Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

“There is too much butter on those trays” – Basil Fawlty (John Cleese).

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal - Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

“No, Mr. Fawlty it’s uno dos tres!” – Manuel (Andrew Sachs).

#Manuelloyal

My recent Africa trip threw up a load of quirky new and exciting dwelling places for the nights. As well as sleeping in a local estate in Luanda, Angola, a crocodile farm in Botswana, a countryside guest house in Namibia, and numerous textbook backpacker hostels, we had the pleasure of staying two nights in the worst ever hotel in Torquay, on England’s south coast!!The only thing is… this Fawlty Towers is actually a decent place to stay!! And it is in Zambia!!

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal - Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Forget rude war gestures, rats in your food, broken radios, hotel inspectors and useless Spanish waiters, this is a quirky place and THE place to stay when you visit Livingstone in Victoria Falls region of Zambia. Welcome to Fawlty Towers in the year 2020!!

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

The manager, Mike even drops by for a chat so I get to meet the 2020 Zambian equivalent of “Basil Fawlty”. Mike is a larger than life welcoming host, a far cry from the lavish rudeness of John Cleese’s dream, General Manager Basil Fawlty. He is a nice bloke, welcomes me with a smile and treats his staff and customers well!!

Mike “Basil Fawlty” – the Manager – a top man and good boss.

I attempt to draw parallels with the TV show I so loved as a child, but I cannot. This place has more nooks, crannies, twists, turns, shocks than I imagined.

What do you expect out of a Zambian hostel dorm room window?

jonny blair backpacking in sydney

Sydney Opera House perhaps?

Sydney Opera House perhaps?

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon perhaps?

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

Herds of wildebeests

Herds of wildebeests galloping majestically?

Torquay sea front? No… This was my bedroom view from our 8 bed dorm in Fawlty Towers Backpackers Hostel in Livingstone, Zambia…

My room with a view (window above my head)

So, if you didn’t already know, Fawlty Towers was a highly popular and hilarious BBC Television Situation Comedy in the 1970s. The show was the brainchild of John Cleese, who played the role of Basil Fawlty, the WORST hotel manager of all time.

Fawlty Towers staff from the BBC sitcom

This quirky accommodation option in Livingstone, Zambia is modelled on that exact theme. When I heard this place existed, I had to book it. Why you need to stay here…

1.Friendly Staff!!

Fawlty Towers in shock horror!! The staff here are friendly! From a smooth check in, to Gladys the enthusiastic chef to the welcoming security staff to the travel agent staff to the boss himself…

Friendly staff at Fawlty Towers Backpackers Hostel in Livingstone, Zambia

Friendly staff at Fawlty Towers Backpackers Hostel in Livingstone, Zambia

This is a far cry from the worst hotel in Torquay!!

Friendly staff at Fawlty Towers Backpackers Hostel in Livingstone, Zambia

Friendly staff at Fawlty Towers Backpackers Hostel in Livingstone, Zambia

2.Free Pancakes Daily

Don’t miss the 3 pm Daily Special – fresh pancakes!! I only stayed here at Fawlty Towers for two days but both days I devoured the 3 pm pancake and coffee freebie.

Free Pancakes Daily at Fawlty Towers

Free Pancakes Daily at Fawlty Towers

Free Pancakes Daily at Fawlty Towers

Through all the hostels I have slept in(hundreds), this was the first time I experienced a free afternoon pancake session. I love hostels with a bit of variety and Fawlty Towers has it. Perhaps Basil, Polly and Manuel were on the rip the night before with Major and couldn’t get up to cook breakfast?! 😂 Even if true, it fits fine with me.

3.A Clean Swimming Pool

Barely even a dirty fly, no floaters, just a clean outdoor pool to swim in.

A Clean Swimming Pool at Fawlty Towers

A Clean Swimming Pool at Fawlty Towers

A Clean Swimming Pool at Fawlty Towers

A Clean Swimming Pool at Fawlty Towers

4.Value Dorms

$12 didn’t break your backpacking budget. We were in an 8 bed upstairs dorm room. I stayed two nights. For those on a higher budget, there are private rooms and suites available but I stuck to backpacking loyal to maintain my niche here. I was in Amanza room.

My value dorm room at Fawlty Towers, Livingstone, Zambia

My value dorm room at Fawlty Towers, Livingstone, Zambia

My value dorm room at Fawlty Towers, Livingstone, Zambia

5.Spacious Rooms and Gardens

Forget the dingy wet gardens of Torquay and the infamous Gleneagles Hotel. Welcome to greenery and spaciousness.

Spacious Rooms and Gardens

Spacious Rooms and Gardens

Spacious Rooms and Gardens

Spacious Rooms and Gardens

Spacious Rooms and Gardens

Spacious Rooms and Gardens

6.Tour Booking Office

We booked the excellent Rhino walking safari here at Fawlty Towers very own tourist centre. You can book safaris, hikes and all kinds of touristic things here. Simple to organise.

On the rhino walking safari at Mosi Oa Tunya Game Park nearby

On the rhino walking safari at Mosi Oa Tunya Game Park nearby

On the rhino walking safari at Mosi Oa Tunya Game Park nearby

On the rhino walking safari at Mosi Oa Tunya Game Park nearby

As well as all of this, there are two bars (one called Basil’s Cafe) , a pool table, photos of Basil Fawlty on the walls, it is well located on the main street in Livingstone. I simply loved it!

Mosi in the main bar – my first ever Zambian beer!

Mosi in the main bar – my first ever Zambian beer!

Main Bar

Main Bar

Basil Cafe

Basil Cafe

There also is a free daily shuttle bus to Victoria Falls.

However in true Basil Fawlty Towers style, there is an electricity down time of four hours daily and the WiFi is excruciatingly slow!! There just had to be some negatives in any real life depiction of Fawlty Towers! I actually wish they didn’t have Wifi at all. It would totally fit with the ethos of the classic BBC Television Situation Comedy. Yet, each time I had a shower, there was hot water!! There are some amusing signs around too…

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

I liked the idea of no topless bathing but I could go bottomless!

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal - Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal - Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Stay here, even just to say you have stayed here! Here are some more photos from this crazy adventure…

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Backpacking in Zambia: Manuel Loyal – Sleeping at Fawlty Towers in Livingstone

Here are the details for booking a room at Fawlty Towers hostel in Livingstone, Zambia:

Fawlty Towers Website
Fawlty Towers Facebook Page
Fawlty Towers Twitter Feed

216 Mosi O Tunya Road, PO Box 61170 (7,817.77 km)
Livingstone, Zambia
Highlights info row image
+260 213 323 432

Here are some videos from my stay at Fawlty Towers hostel in Livingstone, Zambia:

Here are some classic Fawlty Towers BBC TV show moments:

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