32 Travel Zambia May 2007 Lodge life Zambezi dreams Lodges in the Lower Zambezi National Park have the Zambezi on their doorstep and the escarpment in their backyard. It’s a stage set for romance. At Kasaka River Lodge ..(www.kasakriverlodge.com) the honeymoon suite is the last chalet along the river’s edge, affording maximum privacy to the happy couple. The double bed is a four-poster, naturally, and the stone bath is open air, allowing its occupants (and yes, there’s room for two) to soak in the luxury, while watching game on the river bank. Honeymooners can fix their own itinerary: personal safari, meals at the chalet, and even candlelit dinner a deux on a nearby island. Chongwe Camp (www.chongwe.com) also has outdoor baths and offers a similar personalised service, including bush dinners and private game drives. The owners promise to make their honeymooners’ activities ‘special in a different way’ – which leaves plenty to the imagination. Sausage Tree Camp (www.sausagetreecamp.com) forgoes the thatch in favour of Bedouin-style tents, all sweeping canvas and white linen, for those who prefer their romance more Lawrence of Arabia than African Queen. Nonetheless, the elephants wandering through camp will soon remind you exactly Safari is synonymous with romance. Maybe it’s the gorgeous sunsets, or perhaps the primal pulse of nature in the raw. Either way, how better to launch your newlywed bliss than by disappearing into the wilds with nothing but the lion’s roar for company? Oh, and perhaps a bottle of bubbly, a sunken bath and a discreet personal valet. Mike Unwin (already married) investigates. Safari operators have not been slow to capitalise on Zambia’s honeymoon potential. Blessed with a natural backdrop that trumps even the swankiest Parisian hotel, they have set about capturing the romance of their surroundings for the loved-up visitor. Today every self-respecting lodge boasts a honeymoon suite, where discretion, luxury and personal service are the order of the day. Attention to detail is guaranteed, with rose petals, fine wines, all the trimmings – and most lodges will tailor-make a honeymoon ‘package’ for the happy couple. Some want the full-on Out of Africa extravagance. Others prefer their romance a little more rough-edged. Either way, their every whim is catered for. Hot Honeymoon Honeymooners at Tongabezi get a bedroom with a view.
May 2007 Travel Zambia 33 where you are. And just to reassure you that you were right to eschew Paris, you’ll find a ‘.................................French-trained’ chef, whose bush kitchen haute cuisine has earned him a reputation as one of Zambia’s finest. Chiawa Camp (www.chiawa.com) also aims to offffer honeymooners the ultimate in luxury under canvas, with .................a Victorian bath, ‘his and hers’ wash basins, and a shower big enough for two – all with a river view. ....You can expect ‘romantic surprises and meals in many difffferent locations’, including even a candlelit dinner on a boat floating downriver – with an attentive helmsman, to ensure the ‘surprises’ are not too alarming.................... Chiawa can arrange the wedding, too, .................offffering various locations for the ceremony: marooned on a private island; afloat on a pontoon; back at the flower-strewn camp; or beside a lagoon in the middle of the bush. Nuptial touches include a local choir and a ‘bush’ wedding cake. Neighbouring lodges will help out in accommodating larger wedding parties. Victoria Falls… in love Honeymooning at Victoria Falls leaves your marriage with a lot to live up to. When it comes to romance, this world-f-famous spectacle is surely Africa’s answer to Venice. The owners of Tongabezi (www.tongabezi.com), just upstream from the Falls, claim to offffer the ultimate African honeymoon destination. The.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e.e. elegant Honeymoon House was ‘built with romance and indulgence in mind’, with its private balcony overlooking the Zambezi being tailor-made for a romantic starlit dinner. Alternatively try the ‘Sampan dinner’, served on a floating deck in the middle of the river, where your meal arrives by canoe to the grunting applause of hippos. Honeymooners here get a 24-hour ........personal valet to attend to their every need – or disappear for a while, if so required. And Tongabezi does weddings, too: you can even tie the knot on Livingstone Island, at the very lip of the falls. If being marooned in the river takes your fancy, then Tongabezi has a private island, Hideaways TONGABEZI “When it comes to romance, this world-famous spectacle is surely Africa’s answer to Venice.” >>