As its name suggests, Safari Par Excellence is a tour operator with a difference, offering a veritable rainbow of hospitality venues and awe-inspiring activities in Zambia’s “adventure capital” of Livingstone
By ANDREA PAFITIS-HILL
Photographs by TERRY McCORMICK, PAUL BUSSELL, SEAN EDINGTON and SUPPLIED
THE RIVER CLUB
An immaculately preserved British colonial property that hearkens back to the days when silver was polished weekly and newspapers ironed daily, The River Club’s jungle green tin roof rests atop cream walls, classic round pillars and wood-framed windows, with a library and dining room that lead to a wrap-around screed floor patio, garden and horizon pool.
Once the home of co-owner Peter Jones, the hotel’s intricate and fascinating history includes thrilling details like King Lobengula’s buried treasure once thought to be buried on the front lawn and the 1910 world rowing championship held a stone’s throw away on the river where Oxford and Cambridge men and women still come today to row.
In a kitchen that is fully equipped to cater to even the most stringent of kosher requirements, head chef Tawanda Gatawa – a Prue Leith graduate – prides himself on delivering delicate flavours served with fine-dining finesse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available, depending on which package guests select from Bed and Breakfast, Full Board or Fully Inclusive.
Children over the age of 6 years are welcome, with Kids @ The Club activities like Chef’s cooking or baking lessons, and insect- and butterfly capture-and-release programmes. Other activities on offer for young and old alike include tours of the Victoria Falls and the local Simonga village, a leisurely sundowner cruise up the Zambezi, a bird-watching river safari, fishing, yoga classes and more. Call 072 517 4880 or visit theriverclubafrica.com for more info and to book. Visit safpar.com for a full list of activities and excursions available during your stay at The River Club.
THE DAVID LIVINGSTONE SAFARI LODGE & SPA
With 77 en-suite rooms (which include five suites and three interleading rooms), this sprawling Afro-chic resort is the ideal choice for families. The stylish and sensibly laid-out rooms boast private balconies where guests can enjoy a little “me time” with a quiet drink while gazing out over the beautiful view – alternatively, the African-chic Ujiji Bar offers a lively meeting place for friends old and new.
With intriguingly named massages like Ukuchina and Baama Mama beckoning to you from the hotel’s sleek spa, you simply have to indulge in some blissful R&R in the warm and soothing hands of qualified therapists. There’s even a treatment menu available for junior guests needing to take time out from the many adventures on offer at this luxury destination.
Executive chef Anuj Ovalekar skilfully oversees the hotel’s Kalai Restaurant, where he fuses traditional African and Middle Eastern flavours with creative flair. Along with catering to vegetarian and vegan requirements, Anuj’s personal attention to detail can also be seen in the carefully crafted canapés served aboard the Lady Livingstone river cruiser – this grande dame docks and departs from The David Livingstone jetty daily for unmissable sunset cruises up the mighty Zambezi, along the river boundary of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. The David Livingstone jetty is also the collection and drop-off point (via jet boat) for patrons of The Elephant Café, a multi award-winning, fine-dining restaurant run by executive chef, Annabel Hughes – read more about this further down!
THE VICTORIA FALLS WATERFRONT
If being closer to the hub of Livingstone life while still enjoying Zambezi views and poolside lounging is what you’re after, The Victoria Falls Waterfront is for you! Its 23 chalets – which include Executive, Riverside, Standard and Family Room options – offer stylish and comfortable accommodation. For those seeking the thrill of being more up close and personal with the elements, the Adventure Village comprising 3m x 3m bow tents on raised platforms and the Camping Site among large, shade-giving trees, are great options.
Alongside a fully stocked bar is Peppino’s Pizza, where wood-fired clay ovens produce deliciously topped pizzas served on round wooden boards to add to the rustic feel – for the adventurous palate, there is even a crocodile pizza option! A popular spot among locals and tourists alike, there is a relaxed and social mood at this venue that makes you want to linger longer over your ice-cold bottle of Mosi Lager – Zambia’s home brew.
Call +260 213-320-606/7/8 or visit thevictoriafallswaterfront.com for more info and to book. Visit safpar.com for a full list of activities and excursions available during your stay at The Victoria Falls Waterfront.
THE ELEPHANT CAFÉ
Click here to read about this hidden gourmet gem in Livingstone – a must to add to your bucket list!