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“Once in a lifetime...”
Review of Tongabezi

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Tongabezi
Ranked #1 of 18 Hotels in Livingstone
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Whilst visiting our son in Lusaka, we took a 3 night vacation to the stunning Tongabezi Lodge ~ spending 2 nights in The Dog House and 1 on Sindabezi Island. The whole experience was absolutely fantastic. As an Interior designer I was particularly excited by the interiors- stunning use of African artefacts and furnishings together with luxury fixtures and fittings. Amazing!,! The staff were fantastic, our valet Forbes, looked after us superbly as did the knowledgable guides Godfrey, Felix and Ronald. Nasson and also took great care of us on Sindabezi. The trip to Victoria Falls is something we will never forget.
Thank you Rudy and staff for making our stay so memorable, we only wished we had stayed longer...
Nigel, Joanne and Kristian

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jo T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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214 - 220 of 422 reviews

Reviewed 17 April 2014

We stayed here for just 3 nights mid-February and hadn't thought of writing a review until I read that awful on about no power, no generator. It's Africa for goodness sake! We stayed in The Bird House, magical. Still can't believe that we awoke to the gentle, silent, powerful Zambezi flowing along just below our accommodation. A truly wonderful stay in EVERY way, extremely helpful and friendly staff, great food. Summed up in one word - FAULTLESS!
Linda & Brian

Room Tip: Ask if there's an upgrade available, or pay a little extra.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lindam4322014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tongabezi, Manager at Tongabezi, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment so graciously regarding your recent stay in the Bird House at Tongabezi lodge. We are delighted to read that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay and especially that you had the opportunity to see the Lunar Rainbow.
Our staff relentlessly works towards offering our valuable guests our sincere Tongabezi style of friendliness and dedicated services - your kind words will certainly encourage our team to keep up the good work.
Look forward to see you again.

Rudy Boribon
Manager

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Reviewed 4 April 2014 via mobile

A lovely hotel with great staff and a school that is making a difference!!it is on the banks of the Zambezi River. Our rooms were called The Dog House and it was magical! We had a bedroom suite with another room with a private pool, dining room and lounge. We had a lovely breakfast there each morning.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Angie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tongabezi, Manager at Tongabezi, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2014

Dear William and Angie,

It was our pleasure to host you at Tongabezi and we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay.
We are delighted that you thought your massage was wonderful and so pleased to note that you rated all our services as excellent.

What a pity you did not have time to enjoy another night in the peaceful setting of the Dog House – we would have loved to host you a little longer.

On behalf of the entire Tongabezi team I would like to thank you for your kind words and wish you only the very best.

Sincerely,
Rudy

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

Tongabezi offers first class service in a beautiful location that creates memories that will last a lifetime. The accomodations are extraordinary. We satyed in the Dog House and it is really three separate large houses with its own plunge pool and deck. We saw a hippo from our deck one evenning that was great fun. Great beds, bathrooms and lounges. They think of most everything you would expect in a five star accomodation and more. The attention of a full time butler is something that is easy to get used to. The food is excellent and the ingredients fresh. If you are fortunate enought to have Chanday as your guide you will be very well taken care of and informed about Zambian culture, wildlife and history all with outstanding good humor. Highly recommend lunch on Livingston Island as it really is a breathtaking experience to be on the edge of the falls sitting in the Zambezi River. Sunset cruise is also fun as you can watch the hippos and some great birdlife. The game drive is worthwhile but without predators it does feel a little more like an animal sanctuary. In short, a superb experience that takes most of us way outside of our everyday life and inspires in many ways. A final note of service..my wife left her laptop in the car that dropped is at the airport and everyone at Tongabezi bent over backwards to get us the computer before our plane departed. Above and beyond service. A word about value...all of this wonderous service and facilities in the middle of the wilderness do not come at a value price. You need to see it as an investment in an experience rather than a rationale cost based analysis. If you can afford it, I highly recommedn the experience.

Room Tip: Dog house great for families and is closed to the outside unlike most of the other houses that are o...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Bruce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2014

We had the most wonderful experience at our stay at this incredible hotel. We spent one night on Sindabezi Island and had the island to ourselves (there were 7 of us staying in 4 cottages). The Honeymoon Suite as were all the cottages were spacious, clean and open to the Zambezi. We heard the hippos and fantastic bird calls - so wonderful. Dinner was excellent and the bonfire that followed was the perfect way to end our first day in Africa! The stars were unbelievable from this island. Nasson took wonderful care of us, keeping the fire going and keeping our glasses filled! Following this we spent two nights at the Tongabezi Tree House and cottages. (Yes, cute monkeys did visit our deck!) All aspects of this wonderful lodge were incredible. Service is outstanding … highly recommend … true luxury! Chande, Juliet, all of the employees were fabulous!

Room Tip: All the rooms on Sindabezi were great. The Treehouse on Tongabezi was really cool!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Thank LoriLough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2014

This is a magical place with lush tropical gardens and the Zambezi running past it. The common facilities - office/reception, dining area plus riverside hide - were well appointed. The staff from administration downwards were always attentive and helpful. The Sindabezi annex in the middle of the Zambezi, which is undertaking a major refurbishment, looks even more special. For busy people who have to stay in touch the free wifi in the office/dining area and the hide is reliable and strong enough. The dining arrangements are interesting with the chance to lunch/dine in a different place each day. Just next to the dining area the swimming pool is undergoing a major refurb which looks as if it will metamorphose into a great facility. Re the trips offered by the Lodge the one to the Tongabezi school in the Lodge grounds is an eye opener and the school is clearly a real asset in the area.

So if the place is so wonderful why not 5 stars? Well the accommodation prices are high and so the whole package must match that. It doesn't quite make it I'm afraid. My stay at the Lodge coincided with some stormy weather so it wasn't always advisable to go on some of the trips, whether organised by the Lodge or by an outsider. The trips included in the Lodge package were pretty ordinary looking with the exception of the School visit and the sunset cruise, and the more exciting outside trips, if you took them, added materially to the overall cost of the stay. Whilst the food was fine it was a tad on the ordinary side with dinner somewhat limited in choice and meals on the odd occasion arriving cold as they have taken so long to be served. This may OK when you're paying less than £100/night, but when you could pay several hundred £s for a room the food, and the wine as well, do not really match that sort of price. The friendly attentiveness of everyone was nice but it is possible to overdo that sort of thing - being asked how your meal is three times before you've even started it is overdoing things! My room was very comfortable, with a river view from the deck outside, but clearly needs attention. The flimsy curtains dividing the en suite bathroom from the bedroom need some thought and the shower tended to overfill and the water took a long time to flow away - a problem if two people take showers. There's nothing here that can't be fixed but I can't help thinking that over time more critical reviews will creep in, particularly from Americans, if the current refurb programme tails off.

Nonetheless a visit is a great experience.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank hacoulson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2014

Fabulous all round - could not fault a single thing about this property - accommodation, service, attitude, food, location and their connection with us as guests was absolutely top notch. We were a family travelling with our three adult children (aged 21-27) and we were all besotted with Tongabezi. This is somewhere we will definitely visit again.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank NPVHongKong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tongabezi

Address: Private Bag 31, Livingstone, Zambia
Region: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Livingstone
#1 Romantic Hotel in Livingstone
#1 Luxury Hotel in Livingstone
Price Range: £826 - £1,234 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tongabezi 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tongabezi Lodge, the first river lodge on the Zambian side of the Victorian Falls, is a privately owned up-market lodge, built with emphasis on exclusivity and romance, located on the banks of the Zambezi River. Tongabezi has four open-fronted thatched houses and five river cottages all with sweeping views over the river and a Garden Cottage set in its own private walled garden. In addition we have the private island bush camp at Sindabezi Island and the Tangala House family home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tongabezi Hotel Livingstone

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