Lusaka Safari Lodge
The Safari Lodge is situated about 35 kilometres north of Lusaka and then 10 kilometres into the bush. It occupies a 12 square kilometre ex dairy farm that has been changed into a private game farm. For those who may have known the farms in the area it was previously called Mutendere Farm.
The 10k drive into the bush was all along dirt road and I found something that I didn't know I had missed since leaving Africa. Being involved in rallying when I lived in Lusaka, we spent a lot of time tearing around on dirt roads around the country and getting back onto this type of road was great fun; brought back many memories.
The entrance to the hotel is a left turn off the main dirt road. You are checked through a set of gates, but the hotel is nowhere to be seen, it is still 4 kilometres away. This was the start of a slow game drive through the 'Hotel Grounds' where the Zebra, Puku, Waterbuck and Hartbeest were roaming around in an area of burnt grassland. In the grounds there are also Eland, Sable, Impala, Bushbuck and a number of other Zambian species.
One thing that was very noticeable was that the trees have been cut down outside privately owned lands and presumably converted into charcoal. Driving to the hotel the right hand side of the main dirt road was just open ground whilst the left hand side, which was fenced off and obviously privately owned, was a flourishing woodland. The land on the right was what can only be described as scrubland as most of the trees had been removed. On a couple of occasions as we drove past people were there removing the few remaining trees. This seemed to be the case where ever we travelled, privately owned land protected against tree clearance, elsewhere hardly any trees of significance left standing.
We drove into the hotel itself to be confronted with a number of large thatched buildings that turned out to be the reception, dining room, bar and a the conference rooms. Standing in one of the flower beds was a Kudu, happily browsing on the shrubbery. Checking in was a delight, once again I was reminded of how polite the Zambian people are, and in no time at all we were off to our room.
The rooms are individual chalets which have a bathroom off the corridor just inside the entrance. At the end of the corridor is a large room that is split between a bedroom and lounge, the lounge being at a slightly lower level.
We discovered that there were a great number of different animals that came onto the lawn to graze and a few spent most of their time in and around the chalets. With a first class kitchen I would not hesitate in recommending this hotel to anyone who is visiting Lusaka.