A Stay on the Zambezi River

After departing Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, our road transfer picked us up from the Victoria Falls Hotel to take us to our next destination on the Zambezi River in Zambia. The place we were staying was called Tongabezi and was the initial inspiration behind this 10th anniversary trip (which was supposed to be a long weekend until Dan got a hold of the itinerary). Due to the Rovos Rail timings, we were not able to stay in the main lodge for the full four nights we had booked, but rather we had to split them between their two properties, Sindabezi Island and Tongabezi Lodge. Initially, this did not sound ideal, but I must say, it ended up being fantastic.

Two nights on Sindabezi Island

We arrived in the late afternoon on August 4th and were ferried to Sindabezi Island, a 10 minute ride downstream from the main lodge, passing some hippos and crocodiles along the way. We got settled into our amazing open-air chalet and had a light lunch before heading out on the water again for a sunset cruise. We were lucky enough to spot a herd of elephants on the Zimbabwe riverbank who were pretty interactive, many birds, and some hippos. The colors of the sky on the river were terrific. Dinner followed and then communal drinks around the fire pit.

The first hippo sighting

Can you spot the croc?

Bird life

Dan relaxing on Sindabezi

The next day, we decided to have a relaxed morning on the island, spotting Wallace the local hippo and a land monitor. We were soon off again on the water for an island picnic lunch. That evening was sadly our last on Sindabezi so we enjoyed the fireside drinks and dinner in the tree-house.

Island picnic lunch

Is that a hippo behind me in the water?

Locals crossing the river at sunset

Zambezi River sunset

The next morning, we awoke early for a sunrise cruise. It was brisk, but we were lucky to have warm coffee and blankets on board. It was a beautiful sunrise over the water and we saw more hippos, impala, monkeys, great kingfisher and white egret birds. We then had to say goodbye to Sindabezi to make our transfer over to Tongabezi Lodge.

Zambezi River sunrise cruise

Hippo popping up for some air

The white egret

Two nights in Tongabezi Lodge

We got settled into our River Cottage and were soon off for lunch. Always changing the dining spot, this time they had set up our lunch on a boat. Once we finished, we took the boat out for a short ride. Dan wanted to go fishing that afternoon so, after a short nap, we were out on the river again. Unfortunately, he didn’t catch any tigerfish but it was lovely just being out on the water. We stopped for drinks at the Sandbar with some fellow guests and then we headed back for another delicious dinner.

Tongabezi River Cottage

Dan looks ready for some fishing

Sandbar happy hour

On our last day, we had a relaxing morning and a nice lunch and then were soon strolling along the Zambian edge of Victoria falls. We decided we had to see it from the other side as well. We did manage to squeeze in a bit of shopping afterwards at the local market. Back in our cottage, we were enjoying a glass of wine on the deck when we heard a hippo approaching to chow down on the vegetation below. He even showed us his amazing chompers. We had one last fireside G&T and a fabulous meal in the “Lookout” overlooking the water to end our stay on the Zambezi River, the 4th largest river in Africa.

Vic Falls from the Zambia side

If you look closely, you can see those chompers

View of Tongabezi from the water

About rrettenmier

In September 2010, Dan and I received working visas for the United Kingdom. We sold our condo, quit our jobs and packed our bags to move to London. This blog is designed to update our friends and family back home about where we are and what we are up to, as well as to share our adventure with others.
This entry was posted in Africa, Zambia and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Stay on the Zambezi River

  1. Uncle Dale says:

    These trips just keep getting better. Loved the hippo shots. Those river cruises must have been a great way to get close to nature.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s