Tangala house at Tongabezi. Victoria Falls. Zambia
Why we love it
If the idea of sitting beside one of Africa’s great rivers appeals to you, then consider Tangala House. This luxurious private home on the banks of the Zambezi River lies 15km upstream of Victoria Falls and is adjacent to Tongabezi Lodge. Tangala was built by the Parker family (they own Tongabezi) and its a wonderful and relaxed family home retreat where you can expect excellent service, floating dinners, lazy picnics and wonderful river cruises.
What to expect
The house has 4 bedrooms (3 en suite) and sleeps up to 8. The rooms have large glass fitted windows that allow magnificent views across the Zambezi. The living room leads into a ‘snuggery' with satellite TV, video, hi-fi and fireplace. High thatch ceilings, tall arches and thick walls give the home a Morroccan feel. The outdoor eating area overlooks the garden and a 12-metre long swimming pool. The Zambezi River is meters away from the house. Tangala is available over Christmas and Easter, plus June, July and August. Other dates are available on request only. There is a minimum stay of 3 nights. A vehicle, boat, chef, waiters and private guides are all courtesy of Tongabezi.
What to do
From the house you can take a banana boat and go game viewing, fishing and picknicking along the river. Over 145 species of birds have been spotted from the kitchen window and elephant herds can often be seen drinking on the opposite bank. A visit to Victoria Falls is a must. This is the adventure capital of Africa with white water rafting, helicopter rides, microlighting, gorge swings, jet boating, elephant walks and many other options on offer. One of my favourites is a visit to Livingstone Island for an exceptional view of the falls. Chobe Game Reserve is a one-hour drive away and offers exceptional game viewing. A visit to the Tuyutane School is not to be missed.
Kids The playroom, big lawn, people-friendly dogs and wonderful facilities make this a perfect family destination. The swimming pool is also extra shallow for little kids. Families will feel at home immediately, and the friendly, warm staff will win them over in no time. Babysitters are always on hand.
The good news
Tongabezi is so closely knitted with the local community that it is impossible to visit here without understanding the positive impact your presence has on this corner of Africa. You will be touched by the genuine joy and strength of the Zambian people - from the Tujatane school children to the staff involvement in spearheading community projects. Tujutane was started by Tongabezi's Vanessa Parker (she is a teacher) for her own children and those of the staff of the lodge and has since changed the lives of hundreds of students, Its drama department has won many awards.
When to visit
Our favourite time for viewing the falls is March to May when the water is in full force and rises up in a plume that is visible for 30 kilometres. The dry season from May to October is the best time for rafting and at this time its possible to go onto Livingstone Island and view the falls from this wonderful vantage point.
How to get there
It's easiest to fly into Zambia's Livingstone International Airport from where its a 30 minutes transfer to the lodge. Guests coming or going to Botswana can also take a one hour road transfer to Kasane.