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Livingstone & Victoria Falls

Rating: Deluxe    

Tongabezi overview

Tongabezi was the first river lodge on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls, established in 1990 by Ben Parker and the late Will Ruck-Keene. Tongabezi is privately owned and run, with the emphasis on exclusivity and romance, enhanced by the warmth and hospitality of the people of Zambia. 

There are five unique houses and five river cottages at Tongabezi Lodge. There is also a 2 bedroom garden cottage, ideal for families. Each has its own valet and each has its own very special style. The Honeymoon House has been described as 'worth getting married for', while The Tree House is hewn into the cliff face, with panoramic views. The Bird House is perched on the hill top, and The Dog House is set at the water's edge. The Nut House is spectacularly situated on a granite outcrop over the river.

All of the houses have sweeping views of the Zambezi River and are made and furnished local materials. Great attention has been paid to the bathrooms, and a special feature of each house is the huge open air sunken bath. The five thatched River Cottages have ensuite baths and showers, and indoor and outdoor areas for relaxing, dining and enjoying the expansive river views. while the Garden Cottage is set in its own walled rose garden.

Tongabezi has a thatched bar beside the river, a lounge area with fireplace and a swimming pool by a rock wall, with waterfall. Guests have the opportunity to dine on Tongabezi's floating sanpan in the Zambezi River, with each course delivered by canoe.

Sindabezi Island is a boat ride away from Tongabezi Lodge and sits in quiet waters of the Zambezi with five thatched luxurious chalets including 2 honeymoon chalets. The dining and lounge area overlooks a game rich floodplain. The island is more remote and back to bush than the main lodge and for clients wishing to get closer to nature - a resident hippo frequently grazes around the open cottages at night! The island can be booked on a private basis for a minimum of 4 adults.

Tangala House is a luxury private house on the banks of the Zambezi. Sleeping up to 8 guests in 4 bedrooms, it caters for families or small groups wanting to stay together and has its own staff and facilities.

Activities offered include game drives, boat trips, trips to Victoria Falls, guided bush walks, bird watching, fishing, guided canoeing and village visits. Tongabezi also has a croquet lawn.

Tongabezi is a magical location for special occasions. Whether it is a special birthday, anniversary or even a wedding, the staff here will look after your every need and arrange everything for you. Cakes, choir singing, meals on islands ot sunset trips - just some of the special touches that can be added to make yours a holiday of a lifetime.


Open:  All year round.

Location:   On the banks of the mighty Zambezi River.  


Rooms:  There are 3 separate properties at Tongabezi. The main property is called Tongabezi and has 5 River Cottages and 6 luxury houses. Sindabezi Island is an exclusive bush camp with 5 chalets and is a short boat ride away from Tongabezi. Tangala House is a self-contained accommodation with 4 bedrooms, 3 en-suite, sleeping up to 8 people. It has its staff and facilities.

Activities:   The same range of activities is available from all 3 properties. Included in your stay; Vic Falls visit, game drives, guided bush walks, village visits, island lunches, sunrise & sunset cruises, fishing & a visit to Mukuni Park. Optional extras include adrenalin adventures (such as bungee jumping), white water rafting, horse riding, helicopter rides over the Falls, microlighting over the Falls, kayaking, golf and game drives to Chobe.

Facilities:  At Tongabezi there is a large dining area with outside seating under the stars, a cosy lounge & bar and large viewing deck with views over the river. There is also a large comfortable lookout deck which is built on stilts over the water. There's a rock pool.

Sindabezi has a campfire where pre and post dinner drinks are enjoyed. There are several outdoor spots for meals.
Tangala House has a living room, kitchen-diner, playroom and outdoor swimming pool with a shallow area for children. There's a veranda, terrace with a picnic table and large lawn. The property comes complete with 3 people-friendly dogs.

Dining:  Meals at Tongabezi are served at individual tables under the stars or in the dining area. At Sindabezi most meals are eaten outdoors, at individual tables. At Tangala House meals are generally communal occasions.

Children:  The main lodge accepts children 7 years of age and over.  As the property is unfenced, children need to be supervised at all times. Sindabezi is not suitable for children. Tangala House welcomes children of all ages and is ideal for families.

Health: This is a malarial area. 

Communication: There is a good mobile reception and internet is available on request.

Map for Tongabezi

Lodge IconLodge Yacht IconVessel Tented Camp IconCamp Hotel IconHotel National Park IconNational Park Historic site IconHistoric site Place of Interest IconPlace of Interest UNESCO world heritage site IconUNESCO heritage site

Tracy Edwards
Christine MacDougall
Dave Lock
We know and love Zambia, and would be delighted to help you plan your perfect trip here.
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A room with heart
a room
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Tongabezi founded the Tongabezi Trust School in 1996 with the aim of providing a sound education to rural Zambian children. From these beginnings a pre-school was opened in Livingstone, behind Tongabezi, this has grown to its present primary school called Tujatane which now has over 280 students. Tujatane also supports 60 children who have moved into secondary schools in different parts of Zambia. Many Tujatane pupils have gone on to attend university and follow successful careers as lawyers, engineers, pilots and teachers. 

customer rating

100% from
6 reviews











client reviews

Lucie McKenzie

"Idyllic location, perfect accommodation open to the river, friendly and helpful staff made every effort to make sure we had a great stay"

John Warren
Victor Melleney
"Oustanding service in an exceptionally tranquil and beautiful locations."
Ute Brimson
"Pure luxury in paradise, very romantic - did not want to leave. Definitely needs a minimum of 3 nights as otherwise there is insufficient time to enjoy the lodge. Upgrade to dog house at far end of lodge area, amazing architecture and style. Fabulous personal service, great views of river, surrounded by wildlife. Trip to Livingstone Island a real adventure - standing and swimming a couple of metres away from the falls not for the faint hearted."
Julie Spence
"An excellent place in which to unwind after safaris. Accommodation was very good and staff especially our valet Issac were very good."

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