If You Only Have 1 Night: Royal Livingstone
The Royal Livingstone is the best option for travelers who have only one night to spend at the Falls, as it is the closest airport to both the Falls and the airport. The grounds are beautiful and you can see the spray from the Falls from the grounds ($650-$900 per night for a Luxury Room with a private verandah).
Lots of Water Activities: Toka Leya and Islands of Siankaba
As mentioned in a previous blog one of the advantages of seeing the Falls from the Zambia side of the Falls is that many of the properties in Livingstone sit along the edge of the Zambezi River and have lots of water activities that can be done through the lodge or hotel. Two of our favorite hotels in this category are Toka Leya and Islands of Siankaba (pictured below).
At Islands of Siankaba guests can indulge the adventurer by sleeping on an island in the middle of the Zambezi River, just 24 miles upstream from the Falls. The dining room, lounge, bar and swimming pool are located on the larger island, linked by suspension bridges and walkways in the tree canopy to the guest chalets on the smaller island. The uniquely designed chalets are constructed of teak and canvas tenting, and are raised well above ground levels in the tree canopy, with private balconies that extend over the river.
We love Islands of Siankaba in part because they have made an incredible effort to integrate themselves into the local community. Many staff members live in the village adjacent to the hotel and just walking around during the day guests have the chance to meet the family and friends of many staff. In addition we recently got some feedback from guests we sent to Islands of Siankaba who raved about the positive and welcoming attitude of the staff ($425-460 per person per night. Rates include all meals & accommodation; local drinks and house wines, laundry, mokoro trips, nature trail, cultural village/school walks, sundowner cruise, 1 trip to Zambian side of the Falls per stay, curio market shopping stop at top of Falls, picnic island lunch and transfers to and from Livingstone Airport)
At Toka Leya Camp the accommodation consists of 12 en-suite safari-style tents (3 of which are family rooms), each with a view of the magnificent Zambezi River. The dining and bar area are under a canopy of trees overlooking the River and there is a swimming pool. Activities here include game drives, river cruises and fishing. Toka Leya Camp has a number of systems in place that aim to rehabilitate indigenous flora in the area. The systems include a greenhouse and nursery project to grow seedlings, an environmentally friendly waste-water treatment plant, and a worm farm used to create fertilizer for the greenhouse and nursery to start the cycle once more. ($530-580 per person per night rates include accommodation (sharing), all meals, scheduled camp activities, park fees, laundry, and local drinks)
Activities on offer through both properties include sunset cruises, canoeing or guided Mokoro trips, fishing and game drives. Other activities like white water rafting and helicopter rides can easily be organized through the hotel.
Family Friendly and Value for Money: Water Berry
Water Berry is incredibly well managed and is a great choice travelers with children and those looking for a property at a slightly lower price point that still offers water activities like boat rides and canoeing ($250 per person per night. This includes full board accommodation, airport transfers, and a sunset cruise. Children 12 and under and sharing a room are 50%)