A small camp set on the northern banks of the Zambezi, Tongabezi has a reputation that is hard to beat in the specialist lodge industry.
Tongabezi has just six cottages and four houses, all overlooking the river (with the exception of the Garden Cottage, which is used for massage.) The main area of Tongabezi Lodge – which boasts Wi-Fi access – centres around the small swimming pool, which is set at the foot of a small rock face.
Food & service
There are large wooden platforms that stretch out over the river, a wonderful place where meals are taken. Pre-dinner drinks are served in the bar, nearby to a small fire place; an ideal way to start the evening. The service is warm and attentive.
The houses (Bird, Honeymoon, Dog and Tree) each have their own character and charm. The houses are spacious and have a reputation for high design and luxury; Tree House is our personal favourite. The cottages are much simpler in layout and design, but still extremely attractive, with a small veranda, large bedroom and en-suite shower all under a thatch roof.
Close to Tongabezi Lodge is a small jetty, which juts out into the river. Here canoes are available for navigating up and down stream, and also boats for transfers to Sindabezi Island.
On arrival guests are sat down to run through the options for activities which will then be booked for them. There are a number of activities, such as boat trips and excursions to Maramba market, included in the rate. Tongabezi also offers trips to Livingstone Island, which sits right at the head of the falls.
Tongabezi is open all year round, and the months of January and February see the most rain in their summer season. The months of July and August are their coolest but with lovely clear skies.
Operating on the Zambezi brings its own challenges. At Tongabezi and Sindabezi they desire less noise, less emissions and as little upset as possible to the local flora and fauna.
Tongabezi is powered by solar energy with paraffin lamp supplements. The waste water system pump is also solar powered. The entire Tongabezi has no grid dependency as even cooking is done with gas. All soap shampoo and cleaning products for the rooms and kitchen are biodegradable.
Hiv Awareness: Tongabezi Lodge staff have joined the Aids Council of Zambia and Share (An American funded Public Private Partnership) in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. A generous sum of money has been allocated to the Staff Welfare Committee for use by any staff member with dwindling health. Staff members have access to funds through the Staff Welfare Committee to deal with emergencies and limit vulnerability.
Tongabezi Trust School: The school opened on 1 May 1996 and due to its huge success it has been growing ever since. The school provides education to the Tongabezi staff children, as well as children from the local community, in an area where educational funding and materials are scarce.