Reviews of Tongabezi
Wildlife sightings and reviews
61 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Tongabezi and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
All the staff we so helpful. The evening boat trip and the surprise visit to the Sandbar was very special." See all these reviews: 6n in Zambia; 3n in South Africa
the only negative comment would be that as soon as we arrived we were subjected to a hard sell
regarding activities, both ones included in the camp price and others which would have been at extra cost." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia
"An extremely comfortable few days"
We enjoyed it enormously, particularly having a bath and not
getting up at 5.30 am to go for a game drive, but felt that two days
was long enough and we were ready to return to the Bush." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia
"Tongabezi on the Zambezi"
We were blessed to be staying in the villa, which we had no idea about prior-- (thank you Justin!) and had our own private pool. There are lots of hippos in the area, which adds another element of excitement.
The dining tables are scattered far enough away from each other to allow plenty of privacy, imagine candlelit dinners, being serenaded by fabulous local acapella talent, listening to hippos grunting nearby. Just dreamy...
I had one of the best massages of my life here!
Even if you and your significant other aren't madly in love, you will leave here feeling more tender toward each other at the very least." See all these reviews: 11n in Kenya; 2n in Zambia; 1n in South Africa
"Tongabezi - outdated and tired"
The room was very well sized and the original concept was great, as was the concept for the hotel in general, however the hotel appears to have been in some sort of decline and is now a poorly maintained and outdated facility. The room rates are world class but the hotel standards, facilities and service are significantly below world class. Major maintenance is needed to the deck (and it is due to be rebuilt but it should have been rebuilt years ago), pathway lighting does not work in places, doors don't close, sofa coverings in the bar area haven't been cleaned in years and neither has the dust cover on the coffee and tea facilities in the room or the outdoor furniture coverings. Nobody in management would appear to have paid any attention to points of detail for some time.
The staff are kind and pleasant but would appear to have had virtually no training, it didn't help that the hotel wasn't full and consequently staff weren't fully occupied and they tended to hang around in groups chatting amongst themselves.
At one fifth of the price Tongabezi may have been acceptable but it certainly does not merit its price tag." See all these reviews: 6n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
With regards to the maintenance issues that you pointed out, the Manager admits that upkeep is needed in some areas. We have been assured that the issues are now being attended to.
You also mentioned that staff appeared to have very little training. Tongabezi have said that they do have an in-house training programme in place; this is linked to the international Lobster Ink training courses. However, they do admit that further training is needed to close some weak areas of service.
Expert Africa’s most recent visit to Tongabezi was in August 2015, when we found the accommodation and main areas to be in good order and the service spot on. We expect to pay a return visit to the lodge in 2017, and will pay close attention to the standard of the facilities and service.
The highly here is the rooms which were really lovely (including air conditioning), plus the setting, overlooking the Zambezi with the most absolutely wonderful sunsets in the evening.
The pool, restaurant and other facilities were also of a high standard.
As with Sindabezi, there are lots of inclusive activities here, but we really enjoyed just lazing about enjoying the view.
Just one slight negative, in all of the other camps, there was a great communal atmosphere, with all the guests getting together for breakfast, lunch and dinner and really enjoying sharing their experiences.
Although this was said to be possible at Tongabezi, it didn't really happen, so you didn't get the chance to interact with the other guests. Tongabezi felt more like a exclusive boutique hotel, which itself is not a bad thing, but it did slightly lack the social aspect that often makes the Safari Camps really quite memorable." See all these reviews: 13n in Botswana; 4n in Zambia
"Heaven on earth!"
The room was superb, without doubt the best throughout our visit. The river frontage was stunning and to have a private deck of such size and comfort was wonderful. We were very well-looked after with a valet to ourselves.
We visited the school (as we had a professional connection with it) and this was very meaningful too.
The sundowner cruise on our first night when we were the only ones on it was very special indeed and yet again our wedding anniversary merited special treatment with another bottle of bubbly! The sundowner cruise on the second night, on which there were three different boats and a considerably larger number of people was also great, though we were somewhat concerned by the way in which our guide disturbed the herd of elephants drinking at the water's edge by sailing far too close to them.
The food was wonderful and the setting of the dining area magical, especially in the evening but at any time of day, eating beside the Zambezi was unforgettable.
We went to Victoria Falls on a trip run by the lodge which made it all very easy and the helicopter flight over the Falls was undoubtedly a real highlight.
The transfer to the airport for our flights home was slick and efficient.
We wished we had had time for another night at Tongabezi- there was plenty to do locally which we did not have time for and spending time at the lodge itself was a treat in itself. We were very sorry to leave." See all these reviews: 15n in Namibia; 9n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
"Wonderful start to our 2 week trip."
We were both entertained and cared for in a relaxed, attentive way and highly commend the warm, friendly, professional staff team. Rudy, the Manager, made us feel very much at home in Paradise. Wish we had stayed 3 nights and not just 2. Next time..........
Only niggle was the plunge pool on our terrace was murky. Plenty of apologies given and we were unlikely to have used it in July :)" See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
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