Day Trip

Chobe Day Trip

Full day - typically around 11 hours

For a top safari experience while visiting the Victoria Falls, don’t miss a day trip to Botswana’s Chobe National Park. Easily reachable from Livingstone, Zambia or Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Chobe boasts some of the best wildlife densities in southern Africa, with exceptional numbers of elephant drawn by the permanent waters of the Chobe River.

More about Chobe Day Trip
Fishing on the Zambezi River

Fishing on the Zambezi River

Three hours or Seven hours

Many people head to Livingstone not just to see the Victoria Falls, but also to relax after an international flight or a busy safari, and a perfect way to do this is with a fishing trip on the calmer sections of the Zambezi River above the falls, drifting with the current, casting your line, and keeping an eye out for wildlife on the banks.

More about Fishing
80% (1 reviews)
Guided tour of Victoria Falls

Guided tour of Victoria Falls

Two hours - AM & PM departures

One of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the mighty Victoria Falls has to be seen to be believed. Why not take an expertly guided trip to learn about the history, geology, flora and fauna of one of Africa's most spectacular sites?

More about Tour of the Falls
Helicopter Flight - Zambia

Helicopter Flight - Zambia

12 or 25 minute flights

Witnessing the power of the Victoria Falls from the ground is a stunning sight, but to see the world’s largest waterfall from the air is a very different experience! A helicopter flight over the Falls is truly incredible, and a worthy addition to your time in Livingstone.

More about Helicopter Flight
100% (7 reviews)
Historical Bridge Tour

Historical Bridge Tour

Two hours - AM & PM departures

A feat of engineering the Victoria Falls Bridge was built in 1905 as part of Cecil Rhodes' vision to link the Cape to Cairo. With an expert guide and the appropriate safety equipment you'll not only discover the wonders of this Victorian marvel but also gain a unique perspective of the Victoria Falls themselves.

More about Bridge Tour
Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Three hours

Victoria Falls is one of the world's natural wonders, and a huge attraction for many visitors to southern Africa. We're often asked if the waterfall is best viewed from the Zambian or Zimbabwean side, but we think the best way to experience the full majesty of the falls is from the middle with a visit to Livingstone Island.

More about Livingstone Island
100% (5 reviews)
Microlight Flight

Microlight Flight

15 or 30 minutes

For pure exhilaration, it's hard to find something better than flying in a microlight, swooping through the spray that crashes up and off the Victoria Falls, with rainbows shimmering below. If you don't like heights, then this isn't for you! For those looking for a different way to see the Falls, the microlight flights offer a stunning birds eye view of this spectacular natural wonder.

More about Microlight Flight
100% (1 reviews)
Rhino Walk

Rhino Walk

Around four hours - mornings only

Spend an unforgettable morning on a walking safari tracking Mosi-oa-Tunya’s small population of white rhino, with a strong chance of being able to approach these endangered creatures on foot.

More about Rhino Walk
90% (2 reviews)
Royal Livingstone Express

Royal Livingstone Express

Four hours approx.

The Royal Livingstone Express is a lovingly restored steam train. Guests steam along the original Rhodesian railway line onto the stunning Victoria Falls Bridge. From here guests can marvel at the falls and the Batoka Gorge before enjoying 5-courses of fine dining.

More about Royal Livingstone Express
87% (3 reviews)
The Elephant Café

The Elephant Café

Approximately four hours

Visiting The Elephant Café is a great combination of a magical elephant encounter and fine dining. Spend time getting to know the elephants, some of them rescued from the wild many years ago, and others born into the herd. Then sit down and enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the Zambezi.

More about The Elephant Café
80% (1 reviews)

Other lodges in Livingstone & Victoria Falls

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

Just a few minutes walk from the Victoria Falls, good facilities, lovely grounds and adequate rooms at a modest price make Avani a good choice for a short visit.


85% (221 reviews)
Royal Livingstone Hotel

Royal Livingstone Hotel

Conveniently located just a short walk from the Zambia. side of the Victoria Falls, the colonial-style Royal Livingstone has beautiful grounds and small but quite luxurious rooms.


93% (85 reviews)
Tongabezi

Tongabezi

Secluded on the banks of the Zambezi, less than 20km from the Victoria Falls, Tongabezi is one of the most exclusive lodges in Zambia.


93% (61 reviews)
Islands of Siankaba

Islands of Siankaba

In a lovely location on the Zambezi upriver of the Victoria Falls, Islands of Siankaba provides a tranquil setting to relax at the start or end of a safari to Botswana or Zambia.


96% (54 reviews)
Waterberry Zambezi Lodge

Waterberry Lodge

Offering great value for money and within easy reach of the Victoria Falls, Waterberry is a small, family-friendly lodge on the banks of the Zambezi River.


98% (42 reviews)
Toka Leya Camp

Toka Leya Camp

The new Toka Leya Camp stands beside the Zambezi inside Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park – so wildlife often passes through. It's a comfortable tented camp which has great service and includes a range of activities.


88% (22 reviews)
Stanley Safari Lodge

Stanley Safari Lodge

Stanley Safari Lodge has views of Victoria Falls spray from all the rooms, and is a convenient base for exploring the Zambezi River area.


96% (21 reviews)
The River Club

The River Club

The River Club, near Zambia's town of Livingstone and the Victoria Falls, overlooks the Zambezi River.


93% (18 reviews)
Sindabezi

Sindabezi

Sindabezi, near Zambia's town of Livingstone and the Victoria Falls, is an island in the middle of the Zambezi River


98% (16 reviews)
David Livingstone Safari Lodge

David Livingstone Lodge

The four-star David Livingstone Safari Lodge is in a lovely spot on the edge of the Zambezi River in Zambia, close to the Victoria Falls.


86% (7 reviews)
Sussi & Chuma

Sussi & Chuma

Sussi & Chuma combines a luxurious, laid-back camp with a good location on the Zambezi River, with quick access to the Victoria Falls.


No reviews yet
Tangala House

Tangala House

Tangala House, the family home near Zambia's town of Livingstone and the Victoria Falls


No reviews yet

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