Visiting Victoria Falls was our ultimate destination on a recent trip to Zimbabwe. But instead of popping in and out of the country to get a glimpse of the Falls, we decided to extend our stay and enjoy a few nights on the mighty Zambezi River in Zambezi National Park.
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Our home during the visit was Tsowa Safari Island, a beautiful new Isibindi Africa lodge located on Tsowa Island in Zambezi National Park.
The camp is fringed by a beautiful forest and tucked away from the rest of the world. It was designed to accommodate just 12 guests at a time, offering a truly cozy and intimate stay.
About the Lodge
Tsowa Safari Island lodge is located on a private island giving the stay a feeling of the river expedition. The décor blends in with the natural environment and features natural fabrics in earthy colours and wooden accents throughout.
The common areas around the camp consist of a stylish lounge and dining area, a bar tent, a vast outside river-front deck and a pool overlooking the river.
The rooms of the Zambezi lodge are actually a series of safari tents with 2 Twin beds that can be converted into a comfortable King bed. Each tent offers a desk, a tea/coffee set up, lots of closet space, and a private en-suite with an indoor/outdoor shower. The tents are set away from the others to offer ultimate privacy for every guest.
We found the tents to be spacious and luxurious with mosquito nets around the beds. We particularly loved the verandah, offering a spectacular view of Zambezi National Park on the mainland, just across the river.
Food & Drink
The main tent of the Zambezi lodge serves as the main communal and dining area for the guests. There’s an open-air dining area, which is connected to a sunken fire pit that overlooks the river. You couldn’t ask for a better view.
The Tsowa Safari Island Lodge offers breakfast, brunch/lunch, and dinner, as well as drinks and snacks during the day trips. If you’re in the mood to relax after you eat, there’s a bar tent adjacent to the main tent.
There are a number of activities you do while staying at this Zambezi River lodge.
Game drives and game walks on the mainland let you see wildlife in its natural habitat at Zambezi National Park.
Guided canoeing is available from mid-morning to early afternoon in inflatable 2-person canoes. The endpoint is about an hour and a half down the river, and once you reach it you’ll be driven back to the lodge in one of the game-viewing vehicles. This was our favourite activity at Tsowa Safari Island, as it offered an opportunity to explore life along the river banks and appreciate the scenery around us.
We also loved our sunset guided river cruise, that took us around the river in search of hippos, crocs, birds and other wildlife on the banks of the river. At the end of the cruise, we hopped ashore and enjoyed drinks and snacks while watching the sunset.
There are also guided walks to the center of the island and fishing opportunities available every day from this Zambezi lodge.
Day trips to Chobe National Park in Botswana, one of the most game-rich wildlife parks in the country are also available from the lodge. If you’ve been looking forward to spotting any of the Big Five, then this day trip will be a good idea for you.
And of course, guests can also arrange a trip to the beautiful Victoria Falls, starting at the lodge’s private entrance to Zambezi National Park. It includes a stop for teatime, an opportunity to visit local shops, and even a chance to go bungee-jumping or river rafting.
The Isibindi Foundation and its lodges care deeply about their impact on the environment and local communities, and the Tsowa Safari Island Lodge is no exception. Single-use plastics aren’t used, and plastic water bottles for the guests have been replaced with reusable water bottles. The tents and decks are made of natural materials, blending into the natural environment. Tsowa Safari Lodge invested in renewable energy sources and food served at their on-site restaurant is locally sourced and ethically harvested.
The lodge also helps support anti-poaching efforts at Zambezi National Park, while also helping to improve the availability of the park’s resources.
The Bottom Line
The Tsowa Safari Island Lodge is set in a beautiful and relaxed environment offering an ultimate getaway in Zambezi National Park. It offers you the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world, and it gives you the opportunity to help the world and appreciate the wildlife and the habitat up close.
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Disclaimer: Our stay at Tsowa Safari Island was provided courtesy of Isibindi Africa Lodges, but all opinions expressed in this article are our own.