Tongabezi Tree House

An airy hideaway above Zambia’s Zambezi River

Denise Hopkins

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Floating over the Zambezi River in Zambia, built around four ebony trees, and tucked into a basalt riverbank, this tree house exceeds expectations. 

The private winding path that leads to the retreat is carved from the rocky slope. Inside, the only solid wall is the rounded rock enclosure at the back. Everything else looks out onto the river, with only a few wooden posts to support the wood batten and grass-thatched circular roof.

And let’s talk about the bath, which wouldn’t be out of place in an old-fashioned European mansion. This luxurious space has a pair of vessel sinks and a somewhat incongruous claw-foot tub. A few young trees are just tall enough to give a bit of privacy. Under it all, pine floors stretch diagonally toward the river.

This tree home is rich with amenities, including: a king size bed with a white net canopy; lush Anatolian carpet; a chair carved from a tree; and a beverage bar complete with a mini refrigerator and tray. Top it off with the hanging egg-shaped grass chairs, and you have a stunning African hideaway.  

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