Reviews of Tongabezi
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
We spent three nights at the end of our trip. All the members of the staff were very efficient, friendly and nice and they all try hard to please any wish you may have. We stayed in a cottage and it was very good - although some details look good but are not that functional. Food was generally good.
We went to the falls, had a sunset boat trip (and thanks to Lawrence we spent a long time watching a large elephant herd drinking from the river form the Zim side- it was magic) and went canoeing down the river - which was a lot of fun. We also asked to go for a walk in the park and the staff organized it for us. We wanted to see the vegetable local market and were promptly accommodated.
Everything was good and organized..perhaps a little too much for us as we are more used to "more flexible-bush style" places and the fact that all activities have specific times detracted a little for us.
To be honest this was an add-on to our volunteering trip so we could not be flexible with dates and this was the best option at the time of our booking.
After the grueling schedule we kept at Kaingo and Mwamba, Tongabezi was a welcomed, restful retreat. Absolutely beautiful rooms - Dog House is beyond description it is so luxurious.
We loved the excursion to Devil's pool (although it was very expensive). We also added on a bush walk to see the Rhinos which we all loved (but again, expensive considering the cost of the trip overall).
We really enjoyed our stay at Tongabezi and hope to return someday for a relaxing vacation.
What a great place!! We had the Nut House which was sublime.
That said, it is the furtherest from the lodge including a good number of slightly unstable stairs (not illuminated during the power outages) so wouldn't suit everyone. We looked at all the Houses - and without exception they were out of this world. The food was tasty and sometimes innovative.
One of their new managers is Marc Harris who was at Ras Kutani when we were there a few years ago. He is excellent and will be an asset to Tongabezi. The staff is willing and in most instances very good - but there were hit and miss moments.. but then the location of the kitchen hinders speedy service..
We thought their Livingstone High Tea was exhorbitant for what it was.. Three nights is probably enough here..
Simply incredible!Read more about the whole trip
Great location, attentive staff
Beautiful location on the Zambezi River, and the villas really made the environment special.
The food was excellent -- among the best on our trip-- and the staff was especially helpful and accommodating.
The Tree House where we stayed was fantastic. Facilities were excellent and so cleverly designed to provide amazing views - even from the loo!
This room comes with a personal valet which is not something we would usually choose to have (seems far too decadent!) but was wonderful. Nyambe made sure our stay there was a delight and one we will not forget. He helped arrange visits for us, brought drinks to our room, dealt with our laundry and each evening served us dinner on our own private deck overlooking the Zambezi. Who would want to eat anywhere else?!
The activity managers were excellent at arranging the things we wanted to do - from swimming in Devil's Pool to helping us cross into Zimbabwe to see the falls from there. (Don't expect to have good views of the Falls in October from the Zambian side). It was an excellent place to stay at the end of a busy holiday - active but more relaxing and not as frantic as being on safari. It would also be an excellent place to begin a trip to Zambia and would be perfect for honeymooners.
A Luxury Lodge, Perfect For Chilling Out
Tongabezi was the perfect place to meet our two objectives:-
a) a base for visiting Victoria Falls
b) a place to chill out after 8 days of being bounced around in a land cruiser on safari
The transfer from Kasane airport to Tongabezi was in itself an interesting adventure, and we were very pleased to be well looked after at each of the several stages. We received a very warm welcome when we arrived at Tongabezi, and our valet, Dadu, ensured that warmth remained for the duration of our stay.
Our cottage was comfortable and it's terrace provided a wonderful view across the Zambezi river, complete with a group of hippo most of the time that we were there.
Food at Tongabezi was excellent. We particularly enjoyed evening meals in the boathouse and on a sampan tethered to the jetty.
Our guided visit to the Victoria Falls was excellent, and we also enjoyed a sunset cruise. Tongabezi also offers a wide range of external activities that we did not take up as our objective was to relax.
Walking back through the reception to our room we both said why haven't we been back here before now, the changes made since our last visit six and half years ago enhance the facilities.
A relaxing end to our holiday, food was excellent, the staff very attentive.
A wonderful way to end our trip. A most relaxing and comfortable environment.
The visit to Victoria Falls was memorable and the day spent on the Zambezi was wonderful
Lovely place on the banks of the Zambezi. The rooms are very luxurious and spacious and the staff went out of their way to look after us. Isaac, our personal valet was charming and helpful as was Thomas in the restaurant. Everyone is friendly and welcoming and the whole ethos is to make guests feel pampered. The guides were very good. There is a certain lack of organisation manifest when trying to check out. However, Juliet, the manager is delightful and welcoming and provided a fantastic day room as we were leaving in the afternoon and they needed us to check out of our room - a nice touch not seen in many places.
Health and safety is excessive and intrusive - life jackets on every boat trip and indemnities to be signed in advance. Given the cost of the accommodation, it is a shame that entrance into the falls, game park and any transfers to non-Tongabezi activities were charged extra. The cost of the trip to Livingstone island - which is managed by Tongabezi - was pretty steep. I felt that the management were trying to extract every last dollar from guests. The activities manager was selling activities rather than offering experiences.
The food was mixed -sometimes excellent, othertimes less so. Quantities were very (over) generous with both lunch and dinner being 3 courses. There was a choice of main course but all came with multiple vegetables - one couldn't choose either content or quantity. Unfortunately I also got food poisoning.........
There is no atmosphere and very limited contact with other guests. It is more like a luxurious spa than a safari camp and could disappoint anyone who is there to see animals - except for rhinos which are not found in South Luangwa. However, it is a lovely luxurious place to stay when visiting the falls and to chill out at the end of a safari.