The newly refurbished Zambezi Sands River Lodge is turning heads as the first black female-owned five-star safari lodge in Africa. Operator, Batoka Hospitality, says it aims to is reinvent the way the world views African hospitality. The lodge is situated just one hour from the thrilling Victoria Falls, nestled in the stunning western end of Zambezi National Park. Here is how that newly refurbished lodge was redesigned and implemented.
The destination’s 10 beautiful tented suites have been redesigned by renowned South African interior designer Yvonne O’Brien, known for creations which are understated, personal and quietly refined.
Each of the suites has a private plunge pool and spectacular views of the Zambezi River. For families and those opting for more seclusion, a two-bedroom suite complete with a private swimming pool, lounge, dining room and deck will be available.
The natural materials and tones that O’Brien and her team have brought to the Batoka Zambezi Sands River Lodge blend seamlessly into the Victoria Falls landscape, where breathtaking vistas greet guests from every suite.
Styled as African tents
Bedrooms are styled as large African style tents offering exceptional views from the huge veranda to the soundtrack of the area’s magical wildlife. The boardwalks that link each tent with the main dining area and bar offer protection from wandering hippos, who often spend at least part of the night feeding in and around the camp.
The lodge’s elegant bar, lounge and dining area sit above the river; the stilted structure surrounded by the area’s lush wild landscapes. Decorated with stylish teak furniture, wooden flooring, pewter ornaments and leather chairs and sofas, it is quintessential African meets luxury. Outside, an expansive deck has dining tables and a sunken fire pit where pre-dinner drinks are the order of the day.
More than just a safari destination, Zambezi Sands River Lodge offers guests an array of activities without even leaving the estate. In addition to the resort’s spa and wellness programme, guests can enjoy a wide range of activities, which include game drives along the river and inland, game walks with an experienced professional guide, a fishing safari on the Zambezi and sunset river boat cruises.
Sustainability and local employment are at the heart of the resort’s mission
In 2020 Batoka Hospitality acquired 100% ownership of the former Zambezi Sands River Camp and its sister attraction, the Gorges Lodge. Sustainability and local employment are at the heart of the resort’s mission, enabling guests to experience true African culture and hospitality with as little harm to the environment as is possible.
Each lodge imbues a fully-immersive African luxury safari experience, including the use of bespoke natural resources and eco-friendly materials featured in the design and construction of their lodges. A variety of on-site leisure activities are offered, tailored both for the individual, couples and families as a whole; and a variety of cultural immersion activities which encourage guests to learn the history of the local destination and culture in which their lodges are situated.