Victoria Falls is one of the world’s most spectacular wonders and the piece de resistance of Zambia’s collection of natural landmarks, parks, and reserves. Its other name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, means “The Smoke That Thunders”, an apt description of the continuous spray and roar the Zambezi River makes as it plunges into the Batoka Gorge below. If ever there was a symbol of love in the natural world, these Falls may just be it. They capture the power and beauty of love, regardless of whether it be new love’s butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling or the strength and depth of mature love.
You might want to pop the question during the Month of Love – or on Valentine’s Day itself – while swimming together in Angel’s Pool above the Falls. Perhaps say ‘I do’ on the very edge of the Falls. Or commemorate a special anniversary on a riverboat cruise at sunset.
Because even when you aren’t at the Falls, the romance of Africa awaits you just a few kilometers upstream at these luxe lodgings on the banks of the Zambezi River. You can feel a thousand light-years away from the bustle of civilization and still experience award-winning exclusivity and hospitality.
Sindabezi Island Camp
About 15-kilometers upstream from Victoria Falls and nestled into the waters of the Zambezi River is an island paradise that tempts all lovers into eloping. Sindabezi Island Camp sleeps just 10 guests in five thatched chalets that overlook the river from wooden decks. The chalets are separated far enough from each other so that your stay is completely private.
Wondering which chalet is for you? The Honeymoon Chalet and Sunrise Chalet 1 are a favorite for lovebirds as each comes with its own star-gazing, claw-foot tub. Both Chalets are secreted away on their own secluded parts of the island, each with a unique view of the river. Chalet 1 is known for its sunrises, the Honeymoon Chalet for sunsets. All rooms are lit romantically with hurricane lamps and candles, and you can marvel at the river from the luxury of your hammock or while dining al fresco on your private deck.
Locally-sourced furnishings and textiles, along with zero grid-dependence, makes Sindabezi the most environmentally-friendly island in the Zambezi River. In fact, Fodor’s Travel lists it as one of Africa’s top 10 eco-lodges. Yet the island still has all those important modern creature comforts, like warm water courtesy of solar-powered geysers, so that your experience is more laidback luxury than rustic wilderness camping.
Sindabezi is such a romantic spot that many couples have chosen to throw small, intimate weddings on the island itself. It also shares this stretch of river with another beautiful lodge that has a full range of amenities open for island guests to enjoy. Sindabezi’s neighbor and sister property is Tongabezi Lodge, another of Zambia’s romantic retreats near Victoria Falls.
The love affair between Tongabezi Lodge and Zambia began over three decades ago. To this day Tongabezi combines romance, exclusivity, and creative flair to complement the magnificent Zambezi wilderness. Lovebirds are spoilt for choice, with 11 individually styled suites at Tongabezi. All five River Cottages as well as four of the six Houses are perfect for a dreamy couples getaway, whilst the other two Houses are designed with families in mind.
All Tongabezi Cottages and Houses are secluded and immersed in the bush to help you disconnect from life back at home and reconnect with what really matters – each other. Along with the other two-sleeper houses, the Honeymoon House and Tree House are built with romance and indulgence in mind. Each is generously proportioned with an open-air bathtub and private balcony overlooking the river – the perfect setting for cocktails at sundown followed by dinner under a twinkling African sky.
Whether you are wanting to pop the question, exchange wedding vows, or escape on honeymoon, these romantic retreats are only complete once you have indulged in Tongabezi’s two signature dining experiences. A romantic dinner on the floating river sampan and a picnic lunch or sundowners on one of the river sandbars are must-do activities!
So, with all of this in mind, it’s not hard to imagine falling in love all over again in the Zambezi wilderness. You can contact Green Safaris for packages and specials that are perfect for a romantic retreat near Victoria Falls.
Photos courtesy of Green Safaris and Stepan Vrzala for Mwai Yeboah.