Zambia’s Tongabezi Lodge Reopens

Victoria Falls (or its more apt Tongan name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, “The Smoke That Thunders”), has seen a number of properties mushroom around its area in the past decades, but perhaps nothing is more famous than Tongabezi. Founded by the late Will Ruck Keene and Ben Parker in 1990, it comes with five houses and four cottages, each with its own distinct personality. Keene had a designer’s sensibility, and his aversion to straight lines and square buildings influenced the property’s unique character.

One of the cottages, called Dog House. All photos are courtesy of the property.

One of the cottages, called Dog House. All photos are courtesy of Tongabezi.

Like most decades-old properties however, Tongabezi needed a face lift. And now, 18 months after its closure, the property is once again accepting guests. Carefully chosen pieces made by artisans from South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi dot the rooms. Sleek, minimalist floor lamps illuminate brightly colored plush sofas. Decorative accents, inspired by African art and culture, were mounted on walls.

Dog House's bathroom. The tub on the right is placed right next to a window which offers views of the Zambezi River.

Dog House’s bathroom. The tub on the right is placed right next to a window which offers views of the Zambezi River.

But Tongabezi is more than just its interiors—it also offers activities that showcase the incomparable beauty of its country. Take a powerboat and wander around the Zambezi River during sunset. Meet the locals from a nearby village, or visit and haggle with the merchants of Maramba’s market. Of course, a trip won’t be complete without seeing the magnificent falls.

Honeymoon House

Honeymoon House

Whichever you choose, ultimately, Tongabezi is an ideal place to stay and recharge from a day of sojourning around Africa. We bet Dr. Livingstone would agree.

Nut House

Nut House

Nut House's dining area.

Nut House’s dining area

River Cottage

River Cottage

River Cottage's bathroom

River Cottage’s bathroom

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