Last newsletter I told you about our visit to Lower Zambezi. I ended my last story at Old Mondoro and we were on our way to Anabezi. Anabezi is just round the corner
from Old Mondoro, through the bush, over a dry river bed and back down to the river. It took us about half an hour.
Anabezi used to be called Ana Tree Lodge but the new owners from Zimbabwe have renamed it Anabezi and work is still in progress on the construction.
The main area where we stayed faced the dry river bed of the Musensenshi River and was finished, but it seemed that the owner wanted to extend the lodge towards the Zambezi. The whole lodge is very luxurious with large rooms all with their own veranda overlooking the Musensenshi; the rooms and main area are accessed on walkways. Walkways are always a good idea as the environment does not suffer and the animals can walk underneath. I wondered what would happen if an elephant decided he wanted to pass – there wasn’t space for an elephant underneath the walkways. I was told that none of them had tried yet …
I really liked the section we stayed in because the dry river bed was clear and gave for good wildlife viewing – impala were always crossing and re-crossing to and from the lodge. And, to the left we could see the Zambezi Escarpment as it changed colours with the movement of the sun. In the evening, after dinner, we were escorted to our room along the walkway and found buffalo, elephant and impala; the elephant was busy shaking the acacia tree to knock down the fruit pods to eat. We had to wait awhile until he moved off.
Our hosts at Anabezi were Matt and Annette; Emma was closeted up in the offi ce most of the time. Matt took us for an early morning drive to see the sights. And what a
beautiful drive it was. We found quite a bit of water along water-courses and, in one place a herd of buffalo had come down for an early morning drink. We also saw a side-
striped jackal and crested guineafowl. We saw lots of other stuff too but these were special. Also nearby are some ruins which are called KK Ruins because it is said that this
is where Kenneth Kaunda used to stay when he came to Lower Zambezi when it was a hunting concession (prior to 1983). The bush is varied. Acacia forests, floodplains and thickets. For us who live in towns and are used to seeing our pathetic woodlands all decimated by charcoal burners, bushfires and wood-cutters, it is such a thrill to see pristine Zambian forests. Lower Zambezi does have bushfi res occasionally but it is mostly under control and there are certainly no charcoal burners there. I digress …
Our stay at Anabezi was too short but we had to move on, back to Chongwe River Lodge. We set off around 1pm for a fine drive through the park, back through the park gate, over the Chongwe River and then to the Lodge. At Chongwe Lodge we were met by Flossy who took care of us. Chongwe Lodge was full of elephants. This was one I found just below the veranda of my room. Two of the elephants were well-known to the staff – Honda and Bananas. Honda is an elephant who once chased Flossy, hence his name. Bananas is an elephant which had got used to the arrival of the boat bringing supplies for the camp. He was once found by the river’s edge gorging himself on a box of bananas which had yet to be taken to the kitchen. Now the staff have to be extra-fast off-loading the boats in case Bananas is watching.
Chongwe River Lodge is, unsurprisingly, on the bank of the Chongwe River. The view is superb – river in front, escarpment to the left, Zambezi to the right. It is a great
spot. The camp was full and we enjoyed a starlight dinner in the company of people from all over the world.
In the morning we went to visit Conservation Lower Zambezi to fi nd out all about their activities in the park. We did go for a quick spin around the area afterwards seeing
quite a bit of wildlife but … we had to move on … back into the park and Chiawa Camp.
From : Livingstone Weekly
By Gill Staden
2 November 2014