The last stop of our trip was at the River Club near Livingstone. It's about a 20 minute drive along the highway to the town and falls. Ending our trip here was a good idea -- by this point, we wanted to relax and sleep in a bit as the other lodges we stayed at had wake up calls prior to sunrise.
The property is organized as two or three main buildings plus nine standalone villas. The theme was somewhat colonial particularly with the furnishings and art work that reflected late 19th or early 20th century. There were ample sitting areas, a really nice outdoor pool that was well-maintained, a billiards table, an area to play croquet, a shop and a spa. The property also had a small walking or running trail -- essentially a dirt path through the woods; just keep an eye out on your footing!
The villas were spacious -- ours had a bedroom area, a raised sitting area, two bathrooms, two showers, and a deck with a plunge pool. All of the villas faced out onto the Zambezi River and the entire side of the villa facing the river had screening instead of windows. This provided an outdoorsy feeling without the bugs, but had the downside that the AC could not keep up with the sun that considerably heated up the room each afternoon. The addition of some sort of controllable wall covering, both to block the sun and to give the AC a chance to cool the room air would go a long way.
The food was excellent at the River Club. Of all the places we stayed (and we stayed in nice accommodations throughout), this was my favorite for dinners. Beyond providing fresh and tasty food, the chef also made an effort on the presentation. It was like being at a Michelin star restaurant, but with larger portions. A simple garden salad involved carefully sculpted vegetables assembled to form various towers with dollops of dressing to dip them in.
We purchased the full-inclusive rate which included all meals, drinks and activities not provided by third parties. The only additional cash needed was for entry fees to national parks. We did the evening sundowner cruise each night, the falls tour, the game drive (a compact version of a safari on asphalt roads), enjoyed the pool daily, and made use of the running trail and played some croquet. The people running the activities were friendly and accommodating.
This was a lovely way to end our trip and I highly recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The River Club is the only boutique hotel in the area and run by its owner. This former residence is a tranquil oasis on Zambia's mighty Zambezi River and is the perfect location for a visit to the renowned Victoria Falls - a World Heritage Site and one of 2 places in the world to have remained on the list the 7 Natural Wonders of the World (the other being the Grand Canyon). Located a mere 26kms/16 miles upstream from the Falls and 18kms/ 11miles from the historical town of Livingstone, The River Club forms a perfect end to a safari circuit in Southern or East Africa. The 11 private and spacious suites are individually set within magnificent trees on the edge of the Zambezi River, overlooking pods of hippo into the Zambezi National Park. A host of activities await young and old, on property as well as around the Victoria Falls. The lodge is set on a 50 acre secure property with manicured gardens, where one can completely relax away from all the noise of helicopters over hotels closer to the Falls. A magnificent rim flow swimming pool, pool loungers, private deck and hammocks complete the setting. An all-weather hard tennis court, a central croquet lawn and a 2km nature trail that can also be used as a running track for those who need to keep fitness levels topped up. Daily sunset cruises on the Zambezi River are offered at sunset. Activities in the area include a visit to the mighty Victoria Falls, game drives in the nearby Mosi-Oa-Tunga National Park, white water rafting, helicopter flights over the Falls, canoeing safaris, historical tours including places of Jewish interest and more. Dining under the stars is a highlight and a kosher kitchen ensures we are able to cater for those who require it. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The River Club Hotel Livingstone