Tongabezi Safari Lodge is tailor-made adventure, extravagant yet understated luxury and warm Zambian hospitality just upstream from the natural wonder of the Victoria Falls. Ben and Vanessa Parker own and run this haven of opulent but eco-sensitive joy and their intricate involvement at lodge gives it a warm home away from home feel. You can choose from an exceptional array of exciting activities in the mighty Zambezi nearby or further afield around the majestic falls. Tongabezi is adventure, African wilderness and natural serenity.
Tongabezi main lodge is set in expansive soothing gardens and seamlessly blends into the banks of the Zambezi. It is simply yet exquisitely decorated to conjure a feeling of Zambian warmth and friendliness. During your stay you will be looked after by highly-skilled valets who delight in acting as your private butler and concierge for the duration of your stay.
The highlight of the Tongabezi Safari Lodge is the Lookout – a multilevel deck appointed with cosy sofas and armchairs where you can watch the panoramic Zambezi and the plethora of life that it supports meander by. The Lookout decks are also the ultimate place for private dining.
The main lodge consists of five sumptuous houses, all uniquely and tastefully decorated and designed, and five slightly smaller but equally luxurious cottages set amongst the rolling fragrant lawns on the banks of the river.
Tongabezi treatments include relaxing massages, healing reflexology and shiatsu which can be enjoyed in all of the camps.
The Nut House features glass walls, a private infinity plunge pool in a raised garden with epic views of the river.
In the Bird House you can dine privately on your deck, or bath in the open air – the languid Zambezi rolling beneath you.
The secluded and sumptuous multi-level Tree House is haven of privacy with rolling pine decks suspended over the river and exquisite décor from all over the continent.
For families and groups of friends, the Dog House consists of two sumptuous king size bedroom suites. The two bedrooms are joined to an expansive private central deck with a large infinity pool. A double-sided fireplace separates the glass fronted lounge and dining areas.
The open-fronted Honeymoon House is the original Tongabezi romance. Soothing Zambian air flows through the sumptuous open-plan bedroom lounge area and onto the secluded verandas where you can dine in complete privacy under the dappled star and lantern light.
The two bedroom Garden House is opulent, safe family living at its best. The private garden and generous pool are surrounded by two ensuite bedrooms and a cosy family-sized lounge and dining area. Here, parents enjoy romance happy in the knowledge that their kids have space to run around in complete safety.
The River Cottages
The five modern River Cottages are testaments to contemporary Zambian art, hospitality and natural magnificence while offering absolute seclusion and luxury. The cottages are splendid glass-fronted suites where you can laze on the serene lounge sofas, doze on the deck in the dappled shade of an acacia tree or keep one eye open for action on Zambezi drifting by.
Sindabezi is an isolated and exclusive island retreat, a short boat ride upstream from the main lodge. The luxuriant main deck area, with spectacular views of the Zambezi, drops onto a silver-sanded, open boma for nights spent with an excellent single malt or fine red wine while reliving the day’s adventures. The island is ideal for couples or larger family groups who want an exclusive bonding experience in absolute seclusion.
The five Sindabezi chalets are tributes to authentic green ecotourism without any compromise to luxury or comfort. Hot water is provided by the generous Zambian sun while the wood used in the construction is all taken from sustainable sources. The lavish bedrooms with four-poster beds open out onto wooden deck lounges suspended over the ambling Zambezi where hippo grunt contentedly, green-backed herons fish in the shallows and the African fish eagle cries into the depthless sky.
In the honeymoon chalet, you can step from your extravagant open-air bath tub onto the pristine white private beach that rises to your deck.
Tangala House, featured in UK House and Garden magazine, is a four bedroom family retreat of intimidating splendour. The interiors are the epitome of style and luxurious home living. The House is ideal for large families where kids can play in the dedicated areas and adults can unwind in the sumptuous open air sitting room, or on chilly nights, next to the fire in the lounge. The bathrooms define tasteful modern-chic while the 12m swimming pool is surrounded by manicured gardens and the wildness of the river beyond.
Tangala comes with a private vehicle, boat, guide, butler and chef – this is the ultimate family African getaway.
Fun included with your Tongabezi stay
At Tongabezi, there is a wealth of great activities that launch from the lodge.
Trips to the knife-edge bridge that faces the tumbling cascade of the Zambezi as it plummets 100m into the gorge below, the spray purging stress like a nature-given spa, are an absolute highlight. A short drive or walk to the sights of the historic town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is an excellent idea from there.
The daily sunrise and sunset cruises are fantastic ways to enjoy the best times of the African day while sipping on a steaming mug of coffee or the sundowner cocktail of your choice. These trips also offer the best times to see the hippo, elephant, buffalo and plethora of other game that call the verdant banks home.
The lodge also offers exciting tiger fishing expeditions; guided bush walks on terra firma and visits to the local villages where the lodge supports schools and sustainability initiatives.
If it’s fine private dining you’re after then a secluded sampan floating dinner for two is the ultimate in starlit river romance.
The quintessential Tongabezi adventure is a trip to Livingstone Island. There are five daily boat trips to this island where Dr David Livingstone first marvelled at the falls he named for his queen. The guided tours will take you through the history of the island – from its ancient past as a site of sacrifice to its current incarnation as a world-heritage site.
If you are feeling brave, you can – in complete safety despite the apparent danger – leap into the Devil’s Pool under the watchful guidance of your highly-trained Tongabezi guide. The pool is a strange eddy of calm on the very edge of the plunging chasm where you will find humility and inspiration.
The adventurous have endless ways to satiate their need for thrills. If leaping 110 metres on the end of a bungee cord is your idea of fun, then the world-famous Victoria Falls Bridge bungee is for you. Combine it with a death-defying zip-line or swing across the gorge if you like.
Then, below the falls, where the leisurely river in front of Tongabezi has become a churning, raging torrent, a white water rafting trip in an inflatable raft, a kayak or a boogie board (for the truly insane) will leave you smiling for weeks on end.
Above the falls, helicopter flips and micro-light flights are spectacular ways to see the extent and majesty of the falls and the gorges below.
Safari expeditions are always an excellent option and these include day trips to the world-famous Chobe National Park in Botswana and elephant back safaris closer to home.
Travelling to Tongabezi
The easiest way to get to Tongabezi is through the Livingstone International Airport which receives three daily flights from Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport. A friendly Zambian welcome from one of the dedicated Tongabezi staff will begin your air-conditioned road trip of about 50 minutes to the lodge. One of Iconic Africa’s Victoria Falls experts will help you construct the most efficient travel plans for Tongabezi and the epic surroundings.
What else other gems should you uncover?
The southern African continent has so much to offer –to families, couples and groups of friends. Iconic Africa recommends a South African safari in the splendour of the greater Kruger National Park or the malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve. For ultimate romance you could try one of three isolated island paradises floating in the azure Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique. Whatever your requirements, an Iconic Africa consultant will make your trip to southern Africa completely unforgettable.
- Simple sophisticated luxury
- Family fun
- Romantic privacy
- Access to the Victoria Falls but away from the bustle
Tongabezi offers sumptuous luxury, quiet solitude and wild adventure. It is the most ecologically sensitive destination on the banks of the great Zambezi River. The Parkers have created exquisite romance and privacy for couples while allowing space and endless fun for modern families.