Natural Mystic Lodge
(10 chalets) Nakatindi Rd, PO Box 60638, Livingstone; tel: 03 322812; cell: 097 791278; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.naturalmysticlodge.com
Opened in 2002 by the late Moya Mukela and Kathy Engman, Natural Mystic is 20km from Livingstone. The short drive from the main road runs through carefully tended organic vegetable gardens, a hint of what to expect at a lodge that aims eventually to be self-sufficient.
The statue at the entrance to the lodge of Namatama (Mother Earth) with her water pot depicts the philosophy that underpins Natural Mystic, that the source of life comes from the earth. The low-lying, often wet site is crossed by a walkway with strategic points from which visitors can watch visiting hippos or the occasional elephant. Eight of the simple thatched chalets are grouped close together, four of them fronting the river, although the design means that views of the river from inside are limited. The other two are set further back on the site. Some have bath and shower, others just a shower, and there's a small porch area by the door. With two double beds in each, they're quite cramped, but represent good value for this location.
Right on the river is a large decked bar/restaurant area which is open to non-residents. Dinner costs US$10 per person, often accompanied by cultural dancing and marimba bands. There's also a small swimming pool, a curio shop and satellite television, plus an internet service. Game drives and other activities can be organised, and they plan to have their own boats.