Thorn­tree River Lodge, Zam­bia, Africa | TRAVEL

Zam­bia, Africa

Upscale Living Magazine - - Content - | BY HELÉNE RA­MACK­ERS

I’m stand­ing, fac­ing a precipice, look­ing down at the most in­cred­i­ble mag­nif­i­cence that could ever be imag­ined. I try count­ing the goose bumps on my arms, but they have be­come in­sur­mount­able, spread­ing over my en­tire body. Hav­ing stood here a few

Fronted by the fourth-long­est run­ning river in Africa, Thorn­tree River Lodge is the epit­ome of lux­ury with a sa­fari twist whilst the ebb and flow of the mighty Zam­bezi will leave you breath­less.

times be­fore, the emo­tion evoked that is grip­ping me this time around is that of ut­ter joy and won­der. The wa­ter of the Vic­to­ria Falls is tum­bling down the rock­face like a gush­ing mass of whirlpool­ing liq­uid, cascading into the air, form­ing clouds of mist­i­ness and a com­plete shower im­mer­sion should you ven­ture down into the rainforest. Sud­denly, the sun makes an ap­pear­ance and the sub­se­quent pres­ence of a rain­bow bears tes­ta­ment to this splen­dor that is one of the World’s Seven Nat­u­ral Won­ders.

An­other sub­lime ex­pe­ri­ence is stay­ing at the newly ren­o­vated Thorn­tree River Lodge. The only African Bush Camps prop­erty in Zam­bia, it will surely leave an in­deli­ble mark on the expectations you can har­bor at a sa­fari camp. My jour­ney to get to Thorn­tree River Lodge starts in Zim­babwe, where I cross the bor­der into Zam­bia and with the ex­pert as­sis­tance of Thorn­tree River Lodge ac­tiv­i­ties man­ager, Quintino Mbineji, I am well on my way to my des­ti­na­tion for the next two nights.

I am met by the very friendly Justina Sha­nungu, who is my host­ess for the du­ra­tion of my stay. Ar­riv­ing just in time for lunch, I am fam­ished. My table is set up with a view of the Zam­bezi and on the menu to­day is the most de­li­cious but­ter­nut soup, but­ter­nut salad, veg­etable lasagna, chicken breast with sweet­corn and vanilla cake with ice cream, skill­fully pre­pared by sous chef Monte Daka.

My suite looks like some­thing straight out of an ar­chi­tec­tural mag­a­zine – a tented struc­ture with slid­ing glass doors, pro­vid­ing un­ob­structed views of the Zam­bezi and mesh screens to keep any un­wanted crit­ters on the out­side where they be­long. My bed is lux­u­ri­ously draped in white linen and the wooden fin­ishes com­plete the glam­orous look seam­lessly. The huge black and white art­work forms a fo­cal point that off­sets the char­coal in­te­rior walls to per­fec­tion.

Am­ple in size, my suite comes com­plete with a seat­ing area, a raised wooden out­side deck with loungers, a private pool and a bath­room with an ex­quis­ite deep tub, an in­side & out­side shower, dou­ble van­i­ties and a dress­ing room. No ef­fort was spared in cre­at­ing a mas­ter­ful, con­tem­po­rary dwelling where time stands still and the only rush you will feel is that of the river’s down­stream surg­ing.

Time to em­bark on my river cruise, which has me head­ing down to the float­ing tim­ber and steel jetty, where Quintino is wait­ing to show the pro­lific birdlife in­hab­it­ing the river­ine area.

Our first en­counter is of a wire tailed swal­low sit­ting on a branch and as we move closer to get a bet­ter look (and a nice pho­to­graph), it stays put. Quintino points to­wards the low-flung branches

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