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 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.
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.
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.
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.