Timeless tranquility, enduring natural beauty and, the gold-star item for any traveller’s wish list, a buffering against all things mundane. These are the days and nights of luxury safari life at Tongabezi. As little or as much action as you fancy – perhaps a game drive, bush walk or languid river boat excursion? Some poolside book-perusing, a sundowner, a deep restful afternoon nap? Your choice. And since when was watching the mighty Zambezi making its inexorable flow towards majestic Victoria Falls not adventure enough? Inevitably, curiosity demands a closer look – on foot, by boat, or even by taking to the skies in even in ever-magic helicopter ride over this jaw-dropping fissure of ancient proportion. The spectacle the locals call The Smoke That Thunders is but a short drive away.
Tucked into the bird-song-filled, lush riverine foliage Tongabezi Lodge consists of five private luxury houses and four luxurious river cottages that are individually styled in romantic and character-full comfort. All hail, the boisterous burps of the mighty hippo neighbours from your secluded deck of your river cottage. Wake amongst the birdsong in the ebony-blessed Tree House. Or luxuriate in the cossetting Honeymoon House. (For interested nearly-weds, Tongabezi hosts magical, completely stress-free weddings – from the legal details right down to the juicy I-love-you bits.) Cottages welcome two to five safari Safaguests, and feature private pools, terraces and some delightfully surprising nooks and crannies. Settle in for a good lounge in the treetop day bed by the big pool. Enjoy a waterside sundowner from a deep sofa in the elegantly private Lookout and Hangout – two of the most sublime Zambezi River perches we’ve had the pleasure to savour. Dine in candlelit splendour in each, or on the airy expanse of the fairy-tale lantern-lit Deck.
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World (call us a wee bit biased, but we’ve always considered it the most wondrous of all the wonders), Victoria Falls never fails to the lift the spirit. A short drive from the lodge, our knowledgeable guides take you right to the edge and shower you – quite literally – in its majesty. (Your ever-ready Micato Safaris guide carries a brace of umbrellas and rain suits for this very humid and happy-making moment.) A visit to Livingstone Island lets us gaze upon the Falls just as Livingstone first did, observing that “scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” The daring may even sally forth to dip in the Angel’s or Devil’s Pools, natural rock pools teetering on the very edge of the abyss. Cap the day with a sundowner motorboat cruise down the gently swirling Zambezi where, in the sultry evening warmth, crocodiles lounge bankside, fish eagles float above, and hippos burble beneath. A welcome diversion onto a deserted sandy beach reveals a full pop-up bar. And too, there’s the fishing, white water rafting, microlight and birds-eye-view helicopter flights.