Skip to main content

The Mighty Zambezi, Luxury and Food Part 1

Zambia2011__1360

So, for the media launch of Jenny Morris’s book that I’ve been writing about, and will still blog lots about, we were fortunate enough to head out to the Zambezi River in Zambia, staying at the magnificent Royal Chundu Lodge, about 50km west of Livingstone. And that was an unusually long sentence. Even more impressive was that my wife was also with me on this trip, and what followed was a fantastic couple of days in a gem of a spot, and fun in the sun with all the other guests there.

I came to the conclusion in the week running up to our departure that it’s probably preferable to get yellow fever than have the after effects of a yellow fever shot. I’m very glad to know that I won’t have to have it again. 3 days of flu like symptoms was my experience. It seems like some others had the same fate, whereas some had no ill-effects at all. 

Zambia2011__0003

Jenny and Alan Ford, TV producer, at the Cape Town International Airport. We’re ready to roll. Below is part of the Cape contingent. We picked up some more in Johannesburg. Others like John Maytham are seriously seasoned at checking in and did so on their iPads and was by this time sipping espresso’s at Vida e Caffe, departure lounge-side.

Zambia2011__0006

Left to right: my wife Nellie, Siba from Drum Magazine, Carmen from Huisgenoot, Juan-Pierre, writer, Ceri, Jenny’s publisher, Marga, Jenny’s assistant and sous chef and Clay Morar, writer, TV presenter and radio personality.

We were meant to fly Air Zambezi, but the airline got grounded the week we were to leave! Royal Chundu Lodge, get this, out of their own pocket, booked us all onto 1time and made sure we arrived! They were unwilling to let us miss out on this experience. Thank you!

We stayed over in Johannesburg at a hotel of which I can’t recall the name, but it was a typical and efficient business hotel. Fabulous breakfast, though.

Zambia2011__0009

From Johannesburg to Livingstone, the next morning, we pretty much owned the plane. Jenny went around dishing out eats, and also supplied each one of us with a goodie back on arrival at the airport, including the magnificent book.

Zambia2011__0011Zambia2011__0016

I-pods, eating, catching up and also a few winks, were pretty much the way of the 1 hour flight.

Zambia2011__0019

First impression of Zambia? (I make a habit of taking note of the smell and atmosphere in a new place as I get off the plane). Hot. Humid. In Libya my first smell was seaweed. Here it was jet-fuel.

Zambia2011__0023

As is the case normally, my wife got to know some of the locals immediately, getting to know their family history, fears, dreams and medical history in the time it takes for me to wipe my nose and pick up my bags. Carmen and Ceri was taking some heat already. Note to self at this point: Zambians are friendly. Zambia is hot.

Zambia2011__0024

Transferring to a shuttle for the bumpiest ride ever.

Zambia2011__0025Zambia2011__0026Zambia2011__0029Zambia2011__0030Alan acted as our host for the duration of the stay, as he organised this fabulous time for us, and also have been here before. Thanks, Alan!

Zambia2011__0031Zambia2011__0033Zambia2011__0037

Arrival at Royal Chundu does not occur without a stretch of dirt road that can give any road on the Dakar Rally a run for its money, in terms of difficulty level at least. However, arriving at the lodge makes it all worth it. Nestled on the banks of the mighty Zambezi river is a gem we were all about to discover. We were greeted with a lunch, orientation and a brief massage while seated at the table. Needless to say the massage made everyone very very keen to stay here.

Zambia2011__0040Zambia2011__0045Zambia2011__0048Zambia2011__0076

Here we also got assigned our rooms, made our final introductions, tried getting back to Tweeting, making notes, stretching our legs and generally just relaxing after the travel. To some the thought of possibly not getting on Facebook or Twitter was disastrous, while to some, like me, I was looking forward to some social – and general – media down-time. Ironic that I was to spend time with people working in media the whole week!

Zambia2011__0079

Bianca (who would end up being the only one to catch a tiger fish the whole week!) and Liezel having their pics taken with Jenny. As the week drew on, I needed to take loads of these to supply to social pages and the like.

Zambia2011__0091Zambia2011__0093

To see what Clayton was Tweeting, better check out @claymorar. He is part of the local Twitterati, if ever there was such a thing.

Zambia2011__0101Zambia2011__0103Zambia2011__0109Zambia2011__0111

After lunch, we were all dispatched to our different cabins. Jenny and her husband David, and Nellie and I, were to stay on Katombora Island, or the Island Lodge about 15 minutes up-river, while the others stayed at the River Lodge. This caters more for couples and honeymooners, and sports slightly bigger cabins.

To get to the Island Lodge we were transported using a flat-deck catamaran cruising at a leisurely pace, while with every trip the possibility of seeing hippo’s or crocodiles were imminent, and seeing many kinds of bird-life.

Zambia2011__0055Zambia2011__0116Zambia2011__0120Zambia2011__0123Zambia2011__0129

Arrival at The Island is the same every time. A huge smile from a impeccably dressed porter, your luggage being taken away on your behalf, and a steep climb to a piece of heaven.

Zambia2011__0144Zambia2011__0147

Zambia2011__0152Although I set foot on the island, I don’t think it ever touched the ground, as the island’s cabins are all connected with a deck system leading from the jetty to a central lounge.

Zambia2011__0173

In the next instalment I’ll start showing you the amazing facilities, the gin and tonic sunset cruise, dinners and the like. Also I am editing a video of our stay, so watch this space closely.

I’ll also be talking a bit more about the other guests, anecdotes and the food, the people and my thoughts on travel and the like.

Comments

Jeanne said…
Awesome candid shots - and check out Jenny's styling hoed!! Fit for the Durban July ;)
Danie Nel said…
Thank Jeanne. Yes, Jenny can be quite fabulous when she puts her mind to it ;).

Popular posts from this blog

Dangerous Photography Jobs

http://www.onlinecertificateprograms.org/blog/2010/10-dangerous-photography-jobs/This is taken from the above article, with permission:Photography can be a case of life or death. It may sound absurd, but professional photographers often go to great lengths and compromise their safety in order to get the perfect picture. Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph Mount Everest or a mission to cover the Iraq war, many photographers risk their lives just to do their job. Here are 10 dangerous photography jobs: Extreme Weather Photography
Extreme weather photographers aren’t storm chasers, but they do have an eye for photographing hurricanes, tornados, thunderstorms and other severe weather in their most vulnerable state. As you can imagine, this job is nothing short of extreme. Extreme weather photographers have to get close to the storm when everyone else is running from it, which puts them at risk for injuries and often death. BASE Jumping & Skydiving Photography
See…

Portrait Shoot: Pierre van Heerden

So a number of years back I did a shoot of Pierre van Heerden, South African actor, musical performer, playwright and comedian, at my old studio. It was just for fun, really. I was exploring some portraiture ideas, for a project I was considering at the time. We had a great time shooting these, exploring some cool ideas as we spent the morning talking rubbish, laughing and drinking coffee.

Fast forward some years later, and he contacted me to do an update of the images, but this time for his book.

The images were meant for publicity purposes, his marketing material and such, but what I want to share here is just some of the expression shots we did once we had those in the bag. Working with an actor in stills is great, as they know their face, they know expressions and have a large selection of facial "skills" to employ for a portrait.

I would simply call out a bunch of emotions/expressions and he would comply each time.



The "30 second portrait" I made is an idea…

Video for ABSA CAPE EPIC/CREATION Wines

Herewith a little video I put together for Creation Wines's leg of Stage 2 of the 2017 ABSA CAPE EPIC MTB Race. #untamed