A MODERN DAY EXPLORER'S CAMP
"Tsowa" means ‘new beginnings’, which is what you will find on this pristine island in the middle of the mighty Zambezi River. A surreal place, set apart from the hectic world, the whispers of this majestic river are broken only by occasional calls of the African fish eagle. In a camp fringed by a beautiful forest, a soft path leads to a cluster of century old baobabs. This is our safari island Tsowa, sensitively situated within the Zambezi National Park.
The 16 bed luxury camp is set in the sand-washed forests of an untouched island in the middle of the Zambezi River.
The décor echoes the natural environment, with layers of natural fabrics mirroring the surrounding colours of bleached wood, river, sand and bone. Authentic wood and other raw materials are used to create pared-back simplicity.
The river expedition theme is carried through with careful attention to the finer details, right down to the crockery and wooden platters on which meals are served. Start your own ‘new beginning’ from this inspiring, artful setting which pays the greatest respect to the natural surroundings.
In the main camp, stretched canvas tents overlook the Zambezi River so that you may view wildlife from every part of the lodge. With timber frames and sides, set on wooden decks, the spacious open areas rest in the shade of massive jackalberry trees.
THE LODGE FACILITIES
The camp comprises a stylish lounge and dining area for 16 guests. The bar tent is adjacent to this main living area. The vast outside deck makes the most of its river-front setting, and is also in the cool forest. It has an open-air dining area flowing onto a sunken fire-pit which overlooks the river. The main lodge is linked to the pool which is in a sunny spot, from which you may enjoy your favourite cold drink while watching the river glide by.
Enjoy delicious meals on the dining deck under the shade of ancient trees.
Relax in stylish comfort under the shade of a bedouin type stretch tent while sitting in the lounge soaking up the sounds of silence.
This is the place to gather mesmerized by a flickering fire sharing the day’s activities with your loved ones.
2 swimming pools flowing into each other are the perfect place to cool down with your favourite drink whilst enjoying the warmth of Zimbabwe.
The 5 Reasons
There are so many reasons to visit Tsowa Safari Island that it was difficult for
us to choose just five! Here are our top reasons for visiting us…
The Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. A bucket-list experience for many an explorer, the sheer volume and breadth of thundering water will take your breath away. The local people call it "Mosi-oa-Tunya", ‘the smoke that thunders’. The misty spray of this mighty thundering spray can be seen by aircraft kilometres away and the thundering roar, when standing close to one of nature's majesties, will stay with you forever.
With natural spaces of the world shrinking at an alarming rate, we count it as a great privilege to be situated in one of the few remaining wild places of the world. Yet Tsowa Safari Island is surprisingly easy to reach - situated almost equidistant from 4 access areas: Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Livingstone in Zambia, Kasane in Botswana and the Namibian border. This makes it an ideal point from which to start a once in a lifetime southern Africa safari, with easy air links to the world famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, and the glorious beaches of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on the eastern seaboard of South Africa), and of course gorgeous Cape Town, voted as the most beautiful city in the world.
Tsowa Safari Island forms part of the Zambezi National Park which is a 56 000 hectare game reserve, home to 4 of Africa's Big 5. The Zambezi National Park stretches in a green corridor from the Victoria Falls approximately 50 km upstream. It is a renowned birding hot spot, with 400 different species, including riverine, grassland and bushveld birds. Our unique Tsowa Island is 1.5 km long and 400m wide and is dissected by a small river where a pair of Pel’s fishing owls reside. The island, which has never been inhabited, is fringed by lush forests, while the mainland is riverine woodland with natural spring lines which are hidden gems used by wildlife. The Park is home to lion, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, sable and numerous antelope. This geographically beautiful area is popular for both landscape and wildlife photography. It is a particularly scenic game reserve for guided walking.
You will feel your pulse slow down as you step mindfully onto this ancient untouched piece of Africa situated in the heart of one of Africa’s greatest rivers. A lifeline to animals and humans, the river winds its way 2574 km from north west Zambia, through eastern Angola, along the north-eastern border of Namibia and the northern border of Botswana, then along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe to Mozambique where it crosses the country to its final destination in the Indian Ocean.
The appeal of Tsowa Safari Island lies in its remoteness from the hustle and bustle of Victoria Falls town, and you are far from earshot of the constant buzz of helicopters taking guests on the “flight of the angels” over the falls. Slow down, relax and take time to reflect while enjoying a cup of coffee on your deck watching this mighty river glide past. Wake up to the sound of countless bird calls and go to sleep to the noise of hippos foraging for food.
There is a reason many of us fantasize about escaping to an island – the idea of being removed from stress and strife in a place of beauty and peace. Your everyday stresses will seem otherworldly in this serene, safe haven. This will soon begin to feel like real life as it should be – this soft sand, the sound of the gentle river, the call of the fish eagle, the view of a blood-orange sunset. Combined with elegant modern décor, a celebration of all that is natural and local, the lodge blends seamlessly into its island context. The river and birds call to you from every part of the open lodge which makes the most of its river, forest and wildlife views. Being an island, Tsowa is secluded from the mainland by the beautiful river. Here you will find no other vehicles, no noisy, nosy people intruding on your hard-won escape. You can relax into the remoteness of this exclusive island environment. Let your mind take a step back in time at this explorer-style camp, imagining the adventures and hardships of pioneers like Livingstone and Stanley who introduced this magnificent corner of Africa to the western world while fiercely protecting its natural heritage. Here in this particular island escape fantasy you can enjoy the modern-day comforts of a swimming pool and luxury safari tent complete with en-suite bathroom.
“Heaven on the Zambezi!”
Tsowa Island Lodge was magical and we were completely blown away by the Island, the camp and the setting on the mighty Zambezi River. It was hard to tear ourselves away from the beautiful tented camp and the decked lodge so we decided to make the most of our immediate surroundings. When we weren’t relaxing in the hammocks listening to the Island birdlife, lounging by the pool, or enjoying our coffee or G&T on the deck, we were on the river with Duncan.
Whilst on the river we were fortunate to enjoy Sundowners overlooking a large herd of Buffalo that came in for an evening drink, a morning cruise where we watched a herd of young elephant bulls wallowing and swimming, an afternoon canoe with John dodging the hippo and croc followed by another memorable sunset and ending with some exciting fishing where we caught tiger fish and nembwe. Needless to say we didn't want to leave!
Duncan and Francie were exceptional and we really enjoyed their expertise and company. The staff were charming, the food delicious and attention to detail around and about camp is evident. I can’t gush enough about our experience. It is certainly a special moment for our family that we will forever cherish.
Stayed September 2021
“A Dream Come True”
When Freda, Gill, Val and I arrived at Tsowa Safari Lodge there was a great sense of excitement and anticipation.As we stepped onto the island from our boat we looked up to find a group of welcoming, smiling faces.
What a surprise to find a lodge, truly in the bush, amongst beautiful trees.We were led up to the living/decked are where we got a warm welcome.We could easily have spent the rest of the day lounging there taking in the beautiful surroundings. But it was time to see our accommodation......Wow! I was in tent No 1, had a beautiful view of the Zambezi River and also a creek flowing by on the side.My tent had every comfort I could wish for....with an indoor and outdoor shower, the outdoor shower was the best....showering under the stars with the sounds of the wild in the air. I heard the Pels Fishing Owl from my tent and then spotted it in a tree behind the tent.Everyday was special with tailor-made activities for the 4 of us.The silent elephant around the lodge added a wonderful element of surprise. A magic spot in the middle of the Zambezi River.
Stayed September 2021
We just so enjoyed the tranquility and timeless feeling one gets as soon as you are on the island.
Staff are great, sun-downer cruise up the mighty Zambezi is always so special.Tents were private and one feels you are in the real africa. All in all, a special place to be revisited
Howick, South Africa
Stayed January 2020
“Peaceful Island Trip”
A blend of Safari and luxury with such attention to detail. The tents are nestled amongst the trees and the whole camp is very eco friendly overlooking the Zambezi river. It is peaceful as not many other boats around.
The birdlife and animals are great to see.
Francie and her team offer great service and the food is delicious.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Stayed December 2019
My spouse and I went to Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Park. We had the good fortune to stay at picturesque Tsowa Lodge for three nights, which was a highlight of our month in Africa. The camp is fabulously small. In addition to lovely sitting/dining/bar area, campfire area, and swimming pools, there are currently 4 well-appointed guest tents nicely spaced for privacy. We were very impressed with the friendly and capable team Francie has put together, who collectively treated us like celebrities while maintaining a relaxed and comfortable vibe. The food was astonishingly good and guide Vusi was enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and he made sure we saw a huge variety of terrestrial and aquatic animals and birds. We do not hesitate to recommend Tsowa to anyone contemplating staying in the area.
Stayed December 2019
We have just come back from a family visit to Tsowa Lodge, we had an amazing few days. The staff are so helpful and friendly. The accommodation is five star. Food really, really good! We had a super
efficient guide that took us on lovely walks and river cruises. Thank you, we will be back.......
Stayed September 2019
“Exquisite Safari Lodge on an Island in the Zambezi River”
From the moment we boarded the transfer boat across the Zambezi River to Tsowa Island we knew we were experiencing a very special destination. From the cool welcoming ice tea drink and the friendly attentive staff to the exquisite evening dinner menus - the crocodile tail kebab and Kariba crayfish starters were epic - this lodge met all our expectations. The island itself can best be described as a small piece of paradise.
Eshowe, South Africa,
Stayed August 2019
What a gem we found - we spent 2 nights at this new stunning lodge on the Zambezi. From warmth of the staff, the great food, comfortable tented accommodation and wonderful experiences both on the river, walking and game drives we didn't want to leave. Highly recommended.
Loughton, United Kingdom
Stayed August 2019
“Tsowa Safari Island, what an unforgettable destination!”
From our arrival right up to our departure we received only the best possible service & attention from Fransie, the manager & all the staff members of Tsowa Safari Island. We were spoiled for two nights in fabulous accommodation & enjoyed the most unbelievable meals, sunset boat cruises on the mighty Zambezi and game drives the Zambezi National Park. Tsowa Safari Island is an absolute winner and can only be highly recommended!
Hartmut & Irene
Stayed September 2019
“Lovely New Vic Falls option”
Absolutely loved my time at Tsowa - from extremely helpful staff and management to an idyllic setting, I loved every minute of my stay. The management even handled my gluten free dietary requirements perfectly. For a brand new property Tsowa is already a well oiled and professionally run camp!