If you suffer from FOMO (like I do), you’ll have a hard time sleeping at all at Lolebezi… There’s just too much to see and experience. Whether it’s the beauty of the lodge, the array of activities on offer, the hospitality of the camp staff or the spectacular display put up by nature itself, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to sensory stimulation!
I was privileged to be visiting Lolebezi for the first time with some wonderful industry friends on a FAMIL trip last week. We all met at the airport in Lusaka where we set off on a short 40-minute flight to the Lower Zambezi with our first stop being at the Royal airstrip to drop off guests – a nice surprise and a great opportunity to see the proximity to our final destination, which was Jeki airstrip. After the elephant, the runway allowed us to take off – it was a very short, 5-minute, low-altitude flight, which allowed for some lovely scenic shots of the river and wildlife.
The ride from the airstrip to the camp was only a short 10-minute leisurely drive through the shady Winterthorn Acacia forest.
After seeing all the initial plans and images of the progress of the build and then the gorgeous images after completion, nothing could compare to experiencing this gorgeous place in person. The attention to detail and creature comforts were mind-blowing.
After settling in, we set off on our first activity -a magical sunset cruise! Upon our return, we had an elephant greet us right at the lodge entrance – it felt like a celebrity welcome and set the tone for our delicious first-night dinner.
The next morning, we embarked on our first game drive, which is quite an understatement. It was a surreal experience. For the first time in my life, I had a lioness to the left of our vehicle and two leopards feeding on impala on the right. The Lower Zambezi is like the bush on steroids! A few buffalo, another five minutes away, had made the first few hours of our stay a 4/5 big five experience.
In all the time we’d been there, we hardly ever went for more than five minutes without seeing wildlife, and to be able to capture so many species in a single trip is unbelievable.The birdlife was the highlight of our afternoon drive, and we were spoilt with the amazing array of colours of Southern Carmine bee-eaters, White-breasted bee-eaters, and Lilac-breasted rollers. We also saw a large flock of Marabou storks and some Saddle-billed storks feeding on frogs, among many other amazing species.
From surprise bush lunches on the riverbanks complete with on-looking buffalo and ellies to build-your-own pizza lunches at the lodge, the hospitality was simply fantastic, and we truly felt spoilt by the wonderful camp staff.
We spent a magical three nights at Lolebezi, which, in my opinion, is the absolute minimum time to get the full experience.
Our last night and the great success of the trip was celebrated in the Boma where we had so much fun with the interactive dancing and singing, which we enjoyed with the staff.
I’m not usually at a loss for words, but the Lower Zambezi literally left me speechless.
Thank you to my amazing guests who made the trip even more memorable. It was great to connect with you all and share this experience with you.