Sussi & Chuma
(10 chalets) PO Box 60082, Livingstone; tel: 03 324426; cell: 097 790726; fax: 097 840726 ; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.star-of-africa.com. Zimbabwe reservations: PO Box CT 410, Victoria Falls, tel: +263 11 213345/13 45970; fax: +263 13 42122; email: reservations@email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Built in 2001, this luxury lodge is ten minutes' drive from Livingstone, also within the outer section of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park – at a highly prized site which, historically, was known as 'Fairyland'. The lodge's name has been taken from the two Zambian bearers who carried David Livingstone's body from Zambia to the British Embassy at Dar es Salaam: Sussi and Chuma.
If you've a yearning to act out a childhood fantasy of living in a tree house, this could be your chance. Set amongst the riverine forest, Sussi & Chuma's large, almost circular chalets are set quite high up on raised wooden platforms, and command fabulous views over the Zambezi. Large glass doors form walls in themselves, folding out on to a sizeable balcony with comfortable wicker chairs. Furnishings are stylish and tasteful – lots of natural fabrics, woven matting on dark wooden floors, and a walk-in mosquito net around the bed(s) – while thoughtful touches include a fridge, a whistle and an umbrella. Each en-suite bathroom is open plan, housing a bath with a view; only the toilet is private.
Raised walkways connect the chalets to a large double-storey thatched boma, the repeated use of a circular design affording a sense of relaxation. Upstairs are the main dining, lounge and bar areas and meals may be taken with other guests, or individually, as you prefer. Downstairs you will find a gift shop and reading area, leading out to the swimming pool and further along to a deck with firepan, set on a sheltered bend of the river. There's even an elephant-viewing area overlooking a small waterhole. The reception building, at the entrance, has historical significance (and a preservation order), though it has been extensively and thoughtfully refurbished. Activities currently include game drives at sunrise and sunset, a village tour, and visits to the Falls and the museum. At the planning stage are fishing and boat cruises, as well as an open-air massage parlour and 3-hour elephant-riding trips, to include an island picnic tea or a sundowner.