Our Village was near the real Songwe village (Songwe means abundance in Leya and Toka, languages of Zambia) on a hill overlooking two of the rivers that fed the famous Victoria Falls , located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia . We enjoyed striking star gazing. Songwe was memorable thanks to the intimacy the village concept provided. Highlights included fireside chats with other guests and Songwe staff, discussions of village life, village dances in which we all participated, and samplings of genuine Zambian dishes (including the famous Mopane worms, which everyone in our group was brave enough to taste).
Handicapped Access Limited as the ground was uneven and it was dark at night
Length Of Stay Two nights
Location An hour’s drive from Victoria Falls , 400 feet above the Zambezi Gorge
Owned Kwando Safaris
Size Eight huts; maximum of 16 guests
Utilities Songwe Village operated on generators, which ran during the day. At night they were shut down so we could enjoy the quiet Zambia evenings. The staff heated bathing water in individual wood heaters adjacent to each hut, including the shared bath huts with the scenic views. Electric power for lights, cooking and to charge any electronics was produced by the daytime generator. We received flashlights so we could see where we walked in the Village at night.
Year Opened-Renovated 1998; redesigned and updated in 2003
Room Our air ventilated “hut” offered all the basic comforts including a large queen bed with mosquito netting, a night table and battery charged lamp on either side of the bed, and a trunk where the blankets were kept. After we mentioned we were cold during the winter night, the staff offered hot water bottles, which helped warm up our bed.
Facilities A dining hut, fireside area with marvelous wraparound views of the water and three shared bathtub/shower huts, which offered striking views of the gorge and river.
There were collapsible chairs in the common open area beyond the dining/common room where guests could spend quiet time. During the day, we enjoyed the magnificent view visible from there; at night it was the ideal location for after dinner drinks and fireside conversation
The staff shared some of the village customs and told us about their lifestyle. We spent the evenings listening to them and watching their demonstrations, singing and dancing. One local young woman who led the singing stood out for her staccato clear voice. Though we could not understand the words, the staff described the theme of each song and the significance of the dance. For a few minutes all of us, staff and guests joined together, like an African village singing and dancing. It was a memorable evening with quiet serious moments, laughter and interesting fireside chats for some.
Cleanliness Excellent. It seemed someone cleaned our hut everytime we left it because when we returned it was free of the dust we might have left during our last visit.
Date Of Last Visit May 2004
Reviewers Article by Elena del Valle
Photographs by Chester Godsy and Joni Johnson-Godsy
Would You Stay Again? Yes
- Livingstone, Zambia
- (26311) 231 383/4
- Kwando Safaris
- (267) 686-1449
- Fax (267) 686-1457