Lolebezi embodies everything you want in a safari. As a property, it effortlessly blends two qualities: elegance and adventure. Its’ sophisticated and luxurious design is peppered with playful colours and thoughtful touches. And although its’ look and décor are utterly gorgeous, in typical ABC fashion, it still feels rustic, comfortable, and inviting. like you can make yourself at home, despite being in the faraway reaches of Zambia.
Lolebezi has eight rooms (including 2 family suites) which are located in eastern Lower Zambezi National Park. LZNP is where mountains meet rivers and plains meet forests. Its’ diversity of environments makes for incredible wildlife viewing, set against a stunning backdrop. Lolebezi is lucky enough to be set in the heart of it all, at the confluence of the Zambezi River and Discovery Channel, where animals are plentiful and the landscape is simply breathtaking.
Looking out from my bed (which is more like a piece of art, fit for a king – or for the ‘gram), I see my private deck, plunge pool, and the mighty Zambezi River beyond. Hippos are snorting constantly, birds are darting from one branch to the next, and an elephant wades in the distance. I’m taking in the view, while sipping on a fresh squeezed ginger, beet, and cayenne wellness drink, delivered to my pantry with a friendly ‘good morning!’.
My husband sits next to me and has a look of pure delight on his face. We chat about the day ahead – game drive and canoeing, or maybe a walk and fishing? No matter what, I want to make time for a massage at the spa. We’re so excited for the make-it-yourself pizza station for lunch. And we can’t forget to finish our pool tournament in the games room (spoiler: he’s winning). And I never thought I would say this, but we absolutely must make time for the gym, which is, quite simply, the most beautiful workout space I’ve ever seen, complete with an epic wildlife viewing experience, observable from the treadmill or exercise bike. The options at Lolebezi are endless, with something to do no matter your travel style.
Heading to the lodge, we are welcomed with a morning campfire, coffee and porridge (why doesn’t my porridge taste this good at home?!). Tisie, our incredible host (and my immediate friend) is somehow a bundle of energy even at this early hour of 6am. Our guide Patrick, who has worked in this park for 15 years, tells us a story of the lion visitor who returned last evening, only to steal yet another pillow from the yoga pavilion. Pesky big cats!
We set off to explore this beautiful park. This is leopard territory, and our original goal of seeing 5 is blown out of the water, as we’re already at 12 and counting. One particularly entertaining leopard sighting was watching a sister and brother taunt each other, fighting over the remains of a baboon head. We also quite enjoyed the moment when a branch fell from a tree, until on closer inspection we realized it was an impala leg, discarded by the leopard who had settled up there with his dinner.
Elephants galore, tons of lions, beautiful birdlife and after-dark hyenas were also spotted. We had hoped to catch a glimpse of the wild dogs (a pack of 45 who have developed a skill for bringing down buffalo!), but alas, they were quiet today. But that’s the thing about safari… every day is different, and there is no telling what tomorrow might have in store.
When our 3 nights came to an end, we wished we were staying for 3 more. There is so much to explore and enjoy; we needed more time to do it all! But we agreed – we will be back, and have so much to look forward to.
After hugging our new friends goodbye, we carried onward to South Luangwa (Sungani Lodge) and Victoria Falls (Thorntree River Lodge). With land, water, diverse wildlife, incredible people, and unique accommodations, our journey trip was truly incredible, offering wonders at every turn. Zambia is a destination unlike any other, perfect travelers who are looking for gorgeous properties, incredible game viewing and exceptional experiences.