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“Extremely Unique”
Review of Taita Falcon Lodge

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Taita Falcon Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 June 2013

I chose Taita based on the fact that is sits above the river on the cliff. I thought that would provide us with a unique experience and it did. Annmarie drove us in and Fran drove us out along with another couple to the airport. We were at Taita about 16 hours so we didn't get to explore around and take hikes in the area, etc. We had already seen the Falls and done Chobe Park when we came up.

Getting there - It's a bumpy ride and takes a little while to get from the tar road to the Lodge. I don't remember how long but it's a bit adventurous. You can't experience being in the wild if you don't get off the tar roads.

Facilities - The facility itself is very nice. The individual chalets are VERY LARGE in African standards. They are spread out over a large area and that provides you with significant privacy when you are in your chalet. The chalets are made of reeds or bamboo for walls and thatch for the roof. Because of this construction design, they are very open as far as air flow is concerned. That means if it is 6C or 42F outside, it is 6C or 42F inside. That was a bit tough for my wife although for me, it allowed for excellent sleeping. They provide a hot water bottle in your bed on cold nights and that was a WONDERFUL addition and made the cold evening much more bearable.

The bar/relaxation/meting area is really, really nice. The bar and dining area which includes a patio overlooking the river is nice as well. The bar is well stocked. ALL drinks are extra and added to your bill at the end of the trip. Great thatched roof pavilion which also serves as the dining area with many different chairs and places to sit and relax. It's exceptionally decorated with local art and plenty of African stuff. You could host a large group here for a meeting or a large group for just enjoying time in a unique spot and this area would be a great asset.

The pool area and fire pit area looked quite nice. Way too cold for the pool while we were there. Having a fire in the fire pit would have been really nice since it was cold. Should have asked for one and I know Fran would have built it for us.

The Food - For dinner, we had a chicken curry dish with vegetables, rice, salad and a dessert and it was all very well prepared. The service is good and we were able to get everything we wanted. If you want something special, ask Annmaire or Fran. Fran and Annmarie will do everything they can to accommodate. Breakfast was traditional African fare with eggs, baked beans, bacon, toast, fruit, cereal, yogurt and lots of Rooibos tea which always makes me smile.

The View - I've been to Africa 13 times now and I don't think I've stayed anywhere with a view that is more spectacular than the view into the Zambezi gorge right off the dining patio. It is stunning and constantly draws you to stare into the gorge and think about when the water is high and when it is low. You can see the swirling whirlpools and rough areas that white water enthusiasts have to deal with. You can't get down to the river without spending a great amount of time climbing up and down as it is 200 meters almost straight down to the river. SPECTACULAR VIEW. Best asset of the property from a physical standpoint.

The Hostess and Host - Annmarie and Fran are very entertaining company. They have stories of their life in South Africa and Zambia to tell and it is very, very interesting to hear their side of the life they have experienced in their Africa. They are both native South Africans and have been in Zambia where they bought the property that Taita sits on several years ago.

If you're looking for something unique, Taita is for you. If you are looking for a touristy/luxury spot with thick adobe walls on the chalets with heaters and air con, waiters in white gloves, look elsewhere. This is a fantastic bush experience from the perspective that you are away from civilization without getting far away from civilization and breathing fresh African air right above the Zambezi River which you can hear running anytime of the day or night. THE VIEW CANNOT BE BEATEN IN MY BOOK. I know there are many beautiful views across Africa involving water and rivers. This is by far the most spectacular one I have seen.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank texaspilot12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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77 - 83 of 114 reviews

Reviewed 3 June 2013

My husband and I just recently celebrated our 10yr anniversary at Taita and it was amazing! The owners are wonderful people, really went out of their way to make us feel at home. The staff took care of all our needs, we never had to ask for anything. The view is amazing, such a relaxing gem. We're looking forward to our return. Thank you for such a great holiday.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank dlphin99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2013

What a magic place to stay. I could sit all day looking at the Gorge and watching the Augur Buzzard dive-bombing the Black Eagle. Hendrik was an excellent host. He even organised a surprise birthday cake! The road is essentialy 4WD country and takes about 30 mins for the 11km. The chalets are unique and definitely fall into the romantic category. Cannot wait to return!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Cliffie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2013

The drive in is an experience but well worth it. Unfortunately the owner/operators were away for personal reasons so I can't comment on them but the absolute gentleman (sorry i cant remember your name)who was looking after the place for them looked after us very well. All the local staff members are brilliant. We were well looked after by all there. The accommodation is just brilliant and very fitting for the amazing location that it is located in. Wish we could have stayed a bit longer.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank thisworldishome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2013

Simply the best location for a lodge I have ever seen. Balancing on the edge of the Batoka Gorge overlooking the Zambezi and rapid No 17.

The hosts/owners/managers are real pro's and will look after you from dusk till dawn. The chalets are immaculate and attention to detail shows the professionalism of Anmarie and Farn. This was the second lodge to operate in Livingstone and there's no question that at least one night is needed here. The campsite is also worth the 11km drive off the tar road for a night. The food is great and I'd definitely recommended taking the full board rate. It's got to be one of the top lodges in Zambia!

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank ManuelinAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2012

This camp is situated about 11 kms off the main road. You really need a 4WD to negotiate the track to get there as it can be very muddy after rains and very steep and washed out at any time. It is run by a big Afrikaner (Jannie) and his wife, and they built the place by hand over the years from scratch. Jannie is a huge bearded chap with the biggest laugh I have ever heard and a great store of very good jokes! The place is a luxury tented camp with the tents all along the rim of the gorge with superb views over the Zambesi far below. Vey secluded and quiet. Good food for dinner and breakfasts. A well stocked bar. We stayed here for 2 days.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Maximus765
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2012

This was the second time I've stayed at the Taita Falcon Lodge and it's still a wonderful place, so very different to some of the alternatives in Livingstone.

Taita Falcon Lodge kindly arranged a trip to Livingstone Island which departs from the Royal Livingstone - stay in the Taita Falcon Lodge if you want the friendly without being overwhelming, and very comfortable personal touch which, as far as I could tell, one wouldn't get that from the our departure point for the island (although well worth the visit).

Faan and Anne-Marie who run the lodge have got it just right. Anne-Marie, how did you do it? Faan built the road and with his booming, determined but welcoming laugh, the long and winding road to the Taita Falcon Lodge was just the spot.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Bluehamster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Taita Falcon Lodge

Address: Batoka Gorge | Mukuni, Livingstone 10101, Zambia
Phone Number:
Region: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 86 Speciality Lodging in Livingstone
Price Range: £165 - £272 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Taita Falcon Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Taita Falcon Lodge is only 11 km from the Victoria Falls and is stunningly perched 200m above the Zambezi on the edge of the Batoka Gorge and is a luxurious bush experience at the Victoria Falls. Owner managed, the lodge's focus is on providing personalized service to each individual client. With only 7 chalets, the lodge offers an intimate stay or an exclusive venue to smaller groups. Each spacious chalet is en-suite with its own private garden and outdoor shower. The chalets are constructed of reed and stone with 3/4 walls bringing the outside in. All creature comforts are catered for in their elegantly down to earth design. Chalets are individually prepared as double, twin, triple or family rooms. The indigenous gardens are blended with "bush zen" sand gardens at the lodge entrance and chalet exteriors, and a "green theme" around the swimming pool. There is a boma where evening winter meals are hosted around an open fire. The large viewing deck and adjacent lounge play host to meals and pre-dinner drinks in conjunction to providing expansive views downstream and miles beyond! Our meals are hearty "Afrikaans style" cooking with healthy options prepared in conjunction. We offer full board packages as well as fully inclusive tour packages incorporating visits to the Victoria Falls, cultural village tours, guided bush and bird walks, game drives and a sunset cruise. Any of the numerous activities in the region can easily be arranged by the Lodge. A paradise for birders, Taita also offers guided hiking trails in and around the Batoka Gorge.An ideal beginning or ending to your African Safari - spend a few days taking in the natural wonder of the Victoria Falls and the many adventure activities that the region has to offer!! ... more   less 
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