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Waterberry Zambezi Lodge

Waterberry Zambezi Lodge is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River about 28kms upstream from Victoria Falls.

Waterberry Lodge is lovely river lodge with friendly staff, good food and a warm atmosphere. It is not as ‘five star’ as some of the other river lodges in the area, which not only means it is more affordable but also it attracts guests looking for a more relaxed 4 star stay. With their good service and comfortable accommodation, we find Waterberry offers the perfect balance for many travellers. The setting on the Zambezi is beautiful and the property offers all the normal activities for the area.

Rooms

Accommodation is for a maximum of 20 guests provided in seven rooms dotted around the mature gardens in thatched buildings. All of the rooms are comfortably furnished and have plumbed en suite facilities, mosquito nets, air-conditioning and a terrace with sun loungers. Extra beds can be added to certain rooms for young children making them ideal for families. Their double storey ‘Owl House’ has a second sleeping area for children, sharing one bathroom.

Central Areas

The central areas comprise of a double storey thatch house with a lounge and rest area upstairs (with wonderful views of the river) and a dining area and terrace and extra viewing deck downstairs, leading out to lawns and a swimming pool (which has shallow areas for children).

Also on the Waterberry property are The River Farmhouse, a four bedroomed exclusive use safari house, and The Woodlands camp comprising of just three accommodation tents.

Facilities

Wi-Fi – Yes
Power for charging – Yes
Swimming pool – Yes

Habitat & Wildlife

Victoria Falls – one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. David Livingstone was the first European to ‘discover’ the falls when he visited them in November 1855. He later wrote, “no one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” He named them after his Queen, for the first and only time deviating from his practise of naming places and features after their local native names, in this instance “Mo ku sa tunya mosi” (nowadays shortened to mosi-au-tunya – ‘where there is always smoke rising’).

Spanning a width of some 1700 metres, the waters of the mighty Zambezi actually plunge down five distinct waterfalls, separated by islands which account for just over 300 metres of the total span. The average height is just less than 100 metres. During the peak flood season (April and May), the flow increases to some 33,750,000 cubic metres a minute. At this time, the spray makes viewing of the falls from the ground almost impossible and it is advisable to take an aerial view on what is commonly referred to as a ‘flight of angels’. By September, the waters of the Zambezi have dropped significantly to allow views of the individual falls. This remains until January when the river starts to rise again.

Activities

Various activities are included during your stay at Waterberry, exactly how many depends on your board basis, but you can choose from boat cruises, fishing, guided walks, village visits and trips to see Victoria Falls from the Zambian side.

Beyond any included activities, some of the many optional activities which can be undertaken during your visit to the Victoria Falls region include the following.

‘Flights of Angels’ – helicopter or microlight flights of various duration over the falls and along the Zambezi River. Should be pre-booked, especially if travelling in high season.

Lunch or drinks on Livingstone Island – a firm favourite and highly recommended when water levels allow – usually from mid-July through to January. Enjoy drinks or lunch on the edge of the Falls as water plunges around you. You may also be able to swim in a natural rock pool on the edge of the falls!

Elephant interaction at the Elephant Cafe – morning or afternoon excursions. Interact with elephants for an hour in Mosi-au-Tunya National Park. Early pre-booking essential.

White water rafting – experience some of the finest white-water the world has to offer. Full and half day rafting excursions below the Falls run from around mid-late July to March (dependant on water levels). Half day a.m. involves a stiff climb out of the gorge. Minimum age 15, parent/guardian to sign indemnity for under 20.

Canoeing on the Upper Zambezi: Half day or Full day with qualified guide. Min age 12.

Fishing (catch and release) half and full day with professional fishing guide.

Mists of Time – for those interested in culture and history, then the exceptional ‘Mists of Time’ excursion (half day) is not to be missed.

Other Excursions include breakfast, lunch or sunset river cruises; horse-riding; game drives in Mosi-au-Tunya National Park; game walks in Mosi-au-Tunya National Park; half day and full day canoeing on the Zambezi; quad-biking; bungee jumping; jet boating (30 minute extreme); gorge swings; flying fox; half or full day cultural and/or historical tours; village visits; tours of Livingstone town or the Railway museums; swimming under the falls; or possibly going across to the Zimbabwe side to view the falls (you will need to purchase day visas unless you buy a Kaza UniVisa on arrival into Zambia).

Seasons

Waterberry is open all year round though it is the rainy season between November and March.

Waterberry is very family friendly and takes children of all ages, has a friendly atmosphere and can add extra beds in certain rooms for children. For larger family groups, you may wish to consider their River Farmhouse, an exclusive 4 room house situated next door.

Waterberry began Tukongote Community Projects in 2009 which sees them working with their neighbouring communities to improve the education of young people living in the area by supporting three pre-schools and a primary school. They assist Tukongote School and Big Tree, Muke & Kamatanda Community Preschools, by providing resources, building supplies, funding of school outings, payment of salaries and teacher training. Students may be sponsored to continue their education beyond primary level further afield at Kazungula High School. Tukongote Study Centre and Community Library opened in 2018 with 30,000 books delivered from the UK and here they provide adult reading classes for parents who may never have had the chance to learn. Many of the staff at the lodge live in these local villages and guests to the lodge may make a donation to the projects.

Waterberry also organises HIV testing, awareness and parenting classes with local health care professionals.

They have instigated rubbish collections in the villages which previously saw villagers sweeping rubbish out of their compounds causing it to gathers in the surrounding areas. Waterberry pay children for every black bin bag that they collect and then the lodge’s lorry takes the rubbish to the dump. They are teaching them about the importance of using rubbish bins, reusing and recycling as well as health and hygiene.

Plastic water bottle waste from the area is being used to construct a bird hide whilst guests at Waterberry are given reusable metal water bottles to refill.

ALTERNATIVE CAMPS IN VICTORIA FALLS, LIVINGSTONE & UPPER ZAMBEZI