Islands of Siankaba
(6 chalets) PO Box 60845, Livingstone; tel/fax: 03 324490; cell: 09 779 1241; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.islandsofsiankaba.com
One of the newest lodges on the Zambezi, Siankaba is a considerable 45km from Livingstone, down a 7km track through open bush, followed by a five-minute boat ride. The mood is set as you leave the jetty with its small gift shop and chug along a peaceful back channel of the Zambezi before joining the main river. Shortly upstream, Siankaba lies on two separate islands. On one, spacious chalets nestle like bird hides among the trees that overhang the banks, their decks an ideal vantage point from which to watch the river in complete privacy. In contrast to the half-canvas walls and roof, everything about the accommodation oozes luxury and comfort. Polished teak furniture sits on polished teak floors, offset by thick oriental rugs. Stately comfortable beds with an integral ceiling fan are hung like four-posters with pristine white mosquito nets, and good reading lights complement the otherwise subdued lighting. Set on a platform to the rear are a regal claw-footed bathtub and twin pedestal china basins, as well as a modern shower and separate toilet. Tucked discreetly away, a safe and fridge are almost incidentals.
Raised walkways and swinging bridges lead to the adjacent island, where the restaurant/bar area is rather more modern, but no less tasteful, with natural décor and tables out on the deck for al fresco dining. Among the trees nearby is a secluded pool with stylish sun-loungers, and running round the island is a 1.5km marked nature trail. In addition to this, activities include a sundowner cruise, and a village walk, which takes in a visit to the local school, with the return trip by mokoro. The school, Mandia, is a government-run establishment that is supported by a trust fund operated by the lodge.
Run by its owners, Bonnie and Simon, Siankaba is an exclusive lodge that offers considerable attention to detail.