The River Club‘s Edwardian-style house and manicured lawns on the banks of the Zambezi River seems to straddle the continents of Africa and Europe.
Its main area boasts a comfortable lounge, large dining room, impressive library and wide veranda on which breakfasts and teas can be enjoyed. Lush gardens (where midday meals are often served) spread out beneath the trees and croquet and tennis courts provide an ideal venue for some midday fun. The pool seems part of the river itself, while a secluded deck with hammocks and loungers provides respite. A wellness center houses a treatment room for manicures, pedicures, facials and massages as well as a sauna, Jacuzzi and mini gym with electronic exercise equipment.
Ten luxury chalets are spread out amongst the riverine vegetation, comprising luxurious bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. Their originality lies in their “open” design, with one side of each completely open to the river, allowing for an uninterrupted vista of the Zambezi and its far bank from both bed and bathtub. Each room looks west into glorious African sunsets best viewed from the privacy of a ball and claw bath, brim-full with bubbles. All have a concertina screen door or window across the front of the bedroom and/or bathroom. The River Club also provides a special setting for a wedding away from it all and is an idyllic ending to any African safari.
Activities include sundowner cruises, visits to the Victoria Falls, Simonga Village, local markets and Livingstone town. Also on offer is a variety of adrenaline-loaded activities at extra cost: white water rafting, bungee jumping, abseiling, and helicopter flights over the Falls.
Although The River Club is not a traditional safari camp, elephants can often be seen in the Zambezi National Park opposite and hippo are regularly seen and heard in the river itself. Game drives are also offered into the nearby Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park where there is an abundance of general game species like buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and impala.
There is rich bird life in the area, including several rarer species such as Schalow’s Turaco, African Finfoot, Half-collared Kingfisher, African Skimmer (seasonal), Rock Pratincole (seasonal) and Collared Palm-Thrush. There are leisurely nature trails around the lodge, boat cruises and island walks.
The Zambezi River offers ample fishing opportunities. Tiger fishing is an unforgettable challenge for keen fishermen, particularly during the warmer months. There are several varieties of bream (Tilapia) that are also a good catch. For the more sporting, try catching them on fly!
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Photos courtesy of Wilderness Safaris, Mike Myers and Dana Allen