- Kim Sparrow
Lower Zambezi National Park
Updated: Mar 10, 2021
Lower Zambezi National Park
Sunrise at Royal Zambezi from each suite, gifts a panoramic view of the Zambezi River. Spanning across the water and into the sky, purple hues blending with golden clouds, indistinguishable but for the fine curve of a distant tree line fringing the river. The sky simultaneously blankets and reflects the river, echoing equal beauty. This is how our Wednesday, and every day began, a truly Royal welcome to the morning.
The rooms at Royal are almost too luxurious to leave. Spacious and exclusive, with a private plunge pool overlooking the river, one feels transported, pampered as well as in the wild. Relaxing on the outdoor day bed, game viewing and sipping coffee - the ultimate couch safari as wildlife wonders in the distance. After a quiet dinner and a chilled morning settling in, the Discover Zambia team is ready for a day of capturing and creating memories, collecting stories for Royal Zambezi with Wild Travel Media.
The day was spent at the lunch feasting on conversation and delicious food, until an evening river cruise beckoned. Making our way down the jetty, camera in one hand and excited anticipation in the other, we were ready to chase the sunset. Dee is a natural in front of the camera, her passion and love for Zambia emanating through the lens, her love story with the country easy to capture. A river cruise on the Zambezi is a special type of safari experience, feeling more immersed in the elements as waterways deliver you to up close and personal wildlife encounters. We were graced with a herd of buffalo, some happy hippos, two gorgeous elephants and much laughter. Sipping gin and tonic and the delicious local Zambian beer - Mosi - we floated along calm waters towards a brilliant green horizon, ready to cheers to the day and the African sunset.
Thursday morning presented us with yet another dreamy sunrise, purples and oranges reflecting on the river, colouring the sky with pastels. Mid-morning sent us on an adventure to a waterhole - little did we know what was in store as we drove toward dramatic skies over the escarpment punctuated with dark clouds threatening rain. The heavens broke and the rain pelted down catching us in its downpour, causing a 4 x 4 expedition through muddy patches as we continued our exploration. What a wonderful adventure negotiating the elements, experiencing the unexpected and playful side of nature. Following the theme of unexpected, a herd of elephants appear from behind a thicket, the rain clearing to highlight the colour contrasts of greens, browns against a blue sky. With the taste of adventure and safari glam in full flare, we continue our drive, spending time watching impala and warthog play in a riverbed before heading back to the lodge for a swim and lunch. Sunset that evening is breathtaking - new colours and clouds offered by the African sky - each performance of day end never the same. Dinner by candlelight beneath a ceiling of stars ended the day as dreamy as it began.
A morning yoga session had our minds and bodies stretching into the nature of connection - to ourselves and our surrounds. Set up upon the jetty and beneath the sky, the experience calls for true presence and mindfulness, a reminder to observe, breathe, and be still. With hands connected to hearts and hearts connected to Africa, we lay absorbing the energy of the wild, simultaneously emanating gratitude. We each lay reflecting on the past few days of creativity, safari escapades, new friends, and mother nature. A farewell breakfast feast followed, sharing collected reflections with the backdrop of the Zambezi River, agreeing that this is truly where luxury meets the wild.
Blog by Wild Travel Media, Words by Kim Sparrow, Photos by Karen Lowe Photography