Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Zambia
Just 10 miles or so downstream from the Tongabezi Safari Lodge is the thundering Victoria Falls (see below); although you cannot hear is roar, you somehow feel its power. Tongabezi itself is a place of tranquillity, built along the banks of the Zambia River, where the gentle waters offer no hint of the violent dive ahead. This is no average bush camp: There’s a river-side swimming pool, four-poster beds, and bathtubs set upon verandas for luscious sunset views. Tasteful natural furnishing one could describe as “high bush” decorate the 11 thatch-roofed houses and cottages. The Tree House is just that – tree trunks literally burst through its floor. The open-air Honeymoon House and its forest-hugged patios make couples feel as if this is their own private Africa, while the Dog House is hardly worthy of the metaphorical name, featuring both a sunken bath and stone fireplace. It all adds up to the perfect romantic base, enhanced by invigorating morning bush and bird walks, gentle canoe trips, and sundowners on dhow. To explore the Zambezi further, take a wild, whitewater rafting trip through the ancient gorges, or stay at one of the five chalets on Tongabezi’s private Sindabezi Island, a small patch of trees and sand just a short boat ride away. You can also soar over the falls in a helicopter or, if you’re particularly courageous, in a microlight, a glider like conveyance equipment with seats and a propeller.
WHERE : 10 miles/16 km upriver from Victoria Falls.
BEST TIME : during the end of the rainy season in Mar – Jul, the falls are at their greatest flow, but the weather can be hot and wet; Jul – Sep offers mild temperatures and the most opportunities for game viewing and activities on and in the water.