Thorntree River Lodge, Zambia, Africa | TRAVEL
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