Tongabezi Lodge | Victoria Falls (Zambia)
The luxurious Tongabezi Lodge is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River, just upstream of Victoria Falls. The lodge features a lounge, a bar, two main area swimming pools, and a gym. Meals are served in the large dining room, on an outdoor deck overlooking the river, in the privacy of your room, or floating on the Zambezi River. The five houses and four river cottages are each individually styled and cater for two to five guests. Game drives, bush walks, and boating trips are all-inclusive. Victoria Falls can be viewed in close proximity to the lodge, on a short excursion with your guide.
Redefining life on the banks of the Zambezi River the River Cottages feature high ceilings, giant bespoke wood and glass windows and doors leading onto expansive sustainable pine decks. The signature African fusion Tongabezi style has been distilled to the best of 'Made in Zambia' in both the interior and outdoor spaces.
We are famous for keeping the romance of travel alive and our Cottages were designed to provide a private haven where your every whim just happens to be attended to by your very own valet.
The Nut House is a haven from the elements. It is entirely enclosed but has light streaming in through every wall. The best art, textiles, and textures have been collected and combined from all around the African continent - from Morocco, Mali, Zambia, and South Africa just to start. This creates a lusciously romantic setting for relaxation, without losing an inch of the incredible river-view.
The palette is easy on the eyes, seamlessly blending the house into Zambia's natural scenery. Folding doors open onto the elevated private garden and infinity plunge pool. Spectacular views over the Zambezi are guaranteed.
At the end of the swimming pool, a hidden path winds along the cliff face to our secluded Tree House. Set against the basalt rock bed, amongst the branches of a riverine Ebony tree, this house spreads out over a sustainable pine deck that guarantees incredible views of the Zambezi River.
The king size bed has a large, canopied mosquito net with air conditioning and the extensive space can also be used for private dining and lounging. The bathroom’s crowning glory is a perfectly positioned claw footed bath and from the Anatolian carpets to the Asian chests and West African artwork the Tree House invokes exotic day dreams.
All the inclusive Tongabezi activities are available... but this house is so much part of the surroundings that you can experience the beauty and majesty of Zambia without setting a foot outside.
The Bird House features an open-air claw footed bath and a private terrace for dining under the stars. Guests can go canoeing on the river, join game drives, bush walks and enjoy sunset boat trips. Luxury camps such as Tongabezi provide a perfect base to explore Victoria Falls and the stunning African bush surrounding it.
Built with the perfect view, indulgence and privacy in mind the Honeymoon House is the original blueprint for luxury Tongabezi accommodation. The private balcony overlooks the river, providing a perfect setting for a secluded candlelit dinner beneath the stars. Alternatively, you can choose to dine with our other guests on one of the river decks.
The Dog House personifies the Tonga ethos of exclusivity, romance and luxury with a twist of quirkiness. Located at the very end of the elevated garden path, this private haven sits on three large wooden decks over the Zambezi river. Recently extensively refurbished, the house remains magnificently proportioned and now has two beautiful bedrooms to accommodate small groups and families. The sprawling space includes a central designated chill zone with an infinity pool, extended deck, large lounge and cozy dining room. Whether you manage to venture out to enjoy the inclusive activities, dabble in serious adventure – or simply elect to order the massages in - the brand new Dog House is so much more than a beautiful, African Fusion style accommodation choice... it is the experience of a life time.
The result of a number of years of energy, imagination and many conversations with top travel specialists and our guests, the Garden House perfectly fills the family travel niche at Tongabezi. Set back from the river, seclusion and shelter are a happy swop for the sweeping Zambezi views that can still be enjoyed from any of the decks of the main lodge. It is a very private, very safe space where all the members of the family can spread out a little and indulge in an exclusive dining room, large lounge, two en-suite bedrooms and of course run around the garden and cool off in the private plunge pool. Tongabezi is proud of our crazily indulgent reputation and the Garden House is no compromise: Whether you are a wide eyed bush baby or parents who believe romance should always be a priority.
Tangala House is a luxurious family home on the banks of the Zambezi River, close to Tongabezi it lies 15km upstream of Victoria Falls. The house has four bedrooms, three with en-suite bathrooms, and a 12m private swimming pool. Stylishly designed and furnished, it has featured in House and Garden magazine in the UK and comes with a vehicle and boat, chef, waiters and private guide all courtesy of Tongabezi.
Ideal for a Zambia family safari, Tangala House sleeps up to 8 and has a children’s playroom and a spacious kitchen-dining room. The rooms are enclosed, with large glass fitted windows to keep out the insects and allow guests to enjoy magnificent views across the Zambezi. Over 145 species of birds have been spotted from the kitchen window and elephant herds can often be seen drinking on the opposite bank.
24-hour Security, Activity Desk, Bar, Battery Charging Facilities, Communal Dining, Eco Friendly, Gym, Internet Access (Complimentary), Laundry Service (Available), Laundry Service (Complimentary), Mobile Connectivity, Pool, Private Vehicle Available, Restaurant, Secure Parking, TV Room
Air Conditioning, Balcony / Deck, Bath, Dressing Gowns, Electrical Outlets, En-Suite, Fan, Fireplace, Fridge, Hair Dryer, Heater, Laundry Service (Available), Laundry Service (Complimentary), Lounge Area, Mini Bar, Mini Bar (Complimentary), Mosquito Nets, Pure Cotton Linen, Safe, Shower, Tea / Coffee, Verandah
Airport Shuttle (Available), Babysitting Service, Chauffer Service, Credit Card, Foreign Exchange, Room Service, Room Service (24 hours), Travel Desk
Can you imagine a dining experience more private than having the entire Zambezi River to yourself whilst your food is paddled out to you, one course at a time?
The sampan dinner or early morning breakfast is available throughout the year, apart from during the highest river levels, which are usually from March to June.
A boat cruise at sunset or sunrise is a superb way to relax and enjoy the immersive beauty of the Zambezi, whilst keeping an eye out for wildlife on the river banks.
See one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World with a trip to Victoria Falls on the Zambian side
This is the only wildlife park in the area that provides refuge to white rhinos, which are closely protected by anti-poaching units. While on your game drive, keep an eye out for giraffe, buffalo, waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, zebra and diverse bird life.
Enjoy a short cycle to meet the friendly people from the Simonga village
All guests are invited to visit, engage with, and learn from the Tongabezi Trust School’s 280 bright, talented students, all of who receive free education and nutritious meals at Tujatane. In fact, if you are only going to do one happy thing during your stay at Tongabezi, we’d suggest it is a tour of this school.
The Maramba and Mukuni markets are visited daily by hundreds of people from Livingstone and surrounding areas. They come to buy everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to chitenge, the bright patterned fabric characteristic of Southern and East African fashion. One of our team will be there to guide you through the marketplace and will be there to help you with buying from vendors if you need.
A place to learn about Zambia's culture and natural heritage.
Safaris can be quite sedentary, so we like to give our guests spaces where they can get moving and keep their energy levels high for their daily adventures.
This is one of our signature Tongabezi experiences, and for guests who haven't spent much time researching us online, we keep the Sandbar as a marvellous surprise. Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of watching two sunsets -- above and within the water -- with sand in your toes and a drink in your hand.
Sit in the shallows of the Tongabezi Rock Pool with a cocktail in hand and the Zambezi River flowing before you, or spend some quality sunshine time by the Tongabezi Lap Pool a little further back from the river.
The Zambezi River, around Victoria Falls, is an excellent spot for both pole and fly fishing. There are over 75 species of freshwater fish in these warm, nutrient-rich waters, although it is usually one specific species that draws fishermen here – the tiger. Revered for their power and fierce set of teeth, landing a tiger fish is no easy task, even for a seasoned angler. Even an unsuccessful fishing outing on the Zambezi is still enjoyable if just for the beautiful scenery and tranquility.
Come and explore some of our 1,200 hectares of sweet veld, which is rapidly becoming a fully sustainable, organic community-run farm. You can personally compare our sustainable farming techniques with nearby traditional farming methods.
The Dining Room
We have an Air-Conditioned raised Dining Room with spectacular river views
Fully Inclusive - Bed, All Meals, Fees and Activities
Spoken Languages: English
No. Rooms: 11
Special Interests: Adventure, Birding, Fishing, Flora, Gourmet, History & Culture, Leisure, Nature, Relaxation, Star Gazing, Wildlife
Zarafa Camp | Selinda Reserve
Zarafa Camp is an intimate, four room exquisite tented suite camp located on the130,000-hectare Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana, an area linking the Okavango Delta and the Chobe/Savute corridors. Its villa, the Dhow Suite at Zarafa, consist of two tented suites and private main area and operates entirely independently of main camp. Few camps rival the location of this little gem, Botswana’s first and only Relais & Chateaux property. Overlooking the crystal waters Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the famous Savute Channel, every area of camp has a magnificent view. The lagoon is also the water source for a tremendous population of wildlife – dry season sightings boast buffalo and elephant by the hundreds. Zarafa Camp and The Dhow Suite at Zarafa are the brainchild of the founders of Great Plains Conservation, who pooled their collective experience on safari to create what they deemed to be the best and most environmentally innovative camp. Zarafa has succeeded in successfully in retaining a clearly African feel, while balancing that delicate relationship between personal and informal and romance and adventure. Zarafa Camp has no equal in terms of its environmental credentials and its careful appointments.
Zarafa Camp is designed with exclusivity and privacy at its core. Each suite is positioned on the forest's edge, rimming the shores of the floodplains and far from a neighbour. The 305 square metre marquis style' canvas guest suites are expansive and open-air without exposing guests to the elements. Each of the three spaces of the suite is decorated with custom-made furniture, handcrafted from recycled ancient hardwoods. The raised decks, constructed of recycled African railroad sleepers, form the tent's foundation.
Upon entry is a large lounge appointed with a leather sofa, armchairs, personal bar and writing desk. Adjoining the lounge is the main bedroom and dressing area. Exiting the bedroom, a beautiful copper gas fireplace is strategically placed between the bathroom and the bedroom to allay the chill of the winter months. The main bathroom is comprised of a copper bath and shower, double sinks and private toilet. Off the bathroom, the raised walkway leads to the outdoor shower, complete with wrap around showerheads! The private verandah, running the length of the front of the suite, offers a private plunge pool, outdoor lounge and sweeping view of Zibadianja Lagoon's waters.
Each tent comes with its own professional camera body and zoom lenses for use during a stay. Photos are then downloaded as a souvenir at the end of your stay.
The Dhow Suite at Zarafa
The Dhow Suite at Zarafa, an immense 210 square metres (2,260 sq ft) in extent, is under beige, flowing canvas, with canopy ceilings and completely open (yet netted) sides. Entering through the heavy wood Lamu door transports guests to a lavish space of deep reds, browns, brass and copper, evoking richness and beauty. Central to The Dhow Suites are a full lounge and dining area fitted dining table, coffee table with cappuccino machine and a full-length leather couch and chairs. Two large bedrooms are connected to either side of the main area designed with an open layout bathroom with impressive copper claw foot bath, indoor shower, separate loo and double basins and even an open fire, with copper flue, to heat the room in winter. A large decking area fronts onto the suites with a 5 x 2.5 metre swimming pool, exercise bike and outdoor showers for each room, all with views of pristine Botswana wilderness. The adjoining main camp has a curio shop for those who need retail therapy and an in-room massage is also available.
24-hour Security, Bar, Battery Charging Facilities, Communal Dining, Eco Friendly, Gym, Internet Access (Complimentary), Kiddies Club, Laundry Service (Complimentary), Library, Pool, Private Vehicle Available, Restaurant, Spa
Balcony / Deck, Bath, Complimentary Wi-Fi, Dressing Gowns, En-Suite, Fan, Fireplace, Hair Dryer, Laundry Service (Complimentary), Lounge Area, Mini Bar (Complimentary), Mosquito Nets, Outside Shower, Plunge Pool, Pure Cotton Linen, Safe, Shower, Tea / Coffee, Verandah
With a maximum of just eight guests, Zarafa Camp offers complete flexibility. Drives do focus on the most comfortable and productive times of day, early morning and late afternoon, but full day drives are also quite common at a guest’s request. Picnic brunch can be delivered, and the vehicles are stocked with cold drinks. The camp has two custom built Land Cruisers specially designed for our conditions and photography (fold-down screens, raised roofs, photographic bars, multi-plug invertors) with seven individual bucket seats.
Another huge benefit of staying within the conservancies is the ability to appreciate the stunning landscape on foot, peacefully, without the noise of engines. We highly recommend this unforgettable experience. Talk to the managers to arrange a good time and location for a walk. Usually early morning or evening is the best time, as the middle of the day is too hot to venture out of the shade. Wear good
walking shoes, a hat, and neutral coloured clothing so as not to alarm the wildlife, and take binoculars. Your guide will have water for you. Walks are led by licensed guides with firearm training.
The HES Zib, Zarafa’s special pontoon boat, is an utterly unique experience. The 275 sq. foot deck is complete with couches, a dining area and bar where guests can comfortably enjoy floating brunch or sundowners while watching hippos and elephants in the water. It is also an exceptional platform for birding.
Each of Zarafa’s guest suites has a professional camera set, including a camera body and lenses. Photos will be downloaded to a DVD on guest’s departure. Each suite comes with a pair of high-quality binoculars for guest use as well. For stargazers, each room comes with its own telescope for use on each suite's private deck.
A full syllabus of bush craft skills for our young explorers. This is a complimentary program that follows in the footsteps of National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, Dereck and Beverly Joubert. An extensive pack will be provided to eager children on arrival, so they can learn about animal calls, how to track wildlife, and other facts and figures about the wild. At the end of a child’s stay, he/she will become a Young Explorer and Conservation Ambassador - ready to go out and tell the world about what they have learned and what they too can do to help protect this beautiful environment.
Fly-fishing and rod/reel kit is available for those who want to try their cast at the local fish (except January and February when there is a moratorium on fishing).
Explore the lagoon and channels around the area by flat-bottomed power boat.
Fully Inclusive - Bed, All Meals, Fees and Activities
Spoken Languages: English
No. Rooms: 4
Special Interests: Adventure, Big 5, Birding, Fishing, Flora, Gourmet, Leisure, Nature, Relaxation, Star Gazing, Wildlife, Wine
Wilderness Vumbura Plains | Kwedi Concession
A modern-style safari camp that wouldn’t look out of place in an architecture magazine, Wilderness Vumbura Plains is designed and operated in total empathy with its diverse surroundings. Partnerships with local communities in this region of the Okavango Delta have created empowerment opportunities while allowing guests access to its many treasures.
Fourteen light, airy guest suites feature designer fittings and touches of unabashed luxury, including private plunge pools and salas, as well as indoor and outdoor showers. Safari activities focus on day and night game drives through a variety of game-rich terrains. Seasonal water activities can be very rewarding.
INSIDER'S TIP: Enjoy the use of the spotting scope for exceptional viewing of birds and wildlife. If you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the resident otter family!
The look and feel of Wilderness Vumbura Plains celebrates its sense of place and culture, bringing bespoke design elements of the camp’s core purpose and pioneering community partnership with the Okavango Community Trust (OCT) alive throughout the camp.
The formation of the Okavango Delta and the life it supports, including paying tribute to the individual heritage stories of the Okavango Community Trust (OCT), is all showcased and brought to life in various artwork, screens, maps, basket weaving patterning and dyes.
Inspiration for the suite interiors is drawn from the environment to pay homage to the Okavango Delta, with a colour palette of turquoise, purples and natural tones. Enlarged underwater photographs clad wardrobe doors and shower screens, while charcoal-coloured mosquito nets and black sanitary ware offer a more contemporary feel.
Wilderness’ much-loved Wilderness Vumbura Plains is designed to maximise the magical views of the Delta, whilst maintaining a light footprint in camp structure. With interiors enhanced to bring nature inside; as well as weaving in extraordinary conservation and cultural stories into bespoke design pieces for guests to experience in a tangible way. Vumbura is truly a must-visit safari choice.
Wilderness Vumbura Plains North offers six suites, and two family units. While Wilderness Vumbura Plains South consists of six suites, and no family accommodation.
The two family units at Wilderness Vumbura Plains North each accommodate four guests comprising two bedrooms, each with own en-suite bathroom facilities. The main bedroom has a large sunken indoor lounge, with spacious indoor and outdoor showers, whilst the second bedroom is smaller and provides an indoor shower. Both bedrooms have separate entrances, however, share an outdoor deck and private plunge pool with seating area. Recommended for families with younger children is the one family unit with an inter-leading shaded lounge area which is semi-outdoor as canvas blinds may be rolled up and down to provide cover for all weather conditions.
Bar, Library, Pool, Private Vehicle Available
Electrical Outlets, En-Suite, Fan, Hair Dryer, Internet Access (Complimentary), Laundry Service (Complimentary), Lounge Area, Mini Bar, Mosquito Nets, Outside Shower, Plunge Pool, Safe, Tea / Coffee, Verandah
Morning and afternoon game drives are offered in open 4x4 vehicles. Bringing you closer to many thrilling interactions being played out in the wild, our knowledgeable guides are the vital link between guests and the intricacies of the natural world.
Wilderness Vumbura Plains’ unique community concession agreement means that many of the professional guides here grew up in this area, adding an extra layer of authenticity and cultural relevance to their expert tracking and identification skills. Swap your game drive for a nature walk, and marvel at the smaller things you may miss when travelling by vehicle.
* Seasonal and subject to the availability of a qualified walking guide.
After dark game viewing with filtered spotlights allow you to find intriguing nocturnal animals.
Wilderness Vumbura Plains truly an Okavango experience, and there is no better way of viewing game and exploring the channels than by traditional mokoro (dugout canoe). The wondrous wetland habitats result in a multitude of aquatic life, and these excursions reveal the fascinating smaller creatures of the Delta including colourful frogs and lively waterbirds.
* Water levels permitting.
Excursions by boat are another idyllic form of water wildlife exploration in the amazing paradise of the Okavango Delta.
* Water levels permitting.
Fishing is on a catch and release basis, and the Vumbura Private Wilderness Area, is considered one of our best fishing areas as there is permanent water all year round. A limited supply of basic equipment is available at camp, whereas all fly fishing equipment is to be supplied by guests if required.
* Note that fishing is seasonal as it is prohibited by Botswana law in January and February due to breeding purposes.
The birding at Wilderness Vumbura Plains is as varied as it is exceptional all year round. Search for some of the the hundreds of bird species, from lilac-breasted rollers, to carmine bee-eaters, and secretary birds. Or even the Pel's fishing owl! In the summer months many migrant species are present, while other specials which are regularly seen include wattled crane, slaty egret, chirping cisticola, fan-tailed widowbird, pink-backed pelican and possibly rosy-throated longclaw for the dedicated birders.
As part of this unique collaboration, lightweight and compact OM-D photography equipment has been provided for guests to try out a number of the impressive features offered by Olympus. The picturesque vistas at Wilderness Vumbura Plains will amaze even the most seasoned safari explorers, and we hope that you will enjoy learning more about wildlife photography with our passionate guides.
* Olympus Photo Hub experience dependent on camera availability.
Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is a non-profit organisation supported by ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris, which aims to facilitate sustainable conservation through leadership development and education of children in Africa.
Insight, care and commitment are required to conserve Africa’s pristine wilderness and wildlife areas. If we are to ensure that these places continue to exist – in this generation and those to come – we need the rural children of Africa to understand the importance of conservation and its relevance in their lives. Hence, our Children in the Wilderness programme: an environmental and life skills educational programme for children, focusing on the next generation of decision-makers; inspiring them to care for their natural heritage and to become the custodians of these areas in the future.
This is achieved in a variety of ways – from hosting Eco-Club programmes at local schools, to running camps at Wilderness Safaris and partner camps, for the children within the rural communities that live on the edges of the wild areas of Africa.
Fully Inclusive - Bed, All Meals, Fees and Activities
No. Rooms: 14
Special Interests: Birding, Nature, Wildlife